Replacing Tile: Leveling Off Old Thinset Possibilities?

I'm replacing about 1,300 square feet of tile in my new house. The entire ground floor was 6" off white tile that made the place look like a shower. So I rented a demo hammer and popped up the old tile one day (a loooong day). Now I have the thinset left behind. It came up in some area, but mostly not.
I rented the demo hammer again with the intention of scraping up the old thinset. Ouch. That kicked my butt. I got about three rows done before throwing in the towel in the hopes of finding an easier solution. That was some backbreaking work, and I had a hundred more rows to go.
A guy at a tile store told me I could just get some thinset and use that to level off the troughs/grooves in the old thinset so I had a level surface. He estimated I'd need about $130 worth of thinset to do it. That price isn't bad and beats another option someone told me - pouring on a leveling agent that flows outward to a level floor, but costs about $45 per 5-gallon bucket (which I'd need a lot of). I don't know, though, since I haven't priced anything out.
Are there any other options available to me? The old tile HAD to go, but man I feel like I bit off more than I can chew! Thanks for any input.
Scott
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Skaught wrote:

<snip>
You didn't say how much thinset was left behind (not much with 6" tiles I presume) nor what you intended to put down. However, if I were doing it I would smooth the surface as I went, lightly butter (or comb) each tile and set it. You could level the whole shebang with thinset and then set the tiles but it seems to me easier to get the tiles at the same level if leveled and set at the same time.
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Well, I'm not laying the tile myself, and I'm not paying someone to do the leveling (I can manage that much of it), so they will be done at different times.
The thinset is mostly around 1/8" thick, no thicket than 1/4". One question - can a concrete grinder (the walk-behind kind) that Home Depot rents grind this stuff down?
Scott
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Skaught wrote:

Never used one but if it will grind down concrete it will *sure* grind thinset.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
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