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Thread: Laticrete thinsets

  1. #1
    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    Default Laticrete thinsets

    I have a few questions about thinsets and mortars before I gather supplies for my bath remodel. I already have some Laticrete products (HydroBan) and was going to use their thinsets if possible. I've found that I can get the 317 and 3701 thinsets locally. With more phone calls I might be able to locate others also. I'm looking for advice from installers that have used Laticrete before. I plan on porceline tile on walls & floor.

    1.) What thinset to use on floor between plywood and Ditra?

    2.) What thinset to use between Ditra and tile?

    3.) What thinset to use on walls between (hardibacker/cementboard) and tile?

    4.) Why does thinset come in white or gray? Are there different applications for each?

    5.) What the meaning of bonded and non-bonded?

    6.) I see that Lowe's carries Laticrete Multipurpose thinset. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. Is it OK, or is it just in-house crap?

    7.) Has anyone had any experience with Laticrete pre-sloped shower pans? Still haven't decided if I'll take the easy route, or attempt a mortar bed.

    Thanks guys. If it makes a difference, I'm in Northern California.

  2. #2
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Laticrete Thin-Sets - 254 Platinum Gray or White



    Laticrete has a large product line.

    I just picked up a couple bags of 254 Platinum Grey for the walls and a combination of 254 Platinum grey and 209 Floor Mud to tile the shower floor. Shower walls and floor are waterproofed with Hydro Ban. A spanking California Faucets point drain is installed.

    If you use the right products from Laticrete you can get a 25 year warranty. That's the goal of this shower.

    JW
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-06-2013 at 09:05 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Some have reported that white thinset tends to be slightly higher in performance on average. On the white verses grey, the additives need to be purer in the white. Some tile is translucent or even transparent. If you have one of those, or are planning to use a light colored grout, you probably would want to use white thinset since it wouldn't tend to change the color of the tile unless the tile was say black. So, the choice of thinset color is subjective - it can make a difference in the appearance of the tile. Ditra requires a modified thinset for embedding it on the plywood subfloor and an unmodified for setting the tile on top of it. Unmodified, or dryset mortars come in various grades...you really don't want the minimum spec thinset as it has a lot more sand/cement than the premium dryset (thinset usually has more than just sand and cement in it, sometimes lots more). While all sold today probably meet the minimum specs, they leave little room for error, may not trowel out as smooth, and will have less strength - you don't want their price leader, but their premium dryset. Sometimes, it's a question of how much is enough, but especially for a DIY'er, avoiding the price leader is a good idea. Most thinset suppliers also sell a decent dryset mortar and a separate admix or modifier. So, this can make things easier when you need both types. Instead of buying a bag(s) of each, buy all unmodified, then mix it per the bag instructions with just water and you have a dryset; mix it per the instructions on the admix, and you have a modified. A modified comes with a dry version of that stuff in the bottle so you only mix in water. But, it's essentially the same thing, so you can then choose to use it or not and voila...two types, no half bags left over of multiple types of mortar. Course, you may end up with some extra admix, which does have a shelf-life, but is easier to get rid of than a half-bag of thinset.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    Default

    Great advice, Thanks.....Few more questions.........Is modified thinset the same as polymer fortified? ...............When you said "you don't want their price leader, but their premium dryset", what do you mean? Wouldn't they both be the same thing?................And, in regard to thinsets, what does modified do that un-modified won't? (or visa-versa).......Thanks again guys
    Last edited by SH140; 03-20-2013 at 05:55 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    SOrt of like there are multiple grades of gasoline, there are the same things in thinsets...but instead of octane, it's the amount and quality of the working components, like more cement in the better ones. This applies to both dryset (unmodified) and modified (fortified) thinsets. Modified, fortified, same thing. A modified thinset once it cures, for the same grade, is stronger than an equivalent dryset mortar and a little bit flexible. A modified thinset also requires it to both dry (the modifiers need to dry out to perform their job) and the cement cure to provide the stated strength. The reason why Schluter specifies a dryset on top of the membrane is because testing has shown a modified there between the waterproof membrane and an essentially waterproof porcelain tile is still 'wet' and hasn't reached its full strength after several months, which is when they stopped the test. Since an unmodified does not dry out, it only cures, it actually gets stronger when it can retain and chemically incorporate all of the moisture into the structure of the cement. It reaches it's full strength easily within 'normal' timeframes. FWIW, thinset, properly mixed and installed, is specified for a certain strength after 28-days, but achieves a lot of it in the first few. In reality, it keeps getting stronger for decades. Because a modified under tile on Ditra could stay 'wet' for months, it could move, breaking the bond before it has a chance to properly cure. Most people won't wait that long, so since an unmodified easily reaches its full potential under these circumstances in short order, and is plenty strong enough, it works great. Another FWIW, a good unmodified on porcelain might reach 300psi shear strength, a modified might reach 375psi or so. On a 12x12 tile, that's TONS to shear it off...the structure is likely to fail first. This all assumes you do things properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Expired Thinsets - Checking Dates is so important!

    So I broke one of my rules yesterday that I drive weekly into my apprentices head.

    I never checked the date code! #$%^

    We get ready to start laying the floor tile in the shower and my apprentice tells me that we are stuck. He then says with a slight grin "Did you check the date codes before leaving?". I laugh and say "No" and he tells me the 209 Floor Mud is 13 months old!

    Never buy thinset you don't know the age of. Thinset has a one year shelf life and that is max max I would go. We try and not use any thin set older than 3 months.

    The 2 bags of 254 Platniumum where only 2 months old. Notice the month of production in the picture above. JW


    Laticrete has the best packaging in the industry and their date code easy to read. The date is right on the top of each bag.
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-06-2013 at 09:06 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Even stuff within the use by date may be bad if it wasn't stored properly or the packaging got damaged...good point, as you often cannot tell if it's bad. A small amount of moisture may not make the contents hard brick, but can still hydrolyze (cure) the cement particles, so instead of curing into a nice, strong mortar, it's essentially a slurry of sand and cured cement particles, with nothing, or little, to hold it together...it may mix and look fine. I had someone try to sell me some SLC that was nearly 2-years old one time, told them sorry, no. They couldn't understand why. Places that sell to pros tend to keep fresh and move lots, so sometimes it's a good idea to shop there verses a big box store where someone may have left the pallet out in the rain or forgot to rotate things properly, pushing the older to the back.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Sticky anti-sag thin sets - Laticrete 254

    Set a few huge tiles yesterday with the 254 Platinum thin set.



    Forgot how sticky the stuff is. Amazing holding power!!!

    JW
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-06-2013 at 09:06 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    There are a few things I'm still wondering about...........

    1.) I see that one of the big-box stores carries Laticrete "Multipurpose" thinset. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. Is it OK, or is it just in-house crap?

    2.) Has anyone had any experience with Laticrete pre-sloped shower pans? Still haven't decided if I'll take the easy route, or attempt a mortar bed.

    3.) What about drains? Schluter, Laticrete, or something else?

  10. #10
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Multipurpose Thins-Sets - Laticrete Products

    Quote Originally Posted by SH140 View Post
    There are a few things I'm still wondering about...........
    1.) I see that one of the big-box stores carries Laticrete "Multipurpose" thinset. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. Is it OK, or is it just in-house crap?

    Never tried it so I can't say.

    2.) Has anyone had any experience with Laticrete pre-sloped shower pans? Still haven't decided if I'll take the easy route, or attempt a mortar bed.


    I've seen one displayed at my local supplier. Gloria at Centanni says she has sold many and that no one has complained as yet. They look a little cheap to me. Looks like nothing more than white styrofoam and some mesh and some Hydro Ban.

    You can make a great shower pan with Laticrete 3701 Fortified Mortar Bed.

    Given the choice between a Styrofoam Shower Base and a Concrete one I'd go the cement route every time.


    3.) What about drains? Schluter, Laticrete, or something else?

    That is a great question.

    You should love the look of the shower drain. Have you looked at many styles?

    Have you seen this Ideabook of mine?
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-06-2013 at 09:07 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    I'm starting to think that almost all the pre-sloped shower pans being used are by newbies, or maybe contractors doing lots of installs at one time (like in a hotel). Maybe it's time to watch videos on mud-beds again.

    As far as drains, I've mostly checked out only Schluter and Laticrete.

    I've looked a little at the linear drains, but they seem SO expensive. I don't really plan on this remodel being any kind of "showcase"........Just curious..when you use a linear drain, isn't the bottom row of tile on the side walls going to be taller on one end than the other because of the slope?

  12. #12
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SH140 View Post
    I'm starting to think that almost all the pre-sloped shower pans being used are by newbies, or maybe contractors doing lots of installs at one time (like in a hotel). Maybe it's time to watch videos on mud-beds again.

    As far as drains, I've mostly checked out only Schluter and Laticrete.

    I've looked a little at the linear drains, but they seem SO expensive. I don't really plan on this remodel being any kind of "showcase"........Just curious..when you use a linear drain, isn't the bottom row of tile on the side walls going to be taller on one end than the other because of the slope?
    ACO has a new budget friendly linear drain for sale. Check it out. Still waiting for my new price list here in Canada but they are being installed in California. One of my clients in California has already installed one.

    The slope for a linear drain is one way when the drain and mortar bed is set over the waterproofing. The pre-slope is sloped all to the center drain.

    Ready made shower kits are designed to be installed in volume. 13 a day at least.

    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A linear drain can be centered or at the 'far' wall, the details of sealing it may differ. The bottom row of tile will not be 'even' all around when you use this type of drain, but should be straight line(s). A mudbed is far less in materials than a premade pan, whether designed for tiling or not. A mudbed gives you the ability to make the shower the exact size you want with the drain exactly where you want (plumbing limitations aside). Used both. The foam pans 'feel' different and are warmer when you first step in, if that's an issue (might be if it were on say a basement slab). Both warm up pretty fast once you run the water on them, though. As to durability, once installed (properly!), either should last until you decide to remodel.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default Generosity on a large Scale - Laticrete to the rescue!!!

    Check this out.

    I just got an email from Laticrete (Henry Rothburg) letting me know that this lady who asked a few questions here and there is getting a total shower package prom'd and sent to her. Unbelievable how cool that was.

    Turns out her husband is deployed overseas and her story touched the folks at Laticrete.

    Never heard of that before. Class act in my books.

    JW
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-06-2013 at 09:08 AM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  15. #15
    DIY Member SH140's Avatar
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    Default

    Almost time to stick some tile to the walls and was wondering..........If you have a niche? (recess), do you guys tile the recess first, or after, tiling the wall?

    Also, at some point in the future, I'll be tiling a floor. I've already purchased a few bags of Laticrete 255. Can, or should, I use this for between Ditra and tile, and between plywood and Ditra?

    Thanks.

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