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Old 03-06-2018, 05:11 PM   #1
workhurts
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Large format tile on wall.

If a large format tile requires the use of a 1/2" trowel for a floor installation, would the same hold true for a wall? I would think that the floor requires a slightly thicker base for support and to span some unevenness. A cement board wall with straight studs appear to be pretty flat.

Half inch feels like overkill and I'd prefer to go to a 3/8th. Not that it really matters but I have a feeling 1/2" on a wall is going to be a thinset mess.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:53 PM   #2
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All that matters is getting good coverage from the tile to the wall. Good means like 75-80% in a dry area, 90-100% in a wet area. Experiment with different size notch trowels and see what you get.
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:49 PM   #3
clarksvilleal
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We just finished remodeling a bathroom using aobut 240 square feet of 12" x 24" x 3/8" porcelain tile. These suckers weighed about 8-1/2 lbs each. We used Laticrete 255 Multimax on both the floors and walls. It has very high adhesion and low sag properties, and is especially recommended for large format tiles on walls. In a couple of chat sessions with the Laticrete technical folks, they recommended we use a 1/2" x 1/2" square notched trowel on both the floors and walls, which is what we did. We also use the Raimondi RLS leveling system with the red 1/8" clips, which BTW acutally gave us almost a 3/16" grout joint. But it looks fine, so I'm OK with that.

The 255 Multimax really grips the tile strongly and after setting it against the wall the tile does not slide down hardly at all; although with the RLS clips acting as spacers that probably wouldn't have been a big problem even if we used a different thinset that didn't hold the tile up as well. And BTW, no thinset mess at all. Of course if you use a different thinset YMMV.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:40 PM   #4
jadnashua
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The key is how flat the tile are and how flat the wall is. Partially because of the size of the tile, it's almost impossible to move it around to spread the thinset and mash the notched ridges down. This can be a problem which is one reason why on really large tile, you spread thinset on the back as well. YOu really might want to invest in a slant-notch trowel. The slanted notches still meter out the thinset, but their slant causes them to fall over, giving a MUCH more level layer of thinset that doesn't need as much agitation to flatten traditional notches out. Even on a wall, you want good coverage (and even more if it's in a wet area). It's easy to embed a small tile, it's much harder to do that with a larger one. Think psi pressure, even with full body weight, it may not be very much psi verses a smaller one.

Some of the really large tile are relatively thin, and can flex, leading to a wavy surface.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:48 AM   #5
workhurts
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Thanks folks. Just a quick comment on the 1/8" raimondi (or any other leveling system using the same principles). I think they really are 1/8th but since they go the whole depth of the tile and if the tile is slanted or beveled or anything it tends to push things out more than a surface spacer that's more superficial.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:13 PM   #6
clarksvilleal
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Correct on the RLS levelers. The tile we were using did not have vertical edges relative to the bottom surface. The edges slanted inward toward the center of the tile starting about 1/3 or 1/2 the way up from the bottom.

However I should also point out the the RLS clips are not exactly 1/8" thick. They are actually sized in a metric dimension -- 3 mm thick. I found this out when I measured them with a digital caliper since I was curious what the actual thickness was. And 3mm is a little less than 1/8" - .118 inches, or a little more than 7/64". Still, the joint came out significantly more than 1/8" on our tile because of the significant slant on the edges of the tile.
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