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Unread 07-18-2015, 08:30 AM   #1
CTDan
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Dan's Front Hall

Bump!! I am finally getting the front hall done this weekend. This will be my first time using Ditra. What additional advice is there for first time users? Any common mistakes that I should be aware of?

Thanks!

Dan
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Unread 07-18-2015, 08:46 AM   #2
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Dan, I moved you here from that other visitor's eight year old project thread. Give us some details of what you are planning to do and our folks will be happy to help you with it.
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Unread 07-18-2015, 09:03 AM   #3
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Hi CX. Thank you for setting this up.

I am in the process of replacing the flooring in the kitchen and front hallway. We had the layers of build up removed, so I have clean slate to work with. The kitchen will get linoleum (the real stuff, not vinyl!). The front hallway will get 18" "french ivory" limestone tiles.

The hall is 168" long and an average of 50" in width. There is also a 24"x 84" closet in the hall. There are three entrances in the hallway; the front door, the living room, and the kitchen. There are also two sets of stairs that lead to the garage level and to the bedroom level (split level ranch). The subfloor is full dimension 1/2" plywood over 2x10 joists 16"oc with a 14' span. I have replaced a few weak pieces of of the plywood and then added an additional 5/8"plywood. The tile store set me up with Ditra, Mapai kerabond, Tornado clips, and all of the other necessary supplies I will need.

This will be a fun and challenging project. As I mentioned before, this is my first time using Ditra. Any advice on proper installation and common mistakes that I should avoid will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan
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Unread 07-20-2015, 02:25 PM   #4
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A couple more questions, if anyone is listening. Does sealant go bad? I have a bottle of sealant in my basement that is 10 years old. Secondly, the limestone has some serious variation in color ranging from off white to a dark tan. How do you handle variations in stone color in your installations?

Thanks!

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Unread 07-20-2015, 03:36 PM   #5
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Dan, neither your joist structure nor your subflooring are suitable for a natural stone tile installation. Up to you whether you elect to install your stone anyway.

The most common way to handle color variations in natural stone tiles is to say, "It's natural stone, it will have color variations."

If the variation is too dramatic for your taste, you'll need to get some different tile.

Depending upon what you're calling "sealant," I'd probably recommend you throw it away. But do tell what it is first.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 07-20-2015, 06:02 PM   #6
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Sorry, I can't help myself, but...

I cannot go any higher with thicker plywood. I am almost level with the hardwood in the living room and the linoleum in the kitchen. Any more build up and I run the risk of creating a trip hazard. I might try to add some sistering to the beams below (some already are due to stairs and the outside wall). Other than that, I will have to live dangerously.

I will get some fresh sealant. I am sure I can search the site for recommended brands. The trouble now is disposing of the old bottle. I am sure the People's Democratic Republic of Connecticut will make me go through some agonizing process for disposing it as hazardous waste.

Regarding the variation... whatever! It is stone and it has natural variation. I got it for less than half price because some contractor cancelled the order. All I paid was the difference between the deposit and the sales price.
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Unread 07-20-2015, 06:16 PM   #7
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I used Ditra recently on my bathroom. Was very easy to use. I used the recommended adhesive and it worked well but to be honest on the next project I'm just going to use Custom Decoupling Mat mortar to put it down. I used some of it after I ran out of the adhesive and it worked just fine. My install was on top of plywood.

I put down the second layer of plywood before installing my marble and it made a huge difference in the floor stiffness (easily felt). I guess you are going to risk it but there is a reason for the recommendation. I also ended up slightly above the wood floors but just used a transition piece of oak between the two and it's fine. No trip hazard so far.
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Unread 07-20-2015, 06:26 PM   #8
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Russ. Unless I was not totally clear, I added 5/8" plywood on top of the existing 1/2" plywood already in the hall. The DITRA will pretty much bring it level with the oak flooring.
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Unread 07-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ
I used Ditra recently on my bathroom. Was very easy to use. I used the recommended adhesive and it worked well but to be honest on the next project I'm just going to use Custom Decoupling Mat mortar to put it down.
Russ, I don't know what "adhesive" you used to install your Ditra over plywood, but you cannot use the Uncoupling Mat Mortar for that application unless you mix it with the recommended additive. It's not a suitable mortar for that application when mixed with water.

Dan, there's no reasonable way to start with a 1/2" first layer of subflooring and make a subfloor suitable for a natural stone tile installation. You can, of course, tile over whatever you're comfortable with in your own home, but I want you (and future lurkers) to be aware that it doesn't meet industry requirements for the application.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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