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View Full Version : Any professional tilesetters in here - Ditra Mortar Coverge



chefwong
11-17-2011, 05:08 PM
How accurate is this per their handbook:


To bond DITRA to the substrate: Use one 50-lb. (22.68 kg) bag of mortar per 150 - 200 sq ft (13.9 - 18.6 sq m).
To bond the tile to the DITRA: Using a 1/4" x 3/8" (6 mm x 10 mm) square- or U-notched trowel will require 50-lb (22.68 kg) bag of mortar per 40 - 50 sq ft (3.7 - 4.6 sq m)


I'm ~traveling~ to pick up Kerabond and having extra bags (returns) is not exactly a option with the supplier.
I'd like to be on target for real world usage on the amount of mortar used for Ditra (application, waffle filling, tile)

jadnashua
11-17-2011, 07:35 PM
The bonding to the substrate is fairly consistent. Note that the type of thinset you use depends on what the subflooring is: if it's a wooden subfloor, it must be a modified thinset, otherwise, it can be an unmodified...they are quite specific in their installation manual and it behooves you to follow it for best results.

The top, setting tile, is more problematic. The more irregular the subfloor or inconsistencies in the tile will call for more thinset to ensure that you get a nice flat tile installation. And, they specify this thinset must be an unmodified variety. So, you may need two different varieties, or an unmodified with an approved, add-in modifier, or separate varieties.

How fast you work, and how much wastage you have from maybe not using all of the thinset prior to it starting to set up may also have an effect on your coverage. Also, how you hold the trowel can make a big difference in the actual thickness of the applied thinset. Hold it at 90-degrees will use more than holding it at say 45-degrees. So, estimates are just that.

In the scheme of things, the stuff isn't all that expensive...depending on what your time is worth, having an extra bag or two probably shouldn't be a deal breaker. Also note, the stuff you buy will have a manufacturing date code on it, or a use by date. It does potentially go bad - you don't want it to be close to the use by date when you just get it - fresher is definately better. If the bag isn't sealed perfectly, or it has a small hole, or it is improperly stored can all impact the stuff...portland cement just loves to absorb moisture, and if it does, it may not make the bag a solid, but it may end up being a lot of cured 'sandy' particles, that won't adhere to anything.

The guys over at www.johnbridge.com (http://www.johnbridge.com) use a lot of Ditra, you might ask there.

chefwong
11-17-2011, 08:01 PM
No offense to the moderator over there.....but they have a guideline on questions being posted on a *continuous* project thread and sometimes questions don't really get responded just due to the original thread questions / title ----- whereas I may even break the rule and post a good title respective to the question being asked, only to have the thread moved into the *project thread* or what I call the blackhole...

Concrete is the base. The goal is to screed flat (not level but flat) and then Kerabond/Ditra/Kerabond/Tile.
Methinks it will be 2 phases - mainly due to tile still being on the boat....and phase 1 will just be flat, kerabond, ditra and fill in the waffles.

chefwong
11-17-2011, 08:06 PM
Some more questions if any tile pros may come upon this thread


Mapiceme
Anyone use this. I have used their Planipatch eons ago and hated it.
What I like about Mapiceme is that it's rapid set....and can go down to 4".
Even laticrete most competing product is 1/2".
And the latter I was looking at, Sakrete B1, their set time was not as fast as Mapiceme but decent at 2" fill level as well.


-http://www.mapei.com/US-EN/product-d...89&IDLinea=103

chefwong
11-17-2011, 08:08 PM
Last but not least

THE GREAT DEBATE
Modified vs. Unmodified WITH DITRA

For example, I used Lat 254 and may have even used it as thick as 1 1/4" inch - porcelin tile over concrete. I have had drills drop ontop as high as 6 feet....at least 4 times since I have it installed and no damage to the tile whatsover

I'd be inclined to set the Ditra and fill in in the waffles with modified...
Bearing I'm not laying tile ontop for another 2 weeks, I would think that the modified bed might be stronger than non.
Warranty or not....

BobL43
11-18-2011, 07:40 AM
No offense to the moderator over there.....but they have a guideline on questions being posted on a *continuous* project thread and sometimes questions don't really get responded just due to the original thread questions / title ----- whereas I may even break the rule and post a good title respective to the question being asked, only to have the thread moved into the *project thread* or what I call the blackhole...

Concrete is the base. The goal is to screed flat (not level but flat) and then Kerabond/Ditra/Kerabond/Tile.
Methinks it will be 2 phases - mainly due to tile still being on the boat....and phase 1 will just be flat, kerabond, ditra and fill in the waffles.

My personal experience with the John Bridge web site has been great. all my questions I keep in my project name thread, and If I have new question to ask relating to my project, I just enter a title in the title box up at the top of my reply. Has worked great so far. Everything I asked has been answered for me by the pros.

jadnashua
11-18-2011, 08:52 AM
You need to understand the chemistry of modified verses unmodified...a modified mortar has components that must dry to achieve the system's full strength. It must outgas water vapor for this to occur. Essentially, a modified is a layer of a laytex type material that encompasses a matrix of cement. The laytex provides a protective barrier around the cement and is stickier. Until the laytex dries, it is easy to tear the bond. Think rubber band verses a concrete block.

Ditra is essentially waterproof. Porcelain tile is essentially waterproof. The drying can only occur via the grout line gap, and if you decide to fill it with grout before that happens, it can literally take months to achieve its strength (concrete based products strength is based on curing for 28-days - an unmodified achieves more sooner when placed between two waterproof surfaces like Ditra and porcelain). While, eventually, this will happen, if you walk on or move heavy object over the floor, you may crack a tile or break the bond. Because the manufacturer has no control over that, and few installations would restrict access for that long, they tell you to use a (good) unmodified. They will give you an approval to use a rapid set modified, but that is not something a typical DIY'er should ever consider. A rapid set modified will achieve enough strength to prevent most disasters, but will still take forever to achieve the stated full strength. IOW, a good unmodified may provide equal strength, but not quite as fast. The rapid set would allow a pro to potentially set and grout in the same day.

An unmodified thinset only needs to cure...if there were excess moisture (within reason), it would not affect the curing time or the strength (too much moisture, and you will compromise the strength, though). This is predictable. So, while a modified may have a higher ultimate shear strength, that difference would be lost if you didn't allow things to cure AND dry properly, and it means an extended 'keep off' time.

A good unmodified thinset (not the entry level, cheap price leader which is mostly sand!) will typically have a shear strength of 300+ pounds/sqin. A good modified may increase that by a third. But, take a typical 12" sq tile 12*12*300=43,200 pounds! Are you really expecting to need more than that? The Ditra would debond long, long before the tile would break off the mortar.

Compressive strength is in the same ballpark, and if you had a point load big enough to be an issue, you'd crack the tile first anyway with either.

If you want to fill the waffles first and can let it sit for a couple of days, you could use modified for that. But, I'd still use unmodified to set the tiles on it. I've dumped a clump of modified out on newspaper and let it sit for a few days prior to throwing it in the trash...in the center, it was still soft and springy. That doesn't happen with an unmodified as it will cure anaerobically.

Any manufacturer (with any kind of integrity) spends a lot of time prior to making recommendations on how to use their product...do you really feel you have enough info to second guess them?

johnfrwhipple
12-07-2011, 06:37 AM
Some more questions if any tile pros may come upon this thread


Mapiceme
Anyone use this. I have used their Planipatch eons ago and hated it.
What I like about Mapiceme is that it's rapid set....and can go down to 4".
Even laticrete most competing product is 1/2".
And the latter I was looking at, Sakrete B1, their set time was not as fast as Mapiceme but decent at 2" fill level as well.


-http://www.mapei.com/US-EN/product-d...89&IDLinea=103

Mapecem Fast Setting Screed Mortar is my favourite product for shower construction. At 15-16 per bag that is a ton of technology in one 40 pound bag. Love love the stuff. 1/4" - 4" in small areas. 1/4"-2" in larger areas. You need the Admix for a slurry coat as well.

johnfrwhipple
12-07-2011, 06:45 AM
Last but not least

THE GREAT DEBATE
Modified vs. Unmodified WITH DITRA

For example, I used Lat 254 and may have even used it as thick as 1 1/4" inch - porcelin tile over concrete. I have had drills drop ontop as high as 6 feet....at least 4 times since I have it installed and no damage to the tile whatsover

I'd be inclined to set the Ditra and fill in in the waffles with modified...
Bearing I'm not laying tile ontop for another 2 weeks, I would think that the modified bed might be stronger than non.
Warranty or not....

It is crazy to install Ditra and use modified thinset on top??? It's not allowed by Schluter and why void your warranty. Go pick up Spider Web from Custom or Dural online. Both embrace modified thin set and you do not void your warranty. That way as well you can use your premium thinsets.

You will love the mesh over top of these products. It is a positive mortar lock or so they say. I find it helps slice up the thinset when filling the waffles and the product is easier on the knees than ditra. With ditra it's hard to get your mortar filled in perfectly.


http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Spider%20Web/PB240026.jpg

You are forcing a solid mass into a dish so air is trapped, much like drywalling and filling the screw heads. For some reason the mesh with the Spider Web makes this process a little easier.

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Spider%20Web/PB220013.jpg

johnfrwhipple
12-07-2011, 06:58 AM
You need to understand the chemistry of modified verses unmodified...a modified mortar has components that must dry ...

Jim if you just dropped Schluter from your recommendation list you could have some much more free time. People do not want to understand the chemistry. People do want warranties.

To install Ditra over plywood you need two thinsets. On to install the ditra to the plywood and one to install the tile over top.

Most dry set mortars (which are rarely used) in off the wall locations are expired or over a year old.

At least when you push the amazing powers of dry set mortar remind people to check the date codes.

Since most people use modified thinsets most modified thins sets are fresh (ie under six months old).

So it is easier to buy a product and tile that accepts modified thin set.

If the installer wants "Crack Surpression" Ditra doesn't even do that. Noble Seal TS does and can be ordered online and shipped right to the door.

Jim you have been brain washed by the giant Marketing Machine that is Schluter Systems.

jimbo
12-07-2011, 07:09 AM
I don't think the installer needs to UNDERSTAND the chemistry. jad apparently does, and his explanation tells us WHY we should FOLLOW the recommendations of the manufacturer when we decide to use their product. WE don't need to know the chemistry, just READ the instructions!

As to purchase of supplies, you can make your best estimate, but if you don't include a factor for waste...will you use every last ounce of mortar from every bucket you mix up???......then you will end up making a trip back for more. How much is that inconvenience worth, compared to the price of an unused bag?
I'm sure a professional tile contractor gets pretty good at their estimating, but I guess they usually have an extra bag of mortar on the truck just in case!

johnfrwhipple
12-07-2011, 07:26 AM
...WE don't need to know the chemistry, just READ the instructions!...

Exactly

Mapecem Screed mortar gives 14.5 square feet coverage at 1/4" thick. Per 40 pound bag. These measurements are very accurate.

chefwong
12-07-2011, 07:33 AM
Project is quite underways....

ended up using Mapecem
Ultraplan M20
Kerabond
and Lati 253 Rapdiset....

All good stuff......

BobL43
12-07-2011, 09:29 AM
It is crazy to install Ditra and use modified thinset on top??? It's not allowed by Schluter and why void your warranty. Go pick up Spider Web from Custom or Dural online. Both embrace modified thin set and you do not void your warranty. That way as well you can use your premium thinsets.

You will love the mesh over top of these products. It is a positive mortar lock or so they say. I find it helps slice up the thinset when filling the waffles and the product is easier on the knees than ditra. With ditra it's hard to get your mortar filled in perfectly.




You are forcing a solid mass into a dish so air is trapped, much like drywalling and filling the screw heads. For some reason the mesh with the Spider Web makes this process a little easier.



Hi John,

I went onto Custom's website and saw all their info on the Spider web matting and mortar, but I see that the mat is sold only as 30 Sq meter (323 Sq ft) rolls. Is there anyplace to buy smaller quantities, as I only need about 50 Sq ft of the mat. I have not called Custom to find out yet, just thought I'd ask here first. I like the concept of being able to use just one type (modified) thinset.

Thanks,

Bob

jadnashua
12-07-2011, 01:55 PM
Pretty much everyone that sells an unmodified, also sells the admix separately...one bag, dual usage, you can get modified when needed, or unmodified when not.

With any cement based product, shelf-life is an important issue...the quality of the store and turn-around all play a big component in what you get. Just a little moisture can turn a bag of mortar into cured sand particles over time...it may or may not have been enough to make it a solid blob, but it won't hold a tile properly. Never use an old bag, or one that has 'chunk's in it. You're risking things if you use an opened bag that has been sitting around for a bit unless you were REALLY careful about sealing it back up again, and never longer than the shelf-life date code.

Just like you shouldn't buy an outdated bottle of milk, that doesn't mean you may not find one on the shelf...it is just one of those things you, as a consumer should check.

jadnashua
12-07-2011, 02:31 PM
Mapecem Fast Setting Screed Mortar is my favourite product for shower construction. At 15-16 per bag that is a ton of technology in one 40 pound bag. Love love the stuff. 1/4" - 4" in small areas. 1/4"-2" in larger areas. You need the Admix for a slurry coat as well.

As I read their spec sheet, this should be 3/8" minimum over a slab, and when over a subfloor, at least 1-3/8" thick. On a subfloor, it requires a cleavage layer and lath. If you were going to put a surface waterproofing layer on it, it would be an expensive way to do things when a sand mix would work for a lot less. If it was a preslope, should work. Since it is not porous, you shouldn't use it as a setting layer in a shower (again, unless using a surface waterproofing layer). You have to mix it with an aggragate and water or their admix, so now you need a bunch of materials. Since your sand or gravel would likely have some moisture, you need to be skilled enough to not add too much extra water. Fine for someone that uses it a lot, maybe not so good for a DIY'er.

jadnashua
12-07-2011, 02:49 PM
SpiderWeb is an interesting product. The thing that actually holds the tile in place is the bond between the thinset and the bonded on fibers. The pockets then act as pillars to hold the tile up. Ditra works in a different manner...the pockets still hold the tile up, but they are shaped like a dovetail, preventing the mortar from pulling out of the pockets. The mortar on the topside doesn't actually adhere to the membrane much, so it has some flexibility - the floor and the membrane can move independently of the tile and the mortar since they aren't bonded together. On SpiderWeb, you are relying on some of the fibers from shearing off the substrate to maintain a monolithic tile layer, and others to actually hold the mortar in the pockets and to the membrane. Different concepts, similar results. Use of larger than 12x12" tile requires different subfloor prep. This isn't true with Ditra. SpiderWeb should use their recommended SpiderWeb thinset. Ditra, any quality dryset. Both likely quality products...Ditra has been in use much longer with a good track record.

If you're interested, this short video shows how the Ditra uncouples the tile from the substrate: http://www.schluter.com/7214.htm

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 05:00 AM
Hi John,

I went onto Custom's website and saw all their info on the Spider web matting and mortar, but I see that the mat is sold only as 30 Sq meter (323 Sq ft) rolls. Is there anyplace to buy smaller quantities, as I only need about 50 Sq ft of the mat. I have not called Custom to find out yet, just thought I'd ask here first. I like the concept of being able to use just one type (modified) thinset.

Thanks,

Bob

One of your local suppliers will sell it by the foot. Don't call the box stores - call the tile stores. Most tile stores in Vancouver will sell shorts.

If you can't find a supplier you can use Noble Seal TS instead of either Ditra or Spider Web. Noble Seal TS can be ordered right to your door step and as I mentioned earlier preforms better than Ditra and Spider Web.

"Uncoupling" is a Schluterized Invention Word. Their is I believe no ANSI test for "Range of Uncoupling". Again Marketing.

Ditra the plastic that makes it "Waterproof" is thinner than Kerdi. Kerdi is 8 mil or roughly 1/4 the thickness of your credit card. Noble Seal TS is 30 mil.

You do the math.

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 05:10 AM
Use of larger than 12x12" tile requires different subfloor prep. This isn't true with Ditra. SpiderWeb should use their recommended SpiderWeb thinset. Ditra, any quality dryset. Both likely quality products...Ditra has been in use much longer with a good track record.

Jim you kill me.

Do you get to go on the Schluter Company Get Aways?

I bet you have never installed Dural Durabase or Custom's Spider Web, let along a full roll of Ditra.

Just so I get this straight your saying Ditra is better than Spider Web? Where do you draw this fact from.

I think the Ditra warranty is 3 years. Is that right? Maybe 5.

If you use any modified thinset you get a 7 year warranty with Spider Web. If you use Customs own mortar you get a ten year warranty.

Which company do you think has more faith in their product Jim? My money is on the one with the longest warranty.

Again, shame on you for selecting only half the story to share in your efforts to promote Schluter's products.


SpiderWeb should use their recommended SpiderWeb thinset. Ditra, any quality dryset.

Just so no one thinks I'm being mean to Jim here, here is a link to the Spider Web PDF http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/ProductCatalog/SurfacePrep/WaterproofingAntiFractureMembranes/spiderwebuncouplingmat.aspx?user=dis&lang=en

I ordered my last roll of Dural Durabase from ProSource.

The cost of it was juts over a dollar a square foot. Here in Vancouver in the box outlet's Ditra sells for about $3.00 a square foot. Closer to $2.20 in the tile stores. So even with shipping the Dural is cheaper than Ditra.

Now Spider Web is a Custom Building Products product. It might be slightly different from Dural's Durabase.

Maybe call Pro Source as see???

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 05:27 AM
... Since your sand or gravel would likely have some moisture, you need to be skilled enough to not add too much extra water. Fine for someone that uses it a lot, maybe not so good for a DIY'er.

OMG - that is funny. Your apparent counter sales points are endless. If you where in fact in this business and actually mixed thinset and applied waterproofing products daily you would be "Skilled Enough" to know that all mortars have a water level requirement. That should be followed.

For Mapecem Screed Mortar we use a hair under two litres per 40 pound bag. Every mortar requires different amounts of water, every thin-set, every grout. This is why we read the bags.

It might surprise you Jim (since you promote Schluter as a way to pass your retirment and not build showers like me) that the suppliers have this figured out.

So if your worried about not being skilled enough to mix a bag - practice measure a cup of milk. Try a few times if you mess up. Sometimes you might need to add a little more if you stop pouring to quick.

Now imagine your mixing bucket actually was on giant measuring cup!

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/Waterproof%20exterior%20decks%20in%20North%20Vanco uver/PC030033.jpg

Tada Magic.



Imagine that in every paint store they sell liquid guides.

Every box store has one.

No worry your skilled enough.

Jim you promote Kerdi hard and as well the dry pack. Mixing dry pack is an art. Many pro's make a special bucket. I use a my Makita and a garden hoe. How do you mix your dry pack? I mean how did you mix it for your mom?

JW

BobL43
12-08-2011, 07:50 AM
One of your local suppliers will sell it by the foot. Don't call the box stores - call the tile stores. Most tile stores in Vancouver will sell shorts.

If you can't find a supplier you can use Noble Seal TS instead of either Ditra or Spider Web. Noble Seal TS can be ordered right to your door step and as I mentioned earlier preforms better than Ditra and Spider Web.

"Uncoupling" is a Schluterized Invention Word. Their is I believe no ANSI test for "Range of Uncoupling". Again Marketing.

Ditra the plastic that makes it "Waterproof" is thinner than Kerdi. Kerdi is 8 mil or roughly 1/4 the thickness of your credit card. Noble Seal TS is 30 mil.

You do the math.

Hi John, thanks for the info on both Spider Web and Noble Seal TS.
For my project, which is a small 7X7 foot bathroom floor, I have put down 3/4 inch T/G subfloor, which is nice and flat, and I glued and screwed it down using PL premium and deck screws. On top of that, I plan on using (with or without) either CBU or or Ditra or one of the other 2 membranes you have mentioned, porcelain 5 X32 inch rectified wood look plank tiles perpendicular to the joist direction. The deflection rating of this floor comes out to be L/1020 on the John Bridge calculator. This floor is not going to have any water spilled onto it where I have to worry about it being waterproof, and I wonder if I use Versabond, which is modified thinset, do I really need anything between the plywood and the tiles other than the thinset? I am asking for your professional opinion and recommendation on this. I don't know how much expansion/contraction there might be from temperature or humidity changes on this little floor to be concerned with de-coupling.

I put one of those porcelain planks at an angle angainst a wall, and put pressure on it with my hand and was amazed how much it will flex across its 32 inch length. did not want to push it so hard that it might break, but I would say it (without measuring the movement) flexed more than 1/16 of an inch at the midpoint.

I apologize for tacking onto this thread, but I thought it would be OK to ask more about the membranes.

Thanks again

mtcummins
12-08-2011, 08:34 AM
You have no need for a waterproofing product such as Noble in your application. If you install those 32" tiles directly on wood, they will almost certainly pop off when the wood underneath expands and contracts. A product like Ditra will give some degree of waterproofing by default, but that is not its purpose... the sheet itself is waterproof, but the seams are not unless you go through an annoying process to make them water tight.

JW may not believe in uncoupling, but its a very simple concept that both Ditra and his own advised product Spider Web use... they separate the 2 layers that expand and contract different amounts and at different rates. Tile does not expand/contract much at all, and takes a lot of temperature change to do so, where wood expands and contracts a good bit at much lower temperature changes. The idea of uncoupling is to allow the 2 surfaces to move a bit, independent of each other. It is a concept that is thousands of years old... the oldest surviving tile installations in the world only survived because they decoupled the tile from the substrate.

The other way of doing it is to screw a similarly expanding/contracting substrate (such as CMU or Hardi or whatever) to the floor first, then attach your tile to that, so that they will expand and contract at the same rate. This can create stresses between the wood and the backer board, but usually is not a problem unless there is extreme temperature swings.

Both methods work well and have been fairly well proven. I personally am a Ditra guy, but would be interested to see a Spider Web install sometime (I've never seen the stuff used, to date), and see how it holds up over time. Sounds like a good alternative in the price department (though once again, I find JW's Schluter pricing to be very off, I pay under $1.50/sqft for Ditra), and the ability to use all modified w/o voiding warranty is appealing. Generally I use modified under Ditra to wood (proper), and modified over to set the tile (voids warranty), and leave a few days before grouting, especially if setting smaller tile. Larger tile (which I personally don't much care for and almost never use), this could be more of a problem. VersaBond has worked well for me, as it is not as highly modified, so it dries a little better than others when sealed off like that.

NOTE that I explicitly stated that doing this will void your warranty. It's how I, and a number of other people, have successfully used Ditra numerous times, but it is not manufacturer approved.

BobL43
12-08-2011, 09:18 AM
And thank you too mt for your explanations here which are very helpful as well. My son in-law used Ditra on their bathroom and said that putting down the modified and then the Ditra was easy, but he found troweling down the non-modified on top of it was a PITA for some reason I don't remember. I have been using the Versabond putting up the marble subway tiles on the walls, and find it is nice and easy to trowel out at the recommended mix consistency. John W's post #9 says he finds it easier to get the thinset embedded into the Spider Web waffle holes, which sounds good to me as well as being OK to use the modified. I will try and find a local tile company like John said that may sell me a remnant piece of the Spider Web matting.

Again, thank you both. :D

jadnashua
12-08-2011, 12:42 PM
The points I made about SpiderWeb and the screed are direct from the company's technical data sheets...do you read them? They specifically say to call them about special requirements on tile larger than 12". They specifically state the screed must be used with aggragates suitable for your application and to take into account their moisture content when mixing for the proper mix. They specifically state that over a slab that it must be a minimum of 3/8" and over a subfloor 1-3/8". You talk about following the manufactuer's recommendations and instructions, and then you state other things.

If you have any imagination and technical experience, the decoupling provided by the Ditra is obvious. And, it is obvious why they indicate an unmodified to anchor the tile to it is more than sufficient...the tile/mortar acts as a monolitic slab that can move independently of the subfloor. It is also obvious with the SpiderWeb that it won't work without a modified, since it is only bonded to the fibers, some of which are actually designed to shear off rather than locking into the dovetails in the Ditra pockets. You only get their 10-year warranty with their SpiderWeb mortar...nothing I said was not direct from their materials.

If you are not also mixing their screed product with a suitable aggragate, you aren't following the instructions unless you are doing a thin layer over a slab and then must use their admix, not water. That aggragate is sand or gravel...you seem to have missed that, and not water - the product requires it to be mixed with an aggragate, that is not in the bad from the factory, i.e. another thing to buy. Anytime you buy sand or gravel, especially in bulk, not in bags, you must take into account how much water it has in it. Again, not reading what I wrote. I have no problem with any of the products...I have my preferences. You stated you could use the screed at 1/4", which is not true per the spec sheet. Maybe not much, but that's 50% error.

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 07:53 PM
Bob you need to get a broader base of opinions. So many tile guys and online "contractors" just repeat what they read online. There is no measuring system for "Uncoupling" Noble Seal TS will outperform Ditra and Spider Web hands down and is an antifracture membrane. Noble Seal TS has been tested to surpress cracks over 3/8" but they recommend less as a safety net.

An anti fracture membrane should be three times the width of your tile. Nobel Seal TS is 60" wide not 37" like the others.

Call the tech boys at Noble and ask these basic questions.

Phone: 231-799-8000
Toll Free: 800-878-5788
Email: sales@noblecompany.com

I have meet personally both Eric and Nelson from their head office and these men know this business. They sit on chairs and are a wealth of information.

"Uncoupling" is a marketing sales pitch.

You are also using large format tile. 32" lengths. Non Modifed thinset has a very low expansion rate and suffers from mortar fatique. For large format tile an S2 thin set is recommended and offers in of itself some expansion. My favourite Mapei's Grani Rapid.

Once you decide on a system remember you need thin set to set your tile and then grout. Why not further protect your investment and check with your Laticrete, Mapei or Custom rep for their opinion.

Once you hear all the advice and listen past the marketing and the regurgitation of miss information or sales information a clear solution will emerge.

Messing up a bathroom can cause a major failure. Take the time. Call the reps and get your questions answered. Don't blindly follow online advice because it is quick and easy. Building a shower is hard. You need to have the right tools and right products. You can't do it right in a long weekend and their are rules and inspections to insure it's done right.

Always self inspect your work or the work of others. Ask for a 2-3 flood test. 24 hour at the bare minimum. Measure the level excatly.

I installed Ditra for over a decade. As I moved more and more into the barrier free shower installs and linear drain projects the restrictions of Kerdi and Ditra became unsurpassable and I developed better techniques, after more training and more guidance I have learned that chemistry in the setting materials is key. Timing and build up heights fine tune the system.

When something is sold as to good to be true - it often is.

Waterproofing a shower is not something you can almost do perfect. When it's perfect. It's good enough.

JW

dlarrivee
12-08-2011, 08:08 PM
That concludes John Whipple's anti-Scluter/Ditra rant for this thread. (I hope.)

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 08:23 PM
That concludes John Whipple's anti-Scluter/Ditra rant for this thread. (I hope.)

I hope so.

dlarrivee
12-08-2011, 08:27 PM
John what is your opinion on Protegga?

chefwong
12-08-2011, 08:29 PM
Jim -

FWIW....there are a couple variants in Mapeis Mapecem lineup....

The Mapecem I used does not require aggregate. It was the Mapecem premix.
If I recall, it was speced at feather down to 4" which is quite impressive IMO.
Yes, they do spec their mortor or additive for the bonding slurry but aside from that, it's just plain H20 and that's it...
Great stuff . I'm sure John get's a trademans discount but I thought for what it does.....$19 per 50lb bag was pretty good.

Ultraplan 20 is really some nice stuff too. 2" self level and this product can be used as a direct exposed topper....
A lil pricier than where I budgeted this but I needed this right after thanksgiving weekend, and the only places open were a major supply house I use for other odds/ends.
It took awhile as I had to Cherry Pick 42 fresh bags off their pallets.. Local tile supply shop always has stuff that is fresh, but they were closed.

Just a reminder for those who stumble upon this thread - ALWAYS check the production dates on stuff like this. Any rapid setting product, you want made 6 months prior. Less is better..

mtcummins
12-08-2011, 08:36 PM
This floor is not going to have any water spilled onto it where I have to worry about it being waterproof

Once again, JW is not actually reading the posts he's responding to, just going off on his tirades. What the hell does waterproofing a shower have to do with the topic at hand (tiling a dry bathroom floor)? I also specifically mentioned that Ditra is somewhat waterproof as a sheet, but not at seams. Clearly we're not advising the poster to set up a slip-and-slide on his 7x7 bathroom floor installed with Ditra...

What, you don't have any smart-ass response to Jim when he proves you wrong? You're usually right on top of him, criticizing his every word...

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 08:36 PM
I looked at the Protegga I believe at Rona last year. A Kerdi Nock of in every way.

I did not care for the strainer adjustment and the quality of the 4" strainer was horrible.

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/ProVa%20Drain%20-%20Vancouver%20BC/ProVaDrainBirdsEye.jpg

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/ProVa%20Drain%20-%20Vancouver%20BC/ProVaDraincloseup.jpg

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/ProVa%20Drain%20-%20Vancouver%20BC/ProVaDraininfovancouver.jpg

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz314/jfrwhipple/ProVa%20Drain%20-%20Vancouver%20BC/ProVaDrain10300.jpg

Rona was selling it for $127.00 the Drain and about $3.00 a square foot for the Kerdi like membrane.

They specify modified thinset to install which I like but the strainer is just Crap. The membrane is about 2.5 times the thickness of Kerdi (20 mil aprox) and kerdi is just 8 mil or 1/5 of a mm.


My pricing on the Mapecem Fast Setting Screed Mortar is about $16.00. I have a cash account at Fontile in Vancouver. Your welcome to use it to get my pricing. Just tell Ann that John said it's OK. Many clients and other tradesmen take advantage of this here in Vancouver.

johnfrwhipple
12-08-2011, 08:50 PM
...What, you don't have any smart-ass response to Jim when he proves you wrong?...

When was that?


Jim tries his best to recommend the John Bridge forum and send those looking for answers away.

Jim often leaves out key bits on information that he believes the new be will figure out.

I'm offering up another opinion. One from someone in this business who feeds his family from doing this very trade.

You have your right to take offence but those looking for information should hear all sides. Regardless if you agree or disagree with my thoughts.

Jim pushes Kerdi hard. Just look at 30 old threads - you can see it.

Kerdi in my opinion the worst option out there with the best marketing team - they don't need Jim but he is helping.

I want to see a reduction in our landfills - much of it the result of poor building codes, dodgey contractors and those just doing a flip. It's wrong and I'm trying to make a difference. This is not new - I have been working at this for three years.

What are you doing to make a change for our kids?

JW

mtcummins
12-08-2011, 09:17 PM
When was that?

That would be when he cited the manufacturers specs on many things that you were not following, after so many times soapboxing how you have to follow directions to the T.

It had nothing to do with Schluter. I won't get into a pissing match about Schluter vs non Schluter products, its pointless. Who's paying you to try to shut them down? I am curious though, how is it that you, who seem to think you know everything there is to know about tile/showers, managed to install Schluter products for a decade w/o figuring out that they're total garbage? That's a pretty darn slow learning curve for someone who is doing so much for the world, knows all the best stuff, etc. Not sure that your advice gives me much confidence if it takes you a decade to discover that the product you've been installing is junk. How long have you been installing SpiderWeb or NobleSeal, or any other products? Are we gonna hear from you in another 3 or 5 or 9 years how they're junk, even though you touted them so vehemently?

I have no problems with any of these products per se, just a problem with your blind hate for Schluter. They're a business, they use marketing. So does every other business, including every one that you like. That doesn't make their product garbage, or the (many) people who like it dumb. All of these options can be good options in some situations, and can be bad options in some situations.

jadnashua
12-08-2011, 10:03 PM
The Mapecem I used does not require aggregate. It was the Mapecem premix.
If I recall, it was speced at feather down to 4" which is quite impressive IMO.

Both the Mapecem products are spec'ed for use over concrete. On the Mapecem (not the pre-mix) I was able to find the installation manual, and it said it could be used over a subfloor, but then it had to be at least 1-3/8" thick, needed lath and a decoupling layer (like tar paper) on the ply first. On a slab, at least 3/8" thick. If you can point me to the installation instructions for the pre-mix and the other screed (that I can't seem to find again), I'd be grateful as I'm open to learning.

chefwong
12-09-2011, 06:20 AM
Mapecem Premix Here
http://www.mapei.com/CA-EN/product-detail.asp?IDProdotto=100145&IDTipo=220&IDLinea=102

http://www.sakrete.com/products/detail.cfm/prod_alias/B1-Trowel-Grade-Leveler
Another one was Sakrete B1
Comes in 25lb bags verus 40 on the Mapecem...

Both requires a bonding slurry/primer on initial coat

johnfrwhipple
12-09-2011, 06:40 AM
Thanks Chef Wong.

Slurry coat over concrete. Down to a 1/4". 1/4" to zero we use Grani Rapid.

For the recommendation I made under the tub I suggested building paper and diamond lath. You will not find those recommendations printed online Jim so there is nothing for you to cut and paste. Try calling a Mapei rep and asking him.

Back in the day this was a common practice. How thin you can go with your mortar bed is debatable since so many factors come into play. But over a ship lap floor topped with plywood I would think as low as a 1/4". If it just fixing the grade for a tub. Remember this technique uses the diamond lath with roofing nails to lock the system to the floor. Again you will not find specs like this online to cut and paste. Call setting material producers - they have staff on the clock to answer your questions. It's their job.

I am not paid by any company. I do this to make a difference. I'm trying to change an industry and in doing so help reduce our landfills some what. Unless your in this business you have idea the waste generated everyday. It is not a fun filed trip but hang out at a dump site and you will see how bad it really is.

Our building codes are crap. The skill set of our tradesmen alarming. And bogus online advice adding to the already bad situation.

My thoughts.

JW

BobL43
12-09-2011, 08:02 AM
You have no need for a waterproofing product such as Noble in your application. If you install those 32" tiles directly on wood, they will almost certainly pop off when the wood underneath expands and contracts. A product like Ditra will give some degree of waterproofing by default, but that is not its purpose... the sheet itself is waterproof, but the seams are not unless you go through an annoying process to make them water tight.

JW may not believe in uncoupling, but its a very simple concept that both Ditra and his own advised product Spider Web use... they separate the 2 layers that expand and contract different amounts and at different rates. Tile does not expand/contract much at all, and takes a lot of temperature change to do so, where wood expands and contracts a good bit at much lower temperature changes. The idea of uncoupling is to allow the 2 surfaces to move a bit, independent of each other. It is a concept that is thousands of years old... the oldest surviving tile installations in the world only survived because they decoupled the tile from the substrate.

The other way of doing it is to screw a similarly expanding/contracting substrate (such as CMU or Hardi or whatever) to the floor first, then attach your tile to that, so that they will expand and contract at the same rate. This can create stresses between the wood and the backer board, but usually is not a problem unless there is extreme temperature swings.

Both methods work well and have been fairly well proven. I personally am a Ditra guy, but would be interested to see a Spider Web install sometime (I've never seen the stuff used, to date), and see how it holds up over time. Sounds like a good alternative in the price department (though once again, I find JW's Schluter pricing to be very off, I pay under $1.50/sqft for Ditra), and the ability to use all modified w/o voiding warranty is appealing. Generally I use modified under Ditra to wood (proper), and modified over to set the tile (voids warranty), and leave a few days before grouting, especially if setting smaller tile. Larger tile (which I personally don't much care for and almost never use), this could be more of a problem. VersaBond has worked well for me, as it is not as highly modified, so it dries a little better than others when sealed off like that.

NOTE that I explicitly stated that doing this will void your warranty. It's how I, and a number of other people, have successfully used Ditra numerous times, but it is not manufacturer approved.

I appreciate EVERYbody's advice here based on their professional experiences, I really do. Ditra is sold at the Orange big box store for just under 83 bucks for a 54 sq ft. roll, (the local tile stores have it for sale at 81 bucks), which is just what I need, plus I have a piece from what my son in-law gave me left over from his project. As far as Ditra warranty goes, it covers material and labor costs for 5 years. Being that I am doing the labor myself, I have no labor costs to provide to Schluter as documentation if I need to make a claim on the product. The floor tile is going to cost me a big 300 bucks and a bag or 2 of thinset and the roll of Ditra. I definitely do not want the floor to fail, and I do not want to go nuts trying to spread out the mortar into the waffle holes. I asked my son in-law last night what the bad experience was with him using Ditra and he told me that it was 1) getting the thinset (unmodified) to fill in the waffle holes and 2) then getting the porcelain tiles to stick to the unmodified. I'm not sure why the tiles would not stick well, but he said he wound up removing all the unmodified and reapplied Versobond (modified) on top of the Ditra, and the tiles stuck very well (18X18 inch tiles, I think). Is there less "stickyness" of unmodified to tiles than modified? I know that the Versabond sticks very well to both my walls and the marble tiles I applied to them. I used to use adhesive for ceramic wall tiles, and the Versabond seems almost as sticky as that stuff after the tile is pressed in.
My son in-law had read that there would be a drying problem with the modified thinset on top, but he allowed lots more drying time before walking or grouting the floor. It's been over a year, and no cracked grout or loose tiles. So, it's a matter of the easy availability of Ditra in the right size roll, and "having" to use unmodified on top, vs trying to find a small piece of Spider Web and being able to use either their own or another modified thinset on top of it.

By the way, back in 1987, I built an addition to my house and I had a friend install about 600 sq feet of ceramic tile for me on top of the plywood subfloor I had put down. He used thinset and a latex additive, but put down no cement backer board or any membrane at all. In all these years, about 15 tiles have loosened, but they are in an area that was really hard to avoid walking on right after installation (he had cautioned us not to). these are mostly 8X8 inch tiles, but in the other room which is 16X10 foot with 6X6 inch tiles that got no "too soon" walking on, none have ever lossened at all, so I guess everybody's mileage may vary. I do want to do it "right" this time by myself.

Again, thanks to all including ChefWong for starting this thread.
:)

jadnashua
12-09-2011, 10:27 AM
Modified is stickier. On any tile that large regardless of the type of mortar used, you really need to burn in a layer of thinset on the backside of the tile first, and this doesn't hurt on any tile, but often is unnecessary. Since thinset sticks to thinset, you get instant tack that way. The key is, some porcelain is quite smooth, and compressing a layer of thinset into the pores can be a little tough, much easier if the thinset is mixed properly and is a decent quality. SOme tile come with a mold release on them still, and that can make it even tougher for the thinset to get initial tack. When you are not mixing a whole bag of thinset (common for DIY'er), you may not get the right mixture. It is also not uncommon to fail to mix it properly.

A little story from a class at CTEF (essentially a tile school run by the Tile Council of North America): A manufactuer's rep was visiting a pro who had complained about one of their products. The pro was complaining that the stuff wasn't smooth and had a lousy texture. The pro watched as he mixed up a batch and then started setting tile. The pro said he'd get back to him. A month or so later, the rep came back with a bag of thinset and asked the guy to try it; said it was a 'new' bag formula. The guy started to mix it up. The rep had been watching his watch. The pro stopped mixing, the pro said keep mixing. this went on several times. They pro then tried it and his comment was: this stuff is amazing, really smooth, spreads nice, what did you change? The rep said, you mixed the same stuff exactly per the instructions on the bag, it's exactly the same stuff you complained about before! There's a reason they give you a timeframe and RPM for your mixing paddle, and the shape of the paddle can make a big difference, too. Some will add too much air into the mix, some won't mix it up well.

There's a learning curve on the use of anything. If you've got a quality dryset (and pretty much any manufacturer has a price leader and a premium dryset mortar), mix it well, it works. If your mix is too dry or not mixed long enough, it is stiff and doesn't spread well, and has much less initial tack. Then, it can be a pain to get it to stick or fill in. This is true for a modified, too, and maybe more so if you want all the extra properties you pay for.

The issue with a modified thinset between two impervious waterproof layers is drying. If you allow enough time without disturbing it, it will work. Since the manufactuer isn't there to babysit and enforce those restrictions, and it would be really tough on a pro job where time is of the essence, they recommend a product that will always work.

chefwong
12-09-2011, 10:29 AM
GraniRapid I've used once in a marble setup. I consider Granirapid a special application mortar - IMO. It's a very Rapid Setting Product with great hold. A bit too rapid for me.....and it's also very expensive . 2 Part combo probably runs about $80+ here. My sales rep even agreed that it's a *special application* mortar and he's a sales guy....

Bob, I know you mentioned Versabond and alot of the folks over at JB recommend Versabond.

I'm old skool. I like buying tile products from tile shops-suppliers. Hit up your local Mapei or Laticrete store and strike a conversation....
At the end of the day, on this job or the next tile job, when you run into a bind.....and need a specialized application product, you may be going to the *tile supply* store to get the right product. Support the little box guys if you can. I try as much as I can.

jadnashua
12-09-2011, 10:41 AM
FWIW, when Schluter products first were used by John Bridge, he liked them and the concept, but didn't trust the use of an unmodified. He chose to use Versabond, a lightly modified thinset. As he became more familiar with the stuff, his trust level improved, and he switched to a good unmodified. So, since on the internet, it is very hard to erase anything, that still shows up as an alternative. I only met him once, but he switched to a unmodified. A lot of the Schluter line has been around for 30-years, it works for those applications it was designed for as spec'ed. None of the other copies, modifications on their product have been around anywhere near that long, and some of them were specifically developed to solve certain problem installation situations. They probably work long term, and given the right circumstances, are likely a fine choice. No one product is perfect for all situations. Don't blame the car for unintended accelleration when the operator was pressing the gas instead of the brake!

johnfrwhipple
12-10-2011, 05:41 AM
Listen to the posts above.

From an DIYer. He had a hard time using non-modified thinset. So did thousands of people for ages. This is why modified thin sets where invented.

1). Higher initial grab
2). Better expansion abilities
3). Longer working times

And on and on.

Schluter's Kerdi does not allow the use of modified thin sets. You can not use modified thinsets over Kerdi or Ditra and maintain your warranty.

Noble Seal TS does allow the use of modified or un-modified thin sets.

Spider Web does as well

Dural does does as well.

Bond breakers are the number one reason for a tile failure. Walking on tiles certainly will disturb them but often it is the packaging dust on tile that is to blame or the fine layer of dust on the sub floor.

Keep your job site clean. Sweep up and mop the area with a sponge. Don't set over drywall compound - scrape it off the floor. Wipe the backs of the tile and back butter.

When your setting tile you should be with every new mix of mortar and every so often be setting a tile and then removing it to check coverage rates. This is old school advice and standard operating procedure here in Vancouver for us. Not to beat a dead horse but if you first set Kerdi and then tile how can you do this? The lifting back up of a tile creates suction and can pull Kerdi of the wall. Case in point for why we use rapid setting mortars.

The use of a modified thinsets will make your life easier. Clean tiles and subfloors give you the best chance of a good install.

If your install fails - do you not want a warranty of some kind? I do.