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Old 07-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


how do i remove hardened thinset from tiles after setting them ?

picture included. thanks.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


What the heck is that? Those tiles were just installed? Is that thin set in the joints too?

Scrape with putty knife then soak with water and rub. Cut the thin set away with a utility knife to clean out the joints, if there's no membrane under the tiles.

Jaz

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #3
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


it is extra thinset that squeezed up between the joints and i didn't wipe it immediately.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


OK........., so now what? What have you tried? When was this done?

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


use grease lighting and let sit for five seconds then use a scrubing pad that really works thanks
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:06 AM   #6
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


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Originally Posted by gaede1 View Post
use grease lighting and let sit for five seconds then use a scrubing pad that really works thanks
grease lighting???
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


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OK........., so now what? What have you tried? When was this done?
Jaz, i did it about a month ago (glued the tiles in). i haven't got around to do the grout because i've been busy doing other things
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:40 AM   #8
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


Oh My, what a mess. The longer the thinset sits the harder it gets. The surface of the tiles is the easy part to clean off with water and scrubber, the real problem is getting the grout lines cleaned out. Grout adheres to the unglazed sides of the tiles. It looks to me as if there is thinset on all the edges of the tiles which will need to be cleaned off prior to grouting. I would not trust using anything other than water for fear that any soap would not react well to the grout. (What is your take on that Tile Guy???). One tool that may help some is a grout saw. You will need to be very careful around the corners of the tiles so as not to chip them. I pray for you that you do not have that many square feet to do.

How would dark grey grout look with you tile???
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


A multi-tool with a grout blade might save that one. Harbor Freight makes a nice one with reasonably priced blades.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #10
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


this was my first ever tiling job. it is in my utility room so it's OK if there are imperfections. i wanted to learn somewhere and this was a low impact place, much less than say a bathroom.

as for removing thinset from between tiles, i've been using a grout saw (manual). it is a pain in the rear end but i guess it has to be done.

is there a trick to just using the right amount of thinset so that it doesn't spill up and in between tiles?

thanks
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


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use grease lighting and let sit for five seconds
DO NOT DO THAT! BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
as for removing thinset from between tiles, i've been using a grout saw (manual).
Good choice - Best bet.

Quote:
is there a trick to just using the right amount of thinset so that it doesn't spill up and in between tiles?
YES there is. This is why notched thinset trowels are made in different sizes with different size notches.

Last edited by Bud Cline; 07-10-2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:37 PM   #12
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


When I lay tile I always have two buckets. One has the thinset and the other a dense sponge and water. After laying a few rows (depending on the size of tiles, and it looks like you were using 4 x 4's) I damp sponge off the thinset before it has time to set up. With a damp sponge, not a WET one, you can clean off the overage without adding to much water to the thinset below. If I get to much squished between tiles I use a flat head screw driver to pull it out, damp sponge again, trying to make sure there is room and a clean edge for the grout and then reset spacers if I am using them, which for the most part I do. I tend to stand them on edge rather that using them flat in the corners, that way they are easy to pluck out, shift or clean and replace. When you use them flat in the corners they get stuck and since they are so cheap, use four for each corner rather than just one in the center of the 4 tiles. Any time you work with anything that is cement based, clean as you go. It is so much easier to clean it up when it is still wet 30 seconds vs 3 hours and chipped tiles later.

When I grout I do the same thing. One bucket for the grout and another for a DAMP DENSE sponge to clean the overage of the top of the tiles. Grouting is a whole different issue then we are addressing here. Checking past posts or start a new thread as preferred method of doing grout might be in order.

I still hope that dark gray grout works for your laundry room and if not have lots of fun cleaning out the joints.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:48 PM   #13
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


One other point you asked about. How to prevent future problems with the thinset. Different size tiles take different size trowels for the thinset. There are instructions on the bag of thinset for this or for BEST comfort check with the pros on this site or other tile setting sites to get the best information. BEWARE of input from sales clerks at the local box store, IMHO.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:26 PM   #14
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


these are 2x2 mosaic tiles
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #15
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how to remove hardened thinset from tiles


Ok, I am going to be judgemental here. Why would you do 2 x 2 in a laundry room????? A room that get so much dirt and traffic why do something that has that much grout to deal with. I hope they were on a mesh backing, or really cheap, but then again at the point you are now, who cares. IMHO 2x2 are good for shower floors, so you dont slip, and if you are a really good tile setter for a backsplash or accent strip. Just my two cents.

I do feel for you and the trouble you got yourself into.

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