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Subway tile question regarding a bathtub surround.

Do I need to apply thinset on the back of the tile? Subway tiles are small, can I just put thinset on the wall and apply the tiles?

Thank you

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing their tile. Good luck! – ArchonOSX Mar 18 '16 at 11:37
  • yeah, there's no instructions booklet of any kind. Just a box of tile. – nip Mar 18 '16 at 13:03
  • Try looking them up on the web.... – Ecnerwal Mar 18 '16 at 13:32
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Back-Buttering shouldn't be needed. But, the best determination is to set a tile & then pry it off. You should have a nice even smush of Thin-set that covers the whole back of the tile. If you don't get full coverage, then you can try it again with a bigger notch trowel...on a fresh clean tile. If that doesn't do it, then you'll want to back-butter every tile.

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You can press the tiles into the thinset on the wall and they will stick two much thinset and they will move around. Make sure with small tiles to use a finer notched trowel and with larger the bigger notches. Here is a fine notch trowel. With vertical tiles I sometimes use mastic because it sets faster than thinset especially with small tiles that are easily knocked out of position. mastic / tile adhesive.

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