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Unread 03-09-2020, 07:32 AM   #1
mmoogie
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electric radiant under marble mosaic: mat or cable, also, shower pan material??

Hi John Bridge folks,

I'm not a tile specialist, rather a restoration contractor who does occasional tile work.

I'm doing a small bathroom where the client wants small mosaic basket-weave tile, and she wants under-floor electric radiant in both the main area of the bathroom and in the shower. I was hoping to use a warm-wire system such as Ditra's, but they do not allow smaller than 2x2 tile over that. Are there any warm-wire clip-in-underlayment systems that are compatible with small tile? Or is something like the SunTouch mat the way to go?

As to the shower pan, I've done several showers usiing laticrete's expanded-foam pan and brush-on membrane, and like that system, but they also don't want you using anything smaller than 2x2 over it. Are there any other pre-formed pan systems that would support mosiacs? Or is there a layer of something that I could put over the foam pan to support the mosiacs? I was thinking a layer of 1/4" hardi-backer, but they don't support that on floors. Is there a similar product that would be thin, strong, and rated for wet floors that I could thinset over the foam? What would be the implications for setting the drain if I did an extra layer? How does a layer of electric radiant work itself into all of that?

Shower will be 42x72 (double shower), round drain at or near the center.

Thanks-in-advance,

Steve
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Unread 03-09-2020, 07:43 AM   #2
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as far as the base go's for use with mosaics this one... Probase II

http://noblecompany.com/storage/docs...escription.pdf
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Unread 03-09-2020, 07:55 AM   #3
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How does that help with this part of his question, Eric?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Are there any warm-wire clip-in-underlayment systems that are compatible with small tile?
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Unread 03-09-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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Wink

more this question. "are there any other-other preformed pan systems that would support mosaics".
But as far as the heat system goes,I have always used Suntouch.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 08:59 AM   #5
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Thanks, Eric.

I like the denser layer on top of the ProBaseII. How would you layer the suntouch heat in the probaseII setup? Do you use the wire or mat suntouch setup?

Kerdi is now saying that their foam is dense enough for mosaics, but they have a 2" tile limitation on their heatwire and dimple mat. Though when I talked to the Kerdi rep on the phone, he said people do it in showers because the extra layer of thinset and waterproofing membrane stiffens it up enough. Not sure they would warranty that though. Laticrete won't sanction small tile on any of their preformed products.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 09:37 AM   #6
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Some people simply Hot glue the loose wire directly to the base then the thin set will lock it into place permanently otherwise with the Suntouch Matt you’re good to go
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Unread 03-09-2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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So probaseII, with the noble drain, then waterproofing membrane, then either cables and thinset or mat with hot-glue, then thinset and tile? Wondering why Schluter wants a layer of membrane over top of their cables when nobody else seems to want that.

Noble drain relying on goop as the sealant bothers me in theory.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 10:49 AM   #8
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In a shower, you really don't want the wires to get wet, thus, the requirement for wet areas like a shower, you need Kerdi on top of DitraHeat. Out in the bathroom, outside of the shower, you do not, even though you might get a little water on the floor, it's nothing like in a shower.

You can use small tile on Wedi, but on the shower pan, they require epoxy thinset.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 11:50 AM   #9
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We don’t care what side of the membrane the heat is installed , have done it both ways. Not sure what goop you are talking about. The Noble drain has a clamping ring to mechanically connect the membrane offering the most secure connection .
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Unread 03-09-2020, 05:59 PM   #10
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By goop I mean two rings of nobleseal, one inside the clamping ring, one outside. I'm not thrilled with the kerdi-drain relying only on thinset either. I guess that fact that there is a clamping ring with noble is a plus.

Thanks for pointing me to the noble produsts. I do like the high-density layer on top of the pan.
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Unread 03-09-2020, 06:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Noble drain relying on goop as the sealant bothers me in theory.
Quote:
Originally Posted by e3
Not sure what goop you are talking about.
Eric was confused on accounta the proper term is Pookey, Steve.
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Unread 03-10-2020, 02:28 PM   #12
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FWIW, you can use KerdiFix on your drain if you really want to, but over 100K a year or so use thinset without problems.
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Unread 03-12-2020, 02:37 PM   #13
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It looks like I'm defaulting to Kerdi, mainly for their drain options. Any thoughts on the best heat-wire system to put on top of it? Leaning towards Watts, either the tapemat or the loose wire, but I do like Laticrete's plastic loose-wire clip system better than the metal watts clips. Do I need to put a layer of Kerdi fabric over top of the heat cables? Should I use the Kerdi cables instead for some reason?
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Unread 03-12-2020, 04:25 PM   #14
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Schluter's Ditra Heat calls for a layer of Kerdi over it in a wet area. Some other brands do not.

Here's my personal take on that. All heat mats will have a splice in them from the supply line to the heating wire that needs to be embedded in the floor. Then, many of them have an in-floor heat sensor that goes from the sensor bulb to the wiring. In a wet area, I would not really want that stuff embedded in the wet portion of the floor of a shower. Others don't seem to care. Your floor and tile are a fairly significant investment. Schluter also calls for installing a backup in-floor sensor (one comes with the thermostat, another comes with the heating wire, and both should be installed in the floor in case one eventually fails, you can switch to the spare). How often will that occur? Probably really rare, but much cheaper to already have a spare available without tearing up the floor than not if you want to continue to use the heated floor you paid for. Schluter is a pretty conservative supplier. You may never need to test that overbuild mentality, but you'll be glad if you do.

Installing the wire and then trying to embed it and get everything level while also not nicking a wire can be tough. Ditra Heat holds the wire ideally in the middle of a pocket in the Ditra Heat membrane, so you'd have to work at it to damage it with a trowel.

Schluter recommends that you use an insulation tester rather than simply a continuity tester. This applies a high voltage to the wire during the test, and looks for it to leak out, verifying that the wire insulation is intact. Again, part of their conservative, make sure it's right attitude. Do you need it? If you have continuity, the wire will heat, but if it's in a wet area, that potential insulation problem could cause things to corrode and fail later.

Off my soap-box.
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Unread 03-13-2020, 05:46 AM   #15
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There's also a "connector" at the end of the Schluter Ditra Heat cable, basically heat shrink tubing, that gets embedded into the mat and mortar. It's waterproof, I'm sure, but still.
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