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Unread 10-28-2019, 10:02 PM   #31
cx
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Zane, you've gotten some bad advice about some of that. Unless your plan to wet-set, or thick-set your tiles on fresh dry-pack/deck-mud/mortar, which I think is unlikely, the minimum cure time for the mortar bed is 20 hours according to ANSI standards, but longer cure times are recommended. You do not need to wait 30 days for a deck mud (mortar) installation to cure. If you've got a few extra days you can wait, cover the mortar with polyethylene and leave it alone. If you need to tile after only 20 hours, do that. You can do it sooner, but I'm telling you what the industry standards call for.

The same would apply to your fat-mud/wall-mud/mortar on your curb, but again, pros regularly set over "cured" mud earlier than that 20 hour requirement, the most common wait time being overnight.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:38 AM   #32
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Wow, thank you so much for all your help! I'm realizing there is a lot of bad information floating around the internet. I am so thankful to have guidance from a community I trust completely, and especially from such a generous group of individuals. I realize it's an exercise in patience helping the average harry homeowner like myself, so I just want to express my gratitude.

There shouldn't be any rush, so I will mud the curb, let it cure for a day, then do the mud bed and cover it all for a couple days. Wipe off any loose sand, then put down standard versabond thinset.

Will a 3/8 square trowel work for 2x2" mosaic travertine floor tiles as well?
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Unread 10-29-2019, 10:46 AM   #33
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Zane, the 3/8 SN trowel will spread waaaay too much thinset mortar for those 2X2's - you'll have mortar squeezing outta all the grout lines. Quite a mess.

Better will be a 1/4X1/4 square notch trowel.
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Unread 10-29-2019, 07:00 PM   #34
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If the 2x2 tiles are fairly thin, say 1/4 or less, you might need to go down to a 3/16 notch.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 05:37 AM   #35
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Davy raises a good point. My 2X2's were 3/8" thick so the 1/4" worked well for me.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 07:49 AM   #36
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The 2x2's appear to be about 3/8 thick as they are travertine. Turns out I mis-remembered and the trowel I have is actually 3/16 not 3/8. Maybe a bit shy, maybe fine?

Now that I definitely need to buy a LFT trowel, I can choose between:

3/8 x 3/8 square notch
1/4 x 3/8 square notch
1/4 x 1/2 U notch

What would be the safest/most flexible? Substrate is pretty damn flat, but of course not perfect still.

I do have the 1/8" trowel for the durock membrane. When you guys install the membrane, do you mix up a big batch of thinset and try to knock out the whole thing, or do you mix small batches and do one 3' row at a time, then seams and corners? Do you wet down the CBU beforehand? About how long on average before the thinset skims over?
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Unread 10-30-2019, 11:35 AM   #37
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All depends on the thinset you are using, pot life, open time if you mix it per the manufacturer's recommendations. I pre cut all the the sheets and corner banding and seam bands if I am not overlapping the sheets, so when I start I have everything ready. I do the whole thing all at once
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Unread 10-30-2019, 06:18 PM   #38
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Zane, it's not that critical. If your tiles are 3/8 thick, I'd find a 1/4 x 1/4 notch.
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Unread 10-30-2019, 08:04 PM   #39
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Ok, sounds good. I'll get a 1/4x1/4 square notch for the 2x2 mosaics and I'm leaning towards a 1/4x1/2 U Notch for the 18x18 marble.
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Unread 10-31-2019, 02:54 AM   #40
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For the 18 x 18 you might need bigger. Look into something like this https://www.amazon.com/Marshalltown-NT691-Notched-Trowel-8-Inch/dp/B001RJ8P8M/ref=asc_df_B001RJ8P8M/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309813767497&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14448114053223318141&hvpone=&hvptwo=&h vqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9002118&hvtargid=aud-829758849484la-568899464134&psc=1
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Unread 10-31-2019, 05:32 AM   #41
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Yes, I was talking about a 1/4 x 1/4 notch for the 2x2 mosaics. Go with a larger notch with the 18 x 18.
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Unread 11-01-2019, 06:28 PM   #42
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So I’m a bit confused on the versabond water ratios. I read to mix the mortar a bit wet for the membrane, yogurt like consistency.

I tried to be scientific about it as I had read about 1:4 thinset to water (1:3.84 I believe to be precise) and it wasn’t even close. I did it by weight as well, and calculated from the ratios on the bag. It wasn’t even cookie dough consistency, more like powder with a few balls. The yogurt consistency was almost double the water (still held troweled ridges fine) and a buttery consistency as John Bridge mentions was a good 50% more water (more like 1:6).

We are in a dry climate. Can it be variable? I know a lot of veterans on here just mix it by feel and consistency. Just seems odd it was soooo far off.
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Unread 11-01-2019, 07:10 PM   #43
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I'd say pancake batter consistency is a little too thin and peanut butter to too thick, make it somewhere in between. I've never measured it out so I can't comment on that.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 07:20 AM   #44
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Even as just a DIY'er, Zane, I've mixed up quite a few batches of VB, and have never measured out any of it.

I mix small batches at a time, cuz I'm dreadfully slow. I use a two gallon bucket, put maybe 3 or 4 cups of water in it, then add VB until I have a peak above the water level. Start mixing it, and add VB until I get the consistency I want. A bit of trail and error at first but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

For setting membrane I'd also say pancake batter is too thin, and PB will be too thick.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #45
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Ok thank you both very much! I find that reassuring even if I’m stilll a bit confused why the printed ratios are so far off in my case.

I just finished 3 coat plaster on the whole house, so mixing mud has become quite familiar. I’d say that description matches the consistency of base coat and brown coat plaster, if anything a bit thicker (and of course with the added step of letting it slake)
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