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Old 08-15-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
WillK
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Will's first floor small 3/4 bathroom project

I wanted to see if someone here could set me straight as to exactly what I need to install and when on my flooring I plan to put in. I want to use Warm Tiles from Menards:

https://www.menards.com/main/heating...0862448&ipos=1

I've read through the instructions, but it leaves me a little uncertain about underlayment. I am comfortable working with HardiBacker, and I'll be using 1/2" hardibacker on the hallway outside (yes I know so often 1/4" is recommended, I'm using 1/2" to match up with adjacent flooring...)

I'm installing over new 3/4" OSB subfloor with Daltile 18x18 ceramic tiles.

Reading through the directions they describe that you have to embed the wire in a layer of mortar, let that dry, then spread mortar and apply tile as you normally would.

So what I'm wondering, should I go ahead and put down a 1/4" layer of HardiBacker, then the wire, then the embedment layer, then the tile setting mortar and the tile? Or is there something I should do different?

Asking now before I buy the flooring materials. I'm still working on framing the walls and rough plumbing that goes in the walls at this point. Planning to do a big buy on materials this weekend so I can open a credit account and get the 10% discount on my materials purchase.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:38 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Will.

Your link shows only a programable thermostat. Perhaps a link to the actual warming wire system would be more informative.

Such systems usually don't require the use of any sort of underlayment, but I hesitate to comment without knowing what you plan to install.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:18 PM   #3
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https://hw.menardc.com/main/items/me...structions.pdf
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:25 PM   #4
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Once the mats have been fitted to the area in which they are being installed, they can be affixed to the floor with the adhesive side
of the mesh. The mats are then covered with a uniform scratch coat so that it just covers the heating cables. For ease of tiling, the
scratch coat is applied evenly over the entire floor area. When the scratch coat is dry, the tiles can be set in the usual manner. This
method will result in a floor height increase of about 5/16 higher than without any floor warming system installed.

above is right from the instructions.

you lay the backerboard, then stick the cable mats down with the adhesive backing. then lay a scratch coat of mortar. once dry, mortar then tile.

the thickness of your base bakerboard will be determined by how solid your flooring is (how much deflection), and how high you want the finished flooring to be. if your flooring is solid and no deflection, then you can get away with quarter inch backer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:28 PM   #5
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If it's the stuff that's linked to above then you want to install your Hardibacker, then the heat wire, then flat coat over it with thinset mortar to embed it and protect it. Then tile over that. You'll get some uneven areas where the heat mat stops.

I don't know if self-leveling is ok over that. It might be that the mesh interferes. It might be that there's no practical way to prime it also.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
the thickness of your base bakerboard will be determined by how solid your flooring is (how much deflection), and how high you want the finished flooring to be. if your flooring is solid and no deflection, then you can get away with quarter inch backer.
Not correct, Mike. The subflooring requirements are the same regardless the thickness of CBU chosen. The CBU manufacturers recommend their thinner quarter-inch material for all floor applications unless additional finished floor height is desired.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:18 AM   #7
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I thought that's what I said, well it's what I was thinking
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:33 AM   #8
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I'm actually using the cable system, which is here:
https://www.menards.com/main/heating...4148253&ipos=6

This bathroom is going to be fairly small, overall it's 5'9 by 6', so by the time you put in a vanity, a neo angle shower and a toilet, it's not really very conducive to using a mat, I really need the flexibility of a cable system.

This is my second tile installation since discovering these forums and I've gone through the structural work to ensure good deflection numbers.. And I'm framing this bathroom in a manner that reduces the unsupported span for the floor joists above, looking ahead to the existing bathroom which will be my third tile project.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
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Question about tile size availability/trends

Somehow I anticipate some might point out that my problem is too much reliance on big box stores, and I'll just say it is what it is... I like the convenience of being able to walk in to a store, look at a few choices and walk out with what I need... Setting that aside...

For my current project, I polled my family and we're going with a color scheme that uses light blue walls and gray tiling. My house ended up mostly white with mostly original oak hardwood floor and beige carpet upstairs, I'm going room by room and things are going to be more colorful, but I also ended up with blue in the kitchen, I'm hoping for more variety in other rooms....

Okay getting to my point though. Looking at what is available in stock, I've noticed that if I want what I thought was a pretty standard 12x12 tile, if I want gray the closest I can get is slate tile. Otherwise, it's a special order. I have a few choices in 6x24 or 12x224 and I'm likely going to get 18x18... But I'm not especially thrilled with the larger sizes.

My house was built in 1926 and my floor joists are not by any stretch of the imagination straight. I'm doing my best to make up for that with sistering new 2x8's and installing new subfloor, but I'm one man, and I can't pretend I'm going to get a perfectly flat level floor when my starting point is sagging an inch lower in the middle and my newly framed walls are 1.25" different on one end compared with the other.

I'm just wondering if the bigger tiles is some kind of trend and if there's some reason for it? If I should be shopping somewhere else, I'm open to recommendations in the northern suburbs of Detroit (Oakland county).
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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did you read the instructions? its pretty much the same thing. First secure the backerboard, then you screw a strapping to the ground spaced apart and thread the cable through it. Scratch coat of mortar over it. Let it dry, then tile.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:20 AM   #11
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This for the bathroom with the floor heat, Will?

If you'll add that geographic location to your User Profile it'll appear permanently to help in responding to some types of questions. If you don't, the information will be lost before we leave this page.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:32 AM   #12
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I did read the instructions, that's what brought me here... It had directions for securing the cable guides in plywood or in cement, so it wasn't clear to be whether cement was referring to a cement floor as you'd have in a basement or whether that included cement backerboard underlayment over an OSB subfloor as I'm planning.

Basically, I'm playing amateur carpenter, plumber, electrician, tile setter and accountant all at once so keeping all the terminology straight gets a little overwhelming... Especially when I'm in the process of trying to close a refinance in the middle of all this, and the appraiser is on a completely different page with terminology (uses "flooring" to refer to sub-floor, calls a closet an enclosed porch?? )

Another thing I was wondering about, if I go the route of putting in 1/4" Hardi and building up over the cable with self-leveling compound, might it be better to build up the non-warmed areas under the vanity and around the toilet with 1/2". Hmm... when I put it that way, it starts to sound like I'd only be putting up a small area with 1/2" and it might not be worth the hassle. Well... Maybe it is since I'll use 1/2" in the hallway outside.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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This is for the bathroom in particular, but I'm also going to be tiling a laundry room next to it, a hallway and a 6 x 11 room that my daughter wants to use to practice ballet, and which is the entrance from the back yard so there's going to be a lot of wet feet coming in from our pool.

I'm also on the fence whether I use the acrylic walls that come with the shower kit or tile the wall... Tile size factors into that because if I do tile the wall, I would be building recessed shelves for soap and shampoo bottles and such. This decision, in turn, drives how I frame the wall, which is currently a door opening.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:46 AM   #14
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Let's keep all the project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. We can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

The minimal instructions I see in your link indicate that the heating wire can be installed directly over your adequate subflooring, which is what I see most commonly with such systems. You can install CBU under the system if you want, but I'm not at all sure why you'd do that.

We see folks using CBU in areas not covered by their heating system to make the rest of their floor flush when filling over the wires. I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I think it's been sanctioned by at least one manufacturer. I would be concerned with cracking at the junction between CBU and wire/SLC or thinset mortar areas, but I know it's done.

I'd like to see the actual detailed manufacturer's instructions for the product and I'm still unable to find such.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:50 AM   #15
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I hear you Wilk...I'm also playing amateur carpenter, plumber, electrician, tile setter and accountant. I gotta stop giving any advice unless I am positive

I am an actual engineer and patent attorney
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