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Unread 01-08-2022, 09:55 AM   #1
Lookloan
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Schluter Allset or Laticrete 253 Gold under Ditra

Hi - new construction and installing Ditra over a 1 1/8th thick Advantech wood sub-floor.

I’ve read some complaints about AllSet being difficult to work with and I heard good things about Laticrete 353 Gold Modified thinset. Got my 11/64 Ditra trowel
but not sure which thinset to use under Ditra.

Putting down 24x24 Italian porcelain tile over the Ditra. Haven’t decided which
Unmodified to use above Ditra. Thanks in advance
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Unread 01-08-2022, 10:14 AM   #2
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Welcome, Jim.

Your subfloor is installed over engineered joists spaced at 24" on center, yes?

I've not used any Advantech for years, but we hear reports here that it sometimes has a waxy coating that is not conducive to a good bond with thinset mortar. You'll wanna know if that's the case with yours.

The requirement for your thinset mortar in that application is that it meet ANSI A118.11 as an EGP modified thinset mortar. Both mortars you mentioned comply with that. I've not used the newer Schluter All-Set, but I don't recall discussion here about it being "too sticky." In your application, sticky is good, eh?

Bottom line: Use whatever you like so long as it is an A118.11 mortar.

Bigger consideration with those large format tiles is flatness of the substrate. Your rough floor, before installation of Ditra, must have no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet, nor 1/16th" in two feet. That's a very flat floor and uncommon for a wood framed subfloor without a little help.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-08-2022, 10:15 AM   #3
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Belt sand the advantec with rough grit sandpaper to scuff up the waxy coating and give it some tooth. Vac up the dust.

Lightly dampen the floor before installing ditra. I’d use the 253 gold. Less $ than allset and will work fine.
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Unread 01-08-2022, 11:50 AM   #4
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It is a polyurethane resin, not wax.
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Unread 01-08-2022, 02:02 PM   #5
Lookloan
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Thanks for your thoughts. The Advantech is tongue and grove (TG) - glued and screwed. The floor joists are 12 to 14 inch on center. The reason they are close is
the supplier provided a dozen more trusses so I used them to give extra stiffness. Normally Advantech is 3/4 inch but I went thicker with 1 1/8th. The floor has been down for 1 1/2 years. The Advantech has been brush scrubbed with water and Clorox cleaner to remove construction dirt from tracking and Sheetrock mud. The Advantech floors absorb some of the water because the wood is still wet after wet vacuuming the scrubbed area. The floors are very flat except for slight lip-age in a couple 4 foot sides of the 4x8 Advantech. I’ve been laying out the tile and they are very flat. I am also going to use T-Lock leveling system. My plan is to damp sponge the Advantech prior to modified thinset and Ditra are installed.

I just saw a post on JB about Schluter over the summer gave a seminar frowning on using modified thinset with Ditra. Makes no sense since modified is needed because Ditra is over wood. Something about not drying. I have 1800 sf of the tile to install - I bag of Schluter Allset can do 150 to 200 sf and it may be a safer choice, but not sure if Schluter warranty is really backed. Rather install right the first time rather than chase a problem.
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Unread 01-08-2022, 09:09 PM   #6
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When I set some SLC over Advantec, when mixing it, I had some drip on the floor outside where I was pouring. Once that cured, I tried scraping it off, hit it with a hammer, and nothing dislodged it. I ended up grinding it off. Some OSB products use a wax, Advantec, I've not had any issues with bonding at all.

Some don't like OSB, but again, they are not all created equal. The flakes on Advantech are laid in alternating directions, similar to plywood. The number depends on the thickness, and it's typically about 10% stiffer than the same thickness plywood. It's heavier and screwing into it is a pain, but it's flat and works.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 12:02 PM   #7
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Floor Expansion joints - Schluter vs ???

Hi - Tiling 1800 sf floor 24x24 over Ditra. Expansion joints are required every 20 to 25 feet I’ve read. Has anyone used the Schluter expansion joint profiles that have what appears to be a grout matching rubber type material to absorb the movement? I also read where instead, pack foam backer rod in the grout line and chalk with a grout color matching silicone. My concern is also Schluter or the silicone matching the other floor grout. Grout line is 1/8 - maybe there are new products or ideas. Thank you
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Unread 01-09-2022, 01:45 PM   #8
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Jim, it'll help if you'll keep all your project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title if you'd like to suggest one.

You can use either method of preserving your movement accommodation joints in the tile surface, along with the required joint around the entire perimeter of the installation. The mechanical joints provide whatever the manufacturer advertises, the various flexible sealants provide whatever their ASTM C920 Class would indicate. While 1/8th" is the absolute minimum allowed by EJ171 in any application, it's not likely to be adequate in a floor the size you have if you use only a minimum number. Your 25' distance is the maximum for interior installations. If there is direct sunlight or moisture involved, that maximum drops to only 12 feet.

The appropriate, properly sized and located, joints are not as attractive as a grout joint, which is why most people don't incorporate them. A tented tile floor ten years later is a lot less attractive, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 02:48 PM   #9
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My apologies on the double thread. I’m new here and I was thinking the topic of expansion joints was different from thinset requiring a different subject. Will do on keeping in one area.

I’m in the Northwest of Connecticut to factor in weather to answers. I’m GCing our home and with Covid, it’s been hard finding good people. The 1800 sf consists of 3 bedrooms, hallways, and a large center room consisting of kitchen and sitting room. The house is 86x26 so a long rectangle and the gray tile gives an cement floor industrial look. Most of the rooms making up the 1800 sf can have an expansion joint at the door the rest of the room has its own 1/2 inch space around the perimeter.

We interviewed 3 or 4 recommended tile people and only one to bring up expansion joints was the person I used before. The guy I like is over 1/2 year out - I just lost confidence in the other installers when I have to tell them expansion joints are needed and they look at me funny.
I have a lot of time on my hands, did a lot of reading, and my only areas left is making sure I use the right thinset above and below the Ditra and learn about my expansion joint options. I like the Schluter expansion joint idea - large but cleaner looking - was hoping for other experts to let me know if they had experience with Schluter expansion joint profiles.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 03:01 PM   #10
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Trying to upload pics. Picture shows I’m in laying out pattern stage.
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Unread 01-09-2022, 06:46 PM   #11
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Jim, if you don't add that geographic location to your User Profile the information will be lost before we leave this page, and it's frequently helpful.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 04:40 PM   #12
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All set on the location setting. Was hoping to get some feedback if anyone has used the Schluter expansion joint profiles. If not, how do you create your expansion joints? Regarding expansion joints, if my new construction has heating and air conditioning, are expansion joints needed? Some feel they are not reading.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 04:48 PM   #13
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Hi Jim,

I use the sanded latex caulking made by the same companies that make the grout. They are color matched to the grout.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 05:06 PM   #14
Lookloan
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Thanks John. It's an honor to have you answer one of my questions.
Can I ask if the chalk fills the entire space like one would do with grout or do you fill with foam backer rod and fill the rest with the chalk ? I read somewhere the backer rod was used, but I would think the who grout space filled with chalk would be better.
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Unread 01-10-2022, 08:22 PM   #15
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Jim, the optimum application for any flexible sealant looks like this:

Name:  Caulking Bead.jpg
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It's rarely accomplished in most tile installations, but it's what you should be trying to do. The object is to have the sealant well bonded to both sides of the joint and not the bottom. That allows the sealant to function as advertised.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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