Bathroom flooring question. [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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04-11-2011, 04:27 PM
My bathroom is a small bathroom of 5x12. I am going to put down radiant heat and want to know what the proper procedure is if I decide to use ditra. I think hardibacker would actually be the easiest for me and less work but I wanted to ask all of the experts first on what they do or what they thought? My subfloor is 1 1/8 on 16" oc 2x8. Thanks.

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Houston Remodeler
04-11-2011, 05:24 PM

Have you run the joist size/spacing/span through the deflecto-meter linked in the dark blue ba above?

04-11-2011, 09:23 PM
For what? To make sure it is suitable for tile. It is okay for that. Not stone but tile. I don't want stone anyway:uhh::postitbg:
I just want to know about ditra or hardibacker.:postitbg:

04-12-2011, 04:15 AM
If you do Ditra: Install the heat mats in accordance with the heat mat instructions. They call for either embedding the heat mat in thinset or SLC. If you use SLC, you follow the instructions for the SLC. After you do that, cover with Ditra.

If you do Hardibacker: Install the Hardibacker in accordance with James Hardie's instructions. Then install the heat mat as above. If you use SLC to embed the heat mat, you can skip the lath reinforcement that the SLC folks usually require.

For what? You've been around here long enough to know that we check everything out before starting a project. It may not be clear to you, but we do this to save you some grief. There's a lot of prep work for tile, and sometimes it's weeks before you can set the first piece. We'd rather that you didn't have to dig one up because we skipped the basics.

04-12-2011, 05:46 AM
I understand that. I was just being silly is all. I almost get overwhelmed sometimes when I come on here and all the experts talk. Or I listen to the people around here that have been doing it for years with no failures. Some of you and them use ditra, some use hardibacker. Some don't like ditra, some don't like hardi. Some say ditra is overkill, some say hardi is too and you don't even need either. I just want it to have a good base to sit on is all. I think the thing that makes my job a little more complicated then a normal job is the heating cable that I like to use in a floor.

04-12-2011, 03:25 PM
I just was talking to a flooring guy and was talking to him about ditra. He said he tried it once and it failed. What would cause something like this? I know, I know loaded question. Any ideas?

04-12-2011, 04:01 PM
Ask the guy who said the Ditra failed, Scott. If he actually knows it failed, he should also know why.

It is very, very unlikely it was a product failure, but I don't say it couldn't happen. It is a thousand times more likely, though, that if there was a failure in the tile installation over the Ditra that it was some sort of installer error. And I would consider that a very conservative estimate.

Same with a Hardibacker installation.

Not a lot can go wrong with those products. Whole lot can go wrong with the installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.

04-12-2011, 04:36 PM
He was not saying it failed because of ditra, he was saying it failed because of something he did. Mortar? He was not sure why.

04-12-2011, 05:00 PM
He could have had incomplete bonding with the subfloor, or used a highly modified thinset with porcelain tiles, then got on the floor to grout too soon.

04-12-2011, 05:45 PM
He was not saying it failed because of ditra, he was saying it failed because of something he did.Oh, good. Easy solution? Be sure you don't do what he did. :D

Seriously, Scott, Most all these products work as advertised if installed as specified. And all of them are subject to failure if not installed per manufacturer's instructions.

Without knowing what sort of failure your friend had, it's impossible to do any diagnosis from over here, but Injineer Bob points out a few things we know could have been contributing factors. And there are others.

Once a fella gets the hang of it, Ditra is a pretty easy product to install correctly. For those of us who don't use it on a regular basis, I strongly recommend installing it such that it can be left to cure for at least a day before getting back on it to set tile. But that's not a manufacturer's requirement.

My opinion; worth price charged.