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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
I have problem with using trowel to spread thin-set mortar on walls before notching.
It is messy; I can't accurately spread it into corners, and a lot of mortar sticks to the trowel and remains on it. So, it needs to be cleaned.Instead of a trowel I use 4" and 6" putty knifes to spread thin-set mortar. It is cleaner, easier and more precise.

Is this a wrong way to spread thin-set mortar?


Thanks.
 

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You are talking about applying it with a putty knife then notching it with the trowel right? Because otherwise you would have too much thinset behind your tiles. The correct sized notch applied at the correct angle gives you the proper amount of thinset and also creates a vacuum that helps to hold the tile in place until it sets. It takes a little trial and error with the angle part. If you are more comfortable applying it with the putty knife then switching to the notching trowel to set the notch, there is probably no harm in that.

As far as the tight places- corners, edges, you should back butter your individual tiles and set the notch on the tiles. Then press thos tiles into place.

There are videos on the web that demonstrate tiling. Some of them are more reliable than others. You just have to discern between the video authers who think they know from the ones that actually do know what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I am talking about applying the mortar with a putty knife first and then notching it with the trowel.
In the corners or when I need to put only one or two tiles in the limited space I use back buttering technique. It works fine. But when I already put one or two vertical and horizontal rows of tiles I have a corner between vertical and horizontal tile row. This is where I get some mess and can only use a putty knife to spread the mortar accurately. But still, when I notch it with the trowel some mortar spreads out of the trowel to the left or down and touches previously put tiles. It takes some time to clean excess of the mortar from tiles.
 

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Tilers often use a margin trowel---Use what ever gets the mud on the wall--then comb the thinset--Mike--
 
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