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Old 01-14-2010, 09:28 AM   #1
ander09
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Backer board vs. Ditra for 12x12 Marble Tiles

Hello! My husband and I are in the process of a complete bathroom reno on our first house. Being the newly weds that we are, we're less than flush with funds, so are attempting to do as much as we can ourselves. My husband has a lot of experience in various construction industries (framing, drywall, hardwood flooring install) so we do have a bit of know-how, but tiling info is something we're certainly lacking.

We were able to get a great deal on some 12"x12" white marble tiles through the tile guy at my husbands jobsite, but we're not exactly sure about the best way to prep our floors for tile. (and the tile guy isn't around anymore to answer questions)

After peeling back the various layers of flooring the previous homeowners just kept covering up, we laid 3/4" T&G OSB over the original 4" plank T&G subfloor. Glued and screwed of course.

Question 1: What we're wondering now is whether we should be using Ditra or regular cement backerboard on the floor. The floor joists are 16" on centre.

Question 2: We're also adding in a shower to this bathroom (using a Kerdi kit) and are curious as to what would be suggested as the best material for the walls. I know that with the Kerdi membrane you can use normal drywall for the shower walls but my husband would like to use cement board. Is this redundant, or ok? We're planning on using basic subway tiles in a brick pattern in the shower.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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Welcome, Andrea.

1. I don't recommend trying to glue OSB to anything, and I don't recommend gluing a second layer of subflooring to dimension wood subflooring boards. But since that's what you've got I suppose that's what you'll install over.

Your subfloor, as des cribed, doesn't really meet the MIA requirement for double-layer plywood or OSB subflooring, but you can continue with what you've got if you want. You should also evaluate your joist structure to determine whether it meets the L/720 deflection requirement, for which you can use the Deflecto in the dark blue bar above. Pretty unlikely that it does.

You can use the Ditra or a CBU, but I'd favor the Ditra in your case. And that's after you've stiffened up the joist structure. Ditra XL might actually be a better bet.

2. If you use Kerdi System, you don't need a CBU on the walls. If you use a CBU on the walls, you don't need Kerdi. You can use both, but it's not necessary and makes the Kerdi installation more difficult. Up to you.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:52 AM   #3
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What CX typed faster than I ..


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Old 01-14-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
ander09
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Ah boo. I guess we should have looked into this all while the subfloor was still exposed.

Thanks for the advice, Ditra it is.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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I don't believe CX gave you a bye on checking the joist deflection. Remember stone requires L/720 which you probably don't have.
Schluter testing indicates that Ditra XL has a significant performance increase over the regular Ditra. So you get some help there, but the spec doesn't change. Odds are you'll need a beam or joist sistering.

Not sure what your options are with the marble, but a ceramic tile probably makes *all* your issues go away (deflection req is L/360).

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Old 01-14-2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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I have to double check what the span is when I get home tonight, as well as the conditions of the joists (which I think is pretty good), but yeah, looks like we're still below the deflection threshold for natural stone.

It would appear that the cost of beefing up the floor might come close to the savings we got on the tile. Such is the cost of doing business I suppose.
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