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Old 02-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #1
sdCanuck
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RedGard vs Ditra for tile on slab?

Hi all,

I am re-tiling about 600 sq ft on the main floor of my house. The floor is concrete slab, and was built in 1986. The existing 18" tiles are in good shape, and don't show any cracking or anything. In other words, I have no reason to expect any major problems.

That being said, I feel like it's best to install some sort of crack isolation system onto the slab before installing new tile. I've worked with Ditra in the past on a second floor (plywood substrate) installation, and had great results. For this application, I'm considering using RedGard instead (it's a little cheaper, and possibly may allow for a quicker installation - although I haven't researched dry-times yet).

What are the pros/cons of using RedGard instead of Ditra for this application? Is the cost savings worth it? Or do I use neither and just install the tile directly onto the slab?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Ken.

If crack isolation is your goal, the answer is obvious: RedGard. While Ditra is many things, it's advertised properties don't include crack isolation.

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Old 02-17-2018, 10:43 AM   #3
sdCanuck
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Hi Bubba,

Thanks for the warm welcome.

My experience with Ditra is that it's main purpose is to be an uncoupling membrane. Perhaps you're thinking of Kerdi, which is just meant to be a waterproofing membrane?

I guess what I'm really asking is if RedGard is good enough?
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:53 AM   #4
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Welcome, Ken.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken
My experience with Ditra is that it's main purpose is to be an uncoupling membrane.
That is both true and accurate. Problem there is that the ceramic tile industry has no clear (or even unclear) definition of "uncoupling," nor has it any test or standard for the material.

Crack isolation, on the other hand has a clear definition and a test and standards for such materials. So, if you want crack isolation, use a product meeting ANSI A118.12. RedGard is such a product.

Personally, if I wanted serious crack isolation I'd use a sheet-type membrane, but the liquid-applied membranes pass the testing and if properly applied are known to work as advertised.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:05 PM   #5
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Most failures with Redgard seem to be from installing it too thin. Back when I did work for builders, they wanted a cheap anti-fracture membrane that worked. I used Redgard under thousands of sq ft of tile and stone without problems. I just made sure I had the proper thickness and I used it over the whole floor, not just over the cracks.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:03 PM   #6
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Take two (or more) people, give them the same brush or roller, and the same stuff, and you'll get different thickness applied. WIth a typical roller, you'll get a different thickness across the thing depending on how hard you are pushing as the handle shaft only goes in on one side and the roller will bend a bit, making the pressure uneven across the roller and thus the resulting film thickness. So, since these things really do require them to be applied evenly and within the min/max values specified to work right, IMHO, a sheet is more reliable. Certainly it can work, and does if you have the skill and understanding and check your wet film thickness.

WIth most of the membranes, you don't have to wait to start tiling after it is down, which can be a factor on some jobs. You do have to wait for the liquid to dry before you can start tiling.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdCanuck
Perhaps you're thinking of Kerdi, which is just meant to be a waterproofing membrane?
No, I’m not thinking of Kerdi. I’m talking about Ditra. CX said it well. Ditra is not rated or tested to be a crack isolation membrane.

...but RedGard is. It passes the test. And unlike when you use RedGard for waterproofing, you don’t need to apply it as thick when using for crack isolation. I have no reservations using it for crack isolation. And like CX, if I needed a high-performance crack isolation membrane, I’d use a sheet mebrane like Nobleseal CIS.

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Old 02-18-2018, 06:56 AM   #8
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If I were using a roll-on type membrane, I'd get Custom's Fracture Free. It's a little cheaper the Redgard.

But I'd also want a membrane over a slab, and Laticrete Stratamat does offer crack isolation and a cheaper price than Ditra. I buy mine through Amazon, and buying two rolls should get you a good price.
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