Thinset too wet when laid tile, trouble?

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Old 02-22-09, 08:25 AM
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Thinset too wet when laid tile, trouble?

I did my first tiling project in our bathroom:
plywood floor -> VersaBond modified thinset -> ditra -> CustomBlend unmodified thinset -> 2x2 mosaic tiles (some kind of slate I believe)

The question I have is regarding the unmodified thinset, now I realize that I mixed it too wet, basically when I spread it on the ditra and combed it with the trowel the ridges sagged although they didn't collapse. (also I used a trowel with 1/4x1/4 square pattern which was probably too big for this tile size?) It's been about 2 days now and I was cleaning out the thinset from in-between the tiles where it was pushed up too high and one tile popped up. Looking under the tile I noticed that the thinset didn't look completely dry, it had a "wet look" and when I sticked a screwdriver in it it kinda crumbled. In between the tiles the thinset is dry and hard though.
Will the thinset under the tiles still keep drying and get stronger or was there an initial period of time after which if it hadn't dried and cured completely then it won't anymore?
If it is still curing how much more should I wait before grouting and sealing?
Would appreciate any help, comments.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 09:19 AM
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Hi!

Customblend is not a good unmodified at all. It's basically dirt.

I would have done a skim coat over the Ditra, filling in the little cups, then laid my tile using a 3/16 v notch trowel and a decent unmodified thisnet. HD doesn't sell any other good unmodified, but Lowes should sell a Laticrete/Megabond product that is better.

If it's been two days already, and tiles are popping up, I would start the removal process now.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
Customblend is not a good unmodified at all. It's basically dirt.
Thanks, that's good to know.

If it's been two days already, and tiles are popping up, I would start the removal process now.
So far only one popped up and that's when I was trying to remove excess thinset between the tiles with a screwdriver. I tried to move/lift others with my hand, but they won't move.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 01:48 PM
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Why would you be using a screwdriver?

I would never recommend anything that costs $6 to install tile. However, it does meet the minimum requirements of A118.1 for unmodified thinsets, so, it should work. Since you mixed it too thin and spread it with the wrong trowel, it will take longer to set up. BUT, mixing it too thin also makes it weak. So I don't know if it'll work out for you. I might think about starting over.

Jaz
 
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Old 02-23-09, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Why would you be using a screwdriver?
Just to scrape off some excess thinset from in-between the tiles. I made (another) novice mistake of using a white thinset when our grout will be gray.

I would never recommend anything that costs $6 to install tile. Since you mixed it too thin and spread it with the wrong trowel, it will take longer to set up. BUT, mixing it too thin also makes it weak. So I don't know if it'll work out for you. I might think about starting over.
Unfortunately this was the only unmodified thinset our local HD carries. Next time I'll go to Lowes. I wasn't able to pop anymore with my hands so I'm gonna just leave them and move on, as I'm already behind schedule. (we're expecting a baby and time's ticking away).
 
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Old 02-24-09, 12:57 PM
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Your 2x2 tile is the absolute smallest you can go and use ditra. Are the tile flat to one another? Additionally, cheapo dryset mortar mixed too thin will make for a weaker bond than required.

I might think about starting over.
Yep
 
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Old 02-24-09, 04:36 PM
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Krisztoforo,

I know you were trying to remove the excess thinset, I was just wondering why you chose a screwdriver. Maybe a utility knife next time?

Gray thinset would have shown in the gray grout too. They are not the same gray.

Lets see, are HD and Lowes the only choices you have? No real tile shops near you?

Jaz
 
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Old 02-24-09, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
I know you were trying to remove the excess thinset, I was just wondering why you chose a screwdriver. Maybe a utility knife next time?
note taken!

Lets see, are HD and Lowes the only choices you have? No real tile shops near you?
There are, I bought the Ditra at a real tile shop, but by then I already had the thinset from HD and had no idea they can be so different. What brand/type should I look for next time?

Your 2x2 tile is the absolute smallest you can go and use ditra. Are the tile flat to one another?
Yes, they're flat, just 2x2 flat squares on a 12x12 mesh.

Thanks for all the help guys.
 
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Old 02-27-09, 10:19 AM
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I think the ditra installation calls for UNmodified thinset under it.
(stress "I think")
From your OP, it appears that you switched the versabond with the custom blend.

Versabond is a good all-purpose thinset to use for most everything.
Man, that's going to be a mess taking the tiles up.

From one DIYer to another, if the tiles are not coming up easily, and they would be pretty difficult to scrape the backs clean,
I would just do some of this:
and leave them down. You'll probably have trouble not damaging the ditra popping all those tiles up too.
Clean as much of the thinset out, and grout.

If you CAN save the tiles, then yeah, for a floor that's going to see a bit of traffic, they should prob come up.

Good luck sir!
 
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Old 02-27-09, 11:38 AM
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Picasso,

I'm going to correct you so others do not make a mistake and use UNmodified to install Ditra over plywood, as in this case. I guess you missed that?

Jaz
 
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