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Unread 02-01-2020, 08:43 AM   #1
brianosaur
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Resulting thickness of a 1/4" x 3/16" V-notch trowel?

Probably spitting hairs but more of an OCD curiosity at this point?
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Unread 02-01-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Brian.

That will depend a good deal upon who is holding the handle on that trowel. If it's really important to your task, I recommend you make a test board with your tile, your thinset mortar, your trowel, and your technique and measure the result.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-01-2020, 01:27 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm a hardwood floor contractor, but like most of us, I'm a JoaT when it comes to my own house. I will tackle anything if I have all the correct information beforehand.

Yeah, I was thinking about a test piece, and I doubt it will really be that critical.

Gutted my bathroom already. Vaulted the ceiling. Dropped in 6 led recessed lights. Been in the planning & and info gathering stages for a few months. Schluter curbless shower pan & Deitra heat in the spare bedroom & ready to go. Led top lit niche all planned out too.

Moving plumbing and pex-ing as I take a break for now on this Saturday. The wife & kid are gone for the day and now I am wondering how the heck a sandwich is going to be made around here? It usually just shows up in the doorway with a beer.

Anyway, just trying to figure the approx thickness of my finished wall.

My plan is for:
Frame > CB > 1/4"x3/6" v-notch & unmod TS > Kerdi > 1/2" x 1/2" U-notch & unmod MB> .4" large format

Thinking of using a slant notch for the large format tile but not exactly sure what size or where to get it.
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Unread 02-02-2020, 11:45 AM   #4
jadnashua
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The ultimate thinset depth very much depends on the angle you hold the trowel. Keep in mind, the goal is to get 100% coverage and that requires you to slide the tile across the notches to collapse them. That can take a lot more work than you might think once you spread your weight across the whole, rigid tile's area.

It can help immensely to burn a thin layer onto the tile's back which fills in any waffles or imperfections. Sort of like the difference between spreading the wood glue across a joint versus just clamping it. The thinset needs intimate contact to make a bond once it cures. Thinset primarily bond's year growing interlocking crystals into imperfections, sort of like Velcro that hardens after it cures, pulling things tighter together.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 06:47 PM   #5
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Raising Schluter Curbless Shower Pan 3/16"?

How can I raise a Schluter curbless shower tray about 3/16" on my recessed 3/4" ply subfloor prior to install?

Due to different tile thickness, and trowel notch sizes, between inside & outside of the shower, the finished inside height will be lower if it isn't raised prior to tray install.

I know I shouldn't use luan, so what other options do I have to raise tray before it gets set to the substrate?
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Unread 02-27-2020, 09:17 PM   #6
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I am not sure it is cohesive, but Ditra is 1/8” thick. You could possible put that under pan. I would call Schluter and confirm though. Not sure if it would be allowed since the pan would be a mechanical bond to the Ditra, and not a chemical one.

I’m also not sure what the issue would be with luan if it was glued and screwed though, if over an already acceptable subfloor. Someone may chime in with a reason why not.

Last option would be a custom made foam tray and Kerdi (sounds like it is a Schluter shower) over it. Built With Foam is such a company.
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Unread 02-27-2020, 09:43 PM   #7
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Schluter says you can use a foam sheet, and you could probably use a piece of 5mm Kerdiboard to raise the pan without issue. You'd end up with a layer of thinset, which would raise it slightly more, but it would be close. If you could find an 1/8" piece of foam, that would be very close to your 3/16" if you used a small notched trowel.
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Unread 02-28-2020, 07:26 AM   #8
brianosaur
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Called Schluter as suggested.

They said definitely no luan.

Self-level underlayment is acceptable, so thats the best solution for me.

… prob should have just called them in the first place.
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Unread 02-29-2020, 01:50 PM   #9
D & D Reno
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Did they say why to no luan? I’ve never done it, but am curious as to their specific reason.
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Unread 02-29-2020, 01:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Did they say why to no luan? I’ve never done it, but am curious as to their specific reason.
Both the wood and the glue holding it together are fairly moisture sensitive. The moisture from the thinset could warp or delaminate the stuff. While it shouldn't get wet once the shower is completed, it may not be providing a solid, continuous base for the stuff above it just from the thinset use. That stuff has no place in a tiled environment.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 05:11 PM   #11
brianosaur
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Need help with multiple mortars

Doing a total bathroom gut and reno in my home.
Plumbing, electric & drywall finally done. Up to tile stage.

After going over all the Schluter info I *think* I have it all down, but plz let me know.
Need help with the multiple mortars I will need for the various areas.

Main floor: 3/4" ply > Ditra Heat > 6"x24" tile

Between the Ditra & ply gets Modified TS & 1/4” x 1/4” Sq trowel.
Large format tile on Ditra gets Unmod MS mortar & 1/2”x 1/2” Sq trowel

Shower floor: 3/4" ply (recessed curbless) > Kerdi Shower-T tray > 2" Mosaic Octagonal 12" Sheets

Between the Kerdi Shower Tray & ply gets UNmod TS & 1/4” x 3/8” Sq trowel.
Mosaic sheets on Shower Tray gets Unmod TS & 1/4” V trowel

Shower wall: Cement board > Kerdi > 12"x24" tile

The Kerdi gets UNmod TS & 1/4” x 3/16” Sq trowel on the CB
Large format tile on Kerdi wall gets Unmod MS mortar & 1/2”x 1/2” Sq trowel

First off, should I stay away from Home Depot/Lowes mortar? Lowes carries Mapei that I had *thought* was a decent brand.

There are so many mortars its pretty confusing. Having trouble finding a Unmod MS that can be used on walls with large format tiles.

Suggestions for the various MS & TS applications would be awesome.

Thanks


Edit:

Also, is 5 trowels overkill/necessary? Not really a big deal if I just get the $4 throw away's ...just wondering

1/4” x 1/4” Sq
1/2”x 1/2” Sq
1/4” x 3/8” Sq
1/4” V
1/4” x 3/16” Sq
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Unread 03-09-2020, 05:41 PM   #12
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Brian, 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 any time you'd like to suggest one.

For installing the Schluter products it's best to use the trowel types and sizes specified in their Installation Handbook, downloadable from their website.

For bonding Ditra, or anything else in the tile world, to plywood you must have a modified thinset mortar meeting ANSI A118.11.

I don't know what you mean by a MS mortar.

Bonding the Kerdi tray to a plywood subfloor would also require an A118.11 mortar, but Schluter allows the use of an unmodified (A118.1) mortar there only for convenience because they expect you to be using that for all their other applications. I wouldn't, but you can.

Both Custom Building Products (Home Depot) and MAPEI (Lowe's) make useful products and some that are less useful. You can certainly find an appropriate mortar for all your needs at either outlet, but Lowe's seems to change brands regularly and I don't keep up with what's available there. Home Depot does not carry a good quality UN-modified mortar to my knowledge, but were I doing your project I would not likely use one anyway. Personal choice.

Trowel type and size is often personal preference. I would not install Kerdi, or similar membrane, without a 1/8th" square notched trowel. I just find it works so well that I don't care to deviate. A 1/4" square notch trowel I find very good for a lot of tile work. For installing the Ditra I also have Schluter's specified Ditra trowel, which is an 11/64ths" square notch. One of their recommended Vee notch trowels would be readily available at your home center, too. I've found the Ditra trowel useful also for some shower floor mosaics.

I do not, nor have I ever owned a 1/2" square notch trowel, but I don't do very large format tile. If the tile were flat and if the substrate were flat I'd probably not use one there, either.

All personal choice. See Post #2.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 03-09-2020 at 05:47 PM.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 06:05 PM   #13
brianosaur
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Thanks for the info CX

Sorry I should have typed "MB" for medium bed mortar (not MS)
I had thought the Medium Bed or Large Format Tile mortar would be used for my shower walls and bath floor w/ 1/2"sq.

The Schluter tray video and Install Manual (pg 22)says Unmod so I was going on that. Ditra says Modified on ply but the Tray says Unmod on ply. Strange?

I did 16x16 tile in my kitchen years ago and still have the 1/2" trowel.
...prob still in my profile here. (edit: yep, still there w/ pics from 2005 ..sheeze who was that kid?)


Any help on wall tile Unmod LFT mortar?
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Last edited by brianosaur; 03-09-2020 at 06:11 PM.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
Sorry I should have typed "MB" for medium bed mortar (not MS)
I had thought the Medium Bed or Large Format Tile mortar would be used for my shower walls and bath floor w/ 1/2"sq.
The ceramic tile industry no longer recognizes the term Medium Bed as a description of any thinset mortars, Brian. The concern was that people were treating those mortars as though there was actually a Medium Bed method of tile installation the same as there is a Thin Bed or Thinset method using thinset mortars. The correct classification now is Large and Heavy Tile Mortar.

Doesn't roll right off the tongue and some setting materials manufacturers use terms such as LFT (Large Format Tile) mortars or say "previously called Medium Bed mortars" or other work arounds, but the correct term is LHT mortar. Just to keep the record straight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
The Schluter tray video and Install Manual (pg 22)says Unmod so I was going on that. Ditra says Modified on ply but the Tray says Unmod on ply. Strange?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CX, Post #12
Bonding the Kerdi tray to a plywood subfloor would also require an A118.11 mortar, but Schluter allows the use of an unmodified (A118.1) mortar there only for convenience because they expect you to be using that for all their other applications.
Again, just fine if you wanna do that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-14-2020, 12:22 PM   #15
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For medium bed unmodified's, I like Kerabond T and Ditraset by Bostik. You can have Lowes order in Kerabond T. Schluter says that you can use any of their mortars also.
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