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Unread 05-23-2020, 06:28 AM   #1
DitraDummy
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Using Ditra in a patio room

Hi all,

Is it acceptable to lay down a Ditra uncoupling mat in a three season patio room? The exterior guidelines have been removed from the most current installation guide. We are in the Midwest, so we’re going to have hot weather and freezing. We’re lying porcelain tile over concrete and are concerned about tiling over the expansion joints in the concrete slab.

While we’re at it - what are your favorite unmodified mortars to use with Ditra? Or is there a better option here?
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Unread 05-23-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Stephanie!

Yes, it is acceptable.

Are you sure you've got expansion joints? I ask because "contraction" or "control" joints are much more common. Can you share a picture or two of what you've got? There's a paper clip icon above the dialog box that is used for attaching pictures.

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Unread 05-23-2020, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks, Tool Guy.

No, I’m not sure of anything, which brought me here!

Here’s some pictures of the floor.
Attached Images
  
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Unread 05-25-2020, 12:55 AM   #4
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What you’ve got there are known as “control” or “contraction” joints. They are called such, as this is where the slab is thinnest and the likely place for shrinkage cracks to form. Because of this movement, you still need to ‘honor’ these joints when placing your tiles and their grout joints.

Are there just these two joints pictured...or are there more?

And have you figured out how you’ll be removing the old carpet adhesive from the slab?

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Unread 05-25-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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It’s just those two lines (one image was a close up). We were planning on caulking (opposed to grouting) the perimeter, where these joints are, and placing another caulk joint if there’s more than 8 feet between that joint and the perimeter.

We were going to place the Ditra first and then caulk where those joints are in between the tiles over the Ditra. We’re using a unmodified “uncoupling membrane” mortar.

And on that adhesive, no, not yet! We tried scraping off to no avail. Our next thought was to put some hot water on the concrete and try scraping again.
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Unread 05-25-2020, 01:13 PM   #6
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An angle grinder with a cup wheel would remove the adhesive pretty fast.
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Unread 05-25-2020, 04:33 PM   #7
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Thanks, Davy!
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Unread 05-26-2020, 09:27 PM   #8
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Another question - our plan is to use unmodified, "uncoupling membrane" mortar for both under and above the Ditra. But we live in an area where it will definitely be below freezing in the winter. Is the unmodified mortar still okay? Ditra obviously wants UNmodified only...but we don't want there to be an issue next year after a freeze.

Thanks!
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Unread 05-26-2020, 10:12 PM   #9
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A geographic location in your User Profile is frequently helpful in answering some types of questions, Stephanie.

Most (all?) manufacturers of ceramic tile installation products are going to recommend one of their modified thinset mortars for setting in freeze/thaw environments. The fact that you will not also have moisture issues (we hope) in your installation would probably allow you to get by with a good quality dry-set (unmodified mortar meeting ANSI A118.1) bonding mortar. See my warranty information below.

Keep in mind that it's not the Ditra that "wants" an un-modified mortar, it's the manufacturer of the Ditra that wants that. All other manufacturers of similar products require the use of a modified thinset mortar meeting at least ANSI A118.4. And since the mortar manufacturers will want you to use a modified mortar for your application, you have a conflict. Were it my installation I would use a modified mortar both to install the Ditra and to install the tile over the Ditra. We know from experience that many modified mortars meeting A118.4 will work fine with Ditra. Herr Schluter knows that as well.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #10
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Appreciate the advice!
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Unread 05-27-2020, 08:20 PM   #11
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Is the whole slab sloped away from the house? Water will get beneath the tile and grout. Had you considered Ditra Drain? It will let any moisture that gets through drain out, IF the slab is sloped properly. A freeze/thaw cycle could be an issue if things can't drain properly.

You might check out Kerdi-Flex over your joints as well. I'd call Schluter to verify that application. Still need something above it between the tile, but it might be a useful addition to the install.
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Unread 05-27-2020, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie
...in a three season patio room?
I presumed that meant a fully enclosed and covered room that was not conditioned space, Jim.

Perhaps we need clarification on that.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 12:25 PM   #13
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Yes, the room is enclosed and is protected from the elements. It has no heat or AC so it will get cold in the winter, but it is dry.

The concrete is also sloped away from the house. This is part of the reason we wanted porcelain tile vs a floating vinyl...we were worried about the slope.
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Unread 05-28-2020, 12:58 PM   #14
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Jim: how does the water drain with all the little cups.?
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Unread 05-28-2020, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Jim: how does the water drain with all the little cups.?
Regular Ditra doesn't but Ditra drain has slits in it that enables it to drain.
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