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Unread 03-14-2021, 02:04 PM   #1
DirtyOldPete
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Been a long time, seeking advice on bathroom floor

Greetings, It's been about 18 years since I did any significant tile work and the last time I re-did a bathroom, this forum was tremendously helpful. I am hoping to learn and re-learn from the passionate forum members here.
Project summary: ~50 ft2 bathroom floor only, using 12" x 24" tiles. I have torn out the old tiles, smoothed out the concrete floor and am getting ready to install the Ditra. I have a 39.5" wide roll of Ditra that is about 1.5" narrower than the width of the main part of the bathroom which is 41" wide, resulting in a 3/4 inch strip with no Ditra on each side. Here is my noobie question: Is it okay to have a gap around the edge between the wall and the Ditra? Or should I re-cut the Ditra so that it fits snug to the edges? Picture attached.
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Unread 03-14-2021, 02:52 PM   #2
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Run it as in the picture. That small of a gap is no problem...
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Unread 03-14-2021, 09:15 PM   #3
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Big tiles, Small bathroom - layout question

Thank you Laz. Another question: I am using 12x24 tiles in a small bathroom. The tile manufacturer recommends a 33% or 50% stagger pattern. I am dry-fitting the tiles to determine my layout and cuts, but end up with a rather short piece of tile against the tub. This gap is 2" if I start with a full tile on the opposite side of the bathroom by the door. Even with cutting the entrance side tiles a couple inches, I am going to end up with relatively small tiles on one end or the other. I have read that the rule of thumb is to not to use a tile <1/2 the original dimensions. As a fix, we are considering a narrow border of decorative glass tiles along the interface of the tub. Do you think this will work? Any suggestions?
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Unread 03-15-2021, 07:28 AM   #4
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You might not want to go this route, but I just did some 12x24s in a small bathroom and found that running them sideways instead of lengthwise actually made the room seem larger. Lengthwise (at least to my eye in the room I was working in) accentuated the narrowness of the room.

If you ran then sideways and started with full tile against either the doorway or the tub, maybe you could get rid of the tiny cuts. I’d steer clear of anything that small if you have the choice.
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Unread 03-15-2021, 07:30 AM   #5
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Agree with Laz that the Ditra gap shouldn’t be a big deal. I’d make sure it’s filled with thinset when I trowel.
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Unread 03-15-2021, 04:37 PM   #6
DirtyOldPete
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Thanks Matt. I am going to run the tiles sideways like you suggested. I will need to cut ~5 inches off the first and last set of tiles, but it will look nice and the wife approves.
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Unread 03-15-2021, 04:41 PM   #7
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Medium set mortar for large tiles?

I was reading the instructions on the thin set bag and it recommends to use "Medium Set" mortar for tiles >15" long. Is this really necessary? Or can I use regular thin set? My tiles are 12x24, going over Ditra.
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Unread 03-15-2021, 05:34 PM   #8
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Pete....Versabond "LFT" from Homer's is quite good for that. Go forth and sin no more...
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Last edited by cx; 03-15-2021 at 09:19 PM.
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Unread 03-15-2021, 09:20 PM   #9
DirtyOldPete
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Trowel size for 12x24 over Ditra?

Do you have a recommended trowel size? My 12x24 tiles are 8mm thick and fairly smooth/flat on the underside. The floor under the Ditra is concrete which, after much work, is in good shape. Versabond recommends 1/2 x 1/2 square notch. Not sure if going on top of the Ditra is a consideration for the trowel size?
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Unread 03-15-2021, 09:35 PM   #10
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Pete, the ceramic tile industry no longer recognizes anything called "Medium Set" or "Medium Bed" mortars. They were, and remain, mortars used in the thinset method of setting tiles. It was confusing having those terms in past as it let folks to believe there was such a thing as a medium-bed method of tile setting. It's all use in the thinset method.

The industry does now recognize "Large and Heavy Tile" mortars (formerly Medium Bed). They were primarily designed to prevent such tiles settling on floor applications after they were set. Most are thixotrophic as recognized in the T designation with their ANSI standard number.

The greater/less than 15 inches on a side is a rather arbitrary designation in my view and the recommendation for the use of the LHT mortars at that break point should be tempered by the user/specifier of the particular tiles at hand. There is a good deal of difference in setting a 4x16-inch tile and your 12x24-inch tile, but both would fall under the LHT recommendation if taken literally.

If your tiles are flat and your substrate is flat, you may not need anything other than a regular A118.1 or .4 mortar, but the LHT mortar might still help. But that's:

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-23-2021, 04:26 PM   #11
DirtyOldPete
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Floor complete - thank you!

Thank you CX, Matt, Laz, and all. With your guidance and all of the posts on the JB forum to reference, I was able to finally finish my bathroom floor. I had some challenges for sure, but the end product turned out well and the wife is happy for now. I am afraid my good work will be rewarded with another tile job.
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Unread 04-23-2021, 05:50 PM   #12
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Looks very nice, Pete.... Congrats!
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