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Old 07-28-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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Installing cement board


I'm getting ready to tile, and just had a question or two about installing the cement board. I've got exterior grade plywood down, and am planning on putting the 1/4" Durock cement board down. For the thinset, I'm using this: Here, with this: Here. Does anybody see any problems before I start?

Also, I don't have a corded drill. Is there a way to mix this by hand? Or do I need to go buy one with a mixer bit?

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #2
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So far, you seem to have a good start. I'm not familiar with Lowes products, but I'm sure they are good. So go with that or try Home Depot (I work there in flooring dept) Employees have extensive experience and training (we are better than Lowes, LOL!) But, as for mixing your thin set, that's a good question. You can do it by hand, it will be a little more laborous, but it's possible. Peanut butter consistency. Try to stay away from the pre-mixed. It's not as good as the stuff you mix yourself. Contractors say it's garbage. We have a product called Versabond, just add water, each 50 lb bag covers 45 to 65 square feet. Good luck!

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Old 07-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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Get yourself a big drill and a mixing wand----Hand mixing is not practical.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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Not practical? or not possible? Only reason I ask is because it's only about 70-75 sq ft...so if I can avoid spending the money, I'd like to it manually...but you guys are the experts...
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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I don't think you will be able to get a smooth lump free mix by hand---I never could,any way.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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Installing cement board


Mike is absolutely correct, you will never get a smooth, lump free consistency out of your thinset unless you use a drill, and paddle mixing bit.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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So go with that or try Home Depot (I work there in flooring dept) Employees have extensive experience and training (we are better than Lowes, LOL!)
Now that there's funny, I don't care who you are!
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #8
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Not practical? or not possible? Only reason I ask is because it's only about 70-75 sq ft...so if I can avoid spending the money, I'd like to it manually...but you guys are the experts...
NOT an expert here, but I did a 6.5' x 4' bathroom floor, as well as a 3'x4' (approx 80 sf) shower mixing it all by hand. Yes, it is labor intensive. It is also time consuming. I did it by mixing multiple small batches and backbuttering the tile.

I have a corded drill, but I wasn't sure if it could handle mixing thinset and didn't want to risk burning it out.

Edited to add: You need to be sure the drill can handle it. One other possible option is to rent a drill and paddle.

Last edited by Blondesense; 07-28-2011 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #9
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Blondesense is right ,you will smoke a small drill in a hurry---You are the boss on this job--try hand mixing and see what you think.--Mike---
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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How big of drill do you suggest then? I saw Lowe's had a Dewalt 6amp for about $60, but I'm assuming that's too small.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:48 PM   #11
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Instead of the two items you have listed, I'd use this one instead:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_43958-1295-0...Blb&facetInfo=

You won't need the adhesive with this one and it's good enough to use outside or in wet areas.

Yes, you do need a corded drill to mix this stuff along with a mixer for the drill. A half inch drill is absolute minimum and a cordless will not do at all and that includes the 18-19 volt units. If you have little use for a corded drill, this one is an okay unit:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_36939-79992-...ill&facetInfo=

For the mixer, this is what I use for thinset and paint. Just make sure to clean it immediately after using it-DO NOT WAIT or it won't clean up.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_176765-51872...xer&facetInfo=

I keep several 5 gallon buckets around while working tile. You'll need them for the grout anyway. A lot of the restaurants have these buckets for cheap-they get pickles in them. I usually pay about $.50-1.00 for them. I'd suggest 3 for starters. Make sure you CLEAN everything within 2 hours of starting regardless of if you're finished or not. Your tools will stay like new if you do. Otherwise, the thinset will stick to the tools and best of luck getting it off.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Installing cement board


For installing the tile you can easily mix batches as needed by hand. I do it all the time. Mix it, let it slake for ten minutes or so, mix it again, it will mix up. Use a margin trowel. I just can't agree that "you will never get a smooth lump-free consistency".

Mixing "dryset thinset mortar" (that you are suggesting) with additive (that you are suggesting) isn't necessary and will be slightly harder to mix by hand than mixing "modified thinset" with water by hand. The pot life will also be less.

You wouldn't mix a whole fifty pound bag at one time anyway so what's the problem with mixing small batches by hand?

A healthy drill motor would be required for mixing if you go that route. Most of the suitable mixing tools require a 1/2" drill chuck and they should also be reversible and variable speed for effective cleaning of the mixing tool in a bucket of water. It takes a healthy drill motor if you don't want it to burn up quickly. Now you are spending some big bucks. The mixing tool above will be problematic because that style won't allow you to get into the corner of a bucket without a lot of extra effort. The "egg-beater style" is probably more effective but you don't need one anyway so it doesn't matter.

Well that is you wouldn't need one anyway if it wasn't for one thing.

Here's the problem...if you have approximately 75 square feet of tile to install this means you also have 75 square feet of cement board to install and the cement board MUST be installed in a bed of fresh thinset. So now your 75 square foot job has become a 150 square foot job and will easily require a minimum of two 50# bags of thinset. I wouldn't want to mix 100#s of thinset by hand.

If I were you and didn't want to spend the necessary $169 for a proper long-lasting drill motor I would go buy an egg-beater mixer ($15) and go rent a "Hole Hog" right angle drill motor and git-r-done.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:40 AM   #13
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Now that there's funny, I don't care who you are!
Didn't ask if you cared who I am...frankly, I don't care who you are either. I was only commenting and doing it politely. Your comment merely shows ignorance and intolerance. Try not to be so nasty.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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So go with that or try Home Depot (I work there in flooring dept) Employees have extensive experience and training (we are better than Lowes, LOL!)
The last time I stopped there to buy tack strip the flooring "expert" didn't know that there was a difference between concrete and wood tack strip. He also knew nothing about seam sealer.
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:57 PM   #15
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The last time I stopped there to buy tack strip the flooring "expert" didn't know that there was a difference between concrete and wood tack strip. He also knew nothing about seam sealer.
To "rustybaker"....I can understand what you are saying about that "expert" at home depot. But it does not mean all of the specialists there are morons like that one likely is. I'm sorry you had to deal with that. But, I am confident about my knowledge, and if I do not know the answer, I tell my customer that, then add , I will find out for you, either right now, or if you are in a hurry, I can call you with the information. AND, I do what I say I'm gonna do. By the way, I know the difference of tack strips for wood substrates vs tack strips for concrete. I also know what seam sealer is for and why, and what it does. I would say, come see me, but I'm in Oceanside, Ca. If you are ever in town, I encourage you to visit me at my store.


Last edited by ttr13r; 07-29-2011 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Forgot to finish my response
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