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Unread 01-12-2005, 04:12 PM   #1
Brad J
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2
Correct trowel and thinset for 16x16 floor tile

Awesome site!
I am in the process of remodeling my living room. We have picked out some 16x16 ceramic floor tile at HD. The carpet and pad have been removed and the glue streaks from the pad have been scraped from the concrete slab. I am still unclear as to the correct trowel size to use. I have read some posts that say 1/2 x 1/2 and some that say 1/4 x 3/8 or even 1/4 x 1/4. I am leaning towards 1/4 x 3/8 since the concrete slab should be relatively flat and the tile is a standard floor tile which is also flat with the very small ridges on the back. The HD rep suggested the FlexBond mortar over the Versabond. Is Flexbond required in this application or should I play it safe and use it since it is stronger? Any comments are welcome. Thank you.
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Unread 01-12-2005, 04:17 PM   #2
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Location: long island ny
Posts: 884
Hi Brad
I Use 3/4x3/4 For 16x16" Tile And I Butter The Tile
I Use Flexible Thinset
After You Install The First Tile, Pick It Up Again And Check Your Bond
Good Luck

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Unread 01-12-2005, 04:24 PM   #3
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Location: Naples Fl.
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I'm not as aggressive as Stefan and basically use a 1/2x1/2 unless the floor is really bad, but others here flash and level their floors so they can use the smaller notch, but i honestly think a 3/8 will be hard for you to keep the lippage down. Be sure to use a rubber mallet to tap them flat.

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Unread 01-12-2005, 04:33 PM   #4
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I use 1/2"x1/2" as well. A levelled floor is much easier to set with larg tiles. You don't say though, but do you have any cracks in the slab?
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Unread 01-12-2005, 04:35 PM   #5
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Location: Austin, TX
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It depends on the tile and the floor. In most cases I can use a 3/8" x 3/8" and skim the backs of the tile.

In other cases, the 1/2" trowel is needed. Just buy twice as much thinset ( Versabond) for a 1/2" trowel. You will go through it quickly

Good..Fast..Cheap. Pick any 2...can't have all three
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Unread 01-13-2005, 08:41 AM   #6
Brad J
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The slab does have two small cracks, one in the hall and the other by the front door (less than 1/32" open). This is about a 25 year old townhouse complex and I am located on the ground floor of my unit. Will Versabond still work in these areas or should I use Flexbond around the cracks and Versabond in the other areas? I am not sure if you can mix and match mortar in different areas. Looks like the 1/2" x 1/2" is the winner as far as trowels are concerned. I have installed alot of tile for family over the past years but only up to 12" x 12". I have always used a 1/4" x 3/8" for 12" x 12" tile over a concrete slab and was hoping to do the same but I guess the larger tile needs an ever so slightly thicker bed under it to make up any differences. Is that correct? I have also scraped up as much of the paint the original painters left behind with a 6" razor scraper.
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