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Old 11-25-2018, 05:59 AM   #181
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How sad is it when one cannot sleep in on a Sunday morning because thoughts of re-routing floor heating cable has permeated the brain?

I had seen the "jog", Lou, but dismissed it as an option because it just wouldn't have used up enough cable.

I'll rework it today, going for alternating long/short loops under the vanities, and two or three 3/2/3 spacings. I'm sure it'll take a few tries but, since I'm up early, I'll have plenty of time.

I did set the Durock drain yesterday evening. There's a 5 gallon bucket of water sitting on it to hold it in position. There's a lot of mortar under that thing so I'll give it until at least this evening before inspecting it.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:31 AM   #182
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Make sure you install the thermostat(s) in spots of the narrower spacing if you go 2/3/2.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:10 AM   #183
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Re-ran the cabling this morning. 4, maybe 5 times, to come up with this. I think it'll work, thanks to Lou's well timed link to that page from Schluter. Thanks again Lou! It's 3/2/3/2 almost all across the floor, except the last 3 or 4 loops where it reverts to 3/3.

Jeff, your comment makes sense but the way this runs there isn't anyway I can get the temp sensors between the 2 lug runs without crossing over/under the heat cable - which Schluter says is a no-no. With the 3 lug spacing they say to position the sensor midway between the cables, so if I position it a bit closer to one cable I think that will do the trick.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:52 AM   #184
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Glad to see it worked out. Iíve been in that same scenario, I know how frustrating it can be. At least the ditra heat makes it easy to pull and re-set multiple configs.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:22 PM   #185
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It sure does Lou. A very user friendly design, that.

Not too far away from starting to lay some tile. I've been using Versabond for everything thus far, but that Ditra Heat mat is very smooth plastic. While mixing a batch of Versabond to finish laying the mats I did manage to get some on an already laid mat, which then dried. It popped right off.

I can see how dried mortar gets mechanically locked in around studs by the small nubs that lock the cable in, but that's not the case with the small divots within the studs.

Should I be stepping up to a higher quality mortar? Or is it simply the case that nothing really sticks to the Ditra?
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:34 PM   #186
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The waffles in regular Ditra are dovetailed so it locks in better than it does in the Ditra Heat mats but I've never had any problems with tiles coming loose. I usually use Flexbond to stick the mats to the plywood but the Versabond works above and below the mats.

Are you planning to fill the whole floor with thinset before tiling? If not, you can use a black chalk lines for your layout and spray them with hairspray or cheap Krylon clear coat acrylic. That will keep the lines from walking up if you don't fill the floor.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:19 PM   #187
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Yeah Davy, I'm planning to fill the floor and let it cure before setting tile. Just not man.....I mean, tiler enough to fill and set at the same time.
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:55 PM   #188
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Dan, at this point you'll just have to trust the engineering behind the Ditra Heat. I doubt that a modified mortar improves contact to the smooth Ditra plastic surface. Nonetheless, I wouldn't be afraid to use something highly modified like Flexbond for all of it. Done it with regular Ditra and porcelain, and it worked great, set up hard in 24 hours. Plus, I have peace of mind. Maybe again overthinking it, but having a floor that goes through regular heating and cooling cycles, thus increased expansion and contraction, modified mortars intuitively seem a good choice. Maybe not so much regarding the "bond" between top of Ditra and mortar but certainly between porcelain and mortar.

I agree that prefilling with the heat cable in place is a good idea. That way, you won't accidentally damage your cable.
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:40 PM   #189
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Dan,
I prefilled around the wires only to give them some sort of protection around the perimeter areas. HOWEVER (notice the upper case here) because of the dish shaped nature of the ditraheat layer, the hardened mortar can easily pop out of the little bowls. I used a piece of masonite under me while laying the tile to distribute the pressure to not crinkle the plastic and pop out the mortar where I prefilled them. The last thing you need is misplaced little mortar disks getting in the way under your tile, or your knee crushing the pattern in the ditraheat. I left the continuity and insulation monitor attached while laying the tiles and used a plastic trowel to backbutter the ditraheat while tiling. I burned the tile and buttered with the standard 1/2 x 1/2 trowel as I went. I did small sections over 3 days, but then again I had much smaller area (~70sqft) than you've got (and I slow). Different ways to skin the same cat...
Also, I used dirtaset under the tiles. Drew guide lines with sharpie on the orange plastic.
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:36 PM   #190
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In a high traffic area you'll have some of those little bowls pop out. I keep my shop vac handy while tiling and go over the area as I'm backing out. If the bowls stay put after vacuuming then they are stuck good enough.

Masonite or large pieces of cardboard are good ideas.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:31 AM   #191
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Wolfgang, Davy, Jeff, Lou, and everyone else who has contributed - thank you. It really helps to bounce thoughts off of those who've BTDT.

I had considered the Masonite but have a healthy stock of large cardboard sheets, collected from all the stuff ordered so far for this bathroom. The 30X40 vanity mirrors themselves came impressively packaged. I also bought a pack of those 2'X2' interlocking foam flooring squares. Between those and the cardboard I should be good.

Am still planning to prefill the entire area. Jeff, it's almost exactly 70SF of DH. Since it will be rather thick between the studs I have to believe the mortar is going to shrink a bit, and I also fear I'll end up combing mortar out of the mat if I try to fill and set in one operation. The concerns of a novice.

Since the vanities stretch the length of the back wall I'll be tiling into the room. At this point the tile will be 12X24's, with probably a 1/3 offset. I'll likely do it in stages because I slower than Jeff. Once I have the tile I check for flatness which will drive the trowel size to some degree.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:23 AM   #192
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Happy Anniversary!! This thread hit it's one year mark today!!!!
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:31 AM   #193
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FWIW I recently did my bathroom using Laticrete's Strataheat which is essentially the same as Ditraheat. They specifically recommend the two step process (pre-fill/skim coat first, then tile), which I did (using a grout float to apply the skim coat) and had no problem with. Mine sat with just the skim coat for about two weeks and I did not have any significant issue with chucks popping out. Just tread carefully and sweep up when it's time to set the tile and you should be fine.
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Old 11-26-2018, 04:21 PM   #194
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I remember your thread Jeff, and was leaning towards Strataheat but decided against it due to the thermostat being horizontal. Schluter's vertical t-stat works better for my arrangement. Point taken though on the pre-fill. I'm guessing prefilling 70SF of Ditra Heat mat is going to consume quite a lot of mortar.

Ha. Don't remind me Chuck, I really though I'd be finished with this project by now, and moving onto the guest/hall bathroom!
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:00 PM   #195
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Dan, don't worry. Chuck wanted to remind you that you still have three years left before you'd be in the running for longest bathroom remodel. Now, I don't know what Mrs. Dan had envisioned.
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