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-   -   How thick should my thinset be? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f84/how-thick-should-my-thinset-46821/)

yummy mummy 06-16-2009 08:11 PM

How thick should my thinset be?
 
Do I have to make my thinset really thick?

I mixed some today and my ridges stand. Is that sufficiently thick, or should it be really hard say like peanut butter?

Just Bill 06-17-2009 07:19 AM

Follow directions, but generally it should be about like peanut butter. It should easily stick to tile and substrate, and be spreadable. Yours sounds too thick.

ccarlisle 06-17-2009 09:26 AM

Thanks for replying Just Bill, and although the poster asked the question last night and you replied today, I would assume she answered her own question in the time it took her to mix the thinset, stop, wonder, stop, go to the computer, write the question in the 10 minutes or so that she had while the thinset slaked, then wait for an answer (no-one did), go back and continue with her project...

But your timing was, as it happens, perfect because I personally think the best teacher is practice and reasoned thought; neither of which we have here. Reasoned thought is what they teach you in schools, where a set of scenarios is given, hypothetical perhaps, and the students taught how to reason through the problem and arrive at an answer based on logic and theory-testing.

This is different from just giving the answers...and the example springs to mind of the student asking the teacher: "How do you spell xxxx word"? To which we all know the answer... ("Look it up" is the answer, for those who were perplexed by this question...).

And this is a case in point; the OP has a tendency to ask questions when all she had to do, as you point out Just Bill, are read the instructions. Failing that, she probably has her answer by now in her project. So I congratulate you Just Bill in teaching her - not by giving her the answer but by giving her an answer several hours later; you taught her something.

And after all, this is what this forum is all about; not having qualified people hanging about giving answers to "How-do-you-spell..." questions wasting everyone's time, but by giving the value of their experience to those who have thought it out and tried - but are stuck for the answer and have nowhere else to turn.

I have philosophical problems with this 'give-me-the-answer-now'-type of poster as you may be aware. In the end, our gift of steering towards rational thought is the best of all.

Yet some respondents fall for this schtick more than others...:laughing:

yummy mummy 06-17-2009 12:39 PM

Yes, I did read the directions but I am mixing a little at a time.

Yes, I did figure it out after doing some research on the web and found a video that I was able to see the consistency.

ponch37300 06-17-2009 01:18 PM

I think the original poster asked a legitimate question. She asked advice on the consistency of the mix. She didn't ask how to mix it. She obviously did some research to know that it is supposed to hold ridges when spread. She is doing something that she never did before and did her homework and still had a couple of questions. She asked her questions so she didn't waste a whole bag of thinset wondering if the mix was right. She was just looking for a re assurance so that she didn't mix it to thick or to light and then lay all her tile and then have problems and have to rip all the tile up cause she wasn't sure of the consistency.

I do ALOT of research on every project I do and if I never have done it before I still have a couple of things I'm not positive on so I'll ask questions to make sure before I waste alot of money and screw something up. And by your thinking you should let people make mistakes because they are afraid to ask a simple question? So when a 16 year old kid is learning to drive we should just toss them the keys and tell them to read the directions and if they get stuck to come ask us questions? Pretty sure we would be losing lots of kids with that way of thinking. We send them to classes where they are allowed to ask questions and learn how to drive. Just like people come to this forum to ask questions to learn the right way. I think it is alot better to ask questions and do things right than to just jump in when your not sure of something and do it wrong. How many times do you hear of someone redoing the bathroom cause the last owner used drywall in the shower and mastic to hold the tiles? ALOT. Bet you those people wish they would have asked a question or two. I don't think you should be afraid of asking a simple question just to confirm or make sure of something on this forum. Maybe the instructions didn't say what consistency it is supposed to look like. Maybe she just wanted someone elses experience because the bag wasn't clear or she didn't understand. Either way if you feel that helping people is a waste of your time than don't. There are several others on this forum that are glad to answer a couple of questions. Have a good day.

yummy mummy 06-17-2009 08:23 PM

I agree with you ponch. I also believe that you should ask any question, and no question is stupid.

I did read the instructions, but I can't dedicate all the time that it would take to use up all the bag of thinset.

What I did was just mix a little amount so that I could lay just one tile, just to see how it would be, as I have never even seen thinset before, and had no clue as to what it should look like when mixed.

After, taking a look on a web video, I then was able to mix my other batch just right. I realized that my first one was a little too thin.

I thought that by asking a question and relate it to some other product, peanut butter or cake batter, that I would have some sort of guide to go by.

Thanks ponch.

ponch37300 06-17-2009 08:43 PM

I know exactly how it is to be doing something and not 100% sure and come on here to ask to find out and know I'm doing it right.

I just thank all the good people on here that are willing to take the time to answer the question and not tell us we are wasting their time. If that is truly how the other poster feels he shouldn't be on this forum. This one really struck a nerve. It took him more time to write that smart as response instead of just moving on. If he knew the answer he could have just said it and been done.

Oh well. There are alot of good tile guys on here that are willing to share their knowledge and advice, thanks Jazman and Bud and others that help us DIY'ers out!:thumbsup:

yummy mummy 06-18-2009 10:23 AM

Yes, I agree there are a lot of great people here that have helped me a lot, and I am grateful.

ccarlisle 06-18-2009 12:39 PM

YM, if you are - as your monicker suggests - a parent then I know what I am about to explain will hit home -and perhaps you'll see where my recent replies are coming from...but even if you are not a parent, I am sure you'll get what I am saying - so bear with me for a moment.

I am a parent; that, plus I have just completed 12 years of coaching high school level basketball and baseball and I am conviced that the best "gift" I was ever able to pass on to my children or to students was the gift of discovery. I am asked a lot of questions and I find myself giving longer answers sometimes that just the answer sought after...

In simple terms, it goes back to the example I gave in an earlier post about a child asking: "How do you spell such-and-such a word?" As perhaps you know, the easiest answer you can give would be the correct spelling of the word - but IMO and as a parent, you would be failing at your duty if you did.

No, the answer is either: "Well how would you think it is spelled", or "Here a dictionary; lets look it up..."

In the latter case, you pass on to the child a gift of discovery, a gift that lasts well after we have left the room. Because now the child reasons a bit, or goes to a resource where he not only finds the one word he wants to spell, but thousands of others too. Now he has tools.

That is what many of us here on this site hope to do...to activate the flow of reasoning that we hope will expand into other projects and other spheres. It's just as easy for any one of us to give you his version of the answer...but for what? How many times do we see the same people come back a few weekls later with the same question, or the same type of question in another project?

What's more, one hopes to give this gift of discovery and have that message received and understood. To give the gift only to have the same child come back next week with the same question is frustrating at first, but does say that we have to try harder...

I am afraid that is what that other poster, ponch37300, is missing...this poster has a habit of posting questions to evoke replies and suggestions that he rarely follows. For example, he has been faux-finishing his kitchen cabinets for over a month now, had had recommendations from other pros here - but ends up taking the advice from a Sherwin Williams paint store clerk then blasts her because her advice wasn't to his liking...

That's the 'child' I referrred to above, coming back asking again: "How do you spell such-and-such a word?" - then screaming because he gets handed a dictionary.

In this case, he took issue with my answer, saying it would have been better for everyone if I had just given him the answer. But not by my way of thinking.

By now, I've grown a pretty thick skin and I can take the barbs. What saddens me most is that more and more people will ignore his questions.

This is where I am coming from; hope it makes sense!:wink:

ponch37300 06-18-2009 01:47 PM

I am afraid that is what that other poster, ponch37300, is missing...this poster has a habit of posting questions to evoke replies and suggestions that he rarely follows. For example, he has been faux-finishing his kitchen cabinets for over a month now, had had recommendations from other pros here - but ends up taking the advice from a Sherwin Williams paint store clerk then blasts her because her advice wasn't to his liking...

That's the 'child' I referred to above, coming back asking again: "How do you spell such-and-such a word?" - then screaming because he gets handed a dictionary.

In this case, he took issue with my answer, saying it would have been better for everyone if I had just given him the answer. But not by my way of thinking.

CCarlisle-I have been trying to finish my kitchen cabinets. I have asked a bunch of questions about them. I have not asked someone to do them for me(in your words, spell the word for me) I have been trying to do them myself and ask questions from others(in your words, going to the dictionary). So by using your own analogy, I am going to the internet and this forum for advice and using it as a dictionary and also using sherwin williams advice as my dictionary. When I get conflicting advice(two different dictionaries with two different spellings) I go back and do some more research to try and figure out which is the right way.

We are not asking others to spell the word for use(do our projects), we are asking others to share their knowledge and past experiences to maybe avoid huge expensive problems. Weather you believe it or not I probably do as much research and reading on projects that I have never done before. But there is usually a couple of questions I don't get or understand. That is when I come to this forum for help. So I do what you suggest and go as far as I can till I'm stuck and then come for advice. I do not know any other "dictionary" than this forum. I do learn by trial and error and do try things on my own but when there is a possibility of a major problem or a big expense I like to do as much homework as I can so I feel comfortable during the new adventure. That's where my questions on mixing oil/latex finishes has come into play as you mention. I'm on my 4th layer of finish and had a couple of questions about different layers. And kept getting conflicting advice. Sorry if you feel my questions are repetitive and a waste of your time. And in my eyes coming on here and asking questions is going to the dictionary and not asking others to do my work for me. I'm not afraid to do the work(spell my own word) but sometimes I need a little help(going to the dictionary). I have numerous home improvement books and read them whenever I have a question. I do search this forum and google whenever I have a question to try not to ask anything that has been asked already.

You hear on this forum all the time about others not doing things right or previous home owners not doing a project right. I don't want to be one of them. I want to do my projects right and do as much research as possible to avoid mistakes. I do read instructions and call manufacturers if I have questions but sometimes others real world experiences are better.

So I guess we have different takes on your analogy of the dictionary. I believe I am using a "dictionary" and you believe I'm asking others to "spell my words for me". I didn't blast the sherwin williams lady, simple stated I was losing confidence in them due to the fact that the more research I did the more conflicting info I read. I"m sure there has been times in your life when you have asked others for advice/help/knowledge.

When I was in school I was taught to ask questions till I understood the topic we were learning. And I do have kids and when they ask me a question I gladly help them find the answer, weather it be showing them where the dictionary is or looking it up. I was taught to use my resources( like a dictionary) to answer questions, that's why I post questions and search for answers. You can read all you want and look up info all you want but sometimes there are specific things not covered or you get conflicting advice. And that is when I post on here. If you remember right I did try and roll paint on my cabinets and came up with brush/roller marks. So when I got stuck(as you stated in your earlier post) I came on here and posted about it. Then got good replies from others about a foam roller and penetrol. Helped alot. When my kids ask questions about homework I tell them to re read the instructions, sometimes they still don't understand it and need the help of someone that has been threw the information before. That is when I will sit with them and help them work threw it.

Anyways, I appreciate the advice giving by others and if you want to point me to a dictionary when I have a question I am more than happy to take the time to read whatever you suggest to learn. So I don't want to turn this into a back and forth argument. I'm not sure what you think this forum is for if us that aren't as experienced as you aren't suppose to ask questions. So I would like to thank all who do help us non experts understand different projects and the steps you have to take and allow us to ask questions to improve our knowledge. And I will apologize to those that feel my questions are a waste of time. Hope all have a good day.

yummy mummy 06-18-2009 04:30 PM

ccarlisle: .........

........ so how thick should my thinset be????????? :jester:

ccarlisle 06-18-2009 06:42 PM

LOL!

I admit I did get a chuckle out of your reply, YM, as I guess no-one has answered your question and you're still standing there with a trowel in your hand!

So, no more lecturing! IOt seems the more I do, the more our ponch friend wants to out-do me, so to show there's no ill-will on my part, I'll tell you that everyone I know who mixes thinset has a pretty good idea of just what the consistency should be and I'd go ont to say that most could probably mix thinset without knowing exactly how much water to add. But in my case, I cheat a wee bit in that I have a special plastic container with graduations on it, and I know that two of those per bag of the thinset I use will give me the consistency I want. Having said that I also use the same drill with the same mixing paddle and spend about the same time standing on the pail mixing it below my feet.

So how many ounces is that? don't know for sure but I liken the consistency to creamy peanut butter, not the crunchy. It shouldn;t fall off the trowel uyet it should spread out smoothly so that the ridges form uniformly but not solidly. It should squish when you put pressure on it so that one ridge runs into the other - not flow out the sides of the tile. Once put down, it should last me about 10-15 minutes before it starts to show signs of 'taking'.

having said that, I got to this unscientific point by trial and error that it turn came from measuring out exactly the amount of water prescribed on the bag. In any event, the directions on the bag are meant for idiots to approximate and still come out with good results.

To me the mixing is the most important step to getting consistent results with thinset. Short-change the mixing and you'll get weird results; slake-time is also crucial not to be missed. ten minutes give or take 3 minutes is what I aim for.

But I'm a chemist by training so hence the repetitive approach...

Ponch37300: I didn't read your post. I did see however your mention of 'kids', so I presume you're a parent. So, let me say this: at some point in your progress you are going to have to make up your own mind about things and not be afraid to make a mistake. I would rather see my students reason, gamble and then lose than see them frozen from fear of losing. I know you ask questions, but at some point I'd just like to see you say: "Hey, I screwed up! I thought this was the way to do it, but I guess I was wrong...Help!"

:)

DangerMouse 06-18-2009 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ccarlisle (Post 289531)
I didn't read your post.

wow! me neither!
in fact, i haven't read ANY of these posts....
i just like looking at the cute little smiley faces.......
what were we talking about again??????

DM

ponch37300 06-18-2009 07:12 PM

Ponch37300: I didn't read your post. I did see however your mention of 'kids', so I presume you're a parent. So, let me say this: at some point in your progress you are going to have to make up your own mind about things and not be afraid to make a mistake. I would rather see my students reason, gamble and then lose than see them frozen from fear of losing. I know you ask questions, but at some point I'd just like to see you say: "Hey, I screwed up! I thought this was the way to do it, but I guess I was wrong...Help!"

I know I said I wasn't going to respond but thought I would say this friendly. I've never said those exact words but if you have read my questions you would know that I asked a general question on painting kitchen cabinets, what type of paint to use. Then I jumped in and tried it, had some problems with roller marks. Asked for help with that and learned alot. Then I did my glazing, went on ok but read somewhere I shouldn't have used latex glaze over oil paint like sherwin williams suggested. I read this while I was trying to learn by myself by going to the internet(dictionary). So i once again asked for help on if this was ok or if I needed to fix it. So as much as you want to believe I don't try anything on my own I DO. And I have said I screwed up and asked for help on how to fix it. I also read other posts that I might think I'll learn something from or that might be something I'll run into. So I hope you do read this and understand that I have made many mistakes and I've also tried to educate myself as much as possible to eliminate as many mistakes as I can. So I would like to call a truce and hope you realize that I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about the projects that I am doing and that I do make mistakes and also admit to those and ask for help when this happens. If you think my questions are stupid or a waste of your time, don't answer them. If you would like to help educate me or share your knowledge or point me in the direction of a dictionary to help me answer my question, your help will be appreciated. And a big thanks to everyone that has taken the time to answer my questions and help me head down the right road when I jump into projects.

DangerMouse 06-18-2009 07:34 PM

some of us seem to be better at doing some things than others...
i can make wood beautiful, but cars suk... i had the tire off, the brake caliper hanging.... tried tool after tool to try to get the bearing spindle off...3 little friggin bolts!!! no room to move a tool!! i had a relative stop by, no help there, a neighbor tried, no luck there.... i finally took a picture and emailed it to my brother to see if he had any ideas. he called me and said, "Brother...... turn the wheel..."
all i could say was D-OH!!! turned the wheel and had plenty of room to manuever the tools.... swapped the bearings and was done with it....

some of us just seem to be better at doing some things than others... and a little advise is normally always welcome.

DM


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