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Old 10-15-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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Thinset application question


I've read about two different methods of applying thenset to floor tile. First method would be to apply the thinset directly to the subfloor. The second method was to apply thinset to the back of the tile.

Are these two methods just a matter of preference or is one prefered over the other? I've layed tile before as a DIYer and I always just applied the thinset to the subfloor.

I've also read about applying a skim coat of thinset to the subfloor before making your thinset bed. Is this recommended?

Thanks...

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Old 10-15-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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Thinset application question


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Originally Posted by poolecw View Post
I've read about two different methods of applying thenset to floor tile. First method would be to apply the thinset directly to the subfloor. The second method was to apply thinset to the back of the tile.

Are these two methods just a matter of preference or is one prefered over the other? I've layed tile before as a DIYer and I always just applied the thinset to the subfloor.
I let the tile tell me what works...lay a few, pop them up and look at the coverage. Larger tile need 100% smaller can work with less. When I apply tile on vertical walls or small decorative tile, I like to back butter the tile, for me it's less messy. If you get too much thin set on the tile, obviously it'll squeeze out too much and be a mess to clean up. I'll always shoot for more coverage rather than less.

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Originally Posted by poolecw View Post
I've also read about applying a skim coat of thinset to the subfloor before making your thinset bed. Is this recommended?
Are you talking about using thinset under the the backer board? I've never applied thin set to a subfloor then another coat before tiling....new to me.

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Old 10-15-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thinset application question


Poole,

There really are not 2 methods, only one correct method. The thinset is first spread on the floor with the flat side of the trowel to achieve a good mechanical bond. You then spread more thinset and spread with the proper notched side to get an even amount. The final strokes with the notched trowel should all be in one direction, so the ridges are going to the left and right, (east-west) in the working grid. You then set the tiles while pushing the tiles back and forth to collapse the ridges. This gives the best coverage and adhesive transfer. The tiles should be 'beat-in' with a rubber mallet or 'beating-block'

Under certain conditions, some like to 'back-butter' the tiles, it may help and is fine. If you use the proper trowel, mix the thin set correctly, and do not allow the thin set to skin over, back butter is not necessary with most tiles.

Back buttering may be required if the tiles are the 'hand molded' type or are warped by their nature etc.

Spreading the adhesive only on the backs is something I've only done in a few tight situations, like when installing large tiles to a ceiling.

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