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Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:58 AM   #61
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Oh, well I've been laying my tile on top of drywall dust, spare screws and old McDonald's bags.

...

I thought you guys knew me better than that. I WAS KIDDING. I really need a sarcasm font
Your sarcasm wasn't lost on me.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:18 AM   #62
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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I am embarrassed to admit that I hadn't thought of keeping a wet sponge with me when tiling, after 100+ installs. I'd always used Q-tips and paper towels, but I know what I'm doing next time.
What I forgot to mention is that the sponge I use for that is a regular XL hydro sponge that I cut in half so there is a sharp edge instead of rounded. It gets a little deeper into the joint to clean a little better.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #63
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


I've tried the sponge and rags thing but actually prefer a brush. A brush off a setup like this works best (IMO)


A small bucket of water to wash it off and it's good to go. The reason I prefer this is it's much easier to get into the joint without using the pressure you use with a standard sponge. This method was actually taught to me for installing mosaics but the theory carries over very well to any size tile.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:47 AM   #64
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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my question was why can't you have support and poor adhesion. To me complete support is a tile that has an even mortar bed to sit on, but it doesn't mean that it is adhered to the mortar bed completely.

And the two reasons you listed would qualify as support but no adhesion.
You are splitting hairs so much, now I'm getting confused. Screw both of those terms. What you should be worried about is coverage. Once proper coverage is attained, you will have the correct adhesion and support.

I'm not talking about improper installations, user errors or stupidity. Any one of those can lead to problems.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:48 AM   #65
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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What I forgot to mention is that the sponge I use for that is a regular XL hydro sponge that I cut in half so there is a sharp edge instead of rounded. It gets a little deeper into the joint to clean a little better.
One thing I've always done is drug a spacer through the joint, simultaneously scoops out thinset, and mashes it under the edge of each tile. But again, never used a wet sponge to finish it off, always just paper towels. HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO BLIND!?
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #66
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Originally Posted by angus242 View Post
I've tried the sponge and rags thing but actually prefer a brush. A brush off a setup like this works best (IMO)


A small bucket of water to wash it off and it's good to go. The reason I prefer this is it's much easier to get into the joint without using the pressure you use with a standard sponge. This method was actually taught to me for installing mosaics but the theory carries over very well to any size tile.
That's a great idea! I'm going to have to try that...nothings more frustrating than have thinset in the way of your grout!
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:06 PM   #67
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


See, this is why I like to bring up the basics every now and then. Lots of good ideas getting shared here.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #68
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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See, this is why I like to bring up the basics every now and then. Lots of good ideas getting shared here.
Agreed!


Here's a really great article from Laticrete that shows how important back-buttering is...

http://www.laticrete.com/portals/0/tds/tds196.pdf

At the top of p.3 you'll see the difference between a tile that's back-buttered and one that's not...most if not everyone on this forum agrees with the concept of back-buttering but I still thought this article would be worth sharing anyway. You could possibly print out the pictures and use it as a selling point when you're making a bid...just a thought.

Last edited by DemRem; 04-28-2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:49 PM   #69
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


Don't forget to use a PVA primer on concrete and plywood. It will stop the moister from being sucked out of the thinset and give you a very good bond even if the surface has dust on it after you clean it. I done a test not so long ago on ram board. Without the PVA primer on the board the thinset dried out in less than 10 mins yet with the primer it was still as wet when I finished as when I started.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:12 PM   #70
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Agreed!


Here's a really great article from Laticrete that shows how important back-buttering is...

http://www.laticrete.com/portals/0/tds/tds196.pdf

At the top of p.3 you'll see the difference between a tile that's back-buttered and one that's not...most if not everyone on this forum agrees with the concept of back-buttering but I still thought this article would be worth sharing anyway. You could possibly print out the pictures and use it as a selling point when you're making a bid...just a thought.
Yeah, we like to interject stuff like that into our sales pitch. We talk about how we most likely won't be the cheapest quote they receive, but at the same time we waterproof behind the tile, use urethane grout that is extremely low maintenance, etc. We win a lot of bids because of stuff I've learned lurking these forums for years.

This site gives a lot of contractors an edge, because when you start working for yourself, you're isolated. It becomes harder to learn about new products, and especially about techniques. Materials suppliers aren't always as knowledgeable as they should be either, and a lot are just trying to push their product with the broad wealth of knowledge that comes from 1000's of tradesmen exchanging experiences.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #71
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Don't forget to use a PVA primer on concrete and plywood. It will stop the moister from being sucked out of the thinset and give you a very good bond even if the surface has dust on it after you clean it. I done a test not so long ago on ram board. Without the PVA primer on the board the thinset dried out in less than 10 mins yet with the primer it was still as wet when I finished as when I started.
Did you mean PVA or another type of primer? Cause I didn't think PVA works for tile
http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/ti...to_use_pva.htm

Also if the thinset stays wet so long I would be a little concerned about drying time and having to wait days before grouting or i guess you could use unmodified thinset.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #72
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Originally Posted by Ethos View Post
This site gives a lot of contractors an edge, because when you start working for yourself, you're isolated. It becomes harder to learn about new products, and especially about techniques. Materials suppliers aren't always as knowledgeable as they should be either, and a lot are just trying to push their product with the broad wealth of knowledge that comes from 1000's of tradesmen exchanging experiences.
I've only been a member for a short time but man I am REALLY starting to see the truth behind your statement!
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #73
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Don't forget to use a PVA primer on concrete and plywood. It will stop the moister from being sucked out of the thinset and give you a very good bond even if the surface has dust on it after you clean it. I done a test not so long ago on ram board. Without the PVA primer on the board the thinset dried out in less than 10 mins yet with the primer it was still as wet when I finished as when I started.
I 100% disagree with putting any type of a primer down, especially on concrete. Having a completely clean substrate is all you need for a proper installation. A concrete surface should be mechanically cleaned before tiling; no chemicals or acids.

All you need to help remove the possibility of a substrate sucking moisture from thinset is......moisture.

Dampen any surface before setting thinset and problem solved.

Adding any type of waterproofing compound to a substrate will also extend the curing times for thinset.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:48 PM   #74
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Did you mean PVA or another type of primer? Cause I didn't think PVA works for tile
http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/ti...to_use_pva.htm

Also if the thinset stays wet so long I would be a little concerned about drying time and having to wait days before grouting or i guess you could use unmodified thinset.
Wouldn't pay any attention to that link. The guy clearly didn't read the instructions. I have seen people put the unibond primer on straight which is like wood glue. They need to water it down to about 10-1 and then it becomes like white water. You apply it with a roller and make sure not to leave any puddles of it on the surface as they will be the areas that would peel away. As long as you put it on thin and mixed currectly then there's no issue with using it. I use the Henry 336 Bond enhancer which is watered down to the currect ratio in the bottle already. I have used the mapei stuff a couple times and it does the same thing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #75
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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I 100% disagree with putting any type of a primer down, especially on concrete. Having a completely clean substrate is all you need for a proper installation. A concrete surface should be mechanically cleaned before tiling; no chemicals or acids.

All you need to help remove the possibility of a substrate sucking moisture from thinset is......moisture.

Dampen any surface before setting thinset and problem solved.

Adding any type of waterproofing compound to a substrate will also extend the curing times for thinset.
I know painters who don't use primer but it don't mean it's right. Plywood and concrete can suck the moister out of the thinset before its even had a chance to go off. They call them bond enhancers for a reason as they help enhance the bond. I have dropped thinset onto areas where I hadn't put primer and areas that did and the primed areas thinset were stuck fast where as the unprimed areas I could peel up with my fingers. I wouldn't stop using it because it's never failed me once and it stops thinset from drying out so quick so I get more time to work with the thinset that's down before it goes off.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #76
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


Water works wonders. It's much, much cheaper....faster....and in no way can negatively affect thinset when properly used.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:33 PM   #77
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Water works wonders. It's much, much cheaper....faster....and in no way can negatively affect thinset when properly used.
I don't doubt water works fine but when I see how well anything cementitious sticks with it it's hard to not use it. I was asked to apply some tile to a painted wall once but I forgot to apply the PVA and the next day I went back to grout the tiles they just peeled away from the wall. This is after preping the wall before thinset. I pulled the tiles off and put the PVA on and went back next day and they were stuck solid this time around. Also made that mistake with a wall I plastered once. I put the plaster on the wall after roughing up the surface and wiping with damp cloth then when I tried to paint it a week alter the plaster was coming of the wall when I run the roller up it. Scraped it all off in about 10 mins and redone with primer second time around and it stuck fast that time around. I'm scared to not use it now.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:02 PM   #78
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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Also if the thinset stays wet so long I would be a little concerned about drying time and having to wait days before grouting or i guess you could use unmodified thinset.
Quality of thinset and pot life matters.
Retempering too late or more than once can also make it stay wet longer and loose its bonding capability.
Calcium chloride will speed it up when used within the proper time frame and temperature constraints.
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Old 04-28-2012, 11:11 PM   #79
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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I don't doubt water works fine but when I see how well anything cementitious sticks with it it's hard to not use it. I was asked to apply some tile to a painted wall once but I forgot to apply the PVA and the next day I went back to grout the tiles they just peeled away from the wall. This is after preping the wall before thinset. I pulled the tiles off and put the PVA on and went back next day and they were stuck solid this time around. Also made that mistake with a wall I plastered once. I put the plaster on the wall after roughing up the surface and wiping with damp cloth then when I tried to paint it a week alter the plaster was coming of the wall when I run the roller up it. Scraped it all off in about 10 mins and redone with primer second time around and it stuck fast that time around. I'm scared to not use it now.
That is just a matter of knowing when it's OK to tile over a substrate or not. You should not tile over a painted substrate. There are different "rules" for tiling over different surfaces.

Adding unnecessary products is costly and time consuming. Not saying every situation is so cut and dry but most are defined whereas extra products like a PVA primer are not necessary.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:51 AM   #80
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Re: Back Buttering Vs Back Troweling


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That is just a matter of knowing when it's OK to tile over a substrate or not. You should not tile over a painted substrate. There are different "rules" for tiling over different surfaces.

Adding unnecessary products is costly and time consuming. Not saying every situation is so cut and dry but most are defined whereas extra products like a PVA primer are not necessary.
Where's is this "rule" book for being able to tell me what I can and can't tile on? All the walls I have put tile onto painted walls are still up and solid. But dont get me wrong i have seen tile on painted walls fail but they clearly didnt use a primer to begin with. I still prefer to put up new wall board or backer board as I like to make the wall as flat as possible and start clean but some situations don't allow for this and some budgets don't either. There's a lot of things people don't have to do in the building trades to get to the same outcome and when you see and use systems that work that some people don't want anything to do with then it won't change my mind on them and I will keep using them. Could i lay tile without primer yes I'm sure I could but I know I WILL get a better bond with primer just from experience alone. Have you ever put tile over a concrete dusty floor that never gives up releasing dust no matter how much you vac and wash it. It would be impossible to tile over this kind of substrate without the primer. Trust me I have tried and it ain't no fun and that day was the day I started using primer and never stopped.

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