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Unread 10-18-2021, 01:31 AM   #46
TileGuyCanada73
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Thanks Both.

Great to know about the SLC that can be spread on as lope. I ended up using the Custom Skim Coat and Patch product. I find it a little tricky to work with but by mixing half-bags at a time and having a helper, it was pretty manageable and the floor is nice and flat now.

I agree about the risk of the change of materials at this point. Hopefully the DitraXL buys me a little insurance if those two materials behave a little differently as moisture/temperature changes.

Now the next question... I'm going to start putting down the DitraXL and I'd like to key in all the holes a few days before we do the actual tiling so that we can move as quickly as possible (and therefore have an easier time using the levelling clips) on tiling day.

Does anyone know if there is any reason I can't fill in all the waffles a few days before I put in the tile?
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Unread 10-18-2021, 08:45 AM   #47
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While not their favorite, that method is approved by the Ditra manufacturer, Steven.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-18-2021, 05:25 PM   #48
jadnashua
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Just try to keep the surface clean in between. Prior to spreading the thinset to set your tile, sweep or vacuum it then wipe the surface with a wet sponge. Because a lot of the surface area now is thinset versus the mostly impervious plastic, the thinset will pull moisture out of your new, fresh stuff, making it stiffer, so a wipe with a wet sponge first puts things back to 'neutral'.
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Unread 10-25-2021, 04:13 AM   #49
TileGuyCanada73
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Thanks for the advice CX and jadnashua.

I filled the waffles over the week and started tiling this weekend. I'm wondering if using the tiling level system is worth it. The mortar is so thick (the range on the AllSet bag for tile is 5.2l to 6.2l and I'm mixing it at 5.7l) that I pretty much need to just use the weight of my body and a lot of shimmying to get the tiles perfectly level with the neighbouring ones. Then I throw the clip in just for the heck of it but the tile is already level. And if I try using the clip before it is level, it can't apply enough force to make the tile level and will break off before it does that. In addition to the cost and time, it makes a huge mess during cleanup because thinset gets in and around the clip. I've been scraping the area near the grout line clean but it still finds a way in there - especially if I need to squeeze a bunch out to achieve level. On the other hand, perhaps I am not giving them enough credit and things would start moving on me if I didn't have them. The end-result is good so far but I am spending a ton of time cleaning up and scraping grout lines clean after the thinset if partially dry.

Note that the horseshoe spacers are to achieve a thicker grout line. I'm going with a 1/4" grout line to give myself the largest room for error.
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Unread 10-25-2021, 07:49 AM   #50
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Steven, those are lippage control systems, rather than leveling systems, and if you're able to control the lippage without them, you really don't need them with a thixotropic mortar such as you're using. If they help you keep your floor flat, that's useful. If they're just causing you more work than you'd otherwise be doing, I don't see that as useful.

One of the developers of one of the very first such lippage control systems is known to have said that you need already to know how to set your tiles without lippage for those systems to be helpful to you. Some folks find them really helpful, but we've heard complaints that using the clips just creates more hassle for them. Different strokes, I suppose.

have you tried to set some of your tiles without using those wedge clips at all?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-25-2021, 04:46 PM   #51
jadnashua
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Some longer, thinner tile can actually be slightly bent when installing clips to get them to lay flat rather than have a bow to them...no way you could accomplish that without them. In theory, using them should result in no lippage assuming you don't get some mortar caught in the wrong place. So, they can be useful, but not always! Some say they can lay their tile quicker with them, but I have no experience using them to verify or refute that.
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Unread 11-02-2021, 10:36 PM   #52
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I have played around now a bit and I've found that the lippage control system is OK for getting these tiles level but super useful for keeping them in place. If I'm moving fast and doing multiple rows, the lippage control system really helps the earlier rows not move around when I am pushing the new one to get it tight.

So now that the floor is almost done, we have a dilemma before we grout. We've tried to keep things clean but we are messy and there is some thinset on the face of these porcelain tiles. Should we use a product to fully clean the face of the tiles of all the haze and thinset mess before we grout? Or just go ahead and grout and then use a grout dehazer product after?
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Unread 11-03-2021, 07:39 AM   #53
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I'd clean them first, Steven. Seems like one wouldn't want to add grout haze on toppa mortar haze. Will also give you time to ensure the grout joints are devoid of mortar.
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Unread 11-08-2021, 01:01 PM   #54
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Expansion joint at edges of rooms - foam, caulk, or neither?

What's the best practice for the expansion gap around the edge of a room?
Three options being:
- Leave it as a free air gap.
- Fill it with a flexible foam (backer rod or sill foam, etc. - Not a rigid spray foam)
- Fill it with caulking

And if someone has a preference for caulking, is there any reason to not do that?
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Unread 11-08-2021, 01:14 PM   #55
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If you really think you need to fill it with something, use a flexible sealant. Some caulks get pretty hard and rigid over time and would defeat the purpose of the gap. Leaving it open and free of thinset mortar or grout is the best option.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-08-2021, 02:05 PM   #56
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If there's no baseboard going up that would normally hide the gap, you could use a profile at the edge versus the other methods. That should not degrade over the life of the floor. The visible part comes in various colors and the profile comes in various heights to account for tile thicknesses.
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Unread 11-08-2021, 05:02 PM   #57
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So I am tryin' to understand this second layer of plywood concept, and of course I have questions:

Are we always to avoid using glue between the layers? Why? What harm comes from making a giant monolithic slab of plywood?

Is 1/2" the thinnest size that would work? With all these fancy new floor heating systems and 16 sqft tiles (with the associated 3/16" mortar beds), one would think that being able to use something thinner than 1/2" would really help. I realize Luuan won't cut it here, but how thin can you go with something like a BCX and still see benefits?
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Unread 11-08-2021, 06:24 PM   #58
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Gerry, I think those questions would be better addressed on your own project thread rather than this visitor's project thread where they are likely to cause confusion at this point. If you don't have a subfloor project in progress, another post in the Hangout for general information might serve.
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Unread 11-13-2021, 02:34 AM   #59
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Thanks CX.

Well... with the help on this forum, this project is almost done. The grout layer scares me the most because it's the most visible and unfortunately it's not going as well as I had hoped.

I was paranoid about blotchy color so I went with prism by Custom Building Products which I understood to be a great product from a color consistency perspective. I followed the mixing directions precisely, using the base level of water they suggested and not adding any extra. Every bag was from the same batch #. I mixed exactly as prescribed with a low speed drill and let it slake.

Unfortunately, the grout is coming out blotchy and I'm feeling a little deflated after all the work that went into this project. I have one section that has dried for about 48 hours and another that has dried for about 24 hours and they are both blotchy.

Perhaps I used too much water during cleanup?

Scraping it out to redo it is not an option. We would just live with it before we did that. This is a fairly large area.

Do you think if I put a sealer on it, it will be less noticeable or might that might make it worse? Any other ideas to save it?
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Unread 11-13-2021, 03:02 AM   #60
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I doubt a sealer would help.

My first guess would be that you used too much water when sponging everything off.

At this point I'd probably give it ten days and clean it with sulfamic acid crystals. It may not do a thing for it, but it can't hurt. If that doesn't work, I'd probably go with a grout stain.
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