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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:54 AM   #1
darby427
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wood look floor tile install / thinset and other questions - advice

I am going to tackle my biggest floor job ever.. 425 sq ft of wood look 8x36 Florida Tile "Excursion - Badlands" with about 220 sq ft having heat under it. I will be using the Strata heat mat with either 240v laticrete or nuheat wire.

The thermostat will be the nuheat wifi (already have one on the bathroom) I am in the process of checking the floor and just about all it is level.. have one low spot that I can fill with slc.

Now for my questions / advice / opinions.. I am thinking of using laticrete 253 gold for the mat bond to the OSB subfloor. I suppose 252 would work but the cost difference from my local shop is $3 a bag. What would you recommend for the tile to mat set? I was thinking either 253 gold or 254 platnium or 4XLT - gold saves me about $75-100 over platnium or xlt.. but at the end of the day on a $3000+ job.. the $100 is nothing to spend if the xlt or platinum is that much better. I was also thinking of adding the strata heat thermal pack to help with the heat distribution - anyone have any thoughts on that? The thermal pictures look pretty but if you take a close look at it they upped the value for the wire to make everything else look "warmer"

Other than that, its a pretty straight forward job. The tile is pressed edge so any cut edge will either be under trim or quarter round. Part of it does butt up against carpet so I am thinking either using zbar on the carpet or a hard transition strip. For grout.. I see the spectalock1 just got announced so that might be an option.. I have thought about spectralock pro premium epoxy.. used that in the bathroom and it was a bitch to get right.. looks good, but might stick with cement grout Speaking of gout I was thinking 1/8" .. but according to TCNA it should be 3/16" based on the size. Any opinions there? Going to do a 33% offset and I plan on using either Ramondi TLS or the lev tec.. but I cant find levtec in 3/16..

Would love to hear some thoughts and advice!
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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
rmckee84
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For the mat, if you're going laticrete I would go 257. It's ridiculous how easy it is to get coverage with it. It is a little more $ but it's awesome. Multimax lite would be next then 254 or 253. Nothing wrong with 253 but that's where I'd draw the line personally.

Tile to mat, if using the thermal packs 4xlt or 253. If not I would go trilite or multimax lite. The thermal packs cant be used with any of the lightweight mortars.

Grout, spectralock1 wont be available until 2020 sometime. I'm a pretty big fan of Permacolor select.

Any of those lippage tuners will work, I like PLM
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Unread 10-29-2019, 08:35 PM   #3
Lou_MA
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I’d go with 253 for setting the mat. In my opinion anything more premium is a waste of $.

For setting the tile I’d use tri-lite. The 254 would be overkill, plus you can’t really build it up slightly if needed, and it can be difficult to work with - very, very sticky. If you’ve got to clean thinset from grout joints next day, good luck. And with some of the lippage tuning systems, you’ll get squeeze under the cap that you can’t get to until caps are removed.
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Unread 11-02-2019, 08:07 PM   #4
darby427
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thanks for the advice so far everyone.. one question.. in the product data sheet for the 4XLT it does not list strata mat as a suitable substrate where as the 253 gold, 254 platinum specifically list strata mat as a suitable substrate.
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Unread 11-05-2019, 05:55 AM   #5
darby427
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ill answer my own question here.. 4xlt is approved over strata heat.. even though its not listed..
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Unread 11-10-2019, 11:03 AM   #6
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The 254 will grab better and I would trust Ryan's advice on the 257. I've never tried it. 253 is perfectly fine from a spec sheet perspective but you'll have more issues with the mat wanting to curl up. Personally, I would recommend against 252.

For going over the top, you'll want an LFT mortar. 4xlt would be fine but you might check their warranty terms. A lot of times, only certain products are approved for certain warranties. So if the warranty is important to you then you'll want to make sure that you tailor the products accordingly.
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