Step 2: Spread the Thinset

how to lay a stone-tile floor spread out thinset
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Number the sections, set them aside, then vacuum the floor. Mix a batch of thinset: Use polymer-modified thinset on plywood and unmodified thinset on cement-based substrates. Starting at a corner, spread the mix evenly over a 6-foot section as wide as the membrane, then comb it into long parallel furrows with a ¼-inch notched trowel, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • utility knife with hook blade
      Utility knife
    • mixing drill
      Corded drill with mixing paddle to mix thinset and grout
    • small plastic bucket
      Buckets for thinset, grout, and rinse water
    • notched trowel
      ¼-inch notched trowel
    • grout float
      Grout float
    • margin trowel
      Margin trowel to spread thinset on back of stone
    • plastic putty knife
      Putty knife
    • sponge
      Sponge
    • Cheesecloth
      Cheesecloth

    Shopping List

    Uncoupling membrane
    Thinset, modified and unmodified
    Muriatic acid
    Slate tiles
    Penetrating stone sealer
    Sanded grout