Achieve a Removable Tile Installation with a Special Non-drying Paste Bonding Coat, Thin-Skin Tile Underlayment and Standard Thin-set Mortar

Attain the look and performance of a permanent ceramic tile installation that is actually removable tile prepared initially with a special non-drying paste bonding coat and fabric-like Thin-Skin tile underlayment from Tavy Enterprises. Applied on top of these special products, standard thin-set mortar and ceramic tile last, but lift easily with a small pry bar, minimal debris, and water clean-up.

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skimming on 008 Easy to Eliminate paste compound for removable tile
Step 1

Skim on a Paste Bonding Coat for the Removable Tile

Use a tile trowel's smooth edge to skim a bonding coat of 008 Easy to Eliminate paste compound onto the prepared subflooring for the removable tile. Apply more and furrow it with the thin notched side of a tile trowel.

laying out Thin-Skin underlayment for the removable tile
Step 2

Lay Thin-Skin Tile Underlayment for the Removable Tile Bed

Press Tavy Thin-Skin Tile Underlayment onto the paste and smooth with a putty knife. The fiber sheets add no additional thickness or weight to the subfloor, but bond with the paste to securely receive mortar and tile.

mixing thin-set for the removable tile
Step 3

Mix Thin-set Mortar for the Removable Tile Bed

Attach a paddle mixer to an electric drill and blend standard thin-set mortar in a bucket. It should be mixed to a ketchup-like consistency for the removable tile and allowed to slake for a few minutes, per directions.

raking the thin-set into furrows and ridges for the removable tile
Step 4

Trowel Thin-set Mortar onto the Underlayment for the Removable Tile

Spread the thin-set mortar over the Thin-Skin underlayment to ensure a uniform mortar bed for the removable tile. Use the notched end of a trowel with 1/4-inch square notches to rake the thin-set into consistent ridges and furrows.

back-buttering large removable tiles
Step 5

Butter the Backs of Removable Tiles 12-Inches Square or Larger

Back-butter larger tiles in the removable tile project to ensure a long-lasting crack free installation. Ensuring the hollows on the back of the tile are coated in mortar will provide the proper support and adherence to the mortar bed.

positioning the removable tiles to avoid excess mortar in the joints
Step 6

Set the Removable Tiles So That the Edges Touch Initially

Position tiles with edges touching, pressing them down by hand. Slide them side-to-side to evenly distribute the mortar, and then pull each away from the adjacent tile to keep the joints clear of excess cement. Tap with a mallet.

sliding the puck across uneven edges of the removable tile
Step 7

Find High Removable Tile Edges with a Tile Puck

Pass a Tile Puck over the surface to find uneven tiles, noting the click that identifies high removable tile edges as it moves across joints. Tap high edges with a rubber mallet and retest before the mortar sets.

inserting vinyl spacers at removable tile joints
Step 8

Insert Tile Spacers between Adjacent Removable Tiles

Ensure even grout seams between removable tiles with Tavy's two-sided tile spacers. One side of the vinyl spacers maintains the position of four intersecting corner joints, while the other keeps tile sides parallel. Tap with a mallet towards the center.

lifting removable tile installation with a pry bar
Step 9

Lift Removable Tiles with a Pry Bar or Putty Knife

Loosen removable tiles long after the mortar and grout joints harden. Insert a pry bar beneath the Tavy Thin-Skin underlayment to remove it as a single layer. Scrape the non-drying paste compound off with a putty knife. Clean with water.

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