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Unread 07-02-2019, 07:36 AM   #16
Fast eddie part deux
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Mike ... if are still buying tools ... this is a great opportunity to go to that much maligned source ... Harbor Freight ... and buy a cheap 1/2" slow speed drill to mix the slc.
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Unread 07-02-2019, 01:08 PM   #17
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I was told to mix the SLC at high speed just don't en-train any air.??
ALso I read where the water is just right if a small bead of water forms at the vortex. I guess it means the particles all have a mating H2O. I got this every batch,.
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Unread 07-02-2019, 07:14 PM   #18
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It can get a bit confusing. You install the levelers first if you are putting a membrane over them. However, if you want to use cement board then install that first- then use the levelers.
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Unread 08-07-2019, 03:02 PM   #19
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Just noticed your replies from July - sorry for the late response. Didn't get an email to let me know you responded. Anyway, thanks all for the advice.

Ed - I have a 1/2" drill on order from Harbor Freight and it should be here Friday.

I got wet feet about the SLC - it just isn't in my comfort zone, so I am using 1/4" Durock as a bonding layer for the tile and will use leveler over the CBU if required.

I plan on using the Durock brand screws to fasten down the CBU to the 3/4 T&G floor (with thinset over the plywood).

Are the Durock screws the best to use, especially on the 1/4 CBU? I have used these screws when I fastened the 1/2 CBU in the tub alcove and had to be very careful to minimize the cracking and crumbling. Read somewhere on the forum about someone using a different screw that was better. Any opinions on this? Any particular technique to avoid cracking along the edges (USG says the screws should be between 3/8 - 5/8 from the edge)

Thanks.
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Unread 08-07-2019, 03:35 PM   #20
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Mike....make sure you embed the panels in thinset...mixed on the "loose" side just before you screw them down....
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Unread 08-07-2019, 05:02 PM   #21
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Thanks Laz.

I plan to use Versabond polymer modified and will make sure to mix it somewhat loose.
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Unread 08-24-2019, 02:17 PM   #22
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Finally got the Durock thinsetted and screwed to the subfloor. Major accomplishment in what has become a 1.5 year project. (yes, my wife is still talking to me!). After taping the joints I will be ready to start tiling.

Is there a need to wet the Durock before laying the tile? I read that this should be done for Hardie backer (I think) but haven't run across the same advice for Durock. The Durock technical sheet does not mention this, but thought I would check in with the pros.

Thanks.
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Unread 08-24-2019, 02:30 PM   #23
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Mike, it won't hurt anything to wet it down. I wouldn't flood it, just wipe it with a wet sponge before spreading thinset. It's okay for it to be damp, you don't want it shiny wet. Being damp will buy you a little time when setting the tiles.
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Unread 08-24-2019, 02:41 PM   #24
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Thanks Davy. Easy to do and a little bit of insurance.
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Unread 08-24-2019, 07:40 PM   #25
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It also helps to get the dust off the surface when you wipe it down.
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Unread 08-25-2019, 01:05 PM   #26
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Thanks Kevin - that makes sense. I am glad to have these tips before I start to lay the tile.

A couple of questions regarding laying the tile.
  1. I have been planning to match the top of the tile (13x13 porcelain) to the top of the hardwood in the adjoining hallway. The top of the tile without mortar (just laying on the Durock) to the top of the hardwood is 3/8". Because of variations in flatness across the floor of about 1/8" or so, it looks like my mortar thickness could be 1/2" in some areas. To achieve this height I am planning to use Mapei Ultraflex LHT mortar. Is this a sound plan? If so, what size trowel is recommended? I only have about 50 sq ft, so I don't think any extra effort on my part would be a problem. But I want to make sure there aren't any issues with the plan.
  2. Is it the norm to caulk the interface between the floor tile and bottom of bathtub or should this be grouted? I From what I can read, it looks like caulk, but I do see some installations that use grout.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Unread 08-25-2019, 02:18 PM   #27
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1. Mike, looks like you're in the area of "unless you need additional height" that all the manufacturers of CBU explain when they recommend their thinner panels for floor installations. Half-inch Durock would seem to have fit your needs much better than quarter-inch material.

You can, of course, try to make it up with an LHT mortar, but I think you're in for a very rude awakening, even with only 50 square feet to tile.

2. With only one exception (shower drain grate) the ceramic tile industry recommends a flexible sealant between ceramic tile and anything that is not ceramic tile. That would be especially true of a floor/tub junction.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-25-2019, 02:30 PM   #28
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Yes, why did you use 1/4" rather than 1/2". To late now but I should put it on my profile.
Screw the adjoining surfaces meeting. Install it right and deal with a transition piece. For 3/8" there are many transitions that will work. They will be forgotten in a few weeks.
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Unread 08-25-2019, 03:57 PM   #29
Mike340
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Thanks, CX and Teddy for your review of my flawed plan. I am sure you have saved me quite a bit of grief down the road.

Why didn’t I use ½” Durock? That’s a great question. I will say that once the ¼” Durock was installed I was surprised at the distance to the top of the wood floor. This project has been going on for so long that I completely forgot that I was originally considering a larger tile with 7/16” thickness. All of my calculations were based on this thickness, but I forgot to update the calculation when I changed to the current tile at ¼” thickness. A pro did my master bath and he matched the wood floor AND had a heating mat under the tile. It seemed so easy! (guess that’s because he is a pro).

I believe in function over form and wouldn’t gamble on having issues down the road by doing something outside of acceptable methods. I am sure the transition piece will be fine – and as you say, forgotten in a few weeks.

Thanks again!
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Unread 08-25-2019, 07:34 PM   #30
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It won't make much difference, but I like to flip the tile upside-down and measure the height that way. Sometimes you're measuring the sloped shoulder of the tile when you have it face-up.

Also, you might think about adding an uncoupling membrane such as Ditra to the top of the cement board and that should put you within a range to make the heights work. Yes, it's more money but it might save you from messing with a transition.
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