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Old 11-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
chrispollyj
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bathroom and kitchen reno--Queens, NYC

Hello all--

My name's Chris, and I have been looking through the forum for a while now, and I am finally "ready" to begin posting and trolling for advice.

Polly (the wife and construction boss) and I have been at renovating the second floor apartment of our two-family brick row-home in Queens, NY, built back in 1910.

We enlarged the kitchen and bathrooms, and are ready for tile.

After repairing the "holes" left by the plumbers during their retrofit of the plumbing, we leveled the floor with Level Quick RS by Custom Products--over a wire lath--and then added Ditra using LATICRETE® 317 w/o any modifiers over the self-level cement.
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The end results were pretty good--nearly flat and mostly level.

We are going to be putting porcelain 12"X24" tiles on both floors.

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The construction boss wants to lay the tiles this way in the bath, and in a off-set "brick" pattern in the kitchen. (14'X7' give or take total floor area)

Now to my questions:

Should I be modifying the thinset as per the instructions?

"LATICRETE 317 must be fortified with LATICRETE 333 Super Flexible Additive or LATICRETE 3701 Mortar Admix for exterior use, porcelain, mosaic, glass and stone tiles, and heavy traffic areas."

I ask, because I have been reading through the forum, and I can't seem to find a straight answer to modified vs. unmodified thinset on top of Ditra... Although I dug up the thread: ditra thinset where John states (12-13-2003, 09:38 PM), "I've been bonding porcelain tiles with un-modified dry set mortar since before Ditra came into being nearly 20 years ago. The key is in using high-quality products and keeping the mix loose."

Anyone have experience with the Laticrete 317 and Ditra?
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #2
bbcamp
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Chris, we've been giving straight answers on this question for as long as I've been here: If you want the Schluter (Ditra) warranty, you have to follow their instructions. They want unmodified mortar between porcelain and Ditra. Period.

For those big tiles, I suggest Laticrete's 220 Marble and Granite mortar. It's a medium bed mortar that is un-modified when mixed with only water (Herr Schluter will be thrilled) and has better shear strength test results than 317. A win-win-win for you.

Are you using Kerdi around that tub?
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
chrispollyj
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thanks kindly, Bob. Unmodified it is; I feel better already.

And the local guy in L.I.C. Queens has the 220, and will swap out some of the extra 317 I have...bonus!

For the walls, yes Kerdi all around the bath to the ceiling, and on all the walls where we will be tiling--up to about 4ft, I imagine. The construction boss has not quite figured that spec out yet.

The wall tile is a Daltile ceramic 3"X6" subway style mat finish. Would the 317 be alright under that and over the Kerdi?

Thanks kindly in advance for the advice.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
bbcamp
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317 is fine for your wall tiles.

Quote:
and on all the walls where we will be tiling--up to about 4ft,
Kerdi isn't required in dry areas, so if you can save some money by not using Kerdi outside the shower or tub surround. You'll need to switch to a modified thinset, or add latex to the 317.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:22 PM   #5
chrispollyj
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Quote:
Kerdi isn't required in dry areas
ok, good to know; I suspected as much.

But just checking in now with the construction boss, she wants all the walls under the tile to have Kerdi. Seems I "sold" her too well on the product...

Since she's doing the cutting and dry-fitting, the least I can do is abide by her wishes. Besides, the bathroom is sooo small to begin with, the extra couple of squares is not going to break the bank.

I'll continue to post pics as I go along. Thanks again!
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
bbcamp
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Do those walls last, in case she changes her mind or you start to run out. It happens.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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bbcamp. Sorry to skew this off topic, but I noticed you mentioned medium bed...

I'm using 12x24 on the laundry room also but was planning to use Kerabond straight.

OP....just curious. What type of wallboard is that. I've never seen tennis green wallboard before ;-)
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
bbcamp
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Alan, a medium bed mortar will keep the heavy tiles from sinking into the mortar so you won't be fighting lippage as much. It is also good for building mortar thickness greater than the 1/4" limit for thinset.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
chrispollyj
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@ chef--LOL. It is 5/8" "green board" in 4'X6' sheets. Got it from my local lumber guy here in Queens. I'll dig up and post the brand when I get home.

With the Ditra, kinda makes the place look all "preppied out," don't you think?
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Old 11-22-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
chefwong
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4x6 sheets. Off color and odd size..
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:06 AM   #11
chrispollyj
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Funny green color, great product!


From Lafarge--"Lafarge Mold Defense® Type X is a gypsum board enhanced with glass fibers to provide greater strength and fire protection for interior walls and ceilings. It provides enhanced protection against mold and mildew, both of which can cause material deterioration and staining."

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Old 11-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #12
chrispollyj
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Update: Last night we finished about 85% of the tile work.

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Bob--the 220 medium "thinset" was fantastic. mixed up like a dream--good pot life, and spread just like the 317 did. Kudos to you for the tip!

So, today, we took on the rest. This is how it turned out--

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We used the clips and plastic "ramps" to keep the tiles in place--the floor was not a flat as I originally thought...

We'll seal and grout tomorrow. We went with the 511 Impregnator, and tested it on a half-cut piece of the Provenza Q-Stone, and it proved to be an improvement on the water beading and added a bit of color "depth" to the porcelain that we liked.

The boss has gotten into this project--and I for one, am glad for the assistance!

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:29 AM   #13
chefwong
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Looking good. Curious what is the grey tile you got there...

I'm leaning in the same direction with a grey , and got our eyes set on a couple over at Nemo
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:24 PM   #14
chrispollyj
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Thanks kindly, Chef-- It's Provenza Q-Stone We picked them up at Tile World on College Pt. Blvd. in Flushing.

Funny thing floor tile in the kitchen--40% of it will be under the cabinets...

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Old 11-27-2011, 10:06 PM   #15
Andrew21
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awesome floor Chris!

btw, howdy neighbor! I'm in nassau county and I frequent Queens all the time. Need a hand? let me know =)
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