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Old 05-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #31
dhagin
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Good idea on the blocking. Any bounce left in those trusses?

1- That's a good idea. And if the floor isn't flat, find the high point of the floor - might want to start layin there too...
2- I'd use a medium bed mortar, which can better support those heavy things without sagging and be built up much thicker. You'll be glad you did. Over Ditra, Schluter recommends an unmodified mortar that meets ANSI A118.1. If you use a modified, you'll void the warranty, if that matters, and you'll need to give it plenty of time to dry before getting back on it. I'd use a modified medium bed like Laticrete 4-XLT or equal and give a week or more.
3- Stone is heavy so medium bed mortar will help. Ungaged stone will take longer to set. With ungaged stone, you need to stay away from tight grout joints or it'll be a real mess, what size were you thinking? To determine *minimum* grout joint size, multiply the differences in tile sizes by 3. So, if your tiles vary by 1/8, your minimum joint would be 3/8.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:36 AM   #32
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Consider using a leveling system. LASH is available at Homers for not much money and works well with tiles of uneven thickness. It made doing my floor so much less stressful, though you still have to be responsible for overall level. The system just lines up the corners nicely to reduce lippage.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:57 AM   #33
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Dana,
The bathroom is now the most solid floor in the house! Thanks to you!

Responses to your comments:
1. Good point. Although we worked pretty hard to level the floor, there could be a high spot. I'll check that out.
2. Good catch on the thinset- if you recall that our original plan did not include Ditra, so the Ultraflex II was allowed. So glad that you pointed that change out for me! So, for the medium bed mortar...makes sense (after I figured out exactly what "medium bed mortar" was). Besides having to get a specially formulated medium bed mortar, what thickness do you recommend? Or does that depend upon the delta of the thicknesses of tiles I am dealing with? Going to measure some this afternoon and see what I am looking at. I'll try to post some pics as well.
3. Our planned grout joints were 3/8". This afternoon I'll also look at tile consistency as compared to the 12x 12" called out size.

Wendy,
That LASH system looks to be helpful, but the reviewers on Homer's webpage indicate that they suffered problems with "tiles not embedding in the mortar". Could it be that they set the plastic pieces too high above the mortar,? i.e., not accounting for the need for thicker mortar?
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:05 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josie
Besides having to get a specially formulated medium bed mortar, what thickness do you recommend? Or does that depend upon the delta of the thicknesses of tiles I am dealing with?
Minimum thickness is 3/32 under the tiles after they're embedded in the mortar. How much have to build up will depend on the differences in thickness, like you mentioned... i think (delta).
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:48 AM   #35
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I will be the first to admit that I am the queen of backburning. I demand 100%coverage on every tile, even though it's slower that way. I never had any trouble with lack of bonding with LASH.

I think the other issue could be that people pull their tiles up while tightening the clips. If you watch the video, you can see that you should push the wedge and pull the clip. All your force should be parallel to the floor, letting the wedge do the lifting. It would be easy to think you should pull the clip up over the wedge. But that will pull up your tile.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:04 PM   #36
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Does LASH work with ungaged stone, Wendy?
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:23 PM   #37
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I'd guess that depends on HOW ungaged. The QEP site says it's great for "tiles of uneven thickness" which describes my porcelain. I just tried to download the data sheet but it was a no-go. Looking at the clips, I'd say your max difference between 2 adjacent tiles would be about 1/8".
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #38
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Here are some pictures of the stone. I looked up guaged wrt tile and it describes machining on the back. These stone tiles do have that present.

Pictures #1 and #2 show worst case variation of thickness. Picture #3 displays the back of the tile and the occasional "delaminating" that I see- likely a result of the tumbling process.

Please let me know what you think.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:34 PM   #39
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Here's some gauged / ungauged stuff. LINK

By your photo & description it appears you may have a mix.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:56 AM   #40
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Wendy,
Thanks for the tip. I plan to check out the LASH system.

Dana,
Back to your earlier question regarding the grout lines. I will be using a 1/4" grout line. (I had actually contacted the supplier prior to deciding on this floor to make sure it was going to work in a bathroom. I had written down quite a bit of what he said and as I reviewed that info yesterday, I noticed that he recommended a 1/4" grout line). Then last night, I dry laid the floor with the 3/16" spacers that we already had. I realized that I needed more "play" due to variation in tile size, so I'll get some 1/4" spacers.

But as I dry laid the floor, I realized that we should really be tiling the shower prior to the floor. Our rush to complete the floor was to get a working toilet back into the house. But it seems that the order of events should be making the mess on the Ditra as I tile the shower, instead of the mess on a new stone floor. Plus, it seems that the face tile on the curb of the shower should be laid first with the floor tile going down second. Do you guys agree?
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:11 AM   #41
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You've got the right idea. I'd complete the shower before starting the floor tile. I'd also not install Ditra until just before you tile.

You can set the toilet on a piece/scrap of plywood temporarily if needed, then remove it before installing the Ditra and floor tile.

Sounds like your tiles are fairly close in size? .25" / 3 = 1/16 (+ a little bit)
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:42 AM   #42
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Dana,
Yes, the tiles are fairly close in size, by measuring, but sometimes have irregularities on an edge. Dry laying it with the 3/16" spacers was tight at times. Likely safer to use 1/4".

I am pretty convinced that your suggestion of a medium mortar bed is the way to go. As I dry laid them, besides the variation in thickness, some have an odd warping that I did not expect from a stone. They touch the ground on 2 opposing corners and teeter back and forth. That will require a deeper mortar to accommodate it.

On the Ditra, it's already down ....since up until this morning, we planned to lay the floor next. Mr. Josie is not thrilled with my suggested change of plans, but agrees. (I am the tile setter in the house and I tend to make a bit of a mess as I work.)

So, next will be the Kerdi install. We purchased the eBook and have the Schluter CD, but I expect this to be an interesting undertaking. Thanks to this forum, I located the niche template for the Kerdi piece.

Here's the shower as of today. The knee wall is not showing....
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:50 PM   #43
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Get some heavy cardboard or masonite or thin plywood to protect the Ditra.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:08 PM   #44
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Bob,
Cardboard was down by the time I got home from work today.

So, as I began thinking through the shower tiling and actually pulled out both the field tile and accent stone (honed quartzite), I became acutely aware that I have a huge problem. The field tiles are half the thickness of the accent stones (expected to be a horizontal stripe around the shower at ~ 60" from the floor).

The 4x4" quartzite tiles are 1/2" thick and the field tiles are 1/4"thick. It never occurred to me that I could have run into this. What's also odd is that the tile store owner is the one that suggested using the honed quartzite as accent tile to match the tumbled quartzite I am placing on the floor of the bathroom. But we were comparing a mounted set of tiles and completely unaware that the thicknesses could vary. Please see the attached picture.

At this point, I see no way that I can make these work since the delta is so large. The tile store is closed on Wednesday's, but I will be heading there on Thursday to determine what my options are. If any of you pros have a trick up your sleeves that could make this work, I am all ears. Otherwise, I am back to picking out an accent tile and waiting for it to ship. Tough lessons to learn....
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:23 PM   #45
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Well, there are ways...... but i don't think you wanna go there. We're talking building the entire wall out except the accent, and then water proofing or waterproofing first, then building out... you'd have to really, really, really, REALLY want that accent to go through all that.

I think you're much better off seein if you can find a complimentary accent that's the same thickness or a little thinner. Way easier to make nice.
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