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Unread 02-12-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Dave's New Master Bath Floor Thread

Hi Folks,

Time for a new project. This one's pretty basic, just putting down 18" porcelain on the master bath floor, about 78sqft. Plan on putting 1/4" Hardiebacker down over the existing 3/4" plywood sub-floor. Deflecto checks out A-OK for porcelain. Putting in Warm Tiles system as well, just got it off the front porch. Gotta love UPS.

I need to get a new 10" blade for my wet saw. I've looked at some of the T3 Razor and the Hot Dog blade comments. But the Pearl 10" DTL10HPXL Porcelain Blade seems to have some good specs and reviews and a great price. Anyone have experience or comments on the Pearl blade?

I used SpektraLOCK Pro grout on the last job and it came out great. Not hard to work with and the results are excellent, but of course a bit pricey. Still, I wouldn't use a non-epoxy grout for a small area, the benefits are worth it.

Now the question is SpectraLOCK vs Mapei Kerapoxy vs Mapei Opticolor. I've looked at some of the other threads that touch on this subject but thought it would be good to solicit some fresh comments. The Kerapoxy is a "mortar and grout system" while the Opticolor is just grout, whatever that means. Looks like the Opticolor has some antimicrobial protection and would probably be the one to use vs Kerapoxy for this project. It’s interesting that the SpectraLOCK comes with a special additive for doing the rinses while the mapei just uses water.

The SpectraLOCK is great but when I ordered it last time and went to pick it up, the shop had Mapei on sale for like half the cost of the SpectraLOCK. So this time I'm going to go price shopping first if either product is just as good. So let's hear it, anyone have their preference on which one they like or recommend based on ease of installation, final look, durability, stain/mildew resistance, etc?
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Unread 02-12-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
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Wondering if I need to put another 1/2" plywood over the 3/4". Joists are 12" OC. Will already have extra thickness from the floor warmer so don't want any more than necessary.
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Unread 02-13-2009, 07:10 AM   #3
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Dave,

I have no experience with anything other than Spectralock as far as epoxy grouts go.

If your 3/4" subfloor is in good condition and you are on 12" centers you should have plenty of subfloor for ceramic.

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Unread 02-13-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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Guess nobody likes the Pearl blades 'round here.
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Unread 02-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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Dave,

Do a search for pearl saw blade and you'll come up with some threads. Here's a post from one of the many threads on saw blades. You can believe Trask he knows what he's talking about.

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Unread 02-13-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Hmmm, not sure how I missed those threads when I looked before. That DTL HPXL blade in this post is the one I think I'll get. Although it's not very expensive, not sure if Trask was talking about a different one.

Anyone else have any experience with the Mapei Opticolor epoxy grout.

My 3/4" subfloor should be in good shape. It's only 13 years old and it's got 1/4" over it with vinyl on top that I will be stripping off. The 1/4" stuff was crap when they installed it in the first place, was all warped.

Any second opinonions on the subfloor?
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Unread 02-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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I'm going to put the Warm Tiles heat cable down over the 1/4" Hardiebacker. The Warm Tiles instructions say to scratch coat the cables with "cemen-based mortar". It will be about 3/16" thick. SLC would work too but would cost a small fortune. Since they are not specific on the mortar, are there any recommendations for this? i.e. modified this set, unmodified thinset, any particular kind since it will be basically a solid sheet of thin set except for the cables?
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Unread 02-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
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Dave, you're gonna hafta depend upon the warmwire people for the use and installation of their product. I've always been a little apprehensive about this system of laying wires on the wood floor and covering it with a thick layer of thinset and then tiling over it, but that's the way it's done. Or at least a way.

If the intent is to bond to the wood subflooring you have no choice but to use a modified thinset meeting A118.11. Lots of good brands out there.

Warm tiles likely tells you that no uncoupling membrane is necessary over that installation, too, but I wouldn't install my tiles without one.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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Hmmm,

Well now that you mention it, the Warm Tiles instructions actually don't say anything about CBU or uncoupling membranes. The only thing they do say is thou shall not nail or screw anything over the cables because a nail through any cable would be a bad thing.

The instructions basically reference a wood or concrete floor. I was just assuming that I would put the cables over the Hardibacker which I still think is reasonable. As far as the Warm Tiles installation goes, there should be no functional difference between concrete and Hardiebacker. And with the Hardiebacker underneath I don't see any need for an uncoupling memberane. It doesn't seem like the tile installation should be affected at all by the cables except for that extra thin layer of pookey.

The cables are fastened to the Hardiebacker with clips. The purpose of the scratch coat is not to adhear the cables, its simply to cover them up so there is a relatively smooth and consistent surface to tile over, and the cables are protected when it's time to start laying tile. Would not work so well trying to lay pookey with a notched trowel over a bunch of spaghetti.

So that get's back to the original question, is there any particular kind of pookey that is preferred for doing a thin solid scratch coat (on top of Hardiebacker) under a tile installation?
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Unread 02-22-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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OK, let's try a different approach. Has anybody put down a Warm Tiles system lately?
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Unread 02-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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I find slc then an uncoupling membrane, then tile, works best for radient heat installation.
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Unread 02-23-2009, 06:18 PM   #12
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Hot water radiant or electric radiant or any radiant?
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Unread 02-23-2009, 07:42 PM   #13
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warm tiles

Recently put a warm tile system on 3" centers over 1/4" fiber rock over 5/8" T and G plywood which was screwed to joists on 12" centers. 2 layers of scratch coat on top of the warm floor - no ditra.

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Unread 02-23-2009, 09:00 PM   #14
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Was that two thin layers of scratch coat? Was there any particular reason for two layers, just easier or did you want more thickness or smoother surface? What kind if thinset did you use? thanks
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Unread 03-28-2009, 08:38 AM   #15
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Well the Mapei Opticolor certainly goes down a bit different than the SpektraLOCK Pro. I put the A/B in the fridge the day before same as I did with the SpektraLOCK. Mixed it up and laid it down and 3 hours later is was still as pliable as it was when first mixed. Ambient was 67F. If I recall the SpektraLOCK was hard at 90 minutes and that was in February in the cold basement. There's no rinse agent with the Mapei and the tile shop said there's something built into the A/B to help with the rinse. It seemed the Mapei ended up tackier on the tiles after rinsing even with the optional dish soap added. I ended up doing a third rinse the next day using some left over rinse agent from the SpektraLOCK (had uses several minis so had extra packets) to get off the final tac. The end result looks the same.
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