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Old 07-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
andy_m
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Cure time: Kerdi/Versabond

Hi All,

I know Schluter recommends unmodified, but HD is close by, Lowes is far away, and I really hate to hunt all over for stuff. Plus several very knowledgeable folks here (including John Bridge) have said that Versabond works fine. I also like the stickiness of the modified thinsets I've used (haven't used Versabond, though), so that's what I'm inclined to try.

My question is, how long should I wait after putting up the Kerdi before setting the tile? My plan allows for 2 weeks, knowing that the Versabond probably cures slower than unmodified. I just don't know if this is long enough.

Second, what trowel do you recommend for Versabond to hang the Kerdi? My thinking is to mix the Versabond a bit on the loose side to better "wet" the fleece on the Kerdi. I have a 3/16 x 3/16 v-notch that I thought seemed ok, what do you think?

Finally, does Versabond come in grey and white? Any advantage to one over the other in terms of performance?

Thanks in advance,

Andy
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:12 PM   #2
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My Homer location sells both white and gray Versabond, per customs website they sell white and gray in 50# bags, 25# are gray only. I've used white under light colored tile, but I just got a broken bag of gray for $5 instead of $25 so I'll be using that on next job. Really I think it depends mostly on the kind of tile and possible "translucence" of the tile itself. Full body porcelains prolly aren't gonna show anything underneath, anyway.

Here is link to Kerdi install manual, says at least 24 hours after kerdi to allow for water test before tiling, depending on type of install, surround, walls, etc.

http://www.schluter.com/media/brochu...ndbook2008.pdf

Manual also suggests 1/4" x 3/16" v-notch trowel for install. I've been using a 3/16 x 3/16 V for my ditra installs with no problems.

Me, I'd follow the manual or call Schluter tec support for questions. Best piece of mind for a specific install question is from the horses-mouth, so to speak. I've found them very helpful.
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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Welcome, Andy.

Is this the same project with the granite slab over a tub? If so, I'd like to get all your threads combined here so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered.

There is not requirement to wait at all after installing your Kerdi before setting your tile.

I would strongly recommend that you purchase and download John Bridge's Kerdi Shower eBook. Best ten-dollar Kerdi tool on the market and you'll get a lot of useful tips that might save you time and heartache. Really.

It's also useful to go to the Schluter website and watch some of the videos they have on the installation. Might make it come together for you a little better.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments.

This is a different bathroom in the same house -- tile this time rather than granite slab. But you can combine the threads if you think that would be helpful.

I don't have John's book but I did go through the online Schluter material pretty carefully. My questions arise because of the Versabond, which is a modified thinset rather than the unmodified that Schluter recommends. I read in a different thread here that one reason Schluter recommends unmodified thinset is because it cures faster... hence my question about allowing additional time due the use of modified. The question on the trowel is also relative to Versabond. I've used quite a bit of Flexbond for other projects and found that changing the trowel away from the "normal" recomendation made the job go faster/easier, so I was wondering if a different trowel was needed with Versabond. Maybe that's not the case here, but I'm sure someone that has used Versabond with Kerdi could comment on this one way or the other.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
I read in a different thread here that one reason Schluter recommends unmodified thinset is because it cures faster..
Not quite. The difference is that the un-modified thinset only needs to cure, whereas the modified thinsets need both to cure and dry. It's the drying requirement that can present a problem, especially with the highly modified thinsets.

John recommends VersaBond because he knows it will cure and dry quite effectively between the membrane and tile, even large impervious tiles.

I have personally tested samples of Versabond, and some other thinsets, by placing large dollops in double Ziplock baggies and found they will cure quite adequately in there, and consume all but a trace of the mixing water.

So, while we still recommend following manufacturer's recommendation, we also know that using VersaBond with Schluter membranes will work quite satisfactorily. Herr Schluter will not give you a warranty on that installation, but you won't need no steenkin' warranty.

If you can find a good-quality un-modified thinset mortar (many out there), I'd recommend you use one. If not, I'd use the VersaBond.

On trowel size and shape, use whatever works for you. But for installing both Kerdi and Ditra, using the manufacturer's recommended trowels can make the job a lot easier. Especially if you can get the 1/8" square-notch for the Kerdi.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #6
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Andy,

I am one of those who use versabond. I've put tile on the same day after the kerdi, but if possible ... would wait overnight.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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Cool. Sounds like I have no worries. Many thanks - now
I'm on to the job!
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
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I've only used Versabond with Kerdi, waited 24hrs. to tile, never had an issue yet.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:56 PM   #9
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use gray Versabond under the Kerdi - it's much easier to see your coverage as it contrasts with the white fleece. For setting the tile, either will work, but lots of us like white with light tile/grout and gray if it's on the dark side. Makes it a little less obvious if you're a little sloppy in cleanup.
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
My thinking is to mix the Versabond a bit on the loose side to better "wet" the fleece on the Kerdi.
Whatever thinset you use you do want to mix it very loose - think pancake batter.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #11
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Versabond, grey, mixed pretty loose. Got it! Waiting a day is no problem... I probably will be forced to wait several days before I can get to the tile-setting, anyway.... people at the office expect me to show up once in a while, the nerve of them!

I have to admit that for my last job (granite slab tub surround) I didn't research properly and used Kerdi with Flexbond because I had half a bag left over that I didn't want to waste, not realizing that "highly modified" was not the best choice. But, I mixed it loose, and the Kerdi seemed to go up ok, and stuck just fine. I had an automatic 3 week wait while the stone fabricator made the surround, so I think it was pretty well-cured/dried before the slabs went up. I wrapped the Kerdi horizontally around the three alcove walls, so there would be no seam in the corners, started from the bottom so that the top layer overlapped the lowermost course by a bit more than the recommended 2". I know you probably don't need to do it "weatherboard" style, but what the heck, I figured it couldn't hurt. I did use Schluter's magic puckey (expensive!!) to seal the Kerdi to the tub, although after using that stuff I think P&L polyurethane sealant might work just as well for much less $$ and is easily available at HD. Any comments on that? I have the Schluter stuff for the current project, so this question is really for future projects.

BTW, being able to get smaller rolls of material from TileExperts (I imagine you can get small amounts from other sources as well) saves a lot of money. The local tile supply I have been using only sells the monster-size rolls, and those are really expensive!

Thanks again for all the expert advice!

-Andy
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:00 PM   #12
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Kerdi-fix is just a polyurethane sealant, but its the approved one. That said, if you don't care about the warranty, or you used versabond and already voided it anyway, I suspect any of them will do just fine.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:28 PM   #13
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Not quite, Randal. Kerdi Fix is silane-based. Now, not being a real chemist, nor having ever played one on TV, I still don't unnerstan just how you make something like that out of a gas, but that's what the manufacturer says it is.

What I do know about it is that it's really nice stuff to work with, it sticks to just about anything you'd wanna be using to make or decorate a shower, plus a lota things you wouldn't normally be usin', and that it seems rather durable so far.

Also know, as Andy points out, that it's relatively expensive.

But it's not polyurethane.

I think a fella could use a good polyurethane caulking, such as NP-1, in its place, but it wouldn't be nearly as easy to work with as the Kerdi Fix. And, of course, wouldn't have Schluter's approval.

Schluter does recommend 100% silicone as a second choice. I'll pay the extra 22 bucks per shower for a tube of Kerdi Fix.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:45 AM   #14
andy_m
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Put the kerdi up today. I used gray versabond (50 lb sack, under $12 at HD), and it seemed to work fine. I followed art's advice on color and Terri's to go for the consistency of pancake batter, and that was perfect.

Thanks to all for the advice!

-Andy

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Old 08-04-2009, 08:48 AM   #15
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Silane is sometimes put in things as a sort of priming agent. I thought the base product was a polyurethane, but I stand corrected. So my guess is that kerdi-fix is some kinda polymer based pooky with silane in it to improve its adhering properties
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