Language barrier [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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jase in England
09-10-2005, 04:20 AM
I must say sorry before I start but. :crazy:

What do you folks mean by thinset.

Is this a cement based adhesive and when applied using the correct trowel will leave a 6mm solid bed underneath the applied tile.


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09-10-2005, 05:43 AM
Yes, it is thinset mortar. Either fortified with a latex additive or not

I've never tried putting M&M's under the tile, seems like they'd get smashed.I use 3/8" square notched trowel for standard 12x12 tile.

jase in England
09-10-2005, 06:47 AM
I would never use a square notched trowel on walls or floors.

It was proved in the UK a number of years ago that square notches do not work, as they leave air pockets beneath or behind the tile.

I use a V notch for walls and a U notch for floors.

(M&Ms are better if you use the nut ones)


09-10-2005, 07:40 AM

The only time I use a V notch trowel is to apply mastic to sheetrock. I always use a sq. notch. If you are getting 90% coverage on your tile backs, the other 10% is..... well air.

Best of luck,

09-10-2005, 07:47 AM
Hello Jase,
Can you provide a link to the study you've cited. I'd love to learn more. My primary trowels are all square-notch though I keep a 3/4" U-notch and a couple different V-notch trowels in my truck as well.
Yes, "thin set" mortar is also known as "thin bed". It's trowel applied and generally it is cement-based though technically it can also include mastic.

jase in England
09-10-2005, 08:12 AM
90% coverage is ok in dry areas on walls, however on any floor or wet area on wall 100% coverage is required here in the UK.

The study has been carried out by BAL the adhesive and grout manufacturer. I have tested their theories in the tiling training centre that I work at in the UK and have to say they are right. The Gent whom owns the centre that I work for has over 30 years experience and has worked around the world in different aspects of tiling including 7 years for BAL.

Try it your self with your trowels how ever here is a question for you.

A cylinderical shape or shape with two sloping sides is this easier to compress than a shape with equal sides ie a square. Try it with boxes.


09-10-2005, 08:18 AM

What Shaughnn said.

can you give us a link to the BAL study? Now I'm curious.....


09-10-2005, 08:28 AM
He could be right about that 90%. Once in a while I have a tile that will "fart" when pushed into place. This even though I back butter every one.

I am surprised that thinset is so popular over there. When I lived in Europe tiles were often laid in real mud. But the usual trowels for thinset were also square-notched, at least in Germany. V-notched versions were mostly for glues.



09-10-2005, 08:38 AM
cal me a cynic, but sounds like someone at BAL found a found a way to boost sales by 10% :rolleyes: :D

09-10-2005, 12:06 PM
I'll move you over to the Professional's Hangout where we hash out this sorta thing, Jase. :)

And as to your title, yes, we are two countries divided by a common language, eh? :D

John Bridge
09-10-2005, 12:56 PM
There wouldn't be any language barrier at all if you Brits would give it up and speak American. :D

Hi Jase, Glad to have you aboard.

09-10-2005, 06:03 PM
Hi Jase

I prefer v and u-notch trowels too over the square notch.Another reason for the U-notch design is that when the trowelled mortar skins over it is more easily "re-wetted"(yep,that's my own word :) ) when the tile is pressed into it.

Although,there's nothing wrong with using square notch trowels if you're a good tradesman.

I hear that mastic(latex-based glue in a bucket)is the norm in most of Europe for setting wall tile,wet area or not.Well,here in Canada too.

I use thinset mortar...won't use mastic.

scott anthony
09-10-2005, 07:01 PM
v notch u notch square notch. They all bond as long you the proper coverage, who are we kiddin? I'm gonna go have another berr :crazy:

Indiana Floors
09-10-2005, 08:57 PM
In manners, we all could learn from the brits.

This notched theory, I would like to see also.

How many times you guys lifted a tile and found improper mudding?

A lot for me.

I cut all my trowels deeper that they come and I get a slight curve.

The curve is not by choice it is due to the way the saw hits it.
But I may curve one out on purpose and do a test with pics.

I see a point here.
Look at the granite trowels,they are curved.


jase in England
09-13-2005, 10:40 AM
Sorry its taken me so long to reply. (Polite Brit)

I Have been speaking to the Techs from BAL to find out where you folks can find out the info on the studies. They have not yet got back to me however Iam going to do a few more tests with some new trowels we are designing at the centre and will post findings and pictures if John doesnt mind that is.

Thanks Jase

09-13-2005, 01:58 PM
true you could learn alot from us brits, :D but seeing im moving to the usa i need to larn alot from you guys :D. lol. nice to see some fellow britons on the jb forum. i got no problems with thw language barrier in the usa. holla!!!