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Unread 04-14-2016, 07:59 PM   #76
T_Hulse
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Thanks, CX. It's gonna take me awhile to get used to that.
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Unread 04-14-2016, 10:20 PM   #77
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On a backsplash like that I think a feather finish product would work well. I've been carrying around Planipatch in my van. I find it works well, dries fast, and it's easily available at Lowes.

The problem is that with many of the feather finish products you can't use them in wet areas. Most of the walls we do are in wet areas. So then what do you do? I hear a lot about what not to use to flatten walls but I don't hear a lot of specific product(s) mentions that would work for wet areas.

Then if you want to get nit-picky we're supposed to tape and mud the wall seams with thinset. What happens if you even out 2 uneven sheets while mudding the seam? Over the line? What if you were to mud your seams with a really big trowel, say 18 inches, and in doing so you happen to flatten out a low spot? At what point does it cross over from manufacturer's instructions to using thinset as a flattener?
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Unread 04-15-2016, 10:15 AM   #78
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Still trying to wrap my head around the bonding of such etc. Seems to I,that no matter what you use to fix substrates with,you still have to bond to that,and tile etc.

In outside the box thinking,and relating it to bonding and thicknesses of this and that.....in a perfect world,substate dead nuts flat,tile dead nuts flat,so in that relation,could use a 1/16" notch trowel,1/8" notch trowel etc,and achieve 100% coverage.

So using a bigger notch trowel,lets say 1/2",achieving 100% coverage etc......bonding shouldn't be a concern,as long as substrate clean and (etched) dust free etc,same with tile/stone. Fine aggregate thin-set used in that equation,could be a potential failure,as the compressive and lateral strength weaker,verses courser sand/aggregate etc.

Thin layer/s of lets say sticky thin-set,a no no in regards to using as a flattening tool,because of potential bonding concerns,but SLC,Ardex feather finish etc,no probs and by the book,as far as bonding to different materials,and thin-set used to bond tile to prepped substrate?

(been thinking bout this since someone mentioned bond and flashing a no no....even thought out sctraching mud walls,and final coat of mud on walls etc....and the bonding procedure there,other than wetting down scratch coat,and pressing in the final fat mud into it)
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Unread 04-15-2016, 10:40 AM   #79
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I have no facts to back it up, but my guess is that thinset being a poor surface to bond to is mostly a concern for floors, where the stress is so high. I'll bet that on walls it might not be a problem as long as you were aware of the potential risk and took normal precautions like making sure your mix isn't dry and flat-trowel burning it into the substrate as you set over it.
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Unread 04-15-2016, 02:38 PM   #80
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After we drypack a floor we may skim coat it with thinset if it's going to get a lot of foot traffic before we set tile.
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Unread 04-16-2016, 07:18 PM   #81
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We also used the thin-set over the drypack , Isaac. For the same purpose , we also used a watery pure cement mix as a skim coat over a fresh mud bed , the next day after is installation.
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Unread 04-17-2016, 12:46 AM   #82
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Thanks guys for the interesting read.

My $.002: practically nothing I ever work on is what you would call flat. If I tried to make everything flat before I start, I'd be out of business in about 2 months (if not faster) because everything would be 30% more than my competition. I love prepping floors and I'm good at it, and I love setting on flat floors, but it's a luxury I just can't afford in my market. The "level as you set" method is way faster and my kids need to eat.

I know that someone will pipe up that it's the prep that sets one apart from the competition and in the end you don't have to compete against the speed freaks. Unfortunately, I have not found that to be the case where I live.
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Unread 04-17-2016, 01:42 AM   #83
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I can't say I have read through this whole thread, but I will say the "level as you go" method is the slowest, most expensive, and has the worst results. The amount of thinset you use, time spent adding to build up to adjoining tiles, extra grout, and problems due to shrinking no way save you time or money over prepping the job properly. And if the hours and numbers all worked out to be the exact same, I'd rather know that I used all products in accordance with manufactures specs and had less headache throughout.
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Unread 04-17-2016, 05:22 PM   #84
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Please enlighten me Don, how do you get a 200 sq ft residential install done in one day (including prep)? That's all I usually get. One day to set and the apprentice goes back the next day to grout while I move on to the next. For me the only time it works out is when the job is over 300 sq ft and only a part of it has to be prepped. Everything smaller is a one day job. No way I can take more time when the hacks are breathing down my neck to do it for $3/sq. ft.


If you have materials and methods that let me prep and set all in one day than I'm all ears.
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Unread 04-17-2016, 05:39 PM   #85
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I don't know how you would do it. I certainly wouldn't be that quick. That would probably take me 3 or 4 days. Doesn't bother me a bit cause I get paid for every single day I am there. I'd rather educate the client on the need for or reasons why prep or certain materials needed to be used, then give a rats behind what the cheap hacks are bidding at. Not my client base.
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Unread 04-17-2016, 08:48 PM   #86
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I agree Don! I'll sit at home for months/years at a time,verses competing for peanuts.

Skimmed/feather edged a portion of kit BS,to allow for visually appealing installation,and finished product(still unclear,going buy the book, if using thinset in this fashion is considered a bond breaker?).
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Unread 04-17-2016, 09:41 PM   #87
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Rich , It shouldn't be a problem if you think of prefill the waffles one day and do the installation the next day . It is not mentioned on the mortar spec , however it is recommended . Hard to say , without proper testing , how the thin-set or LHT is behaving while curing over different subfloors going from feather edge to 1/2'' or more .

The bigger problem it is the abuse in which the required prepped disappeared from the table. On large projects , above a certain sfootage , it is just outrageous to think you can replace the prep + bonding with just set as you go.
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Unread 04-18-2016, 07:30 AM   #88
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Every job I bid includes a line item for budgetary floor prep. This allows the owner the opportunity to set aside the money without a worry of trying to find $30k after a job is over budget and out of time.

We typically use Ardex products for prep. The elevators (L to R) had an 1" elevation difference. So we could not level this floor due to existing elevator constraints. So we choose to deep fill with 10ft straight edge with SD-P on the left side then again on the right side. Followed with a tight coat of Ardex feather. With Ardex's drying technology this floor was prepped in one day with multiple coats.
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Unread 04-18-2016, 03:24 PM   #89
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Roberto I know many guys here prefill waffles, so it's a common practice, but I stopped doing it long ago. If you pick at that skim coat, it is very loose on top and will easily flake away. You can especially notice that if you use a steel trowel instead of grout float. If there is hardly any traffic before setting, chunks will loosen. The top of the waffles (half the floor?), are well below the manufacturer's minimum allowed thickness and I worry it really weakens the bond.

Kevin, I applaud you for trying to always include prep in your bid! It sure is nice when you get a perfect pretty little dip that a straightedge will easily span across to make your prep so fast. This job is much different though. How would you tackle one like this that requires piers, rails, and fill for a larger floor? If that simple little pull of mortar took you a day for a couple hundred feet, how many days prep would one like this take that is far more difficult per sf to prep, and multiple times larger?
I know you have the challenges of needing to rely on varying skill levels of different employees, but you have to know that a real pro like Petr might have the whole area in your photo, or most of it, fully set before your guys even laid down a single tile the next morning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don
...method is the slowest, most expensive, and has the worst results...
I certainly wouldn't be that quick. That would probably take me 3 or 4 days
You don't see a contradiction there, Don? Btw, I don't think you understand that: 1) it has to be filled with something, and thinset is far less expensive, 2) there are no "problems due to shrinkage" when the mortar is used within the manufacturer's limits as we're describing, 3) the hours and numbers do not work out the same (see your own words in the quote box above for proof).
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Unread 04-18-2016, 03:51 PM   #90
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Schluter has no problem with prefilling. The top of the waffles don't "flake off". In between maybe. You sweep those flakes or wipe them away with a damp sponge, and no problem. Those channels aren't where the mechanical bond takes place anyways. Contrarian nonsense.
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