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#716982 - 05/22/12 01:38 PM Trowel notch size
jazzman Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Qc, Canada
Hello,

I'm about to do a floor tile installation in our powder/laundry room. The size of the tile is 12"x24". Not sure what would be the best notch size when spreading the thinset. I've read on other sites that 16"x16" and above should use 1/2"x1/2" notch size. Should I consider the tile size I'm installing in that category or can I get way with a 1/4"x1/4" notch size.
thanks,
John

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#716983 - 05/22/12 02:18 PM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: jazzman]
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 34753
Loc: N Georgia
See if one of the tile guys come aboard, I think 1/2X1/2 is too large. 1/4 may be alright if you "butter" the backs of the tile (which is a good idea in any case).



See what others have to say.

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#716988 - 05/22/12 04:06 PM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: Able_Dog]
ront02769 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/03/04
Posts: 10125
Loc: New England
I would to 1/2 by 1/2 inch square notch plus back butter tiles. ront

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#716990 - 05/22/12 04:11 PM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: ront02769]
kickintile Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1636
Loc: Northern Colorado
agree with AD

kick

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#717006 - 05/22/12 06:31 PM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: jazzman]
Bob_Fleming Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 28402
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
For that large a tile I would use the 1/2" notch size, but that is not an absolute.

Be aware that such a large tile is difficult to work with and lippage can be a problem. Back buttering the tiles is a must IMHO. But even so, you may have difficulty getting the tiles to set level with each other. Carefully push them down with a scrap of 2x4. A pro would beat them down, but that requires some expertise.

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#717021 - 05/22/12 09:25 PM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: jazzman]
MCA Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/09/06
Posts: 4943
Loc: Illinois
Hopefully the floor is flat. A floor with bumps will make the lipping problem worse since the large tiles will lift up to span a bump. Be sure to back-butter the tiles. I usually use 1/4 x 3/8 trowel, but I never installed 12" x 24" tiles, I installed some 16"x16" on a fairly flat floor that worked good with the 1/4 by 3/8 with back-buttering. If I was to use a trowel less than 1/2 x 1/2 I would do a test without back-buttering then lift the tile up and see the coverage. But with large tiles if there is a low point on the floor it may not get any coverage.

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#717024 - 05/23/12 01:18 AM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: jazzman]
CabinConnection Offline
Bigfoot
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 39316
Loc: The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
"...can I get way with a 1/4"x1/4" notch size."

Why would you deviate from the thinset manufacturer's recommendation? Also, be careful to apply the thinset in nice even pattern, and pull a tile to confirm you're getting AT LEAST 80% coverage/contact.

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#717044 - 05/23/12 09:49 AM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: jazzman]
Marq Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 2084
Loc: Romeo, MI
It doesnt matter what size is recommended or what you use as long as you install and pull up a tile to confirm you are getting the proper coverage/adhesion. The recommendations are just a starting reference point.

I just finised a big shower project (12x12 & 12x18) tiles and what I found worked best for me was a 1/4 x 3/8 trowel for the wall and a 3/16 notch to back butter the tiles.

Also the comment regarding the morter pattern is improtant, you need to provide a path for air to escape, especially with the bigger notch size. No swirls that trap air, nice straight lines.

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#717056 - 05/23/12 11:50 AM Re: Trowel notch size [Re: Marq]
jazzman Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/31/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Qc, Canada
Thanks for all your input guys, much appreciated.

I just picked up my order and they calculated 2 bags of 25lbs of thinset mortar "Profix Megaflex". I read the instructions on the bag and it mentions "for uneven floors or tiles greater than 8"x8" use notch size 1/4" x 3/8" and backbutter". Each bag covers approx 40sq.ft. with a 1/4" x 1/4" notch size. The rooms I have to tile is approx 80 sq.ft.

Also, the installation specs for the tile recommend to install with a 1/3 ratio and not 1/2 (brick pattern).

I guess a safe bet for me would be to install per recommendations of both the thinset and tile instructions.

Any further thoughts on this?
Thanks,
John

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