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Unread 03-21-2023, 09:33 PM   #1
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Question about thinset coverage

I noticed in my 2018 tcna manual that for large tile that’s not stone, it’s recommended to burn the substrate, notch the substrate, and use trowel and error method to collapse ridges and get full support.

The manual specifically says that this approach eliminates the need for back-buttering the tile (they use the terms back-parging and back-buttering interchangeably, and both terms seem to mean burning the backs).

Is burning the tile really viewed as unnecessary (or at least optional) by industry standards? The manual seems most concerned with proper coverage and thinset transfer. Does meeting those 2 criteria indicate a “good enough” bond, even without burning?
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Unread 03-22-2023, 08:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lou
(they use the terms back-parging and back-buttering interchangeably, and both terms seem to mean burning the backs)
I think there is where you've created your confusion, Lou. Back-buttering or back-parging are not the same as "burning the backs" of the tiles. What you're referring to (I think) as burning the backs of the tiles is what they would refer to as keying-in mortar to the surface. Back-buttering is different from that.

I think that paragraph under Directional Troweling could maybe use a little work.

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Unread 03-25-2023, 12:49 PM   #3
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TCNA doesn't police how you install your tiles. They simply specify what coverage you need for which application.

Back buttering your tile is a good practice as is directional troweling. But the bottom line is whether your getting the proper coverage, or not.
James Upton
How-to mix a small batch of thinset perfectly, every time.
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