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Old 08-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
pgc555
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Thin set proper mix

When mixing smaller amounts of thin set, How do you figure the proper amount of water to use so you comply with "manufacturer's recommended" mixing instructions?
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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I don't; I just mix it to the proper consistency.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Your answer is probably the one most of the guys here will say.That was my point. Many pros have mixed enough thin set to just "know" the proper consistency. I was thinking about that diy guy/girl that is going to mix their first
bucket.All bags have the total amount per full bag. Most people won't mix a full bag at a time.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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There is a thing called “reading the mixing instruction on the bag, measuring cup/ bucket, weight scale and math”. This combination will help and work.

Most DIY’er and even tile setters found out the hard way when they mixed the first batch of self leveling mortar that it is important to read instructions.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Phil~ When mixing small amounts, use an inch or so of cold water in your bucket. Slowly add the powder to it as you mix. Add a little more water or powder until you get a consistency kinda "creamy" or "buttery."

A good rule of thumb is to rake your trowel thru it. The ridges should just barely "stand" up and not slump back down. Let the thinset set for 5-10 minutes and mix it again. If it's stiffened up much, you might need to add a handful of water and re-mix.

This ain't "scientific," but works well for a standard morter...specialized morters require precise measurements
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laz
Let the thinset set for 5-10 minutes and mix it again. If it's stiffened up much, you might need to add a handful of water and re-mix.
I believe you'll find that specifically forbidden by most cementitious thinset mortar manufacturers.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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True~I generally mix it up a tad looser than I posted as it usually does tighten up a little after slaking.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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I always mix thinset and let slake for 8-10 mins and then remix good before using.
I dont re add water or thinset to get where I want it. I do that on the initial mix.
on a large floor project I usually have 2 buckets going.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceramictec
on a large floor project I usually have 2 buckets going.
That's all? 2 buckets? Try having 6 or 7 at once!
When a new guy is mixing, i have a pre measured pitcher next to him with a line for water. Takes a few buckets for him to get the right consistency till he doesn't need the pitcher anymore.
Nothing worse than getting ready to spread a new bucket and having to send it back to the kitchen so the cook can get it right.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan1968
That's all? 2 buckets? Try having 6 or 7 at once!
I'm 1 guy doing residential, not that hack 8 man commercial stuff

my helper has learned that water to the top of the beater bar
will make a perfect full bucket of thinset.

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Old 08-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceramictec
not that hack commercial stuff
Damn...busted again!
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #12
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
When mixing smaller amounts of thin set, How do you figure the proper amount of water to use so you comply with "manufacturer's recommended" mixing instructions?
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posted by Phil

Well,Phil,after youve been in the trade a couple of years,or even a couple of months,you will have mixed a couple of buckets and learned what a proper consistincy looks and feels like (I smell it,too).Soon you can mix up enough to install a 1x1 mosaic with a shot glass and a toothpick,and know that your mixture is on the money.

Until then Id reccomend mathematic ratios on the bag broken down to smaller increments.So if a 50# bag calls for 2 gallons,then a half bag would take 1 gallon.12.5 lbs would be half gallon etc etc etc

Just keep practicing,bro,you'll get it
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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Thanks LT,
I have been setting tile for about 42 years. I'm starting to figure this out.

Let me be really clear as to why I posted this question.

In the event of a tile failure one of the first questions will be, "Did you mix the thin set as per manufacturer's instructions?" Any of US , I said US, that just
mix as per "feel" can not answer "YES" to the question above with absolute integrity.The ONLY way we could would be IF we measured both the thin set AND the water by weighing the thin set and a measuring cup for the water.
How many of us carry a scale on our truck to do this?

I talked with Micheal Byrne once and he told me that they have ways to prove how much water was used in the mix. He said he would use this if he was called in to court as an expert witness. If it was proven there that the thin set was mixed "as per feel" but not "as per manufacturer's spec", guess who will be paying up? With the concern with liability these days, maybe this would be a practice to consider doing from now on. Just saying.

P.S LT most thin set 50lb. bags use about 5.5 - 6 quarts of water. If you are putting in 2 gals, your a little over.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #15
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Phil ,
this is why I don’t understand the statement “mix the thin set mortar to a fluid consistency but still holding the ridges”; it should be “mix with the maximum water allowance by the manufacturer”.
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