Tile Back Buttering

By Robert Robillard on How To

Tile Back Buttering What is Tile Back Buttering?

by Phil Green

Unless you, or know someone is in the tile industry, this phase may be uncommon to you.  Tile Back Butteringis the term used to describe the technique of applying setting material (thin set) to the back of your tile and natural stone. A successful tile installation is only as good as the condition and support of your substrate, and the coverage of the setting material on your tile.

Tile Council of North America,  in their handbook, suggests back buttering of large format tiles and ALL natural stone tiles like marble, Travertine, slate, granite, etc. A “large format” used to be a tile that measured 8”x8”. That is not the case in today’s tile world.

The definition of large format tile today is “any tile that measures 15” or larger on any one side.” It is not uncommon to find 16”x16,” 18’x18,” 24”x24,” or larger. With the trend of tile getting larger and larger these days it is even more important that the appropriate support of your setting materials is achieved.

In the past, tile installers would hold the tile in one hand and then “flip and twist” the tiles as they back buttered thin set onto the backs of those tiles.

Tile Back Buttering

A Better Way

This “Pizza Flip” technique produces stress on both the wrist and shoulder. Imagine doing this with these newer large format tiles all day.  Tile installation already is a physically challenging trade.

Bcker BuddyThe Backer Buddy

The Tile Back Buttering Buddy tool is designed by a contractor, for contractors. The tool simply rests onto a bucket to support stacks of heavy tiles for back buttering.  The spinning action of the tool allows the installer a safe and simple option while achieving the desired coverage for a successful and long lasting tile installation. For more information visit www.Primo-Tools .com

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob If you have a building or remodeling question you can have rob respond to your answer via video. Click here for more information. https://jointruly.com/robillard Invite code: x22r2

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