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Unread 09-03-2008, 07:23 AM   #1
pauln
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radiant floor heat installation issue

Hi folks,

A contractor installed Nexans heating cable over the plywood subfloor in a bathroom I plan to tile. Problem is that he embedded the cable in a layer of regular mortar (i.e., not thinset), and it doesn't appear to be well bonded to the subfloor (and has some cracks in it).

So my question is: is this adequate to lay tile over with a layer of Ditra, or should the mortar be removed and reworked? So far three out of four tile contractors seem to think it should be ok - the fourth is a stickler for detail and thinks the mortar should be chipped out and replaced.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul N.
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Unread 09-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
Shaughnn
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Paul,
If the substrate isn't sound, nothing you install over it will have any longevity. That's a rule you can bank on, I'm afraid.
How thick is the dry-pack?
Shaughnn
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Unread 09-03-2008, 08:00 AM   #3
pauln
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> If the substrate isn't sound, nothing you install over it will have any longevity. That's a rule
> you can bank on, I'm afraid.

The plywood subfloor is solid, I believe, but presumably would expand and contract a bit over the seasons. I expect a more elastic mortar would follow this expansion and contraction, but presumably would do so by deforming without cracking. Is this a critical difference?

> How thick is the dry-pack?

I think it's 3/8"

Thanks,
Paul
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Unread 09-03-2008, 08:22 AM   #4
Shaughnn
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Paul,
Pull out the failed dry-pack (probably with a vacuum cleaner) and use a self-leveling compound in it's place. 3/8" is just too shallow for a dry-pack to have any integrity.
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