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Old 10-01-2012, 01:10 AM   #1
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


I'm tiling a floor with Flexbond Thinset mortar from Custom building on a CONCRETE foor. I already put Redgard on some of the cracks.

I noticed that my notches aren't standing up high after I use a trowel. They do some times, but often the notches either fall over or come off in patches. This happens more so as the mortar has been sitting, but I've been making new batches as I go along I feel.

Does this mean I have too much or too little water in the mortar? I feel that I added plenty of water, but the mortar does feel a little sticky or dry if that's the right word.

Could I add water as I go along too?

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Old 10-01-2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Sounds like too much water. Put some mortar on the end of your trowel, now turn it upside down if the mortar falls off it's too thin.

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Old 10-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #3
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


This is my first time tiling and I think what I did was mixed the mortar wrong. I added 1 quart per 10 lb as the directions said....at least i think....

is this just a trial and error thing? I feel like it was the consistancy of pancake batter or peanut butter. I feel that it did stick. Anyways I'm going to tile the other half tomorrow hopefully...man tiling is so much harder than I thought

The videos I see online make it seem like the mortar is so easy to apply, but when I applied it the mortar felt clumpy and dry...

any other tips would help
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #4
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


It should not be clumpy if it is you did not mix it up enough.
Clumps will cause high places under the tile.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


I will mix it more next time. I'm just still not entirely sure about the consistancy thing because it felt dry, but I added a little more water than I thought I needed

I duno I'm just confused, but hopefully my next batch will be better... i'm learning
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


We like pancake mix to be slightly lumpy for those air pockets, not in thinset.

Using your peanut butter example, think of PB that has been sitting around at 75-80 degrees. It spreads smooth and easy but it is not runny (good). Same PB in a fridge will be hard to spread (no good)

Hope this helps? Now I am going to go and make myself a PB sandwich!
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Actually yeah that does help I think I didn't mix it right as u guys said.

I think the peanut butter at 80 degs makes sense... it was more like dry pancake batter, i think it had lots of air pockets from my crummy mixing. Hopefully this tile is solid, I'd be pretty disappointed

Also how much do you mix at a time? Like how many hours do you have before it's too hard?
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


I think every thin set is different so make sure to read the label.

I tend to be conservative so I mix just enough to last 15-20 minutes of tiling, then I stop to mix another batch.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


That could be an issue as well for me. It was taking me forever between batches...at least a couple hours. The lable didn't say anything about usage time or consistancy. Just said mix 5 quarts water with 50 lbs mortar so i was going with 1 quart per 10 lbs
Argh. Live and learn...
Thanks man
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


you are using something like this attached to your electric drill, right? (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UGoDeVG2GE4)

hey, tiling can be fun once you get the hang of it. once you master it, you will be proud of your work

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:09 PM   #11
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Yes I did, but my ryobi power drill ran out of juice so i ended up mixing by hand...may be the issue!
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Do not run your drill at high speed when mixing as this puts too much air in the mix. When you get it about the way you want it, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then mix it again. This is called slaking and it will help with your lumps and clumps. At this time you may need to add a LITTLE more water. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:59 AM   #13
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Do not run your drill at high speed when mixing as this puts too much air in the mix. When you get it about the way you want it, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then mix it again. This is called slaking and it will help with your lumps and clumps. At this time you may need to add a LITTLE more water. Good luck.
^^^^^This

On the directions of all the mortar I have mixed it says to let it sit for ten minutes and then mix it again. You will notice a big difference in consistancy when you let it sit and then mix a second time.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Thanks guys I think you are all right about the mixing. I did let it slake, but I think the mixing part I did all wrong and got clumps in it.... oh well I may learn the hard way......
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
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Mortar notches are not standing up high or at all


Mortar is relatively cheap, expecially when looking at the total cost to do a tile project. Take some time and just play with small batches to try and get it the way you want it.

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