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Unread 05-07-2021, 09:38 AM   #1
Flannelwarrior
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Penny Round Floor - Issues

Background:

Floor was self leveled. Ditra heat mat was installed, then thin set, tile, etc. Every seam is visible of the 12x12 sheets. Installer says “it is what it is” and unavoidable, was told having a window in the bathroom makes the seams visible. To me, it seams the thin set was applied poorly, as you can feel the low spots at every seam in bare feet, which cause the tile to dip, altering the reflection, and thus making the seams pop. Haven’t paid for the work yet, curious to what people’s opinions here are.

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 05-07-2021, 10:12 AM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Steve.

Those penny rounds are not easy to set correctly, but it can be done if the tiles are properly placed on their mesh backing, which is also not always the case. Staggering the placement of the mesh-backed sections can also be helpful, which your installer elected not to do. A link (just leave an extra space in the www and a moderator will light it up for you) to the specific tile you have would be helpful here.

The only fix I can see is a complete re-do, which your installer does not appear anxious to do. I suspect you're unlikely to have him do it over more to your liking, but whether you're willing to pay for what you got is up to you.

Lighting is always a consideration with the evaluation of any tile installation, but, presumably, your installer was aware there was a window in the room before he set the tiles, eh?

Perhaps one of our resident pros will post a photo of a similar tile properly installed that you might show your installer for reference.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 05-07-2021, 06:26 PM   #3
Flannelwarrior
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Thanks CX.

Was your “worth price charged” comment literal or sarcastic (in the sense that I haven’t paid yet, so that is what it’s worth, zero)? Tough to read intent on the internet.

Appreciate the thoughtful reply. The tile is just CC Mosaics penny round from United Tile.

Best
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Unread 05-07-2021, 08:15 PM   #4
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Steve, that's cx's signature and shows up on all of his posts as a disclaimer. Nonetheless, it's probably some of the best advice you'll get on the internet.
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Unread 05-07-2021, 08:22 PM   #5
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Ditra heat has a minimum tile size of 2” x 2”.
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Unread 05-07-2021, 09:07 PM   #6
Kman
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Yeah, that's a whole new problem. That penny tile shouldn't have been set over Ditra.
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Unread 05-08-2021, 07:24 AM   #7
Davy
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Yep, about the Ditra having a 2x2 minimum. The penny round tiles are tough to install. Seems like the middle tiles in the sheet gets plenty support from the netting and the edge pieces tend to fall/sink a little which makes the perimeter of the sheets visible.

In my opinion, the key is to get the surface as flat as possible so you can use the smallest notch trowel as possible that still allows good coverage. Then, I use a flat surface to slightly push down on the tiles to hopefully get the tiles as flat as I can. I use a piece of 6x12 marble for this. Some installers like to use a grout float which to me isn't flat enough.
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Unread 05-08-2021, 07:36 AM   #8
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I found a pic of a penny round bath we did last year. I spent more time getting the walls and floor as flat as possible than I did setting the tiles. I like to set the sheets against a straight edge as much as possible to help keep them straight. I believe in this picture, the walls are grouted but the floor is not. Even with the time I send on it, I can still see where the sheets come together in a couple places.
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Unread 05-08-2021, 09:57 AM   #9
Tool Guy - Kg
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None of us likes to give bad news to folks on the forum, but we won’t gloss over a problem to make someone temporarily feel better. The penny tiles are a problem over the DitraHeat and are very likely to crack over time.

P.S. We all agree that setting penny rounds is very difficult. But take the seam 8”-20” in front of the toilet...the sheets are simply spaced too far apart from each other and that could have been reduced.
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Unread 05-08-2021, 12:01 PM   #10
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Not that it matters at this point, but I'm curious if the installer pre-filled the Ditra heat with mortar and let it cure before installing the PR's.
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