thinset drying time using ditra [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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03-09-2006, 10:30 PM
is it considered 'normal'for thinset to cure slower than usual when installing over ditra?what are the averages?

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Dave Gobis
03-09-2006, 11:53 PM
It would be considered normal for thinset to dry or cure more slowly over any impervious surface.

03-10-2006, 06:57 AM
reason i asked dave was i skimmed the remains of my thinset in a small area and placed a tile over it for laying out purposes.when i pcked it up next morning the thinset was still soft!

03-10-2006, 07:57 AM
yeah that ditra slows drying time down to a crawl

Dave Gobis
03-10-2006, 08:49 AM
So does covering it with a porcelain tile, even more so, no air.

03-10-2006, 03:11 PM
i finished the install yesterday at 2pm est.i want to grout it saturday reckon ill be ok.i gave it 40 hrs

03-10-2006, 03:23 PM
It should be ok.

03-11-2006, 07:00 AM
actually, I am trying Ditra for the first time with 12x12 porcelain tile. what drying time should I expect? A day, 2 days ?

03-11-2006, 08:51 AM
im off to grout mine now after almost 42hrs fingers crossed!

03-11-2006, 09:46 AM
olzo use non modified thinset and you won thave to wait

03-13-2006, 06:42 PM
Talked to Schluter rep about thiis and if you use non mod thinset it dries faster and cures sloer so it is stronger since ditra won't suck moisture like cement bd. Best part is is cheaper than cement bd since you can use cheaper mortor

Levi the Tile Guy
03-13-2006, 06:49 PM
I have said before I don't like detra, prolly cause I don't like change. Question is are any of the other detra wanna-bees. any good. I have a GC that is insisting I use it, and I was looking at I think it's called Blanche. It's blue and has a mesh on top. The mesh is why I think I'd rather use it.

John Bridge
03-13-2006, 07:17 PM

It's made by a company called Blanke (pronounced Blanca). It's called Uni-mat, and I think the product will work, but maybe it won't.

Here's the problem. Try to find product support anywhere, including their web site. Try to find out whether the product has been adequately tested. Ask anybody at Blanke (if you can get hold of anyone) why their product is better. The answer will be that "it's cheaper." What kind of warranty do they offer?

I've done all of those things, and I asked the question of a fella by name of "Blanke" down at Coverings three years ago. "It's cheaper" just doesn't quite cut it with me. :)

03-13-2006, 09:12 PM
I used Ditra on a 16x16 slate kitchen tile job last week. I noticed it took a long time to dry as well. I was going over asbestos vinyl tiles, and used a modified thinset under the Ditra/non-mod under slate. Seemed to cure after the 2nd day. I did notice the first day that things were still moving. Is this ok? It said that it was fine to lay the Ditra and tiles the same day. I grouted 2 days later. Everything seems fine so far. It has been a week and I am working on the trim now, so I keep looking at the grout.

Ditra was way easier to use than backerboard, but it seemed so flimsy comparatively. I guess that is a good thing? What do you all think about it?

Levi the Tile Guy
03-13-2006, 09:19 PM
No the cheaper thing doesn't cut it for me either John, I just like the mesh on top. That's prolly my biggest prob. with detra, and kerdi for that matter, is the way it feels when trowelen.

03-13-2006, 09:27 PM
Levi, I use both Ditra and Blanke mat. Just bought two rolls of Blanche at .92, best they could do on Ditra was 1.08sf. I've used Blanke for a couple of years and I've never had a problem, the meshing is relatively new. I just put down 600sf on the Blanche last week, feels good, and another 180sf this morning, I wouldn't be if I wasn't confident in the product. Actually, it was Ditra that I had problems with on one job, tiles just popped up in a couple of areas, probably a curing issue as the thinset was still dark.

03-16-2006, 07:33 AM
Hydroment has a new product out called Ditra set, a non modified thinset, Ive tried it, it is a nice product, a little expensive though. suppose to have a cure time of 12 hours which is nice. I usually wait 48 hrs to grout. That Blanke stuff I wouldnt use if they gave it to me. I dont even like the way they advertise their products.

John Mullett Tile co.
Lockport NY

03-16-2006, 09:25 AM
I just checked out the Blanke website. You have to load a page, get some kinda error on each page then back up and try again to get each page. :crazy:

Anyway seems they have a kerdi clone called aqua shield...cept its blue. It is also 8 mil polyethylene and has a two sided fleece...and they say to overlap 2 inches...they even have preformed corners and the thinner banding...I did not see a kerdi like drain though, but they do show them glueing to a top side drain flange in the install pdf :yawn: Interestingly they say its ok to install over plywood so I assume they are ok with modified thinset (or something like versabond).

For me, I think I will stick with kerdi and ditra for my little projects, while blue is my favorite color, the orange is growing on me. :shades:

Just out of curiosity though, have any of you guys tried any of the aqua shield stuff?

John Bridge
03-16-2006, 07:06 PM
I've said this in other posts. I'll preface it with saying I've never tried Blanke products.

Anybody can knock off someone else's product after that someone else has done all the R&D (takes years) and provided continuous training and product updates. Blanke has done zilch, and Blanke is doing zilch. You cannot find a thread of tech support out there. They conduct no training. They have very few reps, and the reps they have do not provide training on the products or support on the products they sell. You cannot contact them with questions. No wonder they can sell the stuff cheaper.

If you all want cheap, there is another outfit out there making knock-offs. It's called Protega, and it's even less accessible than Blanke. I haven't looked lately, but when I did you couldn't even determine where they are located by viewing their web site. There was also no way to contact them. If you can find it, their product is cheaper than Blanke's. :)

As old Forrrest Gump said, that's all I have to say about that. :)

03-17-2006, 08:40 AM
And to add, I would be afraid of bad quality runs of the knockoff stuff...I find that most knockoff stuff is a crappy representation of the original, though not always ... mostly because they skipped a lot of the R&D on the production side too or they used inferior material. For instance the protegga stuff is made of polypropylene (normally a harder plastic) while the ditra stuff is made of polyethylene (normally more rubbery and pliable which makes more sense for an isolation layer). I figure the protegga bunch is going with polypropylene because its cheaper for them to use. As far as the blanke stuff, they use polyethylene so they are ok there, but then there are different grades of the stuff...any bets on which stuff is more durable and consistently made, I am betting on kerdi and ditra myself.

Blanke does have an interesting uncoupling underlayment called permat that appears to be their own (or they stole it from elsewhere) does not waterproof, but the concept is interesting...I would like to know what Bob the engineer thinks about such a layer...whether it would actually help with deflection like they claim with its crisscrossing layers of plastic and fiberglass once its buried in thinset. Of course I personally am on a slab, so really its of no use to me, I am just curious about its viability...ditra is usefuel to me due to the possibility of cracking in the slab. If it does work good, I think schluter might want to steal it from them as payback and improve on it :devil: (though seriously I think the best thing is to fix the actual souce of deflection).

03-17-2006, 09:44 PM
Competition is a good thing, it keeps prices down. I appreciate what Schluter has done, I would appreciate more if they would bring their prices down. In my expierence Blanke is every bit as good as Ditra, for less money. Ditra is the one that said ok, you have to use unmodified b/w tile and Ditra, then it changed back, and I don't even know what the deal is now, I just ask at the suppliers. I understand the brand loyalty thing, but I got a business to run, and if two underlayments are equal, it just makes good business sense to go with the cheaper one and put more money in my pocket, it's called capitalism. However, if it were demonstrated that Blanke was inferior, I would use Ditra exclusively. As it stands, I like to keep my options open.

03-21-2006, 09:48 PM
I live In CO and the company I work for has used Unimat for two years. We have recently experienced so many failures. Unimat has a batch number, like paint and stuff. When our Unimat rep from Salt Lake City came to inspect a 550 sq. ft. floor I set, the felt delaminated from the plastic. Upon further research (by the batch number) the product was shipped from Germany and sat in a Sealand storage container at a dock in Houston (during the summer). The heat in the container and a hurricane named Katrina did that whole container no justice. Unimat still sent the product to its distributors and guys like me got to install failed. The house was reset with 1/2" Durock, new porcelain tile and a weeks worth of labor. My estimate (product and labor) is that particular home cost Unimat $25k to replace. We have experienced more failures since then with this product, unfortunately. Steer clear from it.
On another note: Ditra's felt and plastic are "molded" as one, instead of being glued together. So far so good with Ditra! We now use Ditra instead of Unimat.

Levi the Tile Guy
03-21-2006, 09:54 PM
Where at in CO. are you? A rep from salt lake, sounds like you are in my neck of the woods.

03-23-2006, 09:38 PM
Colorado Springs here

Dave Gobis
03-23-2006, 09:48 PM
Colorado Springs? Really? Me too till Sunday.