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Old 07-26-2005, 11:23 PM   #1
nhut
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Angry orange membrane (schluter)

I'm getting ready to have some porcelain tile install in my house.My main concern is upstair where there is a wooden floor.I have heard that most people use the hardy plank backboard.However,my friend who does tile for a living said that he had some orange rolls that he could give me to use.He said that it is better than the hardy plank.That stuff is so rare that you have to special order it and it can't be found at a store.My concern is that I'm not familiar with this stuff and I was wondering if anyone else has use this stuff. Is this stuff better than hardy plank and how does it affect the floor structure since it is not that solid.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:30 PM   #2
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Hi nhut welcome, got a first name? The orange stuff your talking about is ditra mat. It's used by lots of people around here including myself. It is a very good product. It is an uncoupling membrane that is thinsetted to the subfloor and allows the floor to move seperately from the tile when there's expansion and contraction.
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:41 PM   #3
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Welcome hut, how about a first name to share with us?

About that "wooden floor", tell us a little more about that. Would this be hardwood flooring, a plywood sub-floor, etc.? That Ditra mat Mike told you about is good stuff but depending upon what you have in the way of flooring up there, you might need something else to go along with it.

Also, what can you tell us about the joists under that second floor. What size are they, how far apart are they spaced, and what is the span. All this is very important when it comes to tile. See that Deflecto Tool towards the top of this screen? That's where we're heading.
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:39 PM   #4
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orange membrane

First name is Lee.The sub floor for the upstair is a plywood subfloor.This house is only a year old built in Allen,TX(near Dallas) so I'm not sure what the joist spacing is.Right now the master bathroom has carpet(I don't know why builder even bother putting carpet in a master bathroom) and the other bathroom has vinyl.So if I use the orange sheet,would I still need to use the hardy plank board also.I know that the sheet would be good for situations that may involve the tile shifting, but what about the support or structure.This would go into a master bathroom upstair(100 sq. ft.) and another bathroom upstair(40 sq. ft.). As for the rooms downstair, that I'm not too concerned about since they are on concrete slab.Also, the tile that I will be using is Ceramic tile.Inputs greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:46 PM   #5
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Hi Lee, if the plywood that's under the carpet is 3/4" and you have 16" centers, which you will find out after you take out the carpet and drill a hole enough to get a tape into, you can install the ditra right over the ply. That's if the ply is 3/4". Minimum is 5/8" but we like the 3/4". With the hardi plank, do you mean hardi backer?
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Old 07-27-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
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Lee, glad to be knowing you . We needed another Lee around here yes we did.

With that plywood sub-floor then Ditra (good combination) you won't be needing any backerboard (Hardibacker is but one brand).

Back to the joists. Even though the house is only a year old I think it's still worthwhile to spend a little more time investigating how that upper floor is framed. Bet you could find a place up there where a hole could be drilled in the floor. Then by sticking something down in there until it hits the wallboard ceiling below, that will tell you how deep the joists are. Nailing patterns on the plywood sub-floor will give you the spacing along with the direction that the joists are layed. Then by looking at the supporting walls below on the first floor directly under those two bathrooms will give you the span. For supporting walls look for those that are oriented perpendicular to the lay of the joists overhead.

Of course I should have asked up front if a set of blueprints came with the house?

Edit P.S. Hi there MuskyMike. You're still up I see.

Last edited by Mike2; 07-27-2005 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:06 PM   #7
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Thumbs up orange Ditra is good

it is easy to use, but it does use a lot of thinset. It is also very hard to remove if you ever want to do that. However, it will definately isolate any cracks that may have made its way through the Hardibacker. If your friend gave it to you, take it because it is very expensive ( at least in California). Also hard to snap lines on and it is rough on the knees if you dont use pads. Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2005, 06:20 PM   #8
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Welcome.

Here is the web site of the folks who make the orange stuff. I use it a lot, too.

Look for "Ditra." http://www.schluter.com
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:27 AM   #9
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so if i use the orange stuff upstair, do I still need to use the hardibacker also.
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Old 07-29-2005, 12:35 AM   #10
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No, just the ditra thinsetted to the plywood.
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:42 AM   #11
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Hi Lee and welcome,
I'll second (or third, or fourth) everyone elses opinion of ditra. It's great stuff, lightweight compared to any of the other backerboards, including hardibacker, and goes down a lot quicker and easier.

What the Mike's and others are getting to is that the ditra or any other underlayment does not add anything structurally to your floor. The reason your being asked about joist sizing and plywood thickness is to see if your floor structure meets the minumum requirements for tile before the ditra even goes down. These same questions need to be asked no matter what underlayment is used. Hope this helps.

BTW, I'm just finishing over 300 sq ft of porcelain over ditra. (Master bath, second bath, entry and laundry room.)
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Old 07-29-2005, 06:31 AM   #12
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Lee,

Ditra is a very good product and no you don't need Hardi also. But something no one has discussed here is that it is possible you may still need to install some 3/8" exterior grade ply if the 3/4" subfloor is contaminated with any sealers or what not from the contractors when they protected it from rain during construction. If contaminated then the thinsets will not bond to the subfloor and failure is imminent. The 3/8" can be installed then the Ditra to solve this problem. You could also try sanding the surface of the contaminated surface also but you will need to be sure all sealers are removed and that may be hard since it will have soaked in.

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