I decided to keep the 4 x 4 slate tiles I recently bought. I guess I'll be
doing a lot of sorting and cutting. They are quarried in India and the
quality control is not that good. The thickness of the tiles vary greatly.
Some tiles are 1/4" thick while other are 3/8" thick.
Anyway, should I use a 1/2" notch trowel instead of a 1/4" trowel?
Is there any danger in building up the thinset to float thinner tiles so
that all the tile are the same height?
Can I use premium Flexbond fortified which has a very high PSI strength?
Any advice or experience shared would be appreciated.
Well, you have to get more mortar under the thin tiles _some_way.
Personally, I'd try to lay all the thick tiles first in the normal way. For
the thick ones, I'd just butter the back of the tile - you'll soon learn how
much mortar you have to use - rather than comb the floor.
As you lay the tiles you'll need to use a beating board to level them with
the thicker ones (you should probably use it with the thicker ones too).
That's just a piece of plywood a couple of feet square with some carpet on
it...lay it carpet side down bridging the newly laid tiles and previously
laid ones, then tap with rubber hammer so that the new ones are pushed down
level with the older ones. If you've used too much mortar it will squish
out into the grout joints...no big deal as long as there is still room for
grout. In fact, I like the mortar to squish out slightly on all sides so I
know the tile is totally supported.
The mortar needs to be stiff enough to support the tile until it grabs but
not so stiff that you have to whack real hard on the beating board to level
Sure. No particular reason to do so though, the tiles are going to stick
very nicely with plain old thinset. That same thinset is WAY more than
adequate to support any load on the floated tiles.
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I would try to sort them. You could also butter the backs of the thinner
ones, let it partly set, and use a rubbing stone or rough file to plane the
backs so you have a more consistent thickness. You could make a jig for
that, but quite a chore.
1/4" is better matched to 4" tile. But if you need more lift, you gotta go
The technique is more difficult and subject to more error, especially with
lack of practice.
You can, but your application does not require this.
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