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Unread 11-19-2014, 12:56 PM   #61
MAPEI - Technical Service
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There has been a lot of good discussion on this thread and I've been following it with interest. Another worthwhile document you may want to reference is the keynote address given by Eric Astrachan of TCNA. It touches on a wide variety of topics of interest to the industry:

http://www.tcnatile.com/images/pdfs/..._Astrachan.pdf

I wanted to jump in on the size discussion about the thin tile panels. I believe eventually the market (and all of you are a big part of 'the market' since you help guide your customer's decisions) is going to determine what size these tiles should be.

Already I've seen the emphasis move from 'look how big my tile is' to 'look at the design of my tile' at booths at CERSAIE. I think you will see that trend at Coverings this year as well. There will be less huge (3'x9' or 5'x10') panels and more highly decorated sizes that can be cut from these (8"x39" planks, 1Mx1M, 1/2Mx1M, etc). More and more exterior recommendations are capping the recommended size at 1Mx1M for many of the reasons (coverage, movement joints, drying time) you mention above.

With all of that said, there isn't a one size fits all answer to the size question. Some architects and designers will always want larger areas with no grout joints. Some installers will be able to figure out the method that works best for them and run with it. Others will take a more measured approach until standards and methods are in place.
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Unread 11-19-2014, 02:57 PM   #62
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Unread 11-20-2014, 10:46 AM   #63
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Thanks, Dan. I'll add that link to the original post for this thread.
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Unread 11-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #64
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I hope y'all don't mind a regular joe schmoe DIYer homeowner who is tackling, with help, his first tile job in his own home chiming in.

My wife picks the colors and the tile and does the design; I build to please. I noticed that she gravitated towards the larger tiles and her main reason: "I like to look at tile, not grout. And besides, grout turns ugly after a while so the less grout, the better." We even looked at large shower panel type of systems but they do not have the selection that tile does. She also wanted large tiles on the floor of the shower pan...the Schluter ramp made that possible (not to say that a mud pan wouldn't have worked, either, but I knew zero about mud while researching at the time.) Again, the less the grout, the better. So 12x24 and 12x35 tiles will be adorning our custom shower enclosure. She actually wanted 24x24 tiles but we found that size to be back-orderd to January so she settled for the 12x24 version instead.
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Unread 11-21-2014, 08:02 AM   #65
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Hi Chris,

All are welcome here. That's why this forum is open.

I think, though, that most if not all the contractors posting to and reading this thread are not so much concerned about setting the tile sizes you've mentioned, although I do indeed consider them large. We are more concerned with the huge and very thin porcelain "sheets" that have made their way into the market during the past few years. Just be thankful your wife didn't fall in love with something five feet wide by ten feet long.
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Unread 11-26-2014, 10:57 PM   #66
Brad Denny
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I'm an installer, not a material or chemical engineer, but thinking about the thin panel tile drying issue makes me wonder if a thin vented membrane (I'll say it...Stratamat came to mind) would allow mortars to dry behind these monsters. Inventions aren't the point of the discussion, but I see the importance of the issue and I WANT to sell these installations. Just today I had the opportunity to pitch it, but worry and fear was present.
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Unread 11-27-2014, 10:16 AM   #67
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Use Ardex thinset under those big tiles, it's self drying.
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Unread 11-27-2014, 10:22 AM   #68
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Kevin, given the technical nature of this thread you might wanna be a little more specific in your recommendations.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #69
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Guess Kevin is not gonna enlighten us further on the "self drying" mortars. I've heard of self hydrating thinset mortars, but sitll waiting for more information on self drying if anyone can shed any light on that.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #70
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Thanks cx,
I'm way behind on understanding chemical differences in products. I understand the fact that unmodified mortars can cure in a vacuum, but modifieds need air. If the bond strength of a modified is needed...it has to dry. I got all that. If there's a modified product that can cure in a vacuum, point me in that direction (I'd hope that a manufacturer of such a product would recommend and stand behind it for TPT)!

I know very little about Ardex's lineup. I know what their floor prep products smell like...and noticed the same from Laticrete's NXT products. The residue from those can set up in the bottom of a bucket of water, so I don't know if that is a characteristic of the material I smell.

Could a mortared wall with trued scratch coat be the answer? In my mind I keep seeing drying channels.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 04:14 PM   #71
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Ardex approves the use of, and warranties all of their modified mortars for use over Ditra.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 04:44 PM   #72
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I'll do a little research on it Greg. Gravity is certainly on your side when installing on the floor though!
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Unread 12-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #73
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I've used quite a bit of Ardex X-5 over Kerdi Brad, believe me, it cures. Once had to remove a tile that was set the previous night. It was stuck good. To be clear, Ardex makes no mention of Kerdi in any of their literature. But I trust it fully.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 07:36 PM   #74
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Brad, it's my understanding that there is a move afoot by at least some setting materials manufacturers, perhaps all, to make modified thinset mortars that consume all the water used in mixing them. I think that includes even the water of convenience, which makes up a large part of the total.

Just how that works, I dunno.

Does consuming that water act the same as actual drying? I dunno.

Is it just a theory and not really in use at this point? I dunno.

But if it works it seems like it could certainly help with some of the issues with these monster tiles.

I'm also curious to know if the modified thinset mortars that have been mixed with a proprietary additive in lieu of water require the same "drying" associated with those mixed with water.

Perhaps one or more of our resident industry experts can 'splain us some of that.
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Unread 12-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #75
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"Water of convenience" = minimum amount of water necessary to hydrate...yes?

Interesting. So, mixing properly would be paramount to these specialty thinsets behind a TPT. Great points, love to hear more.

Carothers could do an entire class on "Understanding the Chemistry of Your Tile Products", eh?
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