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Unread 10-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #1
jedininja
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new tile floor advice -ditra,drypack or wire mesh?

Hi all, im a tiling noob and was going to get a contractor to install tiles in our washroom. The question I have is what product to use on the floor..i have had issues with tiles cracking elsewhere at home and dont want a repeat. should we use ditra over cementboard? our installer uses wire mesh...is this a good method? will tiles crack with this? another guy uses drypack...is that better? please advise.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
jadnashua
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Before any tile is installed, you need to determine if the floor itself is strong enough for tile. Regardless of what you put on it, if the floor joists aren't up to it, the tile can fail. There's a calculator in the blue bar above 'Deflecto' that can help you determine that.


Then, the subfloor needs to be adequate. This takes care of deflection between the joists.

If the subfloor is adequate along with the joists, then one of the industry approved tile backers should work for a successful install. BTW, wire mesh in thinsest is NOT an approved method, and frequently fails, so the guy who suggested that should be off your prospect list!

Ditra on cbu is a waste...use one or the other, not both. Both is not better. Of the two, Ditra is better IMHO. For Ditra, go to the www.schluter.com website and read the DItra installation manual, and follow it. If you do, you'll have a warranteed, successful installation. Same is true with cbu.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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Welcome, John.

There are a substantial number of successful ways to install ceramic tile on floors, but you'll need to tell us a lot more about your floor before we can be of any real help.

You have wood framed floors, perhaps? If so, tell use about the structure. You can start with the joist evaluation by using the Deflectometer you'll find in the dark blue bar near the top of the page.

Or is it concrete slab on grade?

Other?

Give us more hints.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #4
jedininja
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Thanks for the quick reply guys..i dont know much about the floor structure..its wooden floors for sure on the second floor of a 40yr old home. We had tiles installed in the kitchen downstairs where the tile guy just put cement board on top of existing tiles and then put new tiles on it..these cracked in the first year. I guess ditra is the best method? Have you heard of drypack mud? Somethin done in europe apparently. Im just confused as to who I should use.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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John,

From your kitchen you already lernt what makes tiles fail. We're trying to help you not have this again. To get there you'll need to do some investigating. Are there any holes in the plywood for ducting? Laundry chutes? Any can lights in the ceiling below? Access panels?

As ol' CX pointed out, you'll need to know your joist height, spacing (apart from the next one) condition, and unsupported span. Plug those numbers into the handy dandy deflecto lator which is linked in the dark blue bar above.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 02:12 AM   #6
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Laying cbu on existing tile is NOT an industry approved method of installing tile! Incorrect installation procedures is only one path for failure, though; the other is if the structure itself isn't up to the task (and a third, poor workmanship).

The first thing that needs to be determined is if the house is built strong enough to even support tile, THEN you can determine the proper prep to actually install it. SOmetimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it can be easily retrofitted to comply with industry standards, sometimes you're stuck with something less brittle that won't crack and can bend with the structure.

A mudbed is a premium way to prep a floor for tile. But, over a wooden subfloor, it needs to be quite thick, and unless the floor was designed for it, you may not like the result (because that floor could be up to several inches higher than adjacent floors). It also adds significant additional weight, and many structures aren't designed for that, either.

Unfortuneately, the era of fairly universal good workmanship and pride in performance is becoming passe...it's getting harder to find people that both know and perform at or above the accepted industry standards. It's definately buyer beware - you MUST do some research (like what you're doing here) to protect yourself. It's sad that you have to tell the guy he's not doing it right, but if you know enough in advance, you won't select someone that proposes a job that does not meet industry standards.

A suggestion: in your contract, specify that all work must comply with TCNA guidelines. Then, should they mess up, you have an unambiguous standard reference that will stand up in court if a problem arises and you need to seek redress. If they are not familar with the TCNA handbook (a blank look when mentioned?!), choose someone else.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 06:40 AM   #7
jedininja
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Thanks for the great advice guys...I will check and try doing what you suggested although I know nothing about floors and stuff.LOL
A tile guy who is a friend of my buddy's said his preferred method is using the wire mesh and mud...I believe this is called the jersey mud job? and is very outdated?
Can anyone recommend a good tile installer in Toronto, Canada btw? I found a Ditra installer and might go with him.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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I have emailed Harry today...will also give him a call...thanks guys.
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Unread 10-11-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Tell'im we sent ya, John, and remind him it's been a loooooong time since he's visited us here.
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