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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any tips/tricks for getting the surface of all your tiles flush with each other—in other words, how do you lay tile without pressing some tiles too deep compared to others?

(Also, is it still "laying" tile if it's on a wall?)
 

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Yep, that is what I use. Both of them. I prefer the twist on ones as the other one really needs a tool to get the proper tension.

To check for lippage, I use a nickel as it has a hard edge.

And, I still call it laying tile if it is on a wall or ceiling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, so I see how those things would give you flush edges at each tile—they are effectively clamping adjacent tiles together with front and back flush. However, it's not clear from the design if they also provide consistent spacing from the substrate. That is, the back side of the clip—is that supposed to be bottomed out on the substrate? If so, are there different models for different adhesive thicknesses?
 

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OK, so I see how those things would give you flush edges at each tile—they are effectively clamping adjacent tiles together with front and back flush. However, it's not clear from the design if they also provide consistent spacing from the substrate. That is, the back side of the clip—is that supposed to be bottomed out on the substrate? If so, are there different models for different adhesive thicknesses?
That distance is the amount mortar you put down, so it is up to you to be constant in your trowel and back butter work. Different sized notches gives you a different depth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But you can put down the same amount of mortar, yet if you press down differently, you can get a different finished depth on the goop from one tile to another. You can see in that video with the glass tiles, the "squish" isn't necessarily consistent for all tiles.
 

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But you can put down the same amount of mortar, yet if you press down differently, you can get a different finished depth on the goop from one tile to another. You can see in that video with the glass tiles, the "squish" isn't necessarily consistent for all tiles.
I did my tile before I saw those and I was not happy.
Maybe it would be worth doing a little sample for yourself to get comfortable with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm just wondering if sticking something in the goop behind the tile would work, e.g. a little plastic ball, like a BB, on each corner. Or if the backs of those levelers are a suitable thickness, i.e. squish the good to the the thickness of the leveler.
 

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I'm just wondering if sticking something in the goop behind the tile would work, e.g. a little plastic ball, like a BB, on each corner. Or if the backs of those levelers are a suitable thickness, i.e. squish the good to the the thickness of the leveler.
Something under for spacers would just leave you in the some place.
To much mortar and it wont go down and to little leaves you with voids.

These things don't stop you from checking with a straight edge as you go.
 

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I'm just wondering if sticking something in the goop behind the tile would work, e.g. a little plastic ball, like a BB, on each corner. Or if the backs of those levelers are a suitable thickness, i.e. squish the good to the the thickness of the leveler.
You would never want to leave something hard under the tile, especially under floor tile, as that will be the place the tile will break.

As for maintaining the same depth or height of the tile, that is what a level is for. And, learning how to lay the thinset consistently.

You need to get enough thinset on the substrate first of all. Then you need to get it to stick using the flat side of the trowel. Next, use the correct notch for the tile you have. Large Format, anything over 12x12, requires a 1/2" notch.

Once you get your first tile down, then your level comes into play. I use a torpedo level to check that the first tile is flat in all directions. The tiles you next lay should be at or below the level of the first one. The anti-lippage system will bring them up to the same plane.

As you get further on, use a longer level to get back to square one to make sure that things are on the same plane. You can always add more thinset, or take away some. But, when you lift up on the tile to remove it, make sure you rake the thinset with the notch.

Also, remove the thinset at the edge of the tile before you lay the next. It will help when you go to grout.
 
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I put down the thinset using the proper notched trowel, back butter, put the tile down, next time down, then I use a level to check for level and move the level back and fourth across the adjacent tiles checking for smoothness and no catching lip.
 

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Flat substrate is key. For floor tile we use a board that spans at least three tiles, lightly tamp. Wall tile should be no problem with the right adhesive thickness (trowel), just push them all in firm.
 

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I put down the thinset using the proper notched trowel, back butter, put the tile down, next time down, then I use a level to check for level and move the level back and fourth across the adjacent tiles checking for smoothness and no catching lip.
I tend to only back butter on tiles that are bigger than a square foot. Or ones that don't lay flat and ones that are heavy for their size.

And when I do back butter, I use the same method as when I put down the mud on the backer board. I use a sponge to wipe off any excess dust and pre-moisten the tile, use the flat side of the trowel to get the mud on it and screed it in, then I flip the trowel over and comb it out. When I lay it down, I make sure to put the grooves perpendicular to the ones on the floor.

For those who live in a dryer climate, or when working with ceramic, concrete or other porous tiles, moisten the tiles and backer board with a sponge that has been dipped in water and wrung out. Porcelain tile is not porous as it is high fired and by it's nature designed to not accept moisture.

The reason why you want to moisten the tile and substrate is to prevent the mud that comes into contact with the surfaces from drying out too quick and making a false bond.
 

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You would never want to leave something hard under the tile, especially under floor tile, as that will be the place the tile will break.

As long as the "hard thing" is used as a spacer and the mortar fills the rest of the space it will be fine. Mortar after all is "something hard".


You need to get enough thinset on the substrate first of all. Then you need to get it to stick using the flat side of the trowel. Next, use the correct notch for the tile you have. Large Format, anything over 12x12, requires a 1/2" notch.

It doesn't "require" it, in fact that would often be overkill, depending on the flatness of the substrate and how much tolerance you have for cleaning up oozed out mortar.


Once you get your first tile down, then your level comes into play. I use a torpedo level to check that the first tile is flat in all directions.

You can check that your tile is flat before ever putting it down. Unless you're talking about the tile being level. That of course depends on the substrate being level, which often they aren't perfectly. Your tile should be flat to the substrate. If that is level, great, if it's not, then your tile shouldn't be level either.
 

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I'm just wondering if sticking something in the goop behind the tile would work, e.g. a little plastic ball, like a BB, on each corner. Or if the backs of those levelers are a suitable thickness, i.e. squish the good to the the thickness of the leveler.

Yes that can work in certain situations (for example I sometimes use a wedge when tiling a shower niche shelf to insure consistent angle). But for a whole floor I think it would be a bad idea.
 
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