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I was setting tile last night and had to stop before the room was done. I was being diligent to make sure the edges that were adjacent to the unfinished areas were smooth but in my exhaustion I missed an edge. What is the best way to break up this cured thinset without risking the adhesion of the surrounding tiles?

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    You can chisel right along the edge of the tiles just fine .. just don't beat your tiles.
    – Ken
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 5:53

2 Answers 2


Tile mortar is actually fairly soft. If you have access to a belt sander, take a coarse grit to it. Otherwise, scrape at it with a robust flat tool like a cold chisel.


If the mortar is just from the day before, it will shave right off with a margin trowel or 4 inch scraper. It hasn't reached its full strength and is over HardieBacker. HardieBacker sucks moisture out of mortar very fast if you don't dampen it first; this weakens its strength, also.

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