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Old 10-10-2018, 06:51 PM   #1
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Thickness of mud

I made a mistake today and watched a few youtube videos...tile setters. Anyway, one or two vids that I thought were done fairly well..I realized that I thought their mud was too thin, or borderline to thin... And after that...I realized maybe I've been mixing my tile mud too thick..what if they weren't too thin in the videos??? I'm a GC and usually only involve myself in tile a few times a year when I don't sub something out,.. And usually it is large format,..or stone,..or both. Anyway, I mix mine quite stiff, and of course, back butter everything. I've always known that there is a bit of a give and take as far as runnier equals stickier but not as strong,..and thicker equals stronger but not as sticky. Since I'm usually involved in large format or stone,..I''ve always wanted to err on the thick side. Having said that,..the sub that I use for tile (when I do sub it)..as far as I'm concerned...he is on the thin side a little bit also..but I always keep my mouth shut because here in Utah..the cream of the crop is really just something that barely passes..and for the most part...nearly all the idiots out there always mix wayyyyy too thin. (For a long time I was involved in remodels in Beverly Hills in So.Cal and I have a different take on what "good" is compared to most folks.)

So...this bugged me enough that I thought I would hop on over to this forum and see if anybody would chime in. I'm really getting too old to do tile and I always end up getting stuck with something that's a bit of a pain (custom showers and stuff like that)...But, I always take the time to do what I think is best. Thirty years ago I was a lot more certain that I knew what is best than I am nowadays. I'm not so sure anymore. I know most youtube tile vids are a joke and incorrect,.. but I'm just wanting to check.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:08 PM   #2
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Modern thinsets come in all different consistency requirements within a small range to allow for conditions.

If setting over very thirsty cement board or a SOG, or with thirsty tile, we mix on the wet side. If setting overhead tiles, we mix on the dryer side.

254 mixes like peanut butter pert near any way you mix it.
4XLT stays nice and creamy for about an hour.
Versabond stays nice and creamy for 3 hours or so.

Some thinsets change consistency after they set in a bucket for a short spell

ALWAYS slake your thinset when mixing.

Follow the directions on the bag. If you're not familiar with a particular thinset, whip up a whole bag according to the label to get an idea of how it handles. Then you can make smaller batches to match.

For when DIY isn't such a good idea...
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Puke
I was involved in remodels in Beverly Hills in So.Cal and I have a different take on what "good" is compared to most folks

I've worked on SoCal also, and what's "good" is a regional judgment.

I agree with Paul pretty much. I have always erred on the thin side. I would rather have assurance that I've got good bonding on the tiles and substrate. Modern thinsets are so strong that that part of the equation will normally take care of itself. But like "good," "thin" is also an elusive consideration.
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