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Unread 09-28-2014, 05:49 PM   #1
Jim Cordes
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Ardex X77 & AF 207

While I usually use basic thinsets and have not had much experience with many next generation thinsets so i might be excited over something many of us already know.

I recently got stuck with a wavy basement floor over concrete where the specifier did not specify pre-leveling (imagine that!). So I opted to suffer it out after seeing that leveling it would be pretty involved, one laundry room had a sloped drain with 12by 12s(small slope but was wavy) the rest was 12by24's porcelain. Now this aint no high end job its an elderly couple with limited money trying to prevent future water damage since they had two floods already (insurance paid for this..barely..) so please guys lets not get into specifications and ideal working conditions on this one,trust me the last one that wants to build up 500 feet of LFT is me..but it was what it was..

Well first the room with drain..and as always by the time your done leveling the tile around the floor drain will have thick mortar since you took out alot of slope with the 12by12's, It set pretty flat but I took special note of how it looked and then the next day or two I looked at it again..didn't notice any difference in regards to shrinkage, and it must have been an inch or so thick in places. Conclusion X77 hardly shrinks and is a true medium bed in my book at least.

Second the feel of it is well wierd, very creamy and almost like it doesn't have sand in it,almost like speading cool-whip.
What else I really liked is that i would guess i was setting about 30 percent faster with this stuff. even with the waves in the floor and having to lift just about every piece it seemed effortless, a couple well placed blobs and bam the tile was just where I needed it to be with excellent coverage.

Now I was back buttering every piece(well actually my helper was doing that for me..hence his new name nickname "back buttering buddy"...though he prefers me not to call him that in public for some reason...). And was using 1/2 by 1/4 by 1/4 notches.
I feel as though the absence of large sand particles that can "bottom out" easily and have to be removed helped alot. It was like I just made sure I had plenty of pooky and then just pushed down till it was where I wanted. And being creamy allowed the blobs I put under to build up to ooz and provide good coverage. I stayed on the high side in this install to avoid having tile bottom out on bumps so I usually leveled by adding where needed rather then subtracting. This worked nice as I was able to keep a nice easy steady plane throughout with.
At the beginning of the job I was really on the fence whether I should pre-level and even requested more money to pre-level which was approved by the contractor..provided we charged the elderly folks an extra 1000 bucks since there insurance would most likely not cover it....after hearing this and knowing these folks could not really afford that option I made the choice to suffer through it(not like its the first time). I am glad to say in the end with the X77 it was not much harder and didn't cost much more time then setting tile over a pre-leveled surface..and certainly much less work and time if you include the pre-leveling. The final result looked as good as it could get either way IMO.

Pleasure to work with this stuff I don't think I will ever use standard marble&granite set ever again even though this product is a bit pricey I found it to be worth it.

This comes in 40lb bags and I did find that even though it is claims that they go just as far as 50 bags or farther I found the listed coverage numbers far from reality. listed 1/2 1/2 1/2 is 55sq.ft. My much smaller 1/2 1/4 1/4 was at 35sq.ft. in the area of the LFT. Thats roughly half the listed I would guess. Of course back buttering and build up needs to be considered from the listed although I would say I had very moderate build up ..average or less then average as far as these jobs go. And every LFT job has build up so..best to figure low.


http://www.ardexamericas.com/en-us/P...Pages/X77.aspx

check out the video for what its worth..even if tricks and camera work was used it is still impressive.

Interested to know what other products that folks here have found to be good for LFT and stone jobs and why.
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Unread 09-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #2
Carter907
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Hi Jim,

I have to say I love Ardex x77, it is pretty pricey, I pay $37 per bag of white here in Alaska. Although Laticrete's alternative 255 is $45 for white. So it's not too bad.

I've also had good times with custom prolite I think I pay 26 or 27 for that. It's also creamy and very easy to spread, very little shrinkage if any

Tec 3n1 is another good one but I figured based on coverages the x77 was only a couple cents more per sf.
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Unread 09-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
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Jim , at a recent demo , the reps said that it is really not necessary to back butter the tiles when using the X77. With such a great mortar -- used it for a 3D tile setting --, you really pushed the limits -- '' it must have been an inch or so thick in places. Conclusion X77 hardly shrinks and is a true medium bed in my book at least.'' --
, didn't you ?

I also really like the Ultralite .
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Unread 09-29-2014, 06:17 AM   #4
Jim Cordes
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I should clarify it was only an inch or so deep in the one piece of tile where I cut an eight inch circle drain into,raising the drain height so the tile met the rest. the rest of the job was no where near that amount.lol... 1/2 1/4 1/4 back buttered with fairly minimal adding. And yes I know an inch is pushing the limits thats why I felt that tile was a good place to see how good it performed. I couldn't visually see any change two days later.
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Unread 09-29-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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I concur, x-77 is stupid good
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Unread 09-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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I really like a lot of the Ardex products. X5 is good for the money. 8+9 I can put over my mortar beds without a 72 hour cure and a good price. Liquid Backer is a sweet SLC without having to mesh over ply. I forget what silly name the glue for Ditra over ply has, but I like that too, when it's stuck it's stuck
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Unread 09-29-2014, 11:42 PM   #7
hallt
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X77

It's great to hear success stories on here like this one. You are all right about your experiences with X77.

Point 1.
The sand. All of Ardex products outside of FB9 L and X32, have a very fine sand in them. We take pride in our materials and sand is but a filler. We want to give you more of the good stuff!

Point 2.
The video. I assure you the videos don't lie! I have done it many times during my classes and the eyes begin to pop. It has no sag! We have done side by side testing with a few competitors premium thin sets and it blows them away.

Point 3.
Back butter. Although it is recommended in the TCNA handbook to back butter or back-parging the backside of the tile, a "scratch coat" to the backside of the tile would be sufficient. Our X78 flowable floor mortar can achieve full contact regardless!

Point 4.
Ditra glue. The product is call AF 207. I don't know why! lol Must be a German thing. Yes...it sticks like no other. Goes down thinner than thin set and will re bond if the Ditra is lifted up and replaced. It also keeps those nasty curled up edges down!!

Once again, thanks for the good words and best of luck in the future!!
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Unread 09-30-2014, 12:56 AM   #8
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Hey Terry,

I'm approaching a large project, a hotel where we will be tiling over the old gypcrete, we will most likely be using ditra. Some of they old gypcrete is lightly damaged from removing the old tile and I will need to patch it before I install the ditra. Would you suggest using feather finish, gs4 or x4 to fill it in? Then I would install the ditra with af207.

Or are any of the ardex thinsets rated or approved to bond directly to gypcrete?

Thanks
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Unread 10-02-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
Jim Cordes
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Im not Terry, Carter, but I would think that with thw af207 you could maybe skip the gypcrete prep work. and go directly over it. Skim coat with it first then trowel, It is a glue afterall. Just my thoughts. lets see what Terry has to say..
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Unread 10-02-2014, 05:01 PM   #10
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Carter,

I would recommend priming with P51 then using TL Wood floor leveler. Here is a link..

http://www.ardexamericas.com/en-us/P...es/TLWOOD.aspx

If floor leveling is a bit much and all you need is some minor patching,you could use Feather Finish. You would first have to prime the gypcrete with P51 primer then use Feather Finish.

Bottom line is, double prime with P51, 3:1 first then 1:1, prior to using TL Wood or Feather Finish. Same goes for A7 207, our bonding glue for Ditra.

Reason being is the gyp is so absorbent you don't want it sucking the moisture out to fast.
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Unread 10-02-2014, 05:06 PM   #11
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Terry , why Ardex will create the AF207 for uncoupling membranes ? , when clearly you have mortars which can easily accomplish the needs of a plywood application .

What are the benefits of using the AF207 vs. the Ardex mortars ?
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Unread 10-03-2014, 11:12 AM   #12
Jim Cordes
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I wondered they same thing. Faster and sticks better is all I can think of. I would not use it in bathrooms or wet areas due to it being organic.

The one use for it that I do have for it is counter tops, I sometimes get these jobs of granite tile counter tops. Not crazy about this type of counter set-up but so far none have had any problems. They are custom made for counter tops but only 1 cm thick with attached bullnosing, The reveal under the nosing is only about an inch...so mud or cbu over ply is out due to the height . So I install new 3/4 ply and then only have enough room for ditra. Works good except for one BIG problem, since the ply can only really be fastened to the cabinets you get 24" areas without fasteners.

What then happens when you install the ditra with cement based mortars is the next day the plywood warps due to trapped moisture. This glue eliminates that problem for me.
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Unread 10-04-2014, 10:16 AM   #13
eurob
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I think 2 of the benefits of using the AF 207 over mortars is the

1) Bond to OSB

2) long tack time


The #2 is quite important when setting the tiles right away ....... so even if you pull the uncoupling membrane off the floor when removing the tile , you will have the fleece bond again to the sub floor after pressing the tile in .

I am not sure about the long term -- long term tack time -- benefit , but I think it is contributing somehow in helping in situations of minor deflections ........ or situations of minor grout hairlines developing . Who Knows ...... maybe the engineers at Ardex .

Terry , could you improve the benefits list of the AF 207 vs.the mortars usage to bond the uncoupling membrane ?
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Unread 10-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #14
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benefits of AF 207

Here are some benefits for using 207 vs. Mortar

1.Cleanliness.....open the bucket and go! No mixing of powder. Re usable container. Put the
lid on and throw it back in the truck.

2.Bond................unsurpassed bond to wood substrate. Keeps the "curled" edges down way
better than mortar. Re bonds if Ditra is lifted and replaced like when pulling a
tile up fresh. Thinnest contact bond possible. 5/32" notch and you only need
press it down into the glue gently to achieve good adhesion compared to
"pushing" out excess mortar from under the Ditra.

3.Mortar choice.No need to wonder what to use below for bond. No need to get one thin set
for above and one for below the Ditra.

4.Warranty.........The use of AF 207 is warranted by Ardex and is recognized by Schluter as a
warranted product for Ditra.



5.Cost.................Up to 300 Sq Ft per 4 gallon bucket. Approximately .50 per foot for install
with no waste until like mortar.

6. Convenience..Easy to spread. Easy to clean. Easy to carry. Instant adhesion. Long working
time. Adjustability on floor if needed without losing bond.

These are some of my thought on AF 207. It's a great product and really eliminates any in decisions in the field.

Terry
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Unread 10-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #15
lati_cz
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Hi Terry, where to buy 207 in Bay area?
Thank you Michal
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