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Unread 02-16-2020, 11:52 AM   #1
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Ditra vs Ditra XL to match 3/4 Hardwood

Should I use Ditra or Ditra XL to match 3/4 Hardwood. Ditra recommends the XL but I think it will be too high with 24x12 tiles which use a medium bed morter and a 1/2 x 1/2 trowel. Ditra is 1/8 + thinset, tiles are 3/8 + 1/2 morter which probably compresses to 2/8. So 1/8 + 3/8 + 2/8 = 6/8 or 3/4 the same height as wood so it seems I should use the Ditra not XL. I have only done limited tiling and I want the heights to match.
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Unread 02-16-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
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A 1/2x1/2" square notched trowel once the tile is properly embedded, will likely be less than a quarter of an inch of thinset. If it's more, your tile isn't properly embedded. The thinset won't be 1/2" tall because you will almost certainly not have the thing at 90-degrees from the floor. TO meet industry standards, you should strive to achieve 100% coverage, but at least 100% of the edges and 90% of the body of the tile.

FWIW, on a large tile, that's really tough to achieve since the pressure you can apply gets spread over the large tile, making that quite small psi you can apply. TO achieve the needed results, you'd need to slide the tile back and forth across the notches (keep them all going the same way!) a fair amount. TO make this all easier, consider a slant-notch trowel. The same amount of thinset gets spread, but because the notches are slanted, after the trowel passes, they fall over making a much flatter surface and make it easier to get that full contact you want. IOW, you don't need to move the tile as much to spread the thinset into the voids between the thinset peaks and get the needed coverage.

If your floor is quite flat and the backs of the tile are, too (not dished, warped, or twisted), you could probably get by with a shallower notch. That doesn't always happen, and that's where a deeper notch may be required. A nominal thinset layer is in the order of 3/16" or so, but could be smaller or larger depending on the conditions and materials used.

Mating up to hardwood, it's generally pretty simple to achieve a good transition. Note, you must leave an expansion joint there which could be caulk, or an engineered profile. That would, or could, also help hide any minor elevation differences. For the largest selection in materials and colors, check out www.schluter.com for their profile choices.

The hardwood may have a layer of tar paper underneath which will add slightly to that 3/4" nominal thickness. I'd probably use the DItraXL. See what others have to say.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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Unread 02-16-2020, 12:30 PM   #3
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I just did a floor two weeks ago with 12x24 tiles and used Ditra XL to match up to it.

The tiles were a bit on the thin side for a 12x24. I would say they were 5/16th inch and quite flat.

What I would do is get the tile on site and take a small, maybe a sample piece, of 1/8 inch Ditra and see how it measures up. If it's under 1/8 inch to the hardwood then that's what you want. Then try doubling it up and see how that comes out.

This is always a case-by-case decision.
Jim Upton

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Unread 02-16-2020, 04:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I just went and looked at the Ditra. I think you are both right along with the manufacturer. DitraXL is the way to go to match to 3/4 hardwood. I probably will not get to the project for a few weeks but I will let you know how it goes. Thx
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