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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:11 AM   #1
ddilley
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Underlayment requirements for Slate floor

Here is my situation - I plan to lay slate in a bathroom floor. I guess I have a few questions at this point, but the most burning is exactly what is required for underlayment. My existing subfloor is 3/4 t&g osb on standard 2x10 (syp or doug fir) joist 16" o.c. The span of the joists is about 11 feet. The deflecto gives me L/687 for these conditions. I know this is theoretically not high enough for stone floor, but....... I have read enough on this forum that I understand the importance of double-layered plywood floor beneath the slate. I plan to use either 3/8" AC or 1/2" AC plywood, screwed down (not into the joist, only subfloor), face grain oriented perpendicular to joists (right??) and then most likely ditra or 1/4" hardibacker. I am concerned with threshhold heigth as this slate floor will meet a laminate floor at the doorway. I think I can make a custom transition strip at this threshhold, however, I would like to keep the difference down to a minimum. So, will I be okay with this floor if I use the 3/8" ply?? Or will the 1/2" make that much of a difference?? And then either the ditra or the 1/4" hardi?? Any suggestions on really which one of these would be better??

I think the other question is what brand/type of sealer do you recommend for the slate. I would like to put 1 to 2 coats of sealer on the slate before laying the slate to help with the grout cleaning process.

Please advise -

Thanks for yor time.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
Brian in San Diego
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Welcome, Duke.

The Deflecto tool is a bit on the conservative side and you are pretty close...I think I would risk it. I believe you would be fine using the 3/8" AC (exposure 1 or exterior) plywood. You are right it is laid perpendicular to the joists. You might want to read the article in post #3 of this thread before you get started.

Personally, I have used nothing but Ditra since I learned about it. It's a little more expensive, but has so many other advantages i think they outweigh the extra cost.

You'll need to decide if you want to seal your slate or enhance it. Enhancers tend to bring out all the colors of stone and IMO really make it pop. If you want to enhance you must start with an enhancer. I like StoneTech Enhancer Pro. If you can't find that you can get Miracle 511 Enhance n' Seal at Home Depot. If you don't want to enhance then use the impregnator of either of those I just mentioned.

Brian
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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:42 AM   #3
ddilley
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Wow - this is the first time I have ever posted anything on a "forum" type site, and wow - it works.

Thanks Brian! I think your response is what I was looking for. I knew I was close with the deflecto (and had a sneaking suspicion that it may be a touch on the conservative side as well). I needed the vote of confidence that someone else might "risk it" as well. I think the floor will be fine. And using the 3/8" will help me with my threshhold heigth.

Thanks for the suggestion on the enhancer. Does it do the same thing as a sealer??

Thanks again!!
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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:46 AM   #4
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2nd what Brian said almost exactly. I use Ditra for almost every floor. Lots of benefits. Not sure if Brian said/meant to seal before setting or grouting, but I would. Makes clean up of slate easier when pre-sealed before anything. Just seal the top with your choice of either sealer or enhancer first.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 12:53 AM   #5
Brian in San Diego
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
Does it do the same thing as a sealer??
An enhancer is a sealer as well. It just acts differently in terms of the color. It'll darken the stone a little and bring out the colors. Once you get the color the way you want it then you want to stop. If you continue to enhance stone it will get progressively darker.

Like Kevin said, I enhance before I grout.
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