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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:17 PM   #1
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anyone heard of this??

I think a tile guy is setting up my friends bathroom and kitchen up for failure. I was BSing with this guy on saturday when i was checking out what their having done and the issue of wetting hardi before applying thinset came up. His method is with real loose thinset he doesn't have to wet the cbu. I thought he was pulling my leg until he showed me stuff he was using and it was loose alright. He specified that loose thinset to him means ridges slump as soon as the thinset is troweled out. Now that's pretty loose. Says alot of people do it when using hardi with no prob. As he is telling me this I was looking around at all the hardi that is up and thinking that this could turn out bad. It seems like he's doing a decent job but I don't know about this "real loose" thinset method. Is this a new thing or a bad thing?? I don't want say anything to them about it until i know little more. joe
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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:26 PM   #2
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If some of the tile is set tap it with something hard and listen for hollow sounds. If the tile are on the floor and large tile there could well be voids if the thinset is slumping right after being troweled on.

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Unread 02-14-2006, 09:58 PM   #3
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Any cement based product grows weaker as more water is added. Hard to say when it reaches the point it's too weak to be serviceable but slumpy mud is gonna be weaker. No two ways about it.

I goofed when mixing a tiny batch of rapidset to set a few tiles before. It was very slumpy but I decided to use it anyway since it was late and I was lazy. It set up good and solid and just as quickly as properly mixed rapidset. When doing a thump test after cleaning my tools, these few tiles were indistinguishable from the neighbors that were set with the good stuff. If they showed any obvious problem, I would have pulled them and reset them. I feel certain they'll be okay but if they ever fail, I'll know why. The only real difference I noticed was the mud in the gutters was not quite as solid when I cut it out later that night.

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Unread 02-14-2006, 11:42 PM   #4
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As well as having inferior strength, a sloppy thinset won't hold up long enough for your tile to get the 100% coverage needed. The bond will be tenuous and weak. Pre-wet the backerboard and use properly mixed thinset. Anything less and the guy's a hack, even if his tile isn't crooked.
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Unread 02-15-2006, 07:25 AM   #5
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Thanks. I knew that wasn't the smartest thing to do. I'll let them know. The first few times I mixed thinset I was paranoid about getting the mix just right. Sometimes it was a little loose until i got used to it but never anything close to what this guy had mixed. Makes me feel a little better about tiles i set in "normal loose" thinset. joe
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