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Old 09-26-2013, 11:52 PM   #31
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OK, I found a photo from two or three weeks ago that should give you all a better idea of the remodel than simple words. The bi-fold door faces the camera, fixed glass on the right side of shower, stacking W/D adjacent. It's very tight but should all fit.

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Currently, the walls are sheet rocked and the shower is covered with Hardibacker except the curb (top and bottom) are still bare so I can adjust them as needed. Updated photos to come.

In the meantime, I would still find feedback on previous questions about the Ditra/heating wire install useful. One more question: Should I fill the expansion seams in the sub floor with something elastic before I apply thinset?
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:48 PM   #32
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When I spoke with the company who made my heating wires and Schluter, both told me to use modified to set the heating wires, let dry, then unmodified to bond the Ditra to heating wire layer.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:18 AM   #33
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Sorry your question was overlooked, Mike. When that happens just make another post to your thread and bump it to the top of the queue for attention.

We woulda given you the same advice, but it feels better coming from the product manufacturers, eh?

You can caulk the seams if you like, or cover with 3/4" masking tape, but you can also just leave them alone. I know of no clear industry guidance on that at this point, but some tiling substrate manufacturers have started recommending such treatment of plywood joints.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:25 AM   #34
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Thanks Kent - that's very good to know.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Sorry your question was overlooked, Mike. When that happens just make another post to your thread and bump it to the top of the queue for attention.
I'm just thankful to be getting guidance from professionals at all. Beggars can't be choosers and this place is great.

And thank-you. With only two short seams, I'll just caulk them. It wouldn't seem sensible to install expansion joints and then fill them full with a material that is even less compressible than plywood.

This reminds me of a couple of more questions.

1) I've left about 1/2" gap between sub-floor and sheetrock. Would it make sense to tuck a 1/2" foam rope backer rod in there before laying the heating wires and Ditra?

2) I'll be using some left over 30# felt paper under the mud shower floor. Should this be folded to extend up the sides of the Hardibacker to the approximate level of the mud floor to slow drying of the edges of the mud bed?
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:54 AM   #36
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1. Can if you wanna.

2. Not at all necessary and will likely just get in the way of a good mud bed installation. You certainly can if you wanna, of course.

I generally don't install the mud floor in a Kerdi shower until after the ceiling and walls are Kerdied, tiled, and partially grouted, so the walls at the bottom are already waterproofed.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:32 PM   #37
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Tile patterns and tile sizes

I never knew this was so complicated. My shower is small and I think a smaller tile will help avoid a "cramped" look. So I selected a line of tile from Dal Tile that came in small sizes and had a full compliment of trim pieces called "Natural Hues":

http://products.daltile.com/document...es_SS_1307.pdf

I decided upon a "plain weave" pattern using 4x4's, 2x4's and 2x2 tiles. But when I did a mock scale layout in Photoshop I discovered the 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" tiles don't play well with the 1 7/8" x 1 7/8" tiles from the same collection (1 7/8 plus 1 7/8 plus grout line adds up to more than 3 3/4).

What's up with that?
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:11 PM   #38
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Mike,

You'll find you need the actual tiles and the actual spacers in your hands to do a realistic mock up. Because;

1- not all 4" tiles are exactly 4", meaning that

2- when you put 10 of these so called 4" tiles together in real life, you'll find they aren't totalling 40"
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #39
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You'll find you need the actual tiles and the actual spacers in your hands to do a realistic mock up.
The purpose of the mock-up was to assist with ordering the desired amount of each color and size (not to determine exact placement of every tile). It was through this design process I discovered that tiles that are 1 7/8" square are not suitable to integrate into a plain weave pattern with tiles that are 3 3/4" square (not related to manufacturing tolerances).
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #40
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Usually we order 5% more on smaller tiles and 10% more up to 12" and higher sizes require more waste. Or you can count each tile by size and figure from there.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:03 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Usually we order 5% more on smaller tiles and 10% more up to 12" and higher sizes require more waste. Or you can count each tile by size and figure from there.
Understood. The design concept is a plain weave pattern with mostly white tiles and a few tiles of various bright pastels thrown in. I was simply trying to design the balance of white/color and decide how many different colors I wanted. There is going to be a ton of left over tiles due to the small size of the job and the design concept using three tile sizes and multiple colors. My preliminary guess is I'll only need one box of each size/color that I choose to use. Actually, I might need two boxes of the largest white tiles but that depends upon what I decide after playing around with the color mock-up.

I'm sure I can use the leftovers up over the next decade or two.

The realization I was commenting on is that not all tile sizes work with each other in the way one might assume. For example, I can use the 3x3, 3x6 and 6x6 tiles of this collection together but not the 2x2, 2x4, and 4x4 tiles.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:30 AM   #42
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Project moving again...

Project is starting to look good but I've hit a little roadblock. Here are a few photos of the recent progress (first photo is from a previous page).
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Seams in the subfloor have been caulked and plywood skim coated with modified Ditraset (below).
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Doing the mud shower floor was the most enjoyable part of this project so far. I really like working with dry pack mortar - fun stuff.



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So far everything has been going great until I tried to cover the heating wires with thinset. I'm using Ditraset mixed with Bostik latex 425 additive. I think I may have mixed the first batch too thick (not enough liquid) because, while it had a creamy texture, it was quite sticky and the trowel would drag the surface open as seen by the pockmarks in the last photo. It was near the end of the day and I was becoming quite frustrated so I scooped enough off the floor that I was confident I didn't have any high spots and left it for my next visit intending to apply another layer. I quit before I had messed up about 8 sq. feet. I imagine if I mix it with more fluid the trowel will not drag the surface open.

Also, the heating wires (Suntouch WarmWire) have two twisted conductors inside a braided stainless steel ground sheath which is then covered with a clear plastic sheath. While the twisted wires reduce the EMF to almost nothing, they do not provide a smooth guide for the trowel as seen in the waves of the last photo. I think every twist of the wire is transmitted through to the troweled surface.

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My questions:

1) If I mix the modified Ditraset to a more fluid consistency will it drag less while trowelling? How fluid can I go without running into other issues?

2) Would Versabond be a better thinset for this particular application? I think the creaminess of the Ditraset will be an asset for wall and ceiling tiles (and the Ditra and Kerdi) but I'm not sure it is the best choice to float a level surface. Yes, I'm willing to try mixing the Ditraset with a bit more fluid but if other products are more suited it would be handy to know in advance so I can pick something else up - the project site is remote.

3) Even with a thinset mixture that trowels more easily I can tell I'm going to have trouble ending up with a flat enough surface for the Ditra and finally the 6" x 12" floor tiles. What tools and tricks could be useful for achieving a surface that is more flat? I'm thinking the wires will be marginally adequate where there are wires but they do not extend under the vanity cabinet or the W/D area. What can I use for guides in these areas? Is there a laser level that can project a beam at floor level or do I need to make some custom guides?

Very frustrated with this aspect and I would like to avoid a disaster.

Last edited by mmullen; 11-06-2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: typo and to fix issue with images not working for some
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #43
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One more question

I was surprised how strong the smell was of the curing Ditraset modified with Bostik 425 additive.

4) Is this normal and will it go away as it cures further?
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #44
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It will go away as it cures.

Open windows help, but I'd avoid fans.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #45
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After reading about the rotten egg smell of recent grouts, that's good to know.

But I guess the title of my thread, "Bathroom renovation" is too generic or too boring to get enough traffic that can actually provide me with much needed guidance on my first three questions.
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