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Old 08-16-2019, 09:56 PM   #1
ctgeorgia
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tiling over glazed porcelain pavers

I am making a stepping stone path using 24" square, 3/4" thick, glazed, matte finish, MSI pavers....because the pavers are only 3/4" thick I decided to double them up, one on top of another. Initially it worked, but after the first big rain storm, dirt/sand and water found their way between the sandwiched pavers, and walking on them caused a grinding sound, and the surface was unstable.

Looking into using mortar to bind the pavers, I'm getting some conflicting advise. The finish on the pavers is Matte, and MSI lists these specific pavers as being glazed with a PEI rating of 4. Do I need to sand or abrade the bottom porcelain tile to get a better mortar bond? The mortar that was recommended was the Mapei uncoupling membrane mortar using a polymer additive.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:32 PM   #2
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Sounds like you’re keeping things simple, grinding helps make things stick. You could take a masonry blade and slice grooves here and there then take it at a low angle to abraded the glaze off. If the sub course is flat get some thinset to put em down. If not use some masonry mortar, or a blend of masonry mortar and thinset.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:39 AM   #3
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If the pavers are glazed on only one side couldn't you just flip the bottom ones over?
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:08 AM   #4
ctgeorgia
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"If the pavers are glazed on only one side couldn't you just flip the bottom ones over?

Dan"


That would make things a lot easier. It would also put the flat side down which might make placing them flat in the sand easier..we've been laying the bottom ones mostly flat side up, and it takes a while to keep them from rocking..Another question....I was told the temperature has to be 50 degrees or more and less than 95 degrees F...to use the mortar, but it's not clear if it has to be within that range only for the mixing and initial application or for a seven day period during curing.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:18 AM   #5
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Welcome, Tone.

Not sure that Uncoupling Membrane Mortar is what you really need for your application, but if you want to use it and you want the result to conform to the advertised specifications for that product you'll need to provide the same conditions used for the laboratory testing of the product. To the extent that you deviate from those conditions you can expect the result to vary also.

Without a geographic location in your User Profile we can't tell where you might be located, but generally if you can keep the jobsite and materials above 50 degrees and shield the installation from direct sunlight you can get by with your tile setting operation. Excessive heat can be a problem as well as excessive cold, but the mortar will usually function if kept within the advertised temperature range. And yes, you'll want to maintain those conditions for as long as you want your mortar to be curing and with that un-modified thinset mortar, unless you use the polymer additive, you don't want to let it get dried out during that time.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:13 AM   #6
ctgeorgia
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I'm in Georgia about 50 miles north of Atlanta. I'm installing a 60' path which gets quite a bit of sun....it's been in the mid to high 90's this month, so may have to wait till September....I was told to use the polymer additive instead of water, due to the porcelain, and maybe due to the assumption that the bottom porcelain paver would be face up, instead of bottom up - bottom up seems the way to go - but one tech person told me about needing 7 days below 95 degrees, the other advise I got from a tech manager didn't mention the 7 day requirement, and it's not listed on the mortar packaging or tech sheet - but it does state to keep rain off the mortar for 7 days, so I plan on having a tarp handy. Maybe using the polymer instead of water will allow use of the mortar in above 95 degree weather....
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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Tone, if you don't add that geographic location to your User Profile it will be lost before we leave this page.

Adding the polymer modifier to the thinset mortar will not alter the ambient temperature requirements for its use. Providing shade from the direct sunlight and covering the finished work with raised tarps should be sufficient, but waiting for your weather to cool a bit might be a prudent measure.

The 7-day requirement you were given would likely have been based upon the industry required testing of the product. For polymer modified dry set mortars (ANSI A118.4), the first shear bond test is usually done at the 7-day cure point. The mortar will, technically, continue to cure long after that, but if you want the most out of your mortar you'll need to continue the necessary conditions for at least that first 7 days.

Not exactly sure why you were advised to use the dry set mortar with the liquid additive, but there are many, many modified thinset mortars out there that you mix only with water, a number of them made by the same manufacturer you cited.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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