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Unread 06-23-2019, 08:59 AM   #16
Elkski
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Not sure why sometimes it qoutes myself?
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Unread 06-23-2019, 09:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate
Then he put down Mapei Ultraflor Modified Thinset over the ditra heat, followed by Kerdi.
I've not used the MAPEI Ultraflor, Kate, but from the manufacturer's description I think it a poor choice for that application. It's advertised as a "medium bed" mortar for use at thicknesses of between 3/8ths and 3/4 inch thickness, not what a fella would really want to use to bond his Kerdi membrane, modified or not. That and the caution under "Limitations" saying "Do not use for installations subject to prolonged water immersion."

Schluter would balk at its use simply because it's polymer modified, but I doubt they've ever actually tested it. We've found lots of modified mortars that will cure perfectly well under Kerdi, but that's not one I've tested in that application. And the manufacturer's caution not to use it in prolonged water immersion would make me not want to use it in a shower floor application.

And I doubt Schluter or any other manufacturer of similar products, would be happy with any of their products being applied over a plywood substrate in a wet area.

Will it all work out OK? I dunno. And if any of it is a serious problem you probably won't know for a few years, either. Might all be fine. Might not.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 09:33 AM   #18
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It's been a long time since I've seen a GC that actually cares or knows what's going on. GC's trust their subs to run the job most of the time, which is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 10:12 AM   #19
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Correction: Mapei Ultraflor Plus Modified Mortar

The shower floor does not feel squishy, but it was put down Thursday and I can peel up the corner of kerdi like its strong duct tape. I don't like that, particularly to both your points about the bonding. I will reconsider allowing that to stay.

"And I doubt Schluter or any other manufacturer of similar products, would be happy with any of their products being applied over a plywood substrate in a wet area."

Would you please clarify for me, is plywood not a good substrate for a shower floor even with Schluter waterproofing? Also, I was wrong, it looks like there's plywood, kerdi on the floor and kerdi connecting the walls to the floor, then the ditra, then more kerdi. The kerdi-band was not used in the corners above the floor or at the seams of the kerdi-board but that is being re-done now.

A double layer of plywood was used. They shimmed and sistered the joists to raise, level, and slope the floor.

They used a multi-meter to test the heat cables. I will have them tested with a megohmmeter. Thank you for pointing that out, as I did not even think to check their equipment.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 10:44 AM   #20
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Maybe I've missed that but I want to raise one point:
You have a Kerdi line linear drain, right?
If so, how was it bonded to the ditra before they pulled up the floor tile? And when they redid the floor with the extra layer of Kerdi between the heating cable and the new shower floor, how was the linear drain tied in then? I am asking because the flap of Kerdi fabric that is attached to the drain body itself cannot be pulled off and re-embedded without harming the fleece. Also, if they just ran the new Kerdi membrane over the old thinset on top of the drain bonding flap, you'll have too thick a layer of thinset there that is prone to wicking.

It's imperative that the handling of the drain is done correctly and carefully. That's the most vulnerable spot that will see the most water. The Kerdi drains cannot be torn up and redone as usually the bonding fleece is damaged in the process. They would have to be replaced for a redo.

I've only ever installed two Kerdi drains (one round, one linear) but I took painstaking care to properly tie them in with the rest of the membrane. It would have been unthinkable for me to tear them up in case of a mistake and just redo them for fear of a leak. You just simply cannot flub that part of the installation. It needs to be spot-on.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 10:52 AM   #21
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Wolfgang, before the kerdi-line drain was installed, it looked like the kerdi collar had been taken off. The Kerdi from the shower was attached to the place the kerdi-collar should be. I am assuming with thin-set. The kerdi-fix would be better to use instead of thinset in that situation probably?
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Unread 06-23-2019, 10:56 AM   #22
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Im making the call to urge you to pull the floor up now. if it pulls up like duct tape at the edges the center is going to come up like wet wallpaper.
Mapei › public › productsPDF
Web results
Ultra or Plus Ultra or Plus - Mapei

SUITABLE SUBSTRATES
When mixed with water:
• Concrete (cured at least 28 days)
• Cement mortar beds and leveling coats
• Cement backer units (CBUs) – see the manufacturer’s
installation guidelines
When mixed with Keraply:
• Installations over properly prepared and well-bonded
ceramic and porcelain tile, quarry tile and pavers (interior
and dry conditions only)
• APA Group 1 and CANPLY 0121 exterior-grade plywood
(interior, residential and light commercial floors and
countertops in dry conditions only)

Dry conditions only even if mixed with 100% keraply
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Unread 06-23-2019, 10:58 AM   #23
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I know it should have a collar, I asked about that when I saw it in there. It's difficult to explain to a GC who does not know what he is doing that something "looks wrong" without being able to give a solution. So I read in the Schluter installation somewhere that if there was no collar, kerdi-membrane could be attached with kerdi-fix to the linear drain, and I dropped it.

I will bring the drain collar issue and the mapei mortar issue to his attention immediately.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 11:09 AM   #24
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The factory applied kerdi hopefully is very waterproof and then this should go on top subfloor or ditra heat then kerdie overlap 2". The overlap order isn't specified. Did they cut it off? How did they connect the drain going to the low wall by the door? I still say rip up that Kerdi and wash off as much thinset as you can. And send some pictures so we can decide what to do. This is what a drain looks like. If they didn't have ditra on top of the ditra heat when they took off your tile how was it supposed to be waterproof to the drain?
This isn't rocket science but it's close.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #25
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Thank you, Teddy. Not nearly as pretty as a collar...
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Unread 06-23-2019, 11:39 AM   #26
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I'm thinking your best to pull the drain out and just redo this whole floor. I can't begin to understand all those layers of Kerdi and thick thinset with voids . I can't imagine there is a good waterproof Bond from the Kerdi drain to the ditra heat or ditra. Your original kerdi drain
cloth may be down in there somewhere. . It does not look like these guys know how to install ditra and they did not use a Kerdi sized trowel.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 12:18 PM   #27
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Some thinset mortar will cure and attain full strength if it can't dry out, some does not. Check with Mapei about the one used. If it cures to full strength while wet, it should not be a problem. The issue is, the Ditra Heat and Kerdi are both waterproof. There's essentially no reliable way for thinset to dry out in between. If it is one that needs to dry to attain strength, it could fail. If it isn't, it should be okay. It might take years, but eventually, it will dry.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 12:28 PM   #28
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Kate, if by "collar" you mean the Kerdi fabric attached to the drain, then no, that should NEVER be taken off. It is attached to the steel drain body with a red factory-tested sealant. It ensures the integrity of the drain's waterproofness. You need the overlap from that flap to tie it into your surrounding Kerdi installation. Re-doing the bond between the drain body and Kerdi with Kerdi-Fix is sketchy at best. I wouldn't rely on that at all. There's a reason why that process is done at the factory with a sealant that, at least judging from its color, is different from the Kerdi-Fix.

From what I can discern from your pictures, there seem to be voids between the Kerdi layers. That doesn't look like a neat installation done according to best practices.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 12:32 PM   #29
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I was leaning towards hope in that direction Jim. But reading the thinset is not for wet locations. Used for Floors and countertops. Thend seeing the thickness and voids of that thinset and the overall schluter knowledge of the workers i say it's time to call it. I'm the tightest guy in most rooms. I know the drain body is 450$ on Amazon and a new hearing cable but I say it's time to bite the bullet for 1000$+ which is probably 10-20% of this showers price and do this shower right. It sounds like we can save the walls and redo this floor and drain and tie the Kerdi into the walls and end up with a good solid chance of a waterproof shower that will last for 30 years.
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Unread 06-23-2019, 04:34 PM   #30
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Thank you for your consideration. I agree the drain must be replaced and the part of the shower floor where the mapei was used. I will have the heat cables tested with a megohmeter and hope for the best.
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