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Unread 11-29-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
uhale
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Prepping for electric radiant heat + WEDI + tile

I've gotten some great advice and been able to do a great tile shower thanks to this forum. I'm ready for my next project, and am hoping to install radiant heating on slab floor, then tile it.

I've read through the forums and the "liberry". Any advice on this plan?

1. Floor cleaned and then leveled with SLC
2. Use a modified thin-set to install WEDI insulating board panels--this also acts as a crack isolation membrane-------what type of modified thin-set is best to use with WEDI? Can't find it on their website.
3. Install heating mats (electric wire, like "SunTouch" mats) and either:
a) cover with 1/4" SLC, let harden, then apply tile with modified
thin-set (Can SLC go over WEDI board?), or
b) use a one-step modified thin-set application, and cover the heating
cables while I lay the tiles down with thinset-----again, what
modified thin-set is appropriate? Is Versabond (HD) or laticrete multi-
purpose (Lowes) good?

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by uhale; 11-29-2008 at 11:18 PM.
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Unread 11-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #2
uhale
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Another question: do I need to use Ditra between the heating elements and the tile?

I know there are differing viewpoints, and I guess the choice is mine, but anyone want to weigh in?
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Last edited by uhale; 11-30-2008 at 06:43 PM.
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Unread 11-30-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
jadnashua
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Depending on how out of whack the slab is, I'd consider installing the Wediboard, then the heating, and cover it with SLC. Wedi will take any cementious covering. The thinset, maybe a medium bed if the floor is really out of whack, should allow you to start the leveling process some.

A membrane over a heated floor is a good idea. Whether you absolutely need it is a bigger question, certainly wouldn't hurt.
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Unread 11-30-2008, 08:44 PM   #4
Davy
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I've installed a bunch of heated floor mats on slabs and I don't see the need for the Wedi. I usually install the mat right to the slab and cover with SLC. Then I cover it with Ditra and then tile over that. It's always better to have the uncoupling membrane just under the tile whenever you can.
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Unread 12-01-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
uhale
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Thanks for the help.
Davy--I am planning to use the WEDI for insulation because my slab gets really cold in the winter (Ohio is a bit colder then Texas)...and I already spent the mucho mucho bucks on the stuff.

My BIG QUESTION for everyone is: one step over electric heating cables (one thinset application to cover the wires and to lay the tile) OR two step (cover with SLC or thinset, let dry, and then lay tile with a thinset).

Also, when laying WEDI, should I use modified thinset to set the WEDI board?

Thanks again for all the help!

Elahu
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Unread 12-03-2008, 03:13 PM   #6
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Generally when I do heat mats I use Kerdi.

When I install mat I use Laticrete 254 and a 3/8-1/2 notch trowel. I spread the thinset over wiedi and place heat mat/wires into it and immediately start rolling precut ditra out over it. Then I use pieces of underlayment (1/4 inch plywood) on top of the ditra i have placed in mud already to work off of to prevent making indentations. This does a good job of bedding everything and keeping setting surface flat. Work out of area and let dry. Come back and set tile.

I have found that this gives me a good work surface and eliminates the cost of SLU. I came up with this idea after fighting to keep indivdual wires down in mud. It also eliminates the chance of knicking heat wires working over them. IMHO good luck.
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Unread 12-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #7
cx
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Welcome, lojack. Please add a first name to your signature line for us to use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lojack
Generally when I do heat mats I use Kerdi.
You wanna 'splain that a little for us?


How does one get to be "A Schluter Authorized Dealer"?
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Unread 12-03-2008, 07:56 PM   #8
Davy
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Hi Elahu, I would use Versabond under the Wedi.

They show pichers of tile being installed right over the wires, which I guess will work. I usually cover the wires with thinset, SLC will work too and let it dry before installing the Ditra.
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Unread 01-03-2009, 11:02 PM   #9
uhale
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PICTURES! A Question, my progress, and some lessons

So, heres my layering so far:

HOME DEPOT LEVELQUIK RAPID SETTING
HEATING CABLES
1/4" WEDI BOARD
LOWE'S MODIFIED THIN-SET
SLAB
GROUND

INSULATING BOARD
The WEDI board is expensive, and probably provides minimal insulating value, but it does act as a crack isolation membrane. I'm a newbie, and found it difficult to set the 3' x 5' WEDI boards, maybe I should have "pre-buttered" them. I'd probably just use DITRA in the future.

HEATING CABLES
The cables came in mats with 3 strips of tape. The company I bought them from, easywarmfloor.com, is very shady (search this forum for easywarmfloor), DO NOT BUY FROM THEM.

I've laid out the heating cable, no real problems, had to use a hot glue to get the wires attached to the floor at the turns (after awhile, I began bending the turns down before applying, and it made a big difference). I actually bought too much cable, and had to get close to the walls in order to use all the cable.

SELF-LEVELING UNDERLAYMENT
My brother helped with the self-leveling underlayment (aka SLC, self-leveling compound). I bought enough for 3/16" over the entire floor. We mixed up 7 50 pound bags in 7 5-gallon buckets, one right after the other. A good drill is essential. As you can see in the picture, a lot of the wires are protruding from the concrete layer, after self-leveling cement application. I'll have to be careful when applying the tiles to make sure I don't cut any of the wires.

QUESTION:
HOW SHOULD I DEAL WITH THE WOOD STEP, shown in the last picture? I will be tiling the carpeted area as well (eventually). Should I just tear the wood out completely, and build the floor up with cement???

Thanks to everyone for your help with this project.

Happy New Years!
Attached Images
     
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Unread 01-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #10
uhale
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ADVICE NEEDED ASAP! Thinset question for porcelain

I'm installing porcelain tile on a radiant heat floor. I want to lay the tile this weekend, but still have an unanswered question. Here are the layers:

Porcelain Tile
THINSET (MODIFIED OR UNMODIFIED?)
Radiant heat wire and 1/4" of Self-Leveling Concrete
WEDI board (insulator, crack isolation membrane, AND WATERPROOF)
Slab

Being as how the WEDI board sheets are waterproof (although I did not waterproof the seams) and porcelain tile is very impervious, should I use modified or unmodified thinset?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 01-10-2009, 10:47 AM   #11
Deckert
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I would use modified. The Wedi being waterproof won't be an issue, especially with that layer of SLC. Its going to suck a lot of moisture out of the thinset.

You can also use a good quality unmodified, just like you would use with porcelain over Ditra.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
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I would consider a highly modified thinset since you will have the radiant heat. One that I have used is Custom's Flexbond which you should be able to find at HD.

Make sure you burn the thinset into the backs of the tile too.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 11:00 AM   #13
Brian in San Diego
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Elahu,

I have merged your thinset question into your original project thread. Please post all your project questions on this thread. We do our best to answer everyone's question in a timely manner and if you post to your original thread it automatically goes to the top of the queue. If you want to have the title of the thread changed a moderator can do that for you.

Brian
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Unread 01-10-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
Davy
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I like using Customs Marble and Granite thinset over the SLC. It's a medium bed thinset and will allow you to butter up if you need to. It seems with the SLC, my floor isn't as flat as it needs to be. My SLC skills aren't that good either. I mix it thin enough so it will flow but still thick enough to cover the wires well.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 01:13 PM   #15
uhale
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Many thanks for all the input! I'll be using a modified thinset I found at Lowe's.
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