Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 09-15-2007, 09:26 PM   #1
jadnashua
Veteran DIYer- Schluterville Graduate

STAR Senior Contributor

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 14,723
Thinset do's and don'ts

Learned many things at the school, but a few are especially both interesting and important:
1. It is VERY important to follow the instructions when mixing the thinset, especially the amount of time it says to do it. As you mix, the paddle will be mixing things up, wetting the addatives, and breaking up the small particles of cement (clinkers) into smaller pieces.
2. The type of paddle you use will make a difference in both the strength of the thinset and the amount of air that gets incorporated. Air entrainment is expected at about 6%. Mix it too much or with the wrong paddle and you can get as much as 20% or more. The air helps give it a little flexibility sort of like miniature air bags when expanding. Too much and it loses strength.
3. Don't mix the stuff at a higher speed than specified...too much air.
4. Always remix at the specified time. If it is a modified thinset, the first mix wets the laytex, but it takes awhile for it to absorb the moisture. If you use the thinset before you remix it after slaking, instead of getting the modifiers covering the cement, you'll only have intermittent blobs of it on the cement particles and sand. This will reduce the flexibility of the thinset and reduce its stickiness and strength.
5. Use the amount of water specified. Using the amount at the lower end of the range will make it a little stiffer (for maybe say heavy stone tile) while using the max would be good for installing something like Kerdi or Ditra. If you mix it properly, the consistency will be good. People ask what it should look like when mixed properly...well, if you measure properly and mix it for the specified time (much more important than all of the pros at the class realized), that is what it should look like!
6. The square paddles are probably the worst for air entrainment. The spiral ones are best, and are less likely to splatter things around. They told us some brand names, but I didn't remember or write them down.

A little story as related to us at the class: Some people from CTEF were invited to a manufacturer's factory to evaluate some thinset. They mixed it up the way they usually do and said it was okay, but not great. They were called back about 6-months later to try out some 'new' stuff. The engineer said they must mix it exactly to the instructions. They started mixing, and stopped. The guy was looking at a watch and said -keep mixing. This went on for several iterations, then he said long enough. They tried it and said it was very smooth, creamy, and worked well. Then he told them that it was the same stuff they'd tried 6-months before, but was mixed per the instructions this time! Mix it per the manufacturer's instructions,and you'll be surprised at the difference..this includes the amount of time, the drill speed, and the slake period and remix. It might take you a little longer, but the results are worth it.
__________________
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
jadnashua is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 09-15-2007, 09:30 PM   #2
ddmoit
Veteran DIYer -- Schluterville Graduate
 
ddmoit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SE Tennessee
Posts: 8,884
Excellent summary, Jim. Maybe it belongs in the liberry.
__________________
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
ddmoit is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
chuck stevenson
Contractor -- Schluterville Graduate
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Georgia
Posts: 2,248
Jim,

KUDOS! That segment was one of the best at Schluterization.

Same for Grout.
__________________
Chuck

No curb, walk-in shower.
chuck stevenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 09:48 PM   #4
jdm
Registered User
 
jdm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South Joisey
Posts: 5,217
Jim --

Did you have a tape recorder on you?? You sure got the Tile Budda's (Dave Gobis') lecture spot on.

Just wanted to add that the worst (rectangular) paddles you mentioned are the type designed for drywall mud.

Eggbeater paddles are OK, and are the ones used to mix when the thinsets are tested for strength.

The spiral paddles are the best. Some of them have flat bars (not exactly sure what they are) that break the clinkers into smaller pieces which improves bond strength.
__________________
jeff

Go Rutgers!
jdm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 09:52 PM   #5
Marge
Registered User
 
Marge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 14,636
And I just want to add that a DON'T is tossing thinset, of any mixed or type variety, on your Ditra setting teammate.
__________________
Marge------
Marge is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 11:02 PM   #6
sandbagger
Registered User
 
sandbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,383
Quote:
Then he told them that it was the same stuff they'd tried 6-months before, but was mixed per the instructions this time!
They never mentioned the brand of thinset, but interestingly enough the times match the instructions on the bag of Kerabond I happen to have. I've said several times here how much I like Kerabond - I guess being a novice DIYer has some advantages. Not knowing any better - and not being under a time crunch (no $$ involved) - I actually DID follow instructions on the bag. imagine that.

as for thinsetting with a partner, be sure to synchronize your zigs and zags, and coodinate your apparel with the color of thinset. and leave Grandma's watch as far from the pookey as you can get it.
__________________
-art-
__________________________

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

Patrick Henry
sandbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 11:17 PM   #7
ScottM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 42
Jim, to your point number 5, on using the amount of water specified. This is what always kills me when trying to follow the instructions on thinset or cement. The manufacturers don't give clear instructions on this. I'm a DIYer, and am rarely going to mix a whole 50 lb bag. Why don't they specify how much water to use (in units of pints, quarts or liters) per lb of powder? Instead, I get things like "parts" of powder per "parts" water. Or "scoops".

How many "scoops" cover a 50 sq ft area?

Scott
ScottM is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-15-2007, 11:35 PM   #8
jpolizo
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 47
I've been assuming that the water proportion was linear such that 5lbs used 1/10 the water of 50lbs. That may not be true but I haven't found anything yet that says otherwise. If the bag says 90-100sqft/50lb bag, I estimate the size I want to do (like 20sq ft) and do the following:

waterToAdd = waterPerBag * 20sqft/90sqft

lbsThinset = 20sqft * 50lbsThinset/90sqft

In short, it's a calculator problem and a use for the baby scale we bought for our kids (don't tell my wife). I guess you can do the same thing with "scoops" but "scoop" seems like a pretty loosey-goosey unit of measure.

The main problem I have is using a drill to mix the stuff. I've got a 1/2-inch drill but it is seriously loaded down and what I see is profound speed variation when mixing; if it hits a thick spot it drops to single-digit rpms and if it hits a thin spot it flies and sends thinset all over the inside of the bucket. That's the part I find hard to control, at least with the equipment I have.
__________________
Jim
jpolizo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 12:42 AM   #9
sandbagger
Registered User
 
sandbagger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 5,383
Quote:
I've got a 1/2-inch drill but it is seriously loaded down and what I see is profound speed variation when mixing;
sounds like the HF special I used for awhile. the importance of proper mixing was really brought into focus in this session. I'm glad I broke down and upgraded. Amazon has some great deals on refurb tools you might want to check out. I got a big DeWalt at about 1/2 price and full warranty. Mixing half bags it barely slows and is very steady.
__________________
-art-
__________________________

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."

Patrick Henry
sandbagger is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 03:26 AM   #10
Swimmer Steve
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: West coast florida.
Posts: 210
I have this type of mixing paddle. Is this OK to use? Also, on those spiral types, there's a bunch of different ones. Which kind is best and what's the easiest way to clean them when you're done?

Thanks,
__________________
Steve

I didn't invent weird, I just made it weirder.
Swimmer Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 04:59 AM   #11
lou432
Tile Man -- Southern New Hampsire
 
lou432's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 1,233
Pics of paddles & drills.

I read Gobis`s article on mixing setting materials a year or so ago & couldn`t believe the difference it made in the consistency of all my mixes there after in thinsets & grouts . But as Scott said some manufacturers bags have limited -no real add X water to X powder equation ? so mixing those are by site & feel.
If this article makes it to the Liberry ( my vote is YEA) my suggestion would be to add a few pics of the paddles suggested for best mixes of thinsets & grouts? And while I`m suggesting things, how about a few pics of some readly available drills for the diy`ers & pros so to make it easy to find & purchase.

I know the times I spent @ the CTEF was invaluable to me & my son, I learned more in 6 days there than I learned in 10 yrs plus on the job!!!!!!!
With any luck I`ll be there again in Nov ? if they can get enough attendees for the Mud course.


Thanks Jim!! For the indepth summary !
__________________
Louis

White sand+ blue water .
Find the grace in things that you can`t change, and help some body if you can!
"Van Zant"
I`d rather be on my Harley thinking about God than in Church thinking about my Harley .

My Tile Work Pictures
lou432 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 05:39 AM   #12
Brian in San Diego
AC Specialist -- Schluterville Graduate
 
Brian in San Diego's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Quinta, CA and Usk, WA
Posts: 10,791
Swimmer Steve,

Unfortunately Mr. Gobis didn't have photographs or examples of the different types of paddles, but he did warn us not to use the type made for drywall mud because they entrained too much air. The best type is one that looks like this. I'm not sure if your's is the type used for drywall mud or not. If you have a HF nearby, I think I'd invest the $13.00 and get a new one.

Brian
__________________
Brian
If that doesn't work, I'll always think it should have.
Brian in San Diego is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 09:27 AM   #13
Lazarus
Texas Tile Contractor
 
Lazarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 8,522
Marge~~ Re #5.......you wouldn't be referring to http://img.photobucket.com/albums/06...ntion07033.jpg now...would you???
__________________
Laz...


A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 12:01 PM   #14
Rich Turley
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 178
Swimmer Steve--

Never used a paddle like that, I wouldn't think it would do a good job though and I'd be concerned that the edges might scrape the bucket getting pieces of plastic in the mix.


I had always used the square paddles after grinding the corners. I recently switched to the spirial kind. I was experimenting with small paddles as I wanted one for mixing epoxy grout. Found a small spiral that works great and cleans itself by spinning in a bucket of water.


Rich
Rich Turley is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-16-2007, 12:02 PM   #15
sgrandjean
Healthcare Consultant and Boxer Rescue Volunteer
 
sgrandjean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bryan, TX
Posts: 964
Quote:
Marge~~ Re #5.......you wouldn't be referring to http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0...ention07033.jpg now...would you???
Meow.
__________________
Scott
sgrandjean is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:00 AM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC