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.
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.
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