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Old 01-09-2018, 09:29 AM   #1
HomeyHal
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Ditra heat and small hex tiles

Hello,
I am restoring a 1925 era bathroom that had small hexagonal tiles and I want to go back with a close replica. And Iíd like a warm floor. I have a used a suntouch mat on a different bathroom, but was thinking of using Ditra-Heat this time. But you already know Schluter wonít warranty this. I spoke with the company and he suggested an additional layer of thinset, but Iím still on my own. What about a layer of thinset AND Kerdi to help with potential tipping of the small tiles? Or do you recommend something different? All of this is going on 1-1/2Ē of deck mud over plenty of wood.
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:01 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Hal,

I don't think anyone here will tell you to go against a product manufacturer. I don't think adding Kerdi is going to strengthen the floor at all. The worry is point loads like spike heals, for example.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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Ditra heat and small hex tiles

At one of the workshops I attended, one of the Schluter fellows recommended first tiling the floor using an inexpensive non-glossy 12x12 or something. Then, bond the mosaic to a new flat floor. Iím not sure however if this is just his idea or Schluterís. The principle is sound if you can afford a little extra height.


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Old 01-09-2018, 11:31 AM   #4
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I wonder how well the heat would work with multiple layers over it.
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:00 PM   #5
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Good thought. It should just continue to radiate. I donít think thickness acts as an obstacle or insulator. Some tiles can be pretty thick.
Has anyone done this??


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Old 01-09-2018, 12:34 PM   #6
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You can prefil Ditra with some self levelling products which is harder than skim with thinset. But Ive never understood how prefilling helps with point loads. If you are using Ditra properly you should be filling voids anyway so I don't understand the difference doing it before or after.

Why not embed the cable in self levelling compound as was done before Ditra Heat and then use a thin crack isolation on top? Maybe green skin, I think Noble makes one?? There are even liquid applied crack isolation products like Ardex 8+9 etc
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:35 PM   #7
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The load on a tile spreads out like a pyramid...so, if the part that is rigid is thicker (i.e., the mortar), a point load may make the 'lugs' in the mat appear smaller and functionally, the 'footprint' of the tile gets larger. This is more practical when using plain Ditra, as the raised areas are smaller...I think it would be risky using Ditra Heat mat and the materials cost and a suitable thinset to accomplish this would be more problematic.

If you're doing a new mudbed, I'd consider just installing heating cable in the mudbed. If you have a boiler, I'd consider using Bekotec as part of my mudbed and going hydronic. Wouldn't be of use in the summer, but when needing heat, it would provide a warm floor with probably a lower energy cost than electric.

If you happen to live in CA, nearly any electrical floor warming is almost a waste as their laws require it to be on a timer, and it also limits how long it can be on at any one time making warming the floor almost useless.
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:31 PM   #8
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+1 to what John and Jim suggest.

I'm a new DIY're, so no pro,

but I've researched this pretty thoroughly (doing a 50's remodel and also using mosaic hex tile over heat)... and I'm going with warm wire (not the mat) embedded in Adrex's Liquid Backer Board, and then covering that with either Ardex 8+9 or Hydroban before tiling.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:12 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for sharing your experience. I thought Ďspiked heels in a bathroom?í My wifeís highest shoes are slightly taller than flipflops. But the point eventually got through the old farts head. So my current thought is to go back to the way I did it last time of using a mat in thinset, and adding some sort of membrane as suggested.
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