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Thinset Consistency Question

 
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:45 AM   #1
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Thinset Consistency Question


Hi,

I've been mixing up some thinset to practice getting the right consistency. The bag requires a 10 minute slake. Does the thinset get thicker after the slake or stay about the same? I just want to make sure I get that "peanut butter and sticks to the trowel without falling off quickly" consistency when I'm ready to go after the 2nd mix.

I know adding water is a no-no too after the slake.

Any tips on how to sneak up to the right consistency without upsetting the chemical reactions?

Thanks.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


I think it stiffens up some, but when you do the second mix it loosens up again. Do you prefer a stiffer or little looser mix? Every thin set I can think of has about a 5.5-6.5 quart/ 50 lbs so you can find what you like. As I understand the slake time is only for the latex additives to set up

I have a postage scale and measuring bucket I use since I don't usually mix full bags at a time

-Rich

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Old 12-24-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Thanks Rich. I like the postage scale idea. I was thinking about finding a container that might hold 2 1/2 pounds. That way I can do 5 or 10 or 15 pounds of powder at a time. I have a 4'x6' area I need to hit to install a pre-fab shower pan. I may go on the looser side and even burn a layer into the pan.
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:50 PM   #4
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


I've done it so much I don't measure just mix it to the consistency I want. Depending on the project I rarely mix up more than half a bag at a time it will start to stiffen up if I'm cutting as I go.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Out of the thousand or so bags I've mixed or seen mixed, I've never seen a measuring device used.

Most thinsets seem to end up a little thicker after the second mix.

Some thinsets don't require slake time.

Ardex X5 is my go to. Mix 2-3 minutes, then done.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


They vary, but I'd say in general they stiffen up a bit as the modifiers get hydrated. 4XLT really stiffened up after the slake but then loosened up when you mix it after the slake time.

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Old 12-25-2019, 12:47 AM   #7
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
Out of the thousand or so bags I've mixed or seen mixed, I've never seen a measuring device used.

Most thinsets seem to end up a little thicker after the second mix.

Some thinsets don't require slake time.

Ardex X5 is my go to. Mix 2-3 minutes, then done.
I measure and weigh my mixes.

Tom
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Old 12-25-2019, 05:58 AM   #8
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


I find a mix always stiffens up after the "slake " time, I was always told it was to allow for the sand to absorb the water
The term Slake is a old English word meaning to hydrate
If I am making cuts and the progress is slow I will fluff the mix
Mixing cement and thinset for me is a no brainier, but some of these grouts can be tricky.
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Old 12-25-2019, 08:27 AM   #9
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


It's called a "false set", and honestly it doesn't matter much what you do, it just makes it easier to work with by giving it that time.


Sometimes if I'm hustling I'll just do a half bucket (you get a very good idea of how much water to add the first time each time), whip it up and go start slapping in tile, just shake it up with a bucket trowel if it gives you a false set while working with it.


I rarely mix up a full bucket anyway, as it creates less waste since I can use it faster, if you are dragging while using a full bucket you might end up throwing a good chunk of it away before you get through it all.
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:52 PM   #10
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


The "peanut butter" thing always tricked me into mixing too thick. It sure worked out the arms when I mixed like that. Now I get closer to a slushee.

Maybe they should have said "peanut butter left in the sun".
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Old 12-25-2019, 11:27 PM   #11
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
The "peanut butter" thing always tricked me into mixing too thick. It sure worked out the arms when I mixed like that. Now I get closer to a slushee.

Maybe they should have said "peanut butter left in the sun".
Mayo.

Tom
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Old 12-26-2019, 09:49 AM   #12
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJames View Post
The "peanut butter" thing always tricked me into mixing too thick. It sure worked out the arms when I mixed like that. Now I get closer to a slushee.

Maybe they should have said "peanut butter left in the sun".
I shoot for "Whipped cream cheese"
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #13
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


That’s the advantage to measure, weigh, mix. Always the same consistency. I leave a little water out of the initial mix, add the water when I do the after slake blend.

Ton
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Old 12-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #14
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


I only mix 1/3-1/2 bag at a time. Put some water in the bucket, pour some thin-set as I mix, then add water a little at a time, general peanut butter or Abit lighter.

Wait for slake re mix, generally it work pretty well, easy to add water in small bits than to add thin set.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:46 PM   #15
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Re: Thinset Consistency Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Porterfarm View Post
I only mix 1/3-1/2 bag at a time. Put some water in the bucket, pour some thin-set as I mix, then add water a little at a time, general peanut butter or Abit lighter.

Wait for slake re mix, generally it work pretty well, easy to add water in small bits than to add thin set.
Use a sponge to add the water, squeeze a wet sponge, water goes in bucket. Easy to control amount of water.

Seeing as we’re talking about mixing mortar, with the new silica rules, you should be using one of these or similar.

https://rtcproducts.com/us/waletale-...r-shop-vacs-2/

Tom

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