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Old 12-29-2017, 09:29 AM   #1
SCOUCER
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SCOUCER'S tiled kitchen floor project:

Hi, guys and gals!

I visited this site several years ago (different user name), when we were renovating our master bath. All y’alls’ advice was so very helpful. Our master bath floor & wall tiles have stood the test of time, and remain rock-solid. There has been no leaking, nor have there been any structural/functional problems. We couldn’t have done it without the info that we received from this site!

So now we are renovating our entire, small kitchen, and we plan to tile the floor. I thought that it would be a very good idea to run our plans by the pro’s at this site.

I am most unsure of the best types of thin set/mortar/grout to use. I’d appreciate any and all advice that any of you might want to provide regarding my plans as listed below. Thanks again!

Here’s some info:

(I have use the “Deflectolator”, and received the thumbs up for ceramic tile, assuming that the floor joists are likely Douglas fir.)

Existing:
- 80 year old, professionally-built, one story, brick ranch house with full basement
- Floor joists are 2x10’s, placed 16” on center, and are in very good condition, and very solid
- ¾” tongue & groove, 3-1/2” wide, solid-plank subfloor, applied perpendicular to the floor joists, and the planks are in good condition
- Kitchen dimensions are 13’-3” (parallel to the joists) X 9’-3” (perpendicular to the joists)
- Note – the final floor height will be an issue, due to height restrictions caused by an exterior door as well as a door that opens directly on to the stairs leading to the basement.

Plan to install:
- ¾” “B/C-exterior grade” plywood, installed perpendicular to the floor joists, in a staggered “brick” pattern, using 2” (minimum) deck screws placed every 4” into the subfloor, avoiding the joists – no glue – 1/8th inch gaps between all edges of the plywood and the perimeter walls
- MAPEI Ultralite modified thin set (Do I first have to apply a “primer” to the plywood?)
- "Nuheat" electric heating mat
- MAPEI Ultralite modified thin set
- Ditra-XL
- Unmodified thin set – Kerabond ?
- Unmodified Mortar – Kerabond ?
- 20x20 inch porcelain tiles, to be installed wall-to-wall, with narrow spaces where the tiles meet the perimeter walls – these spaces will be caulked
- Sanded epoxy grout – ¼” grout lines?
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:54 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Rosy!

Before we go too far, let's start out with talking generally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOUCER
(I have use the “Deflectolator”, and received the thumbs up for ceramic tile, assuming that the wooden planks of our subfloor are likely Douglas fir.)
Is this a typo? Did you mean to say, "Assuming the joists were Douglas Fir"?



Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOUCER
- Unmodified thin set – Kerabond ?
- Unmodified Mortar – Kerabond ?
You're being redundant here and I just want to clarify. Technically, "thin set" is a method, not a material. I'm not trying to be picky, just trying to make your path as clear as water. Kerabond is an unmodified mortar that can be used in a thin set application.


And have you heard of DITRA-HEAT? It incorporates the ability to install heating cables within the thickness of your uncoupling membrane. It can be installed directly over your flat plywood (assuming the plywood is flat). You kill two birds with one stone and don't have to tackle trying to cover heating mats that are buried within a wavy layer of mortar (as you seem to be planning).

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Old 12-29-2017, 10:56 AM   #3
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Red face

Thanks, Tonto!

Oops. Yes, I did mean to type "joists". (I've edited my original post.)

Ditra Heat does sound like a great idea, but we had already ordered the Nuheat mat prior to my learning about Ditra Heat. Maybe we can use Ditra Heat for our upcoming basement reno. We installed a Nuheat mat during our master bath reno, and it was pretty easy over all, albeit requiring an extra step (or two).

I'm also wondering if I should, or could, screw the plywood to the floor joists, considering that we are using Ditra-XL.

And, do I use unmodified thin set under and over the Ditra-XL - ie: any thin set layer that comes in contact with the Ditra?

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Old 12-29-2017, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOUCER
I'm also wondering if I should, or could, screw the plywood to the floor joists, considering that we are using Ditra-XL.
Your wood planks are likely not fastened to the joists all that well. For preperation up front, I'd screw all of them into the joists to pull them flat and eliminate "up and down" movement that would otherwise be there. With planks and your 3/4" plywood, this is one time where I wouldn't avoid the joists. I'd act like the planks weren't there and screw them into the joists with longer screws. And yes, you can still use shorter screws to screw into the planks between the joists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOUCER
And, do I use unmodified thin set under and over the Ditra-XL - ie: any thin set layer that comes in contact with the Ditra?
No. When you're installing the Ditra down to the plywood, you need either: a modified thinset meeting at least ANSI A118.11, (ANSI A118.15 is even better but is not required), or Schluter ALL-SET. This is important, as plywood has much more differential movement than other tile substrates. You need the extra bonding and flexibility afforded by mortars meeting ANSI A118.11 or ANSI A118.15.

When you are installing the tiles, you need either: an unmodified mortar meeting ANSI A118.1, Schluter SET, Schluter ALL-SET, or Schluter FAST-SET (although this fast setting mortar isn't generally friendly to DIY'ers, as it sets faster than most DIY can work).

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Old 12-30-2017, 08:20 AM   #5
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Thanks, Tonto!

The Hubbins and I will likely be starting to attach the plywood to the floor this weekend, so your well-timed advice is much appreciated!

I'm embarrassed to say that I cannot recall what type(s) of mortar we used during our previous master bath reno - I must be getting old. I must have it written down somewhere, but everything seems to have scattered to the wind during our never-ending "home improvements". So I will be seeking the mortars that you suggested.

BTW, our master bath was constructed in an old addition which was located over a crawl space. This crawl space has a different floor construction than does the home's original floor, which is what is under the kitchen. So that's why I'm not just going ahead with the same techniques that we used for the master bath for our current kitchen reno (even if I could remember it all - blush!)

Thanks again!
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:19 AM   #6
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Hi, guys and gals - - - please refresh my memory - how long should I wait before I turn on the under-tile heating system (Nuheat), assuming that the mortar needs to thoroughly dry prior to doing so.
(BTW-Nuheat mat is not installed yet; still preparing underlayment.)

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #7
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I waited 4 weeks for the mortar to be cured before activating it for more than just the initial 30 second electrical test. No problems with the floor cracking or such since then, and it cycles to warm each morning and evening.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:48 PM   #8
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Thanks, Gozo!
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:02 PM   #9
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Gas line question?


We will be placing a gas stove back into our kitchen after the tiling and cabinet installs are completed.

The original gas supply pipe is in the correct location. But I didn't want to tile right up to it in case there is a reason that a certain amount of open space needs to be left around the pipe for future issues/adjustments that might come along. I see that there is a large connection of some kind at the bottom of the pipe that may have something to do with any future gas line work that might need to be done (as seen in the photo).

The piece of plywood underlayment that is around this pipe is not yet secured to the subfloor, so I could also make the opening in the plywood larger if need be.

Is there a "rule" regarding the correct perimeter around a gas supply pipe that should be left untiled?

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:29 PM   #10
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1/8 gap or 1/4" gap would be good. Seal with caulking or foam-inna-can if you like.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:36 PM   #11
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Nuheat mat install question:



We have installed the new plywood flooring underlayment, and we now plan to install a Nuheat mat onto the center area of the kitchen floor, prior to installing Ditra and porcelain tile.

I was thinking about the last time that we installed a Nuheat mat (bathroom floor), and it seems that we did it this way - if I am remembering correctly:

- After cleaning the plywood underlayment, we applied a coat of "Tec Multi-Purpose Primer 560", and we let that dry overnight
- We dampened the plywood underlayment slightly with water, and a Nuheat mat was adhered to the center area of the floor using modified thinset ("Tec Super Flex"), and we let that dry overnight
- The modified thinset was used to adhere the Ditra to the areas that had not been covered by the Nuheat mat, ie: the exposed plywood, and as we worked along, we used unmodified thinset ("Ditra-Set") to adhere the Ditra over the Nuheat mat only, and we let that dry overnight
- The unmodified thinset was used to fill the "waffles" of the Ditra, and we let that dry overnight
- The unmodified thinset was used to set the tiles

We let things dry overnight after every step, mainly because we didn't have the time (nor the stamina) to go on to the next step right away.

I think that the reason we used unmodified thinset between the dried Nuheat mat itself and the Ditra, might have been because the Ditra rep advised me that it was necessary because we had let the thinset (that we used to adhere the Nuheat mat to the plywood underlayment) dry overnight...ie: if we had gone on to install the Ditra right after we had installed the Nuheat mat, when the thinset was still "wet", we might have been able to use modified thinset over the entire floor?

Confusing, right?

Does this sound correct to anybody?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:48 PM   #12
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Went to pick up mortar today and discovered Schluter's All-Set, which was mentioned by Tool Guy in a previous post.

Yay, this stuff sounds great! It wasn't around (that I know of) when we renovated a bathroom a few years ago, so I thought I should check it out.

Sounds great; one mortar does all, so that's what we're going to do.

Sure simplifies things.

Thanks, Tool Guy (Tonto)!

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Old 01-19-2018, 03:42 PM   #13
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Ditra issue?

Ditra has been installed with Schluter All-Set, and it is pretty darn flat...except that here and there along the edges, we may have got carried away and squished out too much thinset.

So now there are a few places on the edges of the Ditra that are lower than the main body of the Ditra. I can feel them through my cheap runners as I walk over the floor.

Is this a problem? Will the thinset used to set the tiles take care of these lines of little "divots"? They are less than 1/4" deep.

We will be using the All-Set and a leveling system to set the tiles.

Thanks!

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Old 01-19-2018, 04:57 PM   #14
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As long as it is firmly set and not loose underneath you are ok
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Old 01-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #15
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Thanks, Paul!

That's a relief.

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