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Old 10-02-2009, 09:02 AM   #1
ForeEyes
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Removing thinset from plywood

[I'm 100% sure this is a question that's been asked and answered countless times before - and for that I apologize. I kept trying to winnow down a search but couldn't make it work.]

Anywhoo-

I'm on my first tile project in at least 3 years.
We need to re-do a 150 sq. foot bathroom floor that was installed directly on plywood 10 years ago. Lots of cracks and adhesion failures. Big surprise, eh? We got the tiles up with remarkable (maybe predictable!) ease, but the thinset stuck to the plywood quite a bit better than it did to the tiles.

So whaddya say:
-Grinding cup on a 4" angle grinder?
-Sander with a heavy grit?
-Something big and loud that scrapes?
-A week with a hammer and chisel?

Thanks for any thoughts!

-Scott
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
GasGuzz
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What tile underlayment are you using?
After grinding/cursing and spewing dust/debris all over, what is the condition of the ply? Why not remove/replace to begin with?
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:30 AM   #3
ForeEyes
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Hi Gas Guzz

It's glued down and was placed under the vanities (which are not coming out), so removal would be a bear.

At least there's plenty of thickness.
I'll prolly use Ditra or another membrane when the dust clears. But first steps first...
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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I had good success on a similar job with a big floor scraper--you know, it's got a broom sized handle and a 1 foot blade at the bottom. I recall really bashing the thinset and tile with a sledge hammer and occasionally a cold chisel to break up the thinset and make it scrape off easier. There were still a few chunks left on the floor that I used a sander (and respirator) to remove. I had a lot of thinset that stuck to the tile and less to the floor, though, so maybe I was more lucky than you. In any case, one certainly learns that tile laid directly on plywood is asking for problems.

It's worth trying a scraper to see if it works--much less dusty than grinding/sanding the whole thing. Frustrating when you hit a nail head, though, but encourages you to reset any outstanding heads and locate any places that need some extra deck screws to secure the subfloor as you go along.
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:41 AM   #5
ForeEyes
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Sloppy Ditra work - gap?

Hullo all.

Cut and installed my first Ditra yesterday. Looks sharp except for a 3 foot long section where it's not well-butted together. I'm not sure why I didn't notice the sloppiness while it was still wet, but the cut is wavy and the gap is 3/8 at its widest - for about a foot, then tapers back to tight on either side.
Should I try to cut a sliver of scrap to fill it?
Fill it with thinset?
Something else?

Thanks so much,
Scott
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:09 AM   #6
Brian in San Diego
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Scott,

I wouldn't. Also you want to keep a little gap between sheets...about 1/8" will do.

Brian
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:21 AM   #7
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Tape your edges

Once you install the Kerdi Band down your seams it will not show.

Are you installing small format tile on the floor? If so you want to skim over your Ditra layer a day or two before setting. If you are setting anything bigger than a 6"x6" just leaving that floor as is would be OK.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
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Thanks gents - especially to whomever merged the threads - sorry for breaking protocol. (How do I re-name the thread? It's not giving me the option of editing the first post...)

Tiles are 13" x 13", with a 4 or 6 6"ers placed for variety.

To be honest, I had not planned to waterproof the project. I used Ditra primarily for its thinness (is that a word?). Now that I'm typing this, I realize that's probably fairly foolish given how easy it would be to Kerdi the seams.

Hmm. Thanks for the food for thought.

Last edited by ForeEyes; 11-02-2009 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 08:52 AM   #9
ceramictec
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just pre-fil (float) the area's in question with thinset and let dry...problem solved.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:11 AM   #10
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Scott,

If you want to waterproof the kerdi-band will have to be applied up the wall as well. In my way of thinking unless there is a way to contain the water then waterproofing with kerdi or kerdi-band is a waste of time and money.

A moderator can change the title of your thread. What do you want it to be?

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Old 11-02-2009, 09:38 AM   #11
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Well, the threshold at the door should contain enough water for an overflowing toilet, etc.. so I do see some advantage to waterproofing there.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:46 AM   #12
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Mmmmm. No thresholds on any doors in my house except the outside ones. My master bath is a continuation of the bedroom...all one floor no thresholds even to the WC door.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:50 AM   #13
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Ian & ForeEyes,

you need to run the kerdi band up the walls to make the room waterproof.
without that it will go into the grout and under the corners of the walls.
so doing the floor seams alone is kind of pointless.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
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I think we got sidetracked on the Ditra seam issue. The problem was a gap between two pieces of Ditra. There is no waterproofing issue that I could see. Question was if the gap was detrimental, and what needed to be done to correct it. I think the answer is to ignore that little uh-oh and promise to do better the next time.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-eyes
(How do I re-name the thread? It's not giving me the option of editing the first post...)
Just PM a Mod and axe'm to rename... Will you put a name in your User CP? Lots better than 4-eyes.. We're kinda friendly here..
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