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Old 03-01-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
kdenault
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In floor radiant heat...rpm mats

So I will be installing radiant heat wire in a sunroom addition which houses at swim spa. The substrate is Advantech over crawl space. The slab of the crawl space was spray foamed. The walls of the crawl space and the room are also spray foamed, as well as the ceiling. The room will be heated with a dedicated ductless mini split system. I will be laying down the rpm mats, the wire, grommets, then bonding agent, then SLC, then thinset (modified?), then the tile. The tile is a combination of jade pebble tile and stainless steel pebble tile (stainless wrapped over ceramic base). The tile are set on mosaic mesh. I plan on using an epoxy grout.
The questions:
1. Is any particular SLC recommended for applications with electric in floor radiant heating?
2. I've read different things about the need for an uncoupling membrane or anti-crack membrane on top of the SLC. Not sure if it's needed here as the tile is "pebble" pieces. But, I did read that one needs to wait about 30 days for the SLC to cure before setting tile. Don't really want to do that! In speaking with the rpm mat people, they said nothing else is needed other than what I mentioned above.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,
Kathleen
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
posted by Kathleen:
I will be laying down the rpm mats, the wire, grommets, then bonding agent, then SLC, then thinset (modified?), then the tile. The tile is a combination of jade pebble tile and stainless steel pebble tile (stainless wrapped over ceramic base). The tile are set on mosaic mesh. I plan on using an epoxy grout.

The questions:
1. Is any particular SLC recommended for applications with electric in floor radiant heating?
2. I've read different things about the need for an uncoupling membrane or anti-crack membrane on top of the SLC. Not sure if it's needed here as the tile is "pebble" pieces. But, I did read that one needs to wait about 30 days for the SLC to cure before setting tile. Don't really want to do that! In speaking with the rpm mat people, they said nothing else is needed other than what I mentioned above.
Hi Kathleen

1) There are quite a few SLC brands out there. Personally I use Laticrete NXT Level if you can get it. Big box stores don't carry it. With any Leveler use exact amount of water when you mix and block off perimeter and any holes or cracks in the floor. This stuff flows and will flow through a thin crack.

2)not sure where you heard about waiting 30 days for SLC that applies to fresh concrete. You can tile same day on SLC if it is rapid set and next day if it is not. As for a membrane on top of the SLC you can't use pebbles on top of some of those uncoupling membranes so look into that. You could put a liquid crack isolation over the SLC. You need a very flat surface to tile pebbles onto.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #3
Richard Tunison
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I'd love to see a picture of the pebble tiles you chose. They sound very interesting.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #4
kdenault
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Smile

Well...the tile is going to be a self-made blend of the white jade and stainless steel pebbles: cutting some white pebbles out of the mesh backing and inserting stainless pebbles randomly...we'll see how it works!
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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Jon,
I guess my question is really more about whether or not a form of crack isolation over the SLC is necessary? Could I just thinset right over the SLC and tile?
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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Welcome back, Kathleen.

Choose any major brand of SLC that you find readily available in your area. Whatever you choose, I would recommend you contact the manufacturer directly and ask specifically about using it over the RPM mat.

I personally would not install ceramic or natural stone tile over a radiant heating system without an uncoupling or anti-fracture membrane, but I know it's done regularly. With your pebbles and epoxy I don't know what problems you might anticipate, but I'd be happy to pay a premium not to find out.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:28 PM   #7
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Cx,
What membrane would you recommend and what would be the typical installation method for it?
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #8
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Kathleen, what size are the pebbles? That will determine what you can use as for an uncoupling membrane, you might need to use a liquid crack isolation liquid which imo would be the best over slc since it would be very flat. The uncoupling membranes have a minimum size requirement. Let me check that out, personally I would use a liquid paint on over the slc and there are many of those out there.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #9
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check out this thread, answers your question of min. 2X2 over ditra

John used greenskin over his slc for these mosaic tiles, a nice option

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...d.php?t=111712
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:00 PM   #10
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I would recommend a good sheet-type membrane like NobleSeal, installed with one of their proprietary adhesives, such as NobleBond EXT. Perfectly acceptable for your small stone tiles.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #11
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Would RedGuard be suitable or should I go with something more like Greenskin? My pebble tiles are fairly large...smallest being about 1 1/2 inches. I prefer a single step process but want something effective. Also, one of the borders of the floor area that will be heated, slc'ed, and then tiled, is a newly built cedar deck (housing the swim spa). I'm a little concerned about running the SLC and then the thinset right up to the cedar due to the wood's inherent contraction/expansion/movement. Is there something that I can use to create a nice clean barrier between the tiling system and the cedar?
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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Caution: RPM acts like* a waterproof barrier with 5/16" or 1/2" SLC on top. Putting another waterproof barrier over that may create a moisture sandwich. Contact Mike at RPM and your separation layer mfgr for guidance.

* "like" meaning that for each 5 sq ft RPMmat/sheet, it is waterproof all but the seams. So large areas are a sandwich - so itsa judgment call.

I feel that the RPM mat would have similar qualities as the method used with the Ditra-e heat. Separation layer just under the RPM with heat and tile above.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:49 PM   #13
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Yeah...in my chats on Master Warehouse (distributor of RPM mats...not sure of this is Mike or not???)...they said that an uncoupling membrane is not needed. Just SLC, thinset, and tile. I guess my concern was more about what was needed on top of the SLC and not what was underneath it. I just don't want to make a mistake with this
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:42 PM   #14
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So Kevin...I should be ok with adhering the TPM mats to the Advantech subfloor, lay the wire, spray bonding agent, SLC, thinset and tile. Waterproofing is dealt with by the RPM mats...don't want a moisture sandwich! Do you think potential cracking is still an issue that needs to be addressed?
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:11 AM   #15
kdenault
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Bostik Dimension, Star Glass, or just glitter in grout???

I am laying a tile floor with electric radiant heat in a spa room. I am using a self made blend of large jade flat pebbles and stainless steel wrapped ceramic pebbles set on mesh. I would like to bring in some more color (to echo the cedar deck around the spa) with the grout. I particularly like the copper epoxy grout from Bostik Dimension line, which bought out Star Glass grout several years ago. However, I am not using glass tile so the translucent quality of the Dimension grout will be a bit unrealized although I really do like that bit of sparkle it has from the minute glass spheres of which it consists. My issue is that Dimension is quite pricey (around $100 per 9 oz premixed container). With about 240 sq ft to tile and grout...this is a bit much!
I have read about using grout as an additive when mixing epoxy grout (SpectraLock???) or simply adding it to regular grout.
Does anyone have any opinions on which is the preferred method to add a little sparkle to the grout...I know the purists are probably grimacing, but this is a fun unique space that calls for a fun and unique design.

Thanks,
Kathleen
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