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Unread 09-09-2019, 04:05 PM   #1
jbraun
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: New Jersey
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Ditra Tear Out - what now?

Hi All, Long time lurker first time poster.

The loose tiles in our laundry room have been bugging me for some time and it is time for a total renovation. I have been doing some research on this forum, and would like to get feedback on my plan:

The house is on a slab and is about 15 years old. The laundry room is more of a wide hallway btw the garage and the rest of the house.

I started pulling up some tile, and some came off the ditra easily, and in some cases the ditra came off the sub floor easily. I guess I am lucky the original builder did a poor job.

I would like to retile the area with 12x24 porcelain

1. The mortar under the ditra looks to be pretty solid, can I use a rub brick to remove the remaining fleece and smooth it out? How can I convince myself that the motar is solid? When I pulled up the ditra it did not take any mortar with it.

2. Should I use a crack isolation membrane? If so I would rather roll one on; perhaps something like Mapeilastic

3. I was planning on using Mapei Kerbond T with Keralastic additive. Would I even need crack isolation with this approach?

4. Running parallel with the door threshold there is a 1.5 inch foam (insulation?) How do I tile over this?

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by jbraun; 09-09-2019 at 05:07 PM.
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Unread 09-09-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
jadnashua
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On the top of Ditra, the bond to it is totally mechanical...IOW, thinset does NOT bond to it.

On the bottom of Ditra, the fleece, when attached properly, is only stuck because the mortar flows around the fleece during installation then cures around it. That bond is only required to exceed 50-psi, so normally, it is easy to pull up. If the Ditra pulled up without ripping all of the fleece off, it was not installed properly.

Getting a poor Ditra bond is usually caused by letting the thinset skin over prior to installation or have it mixed too stiff so it can't flow, or the installer failed to actually press it into the thinset. If thinset pulls off the tile, that wasn't done really well. That bond between thinset and the tile typically is in excess of 200psi, and could be lots higher, depending on the materials used. IOW, it would pull out of the Ditra before it broke off of the tile.
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Unread 09-09-2019, 08:45 PM   #3
jbraun
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Jim,

Thanks, that supports my theory that the Ditra was not installed properly. Most of the tiles had good coverage, but the Ditra came up very easily.

Any thoughts regarding my go forward plan?

Thanks,
Jim
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Unread 09-09-2019, 08:51 PM   #4
jadnashua
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The foam is questionable. By itself, it's stable, but between two surfaces that could expand and contract, I"m not sure. I'd talk to Schluter to get their thoughts on that if you wanted to properly install Ditra. If they grouted tight to the wall, that can damage the bonds, too. Depending on how large of an area is involved, it might require some intermediary expansion joints, too.
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