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Old 12-13-2017, 08:01 AM   #1
jwil04
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Large Format Wall Tile

Can anybody direct me on which mortar to use when tiling the shower wall with 12"x24" tiles? I plan on doing it on top of hardie backer and kerdi membrane.

Is there any other advice with tiling on the wall with such large tile? Will there be issues with lippage or noticeable problems with tile imperfections?

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:48 AM   #2
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You set yourself up for PIA by using Hardie rather than drywall.

Schluter would recommend their mortars and will warranty the products when used with them. I'd feel confident with Custom's Versabond LFT available at HD around here.

A lippage tuning system will be helpful if you tiles not flat and/or big tile is new to you. Be mindful of offset patterns especially.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:21 AM   #3
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Hi Jared,

If you don't want to use drywall behind the Kerdi use any cement board other than Hardi. Hardi-backer is just too thirsty, and unless you constantly sprinkle it with water you won't be able to spread thinset and install the membrane.

If you want to follow Schluter specs use any unmodified thinset. I've used VersaBond a lot because I've never worried about warranty.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

I guess I will go with Durock cement board or drywall since I plan on using the Kerdi membrane.

What is PIA?

Any suggestions for a specific lippage tuning system?

By being mindful of offset patterns are you referring to specific patterns like 50/50 offset that may cause more lippage problems?
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:29 AM   #5
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I’m just about finish with my shower project using LFT tile, 12x24 tiles. I installed the Durock waterproof membrane over Durock concrete board using Versabond thinset. Then i used Versabond LFT thinset and the Vortex tile leveling system. I did a 50/50 brickyard pattern with no lipage problems. I know the industry recommends a 70/30 split bit i tested several of my tiles for flatness and had no issues. Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:37 PM   #6
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Jared, PIA is pain in ass, like John described.

Lippage problems are primarily from three things, often a combo of all on a given job. Tile course offset, flatness of tile itself and setting bed unevenness. All will contribute to outcome.

I use MLT system, but it's a significant $$ outlay for a single job. There are others that will work just fine, the concept is the same.

I know it seems counterintuitive, but many thousands of showers have been successfully built using drywall and Kerdi. It stuck in my craw at first, but Schluter proved my fears baseless in a way I couldn't argue with.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:25 PM   #7
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May I piggyback this thread and ask why Mapei LFT mortar says floors only? Have always wondered
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:34 PM   #8
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Not sure what data sheet your reading but the data sheet i am reading says

WHERE TO USE
• Interior/exterior residential and commercial installations on floors and
walls in dry and wet areas (see wall specifications under “Limitations”)
• Installation of ceramic and porcelain tile; cultured stone; quarry tile; pavers;
Saltillo tile; and most types of marble, granite and natural stone
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #9
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The bags I have say floors only on the front. Didn't read the fine print though.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:47 PM   #10
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Some mortars are good at grip (anti-sag), some aren't. If you have good technique and tools, you don't need an anti-sag mortar on the wall, but it can sure help. IT may be that that mortar works really well on a floor where sag isn't an issue (as in sliding down the wall verses sitting flat on a floor), but on a wall, it's more challenging. A larger tile can give problems depending on the type of spacer you use (assume you use one) as some are somewhat soft and can compress as you stack up the tile and since one course is quite heavy verses smaller ones that take more time to get up and start to set, that also may contribute to the issue.

Then again, this could be totally wrong!
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:32 AM   #11
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So the bags I've seen and are available to me are Large Floor Tile Mortar, which does not have any walls listed on its data sheet. What would make such a difference to not use on walls? Case of curiosity....
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:29 AM   #12
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Any suggestions on using a 1/4" or 1/2" trowel with unmodified thinset for the LFT on kerdi board?

Is there an easy way to roughly figure out the depth of the mortar between the tile and the wall based on your trowel size without actually doing a test run?
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:53 PM   #13
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1- 1/2 would be the way to go for large tiles.
2- Not really. You would have to know your troweling technique, thinset used, and general attitude for the day.
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:44 PM   #14
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Having just completed a shower with large format (12x24) tile (you can find the thread, though I haven't uploaded final pictures yet) as a DIYer doing shower and large tile for the first time.

I used Kerabond T. Liked the open time (which I needed because I picked a ridiculously complicated pattern) I might use versabond next time. I used a bit of it on the floor (under ditra and for some of the floor tile) and didn't like how it mixed quite as much, but it wasn't too bad.

1/2" trowel definitely. Getting mortar coverage completely uniform requires a lot of practice. As does technique in collapsing the ridges. I made my mortar a bit on the wet side and slid the tile at least an inch perpendicular to the ridges to collapse them. It's not a gentle "wiggle". Definitely use a leveling system. I have a little bit of lippage even with all that, but it's not too bad...

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Old 01-12-2018, 09:41 AM   #15
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Thanks Bruce. What leveling system did you use?
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