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Unread 02-24-2015, 10:48 PM   #1
AsheAvenue
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Ditra-Heat over membrane in shower?

I'm still in the planning stages of my bathroom reno. I'm planning on doing a 3'x6' curbless linear drain mud shower, using one of the linear drain/membrane systems (Noble TS, Hydroban membrane, etc...) for waterproofing. However, I'd like to do radiant heat as well. I like the ease and modularity of the Ditra-Heat system (plus the fact that you can technically use any wire brand). If I'm Ditra-Heating the rest of the bathroom, is there any reason I can't put Ditra on top of whatever shower membrane I end up using? I know a lot of people don't see the point of heating the shower, but I don't want to have a warm floor in the rest of the bathroom, only to have a cold 3x3 area in the 6x3 shower where the water isn't hitting... Regardless, does anyone see why this wouldn't work?
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Unread 02-24-2015, 10:58 PM   #2
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Welcome, Mark.

Type ditra heat into the Advanced Search feature and ask for Titles. You'll find a good deal of discussion on the matter of using that product in showers, including a rather comprehensive discussion in the Hangout about controlling multiple and varied sections of such an installation.

I think you'll find a lot of your answers that way and our folks will be happy to answer any you don't find.
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Unread 02-25-2015, 12:06 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Mark!

cx referenced this Ditra Heat thread in the pros section and you can search that individual thread if you like. My first thought would be that I would want the heat wires below the waterproofing membrane so they don't get wet.

Maybe some more opinions will weigh in.
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Unread 02-25-2015, 11:53 AM   #4
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My understanding is that for Ditra-Heat to go into a wet environment like a shower requires that it itself be waterproofed.

In other words, once you put the DH in the shower complete with warming wire, you'll want to lay a sheet of Kerdi membrane over it to waterproof it. The warming wire is not rated for a 'constant soaking' and so needs protected.

This may force you to use Kerdi for your entire shower stall as you'll need to seal things from the floor on up as well to ensure complete waterproofing. I don't know about mixing different brands of waterproofing...generally that is not recommended.
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Unread 02-25-2015, 12:08 PM   #5
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If you wanted to use Noble products, you could attach the DitraHeat to the preslope, fill it with thinset, then install their membrane, and tile, but I think getting the connection to the drain done properly may be a pain. You'd want to run that by the manufacturers, and they may not like mixing products as they have no control over the other manufacturers...what might work today may not tomorrow if someone changed something which is why they generally will not approve it.

Regardless, if you need waterproof, you MUST cover the DitraHeat with a waterproofing layer to protect the wires AND provide a good waterproof seal. Unlike Ditra or DitraXL, you cannot seal the seams in DitraHeat, nor protect the wires, with KerdiBanding.
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Unread 02-26-2015, 10:51 PM   #6
AsheAvenue
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I like the simplicity of the Noble system. I like that one piece of membrane with folded corners seals the drain, corners, and flashes up to 6", whereas with the Kerdi system you need what, 6 different elements to achieve the same thing (linear drain, band sides x2, band behind, corners x 2)? I actually did a full mud/Kerdi shower upstairs that has been trouble free for 5 years, so it's not that I'm worried about failure. I'd just rather simplify in this case.

So yes, I'm basically thinking of doing what jadnashua proposed. The Noble drain screws to the subfloor, and you slope your floor to its lip. I was thinking I could pull the drain after the mud dries, add a 1/4" (or Ditra-thickness) spacer underneath it, screw it back down, then install the Ditra over the mud, the edge of which would then still be at drain height. Then I'd just do the standard Noble TS install. I'm not really worried about using different brands- I'm doing this DIY in my own home, so there's no warranty issue.
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Unread 02-27-2015, 01:08 AM   #7
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If you've been using Kerdi long enough, before they made their preformed corners, they made their corners pretty much the same way Noble does with theirs, but still just used thinset...they worked (and still work) for nearly 15-years before demand had them make their preformed ones. So, when it comes to simplicity, it can be done. With the TS membrane, you either need to buy the NObleseal 150 (not inexpensive), or set the entire thing with their adhesive (not inexpensive, either) rather than thinset underneath and to seal seams. At over 3x thicker, Noble is higher in perm factor, but mostly irrelevant in a conventional shower, and makes corners much thicker.

The Schluter preformed corners are shaped so that you can stop your banding away from the actual inside of the corner and still maintain the 2" minimum overlaps, so you minimize the layer buildup there. IOW, there's no need to run the banding all the way to the other wall when using a preformed corner...stop it once you've gotten the proper overlap.

Anyways, the only potential gotcha I can think of, but I'm by no means an expert on it, would be that the DitraHeat membrane is designed for thinset and tile to be on top...not a plastic membrane adhered with thinset. It shouldn't get hot enough to give the TS problems, but I cannot say that with full confidence, and as already mentioned, the TS is a lot thicker. It is, effectively a slight insulator on top of the heating system. Where you placed the floor sensor might also affect how hot the wires in the shower with the different layer buildup verses a traditional install with tile directly bonded to it. Personally, I think you'd be safer sticking with one company where I know Schluter has tested it, but it will probably work.
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