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Old 10-12-2016, 12:19 PM   #16
houndzilla
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Thanks CX!

I was actually contemplating doing that once I moved out of the planning phase and into building. Do your Mod Powers allow to you edit thread titles? I can't seem to find a way to edit my original post. "Houndzilla's basement bathroom" would be the new post title.

You are right, a mud base would probably be the best solution for my application.

I did talk to a USG rep, need to send him sketches of what I'm trying to do, but didn't seem concerned that it couldn't be done.
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:30 PM   #17
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Project is moving along! Work started in earnest 12/27/16.
  • Underground plumbing is all in and trenches filled.
  • ~80% of the continuous perimeter insulation is installed
  • top metal stud track layout started
  • slab on grade ground and clean of existing glue and paint
I'm currently at a crossroads regarding the technical limitations of SLC over a floor without a vapor barrier and need some advice. I tested my MVER months ago prior to grinding the floor, I'm running another CaCl test this weekend. The previous test was in the 3lb range.

Most flooring product companies generally require you to put down an epoxy vapor reduction layer prior to an SLC if you are going with a balls to the wall commercially warrantied setup.

In talking to tech reps from various MFRs and reading literature is that some SLC (the calcium aluminate varieties) have an upper allowable MVER. While the portland cement based ones don't seem to care and state to check what the acceptable MVER of the final finished floor would be. Ditra is vapor impermeable as it is polyethylene sheet. Once this goes down over my SLC'd slab it will likely raise the RH of the SLC very high as that vapor will have nowhere to go and could possible condense during the summertime with the space being air conditioned.

In everyone that I've spoken to on the product technical side I haven't heard an "awesome idea, go for it" whereas I previously thought this setup was a slam dunk, which is discouraging. There are some old old threads here that discuss this but not quite to the level of technical knowledge that I had hoped to find.

TL;DR
I'm trying to definitely determine if portland cement based SLC (Ardex K-15, Mapei Ultraplan Extreme, etc...) gives a shit about being 99% RH or high MVERs. Unmodified thinset and Ditra don't seem to from my understanding.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:52 PM   #18
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George, if you've done your MVER testing without your room being conditioned to the same level as it will be in normal use the testing really is of no value. Having a very low MVER without artificial cooling in the room isn't meaningful at all if the room will have air conditioning when finished.

The only way to determine if a particular SLC will tolerate your conditions is to aske that manufacturer. That would be after you've determined what your actual conditions are, of course.

My first question about the SLC would be why do you need to level the floor? Your ceramic tile cares only that it be flat, not level.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #19
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Room was conditioned during initial MVER test. Maybe not at the height of external temperature variation during the summer though.

I'm using large format plank tile. TCNA wants 1/8" over 10' IIRC. I've checked the floor out a little and from what I'm seeing it's not flat enough. I possibly could grid it out and search out the low spots and patch only. But I'm not 100% sure that's enough

I'm a novice tile layer, and I'm hoping the relative flatness provided by the SLC will help the quality of the tile installation.
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Old 04-07-2017, 10:00 PM   #20
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Yes, SLC and mud are really the only reasonable ways to achieve the 1/8th" in ten feet and 1/16th" in two feet, George, but grinding the high spots and filling the low spots can be done. Usually most viable when the labor is free, eh?
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:51 PM   #21
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So the SLU selection is settled, after reading tech literature and speaking with my Mapei and Ardex reps here at work
-Ardex K301 (primed w/ P51 in lieu of EP 2000 + sand broadcast)
-Mapei Ultraplan Extreme 2 (primed with Primer T)

Are underlayments that are acceptable to be subjected to high RH (100%) as they will be placed under Ditra on a slab without a vapor barrier.
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Old 04-24-2017, 10:07 AM   #22
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Getting close to locking in my tile selection and placing orders. My #1 choice has tile stair treads with a nosing as an available specialty piece.

I've never dealt with these before... what are the common gotchas on them? Good idea to utilize an uncoupling membrane on them?


EDIT: Forgot to ask this too

This #1 tile choice also is large - 8"x48" field tile. Floor will be leveled to TCNA LFT specs (hopefully, if I can find someone that can do the work - it's proving to be difficult). I will be using LFT mortar. I also plan on using a tile leveling system. Given the general complexity of longer LFT, is this something outside the skills of a skilled DIYer?
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:44 PM   #23
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Working through my linear drain details of how I'm going to build up the floor for a barrier free transition. I'd like some feedback on the attach PDF.

-Not sure the FTAD 25 drain will work once the no shear is on, will likely conflict with the tile above.
-Thoughts on the shower/tub deck layers? I'm concerned about Kerdi over a slab on grade without vapor barrier as it doesn't have the "vapor equalization" properties that Ditra has.
-Donít think the SLU under the shower deck is necessary, thatís going to be screeded.
-Thoughts on the built up area outside the shower (I'm verifying with my Schluter Rep that 1/2" kerdi is acceptable for use here)? Is CBU an option here? I donít know the correct method of attaching, for wood floors I think itís thinset and screws, what would the correct attachment scheme for concrete be?
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File Type: pdf SHOWER DRAIN SECTION.pdf (43.2 KB, 86 views)
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:13 AM   #24
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Edit: regarding last post my commercial schluter rep blessed the floor stack linked in the previous post.

any comments on my tile pattern layout? Any thoughts on the scale of the 8"x48" plank vs the size of the space? I think it's fine, but I'd like to hear opinions.
  • While I'll be maintaining a max 33% overlap, the intent is to do a random overlap
  • I think aligning the tile in the living area with the stairs is a good idea
  • I'm contemplating placing a joint and running the tiles aligned with the length of the hallway
  • Intent in the bathroom is to run the plank tile up the back wall of the tub, for contrast between the white(tub) and brown wood look plank. This is why the tile is aligned to the short side of the room rather than the long side.
  • Since the floor is heated I'll need to end up placing a soft joint in the large field, it will follow the tile pattern. Shortest dimensions of the large area is 12'6" x 19'6"
  • soft joint where the hallway transition is
  • soft joint in the alcove area on the opposite of the bathroom
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File Type: pdf tile layout.pdf (88.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:29 AM   #25
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I'm getting ready to order my Infinity Drain, and since it's a custom size I'm drawing up some details illustrating my questions so that I can get it sized correctly. I'm also trying to figure out the kerdi detailing at the drain since it doesn't have an integrated bonding flange like the Schluter linear drain.

Link to drain
http://infinitydrain.com/products-ffas-25

link to what I think is the correct Schluter corner
https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...S/p/KERDI_KERS

See attached PDF for questions in red. Thanks!
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File Type: pdf linear drain at wall sketch.pdf (69.2 KB, 67 views)
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Old 05-24-2017, 11:26 AM   #26
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So I'm a knucklehead, Infinity Drains has right on their custom order form what they remove from the inside tiled dimension when they fabricate the drain, all I need to do is give them the inside/inside tile dimension.

So my question then becomes how thick is my mortar bed behind the tile going to be? The wall tile are 3x12 rectified porcelain. I'm reading that a 1/4" x 3/8" notch is ideally suited for tiles up to 12"x12". Is that what I should assume for these tiles?

Would it be safe to assume a 1/4" thick mortar bed behind the tile once the ridges are collapsed utilizing a 1/4 x 3/8 trowel? `

My schluter rep got back to me and stated that a 2" overlap is recommended for kerdi-fixed seams in my case kerdi to linear drain body flange. What do you guys typically do in these situations? Squirt a bead or two then smooth it out with a flat knife/trowel, or would using a small triangular notched trowel (similar to adhesive application) be recommended?
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:40 AM   #27
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What order should I set my linear drain and build my mud deck?
1) Set and square drain body
2) build mud deck
or
1) Build mud deck with a block out spacer for drain body
2) set drain in thinset prior to applying kerdi on deck
Also, rough plumbing in the bathroom was completed last week. Plumbers did a nice job. I still have a bit of reinforcement to add to the toilet in wall carrier. But with 16 GA studs it's pretty stiff already.

I'm so happy the vent worked out as planned. I had been really stressing about getting around the ductwork.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:17 PM   #28
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That looks like a pretty cool basement.

I install the linear drain first and get it as level as I can. Then do the mud and hand pack the mud under the drain and re-level it. This will do the real work of leveling the drain. Then proceed with the mud.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #29
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I have 98% of my framing done (I am astounded at all the little bitty things I have to pickup), and the electricians have started so tile prep is warming up on deck after I get my inwall inspections and get sheetrock hung.


Thanks Jim! The linear drain will have a PVC to a no-shear ferno coupler so it will have some wobble in it.
  • Am I correct in assuming you use a modified LFT thinset to set it? I figure modified for some extra stick, and LFT for it's properties to be set a little thicker.

The shower is going to be barrier free in design, sloping down into linear drain at the shower entry. The floor needs to be raised to make this work though. I've talked about using kerdi board (approved by Schluter) thinset to the floor to make up the difference in height. See attached photos w/ markups to indicate what I'm talking about. Arrows indicate slope, and red hatch indicates tiled floor area that I'm proposing to drypack mud(drypack/mud bed are used interchangeably).
  • The more I think and read and get comfortable with the idea of doing a drypack shower base I'm wondering why not do the whole level change in drypack w/ screeds? Seems a lot simpler and easier to get flat
  • What concerns should I have about concrete cracks, saw cuts, filled trenches have 3/8" rebar dowels every 12"-24" inches.
  • Is a bonded mud bed warranted here or is a cleavage membrane recomended? If cleavage membrane is needed, any suggestions on product?

Last question for now. I have a large dip (3/4"-1") in my main tiled floor (8"x48" planks), I am planning to use a thin layer of Mapei Ultraplan Extreme 2 self leveling compound as it has no vapor emission/RH% limitations as it will be under Ditra heat with no vapor barrier below concrete. If I go thicker than 1/4"-1/2" Mapei is saying I need to do the epoxy primer w/ sand broadcast($$$ and difficulty) and not the regular broom on primer($ and easier).
  • Can I fill the large dip with drypack paying attention to min. thickness and then SLC over it?
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:09 AM   #30
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Also, despite using 16 GA stud my wall hung toilet had a little give (MFR says to double them up anyway).

I just wanted to show this off. Got my extra support studs in and all my shear panels on it. I'm pretty sure the first floor will shear off the foundation before this thing deflects (which is good cuz it will have tile around it).
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