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Old 05-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #46
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To back butter or not to back butter?


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Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post

I have a serious question for you. Not sure of your experience but I'm just a DIYer when it comes to tile. But everyone here is disagreeing with you and have posted many references to why you are wrong and the TCNA says you are wrong. The only guy that has agred with you is the lowes employee which from my experience are notorious for spewing false information. Why should others believe what you are saying over what seems like the whole rest of the tile industry says?
Good question.... I have been in the field "I think" long enough to encounter various senarios of tile installs. This trade well along with a few others is highly misinterpreted, poor advice spreading all over the internet, forums, you tube etc.

You can not read tcna handbookand then expect to start laying tile, that's like reading a martial arts book and being able to defend your self against a attacker that will truly harm its as simple as that. There is a lot of people that watch you tube, diy network and read that give answers online which may work but don't expect your installation to last.

I'm not saying I know everything about tiling I sure don't but I am aducated in the trade enouph to know what works and what doesn't and or what's fake. There are only one site I go to if I have questions or references.

John bridge forum is a good forum but even that place has a lot of conflicting info.

There are only 3 guys on this site I would ever take info stright from here to the floor if I had too.

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Old 05-13-2013, 10:36 AM   #47
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To back butter or not to back butter?


There is nothing wrong with posting information that is different from what everyone else says. I do that sometimes. And I have a pet peeve against people who simply parrot what others have done and claim it as gospel. There are lots of trades people who have been doing their job the same way forever (and not doing it all that well.)

However, if you say something different, you should back it up with some solid experience that proves something, or some science/math/common sense, or both.

Many advances in many fields are achieved by definition by saying something different than everyone else. Unfortunately, JetSwet is saying something that simply doesn't work, in practice, in theory, or just by using your common sense.

Many times things can work in spite of how you did it, not because of how you did it.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #48
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To back butter or not to back butter?


Ill admit to botching this post in one way or another but not all of it. What set me off is the other guy that came off as a know it all telling the op that he's in his back yard
Then advertising his video.

If you use a thinset that requires air to cure, backbuttering and pressing wrong can trap air. In one way or the other the lows guy wasn't wrong. I'm not defending the lows guy I'm sure he would have told him to use mastic and that's why he said that lol

Last edited by JetSwet; 05-13-2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #49
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To back butter or not to back butter?


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If you use a thinset that requires air to cure, backbuttering and pressing wrong can trap air.
That sounds plausible.

Modified thinset is all the rage, and can be advantageous, but it has to dry to get to full strength. Since I use Ditra and Kerdi so much, I use a lot of unmodified thinset, where drying isn't necessary for strong curing.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #50
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To back butter or not to back butter?


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Unfortunately on this site there is a lot of bad info that get's passed. it is good to have arguments between industry pros that show DIYer's that what they are told by some is not always correct.

it pays to do your homework.

in this case, we have a hard headed individual that just can't seem to grasp the fact he has done something wrong. Lucky that so far it has not bit him in the but.
And what was that that was done wrong?
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #51
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To back butter or not to back butter?


I'm no tile expert here, but done some tiling, and my understanding is that the trowels are used to lay an even amount of thinset, nothing more (like allowing air to dry the thinset). You want as close to 100% coverage of thinset on the back of the tile bonded to the substrate so that the tile has 100% support at any point on the tile. Not pressing down on freshly troweled thinset means by definition you're not getting 100%, as you're leaving voids made by the ridges of the trowel. This is wrong.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:30 PM   #52
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To back butter or not to back butter?


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I'm no tile expert here, but done some tiling, and my understanding is that the trowels are used to lay an even amount of thinset, nothing more (like allowing air to dry the thinset). You want as close to 100% coverage of thinset on the back of the tile bonded to the substrate so that the tile has 100% support at any point on the tile. Not pressing down on freshly troweled thinset means by definition you're not getting 100%, as you're leaving voids made by the ridges of the trowel. This is wrong.
Your size notch space on your trowel are determined on what size tile you are laying.
This determineds your covrage size that you are getting. Slightly pressing and moving tile up then down will let air excape----better coverage. Not pressing down at all will leave voids betreen tile and thinset and not getting your % coverage. Pushing down to hard will collaps your lines trapping air...if you have air you do not have coverage.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:08 PM   #53
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Your size notch space on your trowel are determined on what size tile you are laying.
This determineds your covrage size that you are getting. Slightly pressing and moving tile up then down will let air excape----better coverage. Not pressing down at all will leave voids betreen tile and thinset and not getting your % coverage. Pushing down to hard will collaps your lines trapping air...if you have air you do not have coverage.
Ya I understand the width/depth of the notches in the trowel determine the amount of thinset set on the substrate. Moving the tile up and down doesn't let air escape..? If you lift the tile up the air will get back underneath the tile..?

My understanding is that you're supposed to fully collapse the trowel ridges. Air doesn't get trapped underneath as the air will get pushed out the open sides of the tile, especially if you make the troweled lines going in the same direction. Not collapsing the ridges by definition means you can't get full coverage.
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Old 05-13-2013, 02:52 PM   #54
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To back butter or not to back butter?


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I am tiling a tub/shower surround as well as the bathroom floor with porcelain tile. Do I need to back butter either?
When you are installing them, install one or two, then pull it (place the corner of your trowel under the corner of a tile, pull it up). If the back of your tile isn't completely covered with fresh thinset, you should back butter them.

Don't skip this lookie-see step.

When I was doing my tile job, I was somewhat surprised that I didn't have complete coverage. But I didn't, so I back buttered my tiles. This was on a bathroom floor with 12-in tiles.

If your technique is better than mine and you're getting full coverage of thinset, then don't bother. Don't be too proud to check every once in awhile.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #55
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To back butter or not to back butter?


Your not suppose to squeeze out thinset or put your bodyweight over the tile wile setting. No one knows how they are applying there own pressure over the tile not knowing this and doing it can make your tile sit uneven. So the hole up and down pressing ensures a lot.

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