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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
Aesthetic Tile Works
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medium bed mortar?

I have been told to start using medium bed mortar on all tiles larger than 15". What are yall's thought am I way behind or is this new?
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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That's we're we are at any tile with one side 15" or larger is large format. So medium bed is our choice and also back burning the tile.
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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Mmmm, who was it told you that, Jeremiah?

Did he/she/they tell you why you must do that?
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:21 PM   #4
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Good to know! I have always back butter all tiles 10" and up. This forum is all I got when it comes to keeping up with the modern day of tile setting. I havent seen or heard any problems with using thinset what is the reasoning behind it?
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Dal tile has a huge sign that says "STOP medium bed mortar on all tiles larger than 15 inches" then on the bottom of the sign has Custom Building Products
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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Sounds like they're telling you to stop using such mortars, non?

Biggest problem with all that kinda hype is that there ain't no medium bed mortars far as the tile industry is concerned.
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Unread 09-27-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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I believe the 15" mark comes from the NTCA but don't quote me on that. google "tile tv tile tip" you'll see a custom product shown there used with a large format tile.
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Unread 09-27-2012, 11:53 PM   #8
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I think that's good advice, Jeremiah, but it's really more about your notch size than it is about tile size. With the poor quality floors we often get, and large tile with deeeep ridges or patterns on the back, a 1/2" notch is often needed to get that perfectly flat floor you want; and thinset is not really up to the job, especially with heavier tile. You'll get shrinkage and/or sagging that only a medium-bed can handle.
The modern medium-beds are so workable and creamy, with such a great bond, that I will often use them on 12x12 too, even with a 3/8" notch. It's just easier to get a better looking job. I always use medium bed for getting even as small as 12x12 stone tile flat.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 04:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Biggest problem with all that kinda hype is that there ain't no medium bed mortars far as the tile industry is concerned.
Need to tell that to Laticrete. They market their 220 as a medium bed mortar.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 09:58 AM   #10
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Unread 09-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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I've used medium bed mortar on large tiles over floors that were not perfectly flat, but with large tiles over floors that were perfectly flat I used regular thin set, although always a good quality thin set. And being an experienced mud man, I was often able to make my floors nearly flat.

As to notch size, only two things need be considered: the flatness and smoothness of the substrate and that of the back of the tile. If both surfaces are flat and fairly smooth there is no reason to use large notches and anything other than a good quality thin set mortar.

I will agree that medium bed mortar and larger notches are the way to go when the above conditions do not exist, but tile size by itself is a poor indicator.

Oh, and did I tell you I used to make my own . . . . . no, better not go there.


The floor below is Jerusalem stone over mud -- using good old white VersaBond.
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Unread 09-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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Thanks for everyone's input. I always spend alot of time preping my floors flat when it come to larger tiles. My floors come out flat without lippage I do alot of 1/8" and 1/16'" grout joints so lippage is not allowed. Maybe the medium bed mortor will save me time and material. I do fight thinset alot to prevent lippage.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 07:20 AM   #13
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All my work is done with Schluter system therefore i use Ditra Set mortar on all my installation. Ditra set allows me to mix it to the desired consistency depending on the size tile the job requires and never had to worry about sagging or shrinking of the mortar. You could install tile mosaic tile or 24"x24" 1/2 thick marble tile. If i have glass tile to install over Kerdi i use Glass Tile Adhesive Mortrar by Laticrete.
As far as the trowel size...for any tile bigger then 12x12" i use 3/8" or 1/2" square notch trowel. Back buttering the tiles is a must for me despite the size.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 08:41 AM   #14
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if you look on any thinset bag it will tell you what the max thickness for that product is. If Im going to be installing a tile with a notch trowel that will exceed that thickness than I go with a medium bed(which is usually anything over 12X12") Most of my go to mortars are medium bed anyway. I love to use laticrete 4XLT, as well as Tec 3in1. They also have some really good non sag qualities which is why I use them on some smaller tile installs too.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:26 PM   #15
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It is all about the thickness of the mortar between the tile and the substrate. Thin Set mortar should not be applied greater than 1/4" after the tile is embeded in the mortar. If it is applied thicker it will shrink and crack; weakening the bond to the tile. Medium bed mortars are applied up to 3/4" thick. To date there are no Industry standards for Medium Bed mortars, so most of us sell a thin set mortar that can be used up to 3/4" thick; check the bags before using. These products meet the requirements for a thin set, but have shrinkage controlled. So if the floor or tile are not acceptably flat and you need a thicker layer of mortar, use one that can be applied as a medium bed mortar.
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