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Old 05-18-2017, 08:58 AM   #1
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Cement board vs. Ditra


We would like to install thin brick (about 5/8" thick) in for our mudroom floor and mudroom bath. We only have about 175 sq ft or so, but I am wondering what would be the best substrate for the brick? Do I use 1/2" backer board, or should I consider a underlayment like ditra or something similar?

I like the idea of not building up the floor height another 1/2" with backer board, but will do what's best. FYI, current subfloor is 3/4" ply, joists 16 o.c.

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Old 05-18-2017, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


1/4" backer board, not 1/2", is typically used for floors.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:32 PM   #3
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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1/4" backer board, not 1/2", is typically used for floors.
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Regardless, is backer board no longer the best option given the rolled products like ditra,etc? Is there a reason why one would use one product over the other?
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


Well, Ditra is a premium product that is considered an "uncoupling membrane." It provides a degree of protection against cracks in the tile due to expansion/contraction of the underlying substrate as well as deflection of the floor joists. Cement board is stiff and unforgiving.

Cement board is much less expensive but it requires more expensive modified thinset. Ditra uses unmodified.

This article provides a good summary of pros and cons of each method.

https://www.thespruce.com/can-i-inst...lywood-1822594
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


Ditra requires modified thinset to bond it to the plywood and unmodified to bond the tile to to the ditra. That's the instructions I remember when I used it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:13 PM   #6
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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Ditra requires modified thinset to bond it to the plywood and unmodified to bond the tile to to the ditra. That's the instructions I remember when I used it.
Yes, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:08 PM   #7
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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Originally Posted by cibula11 View Post
Regardless, is backer board no longer the best option given the rolled products like ditra,etc? Is there a reason why one would use one product over the other?
Ditra is only 1/8" thick so that will save you an 1/8" over backer. Is your "thin brick" rated for floors?
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:54 PM   #8
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


Thin brick for a mudroom floor? Doesn't sound like anything I'd recommend.

In addition, even though this product isn't natural stone, I would put it in the same category which means it's a good bet the joists system and for sure your single 3/4" subfloor is not adequate.

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Old 05-19-2017, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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Thin brick for a mudroom floor? Doesn't sound like anything I'd recommend.

In addition, even though this product isn't natural stone, I would put it in the same category which means it's a good bet the joists system and for sure your single 3/4" subfloor is not adequate.

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Why would you not recommend thin brick? 3/4" subfloor not adequate? Why?
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:03 AM   #10
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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Ditra is only 1/8" thick so that will save you an 1/8" over backer. Is your "thin brick" rated for floors?
It says it's rated for floors as long as appropriate substrate is used (the specs make mention of subfloor similar to tile, but doesn't specify the exact type)
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


Brick is soft and does not wear well on a floor would be my best guess as to why Jaz would not choose it; it's at least part of why I would not choose it.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:17 AM   #12
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


I would bet it's not actual "brick", but porcelain made to look like brick.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #13
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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I would bet it's not actual "brick", but porcelain made to look like brick.
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That'd be my guess if it's rated for floors. Probably supposed to mimic pavers. Not my taste but it's also not my house.


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...31848d3c3f.jpg
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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That'd be my guess if it's rated for floors. Probably supposed to mimic pavers. Not my taste but it's also not my house.


https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...31848d3c3f.jpg
Its a brick veneer that is cut from the face of actual antique bricks. It's an actual brick, not a tile or porcelain look alike. The picture above is essentially what it looks like.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:09 PM   #15
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Re: Cement board vs. Ditra


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Its a brick veneer that is cut from the face of actual antique bricks. It's an actual brick, not a tile or porcelain look alike. The picture above is essentially what it looks like.
In that case, I would research it more on the net. That's a non-standard product and application.

I would go with cement board, and possibly use a brick mortar rather than interior tile thinset.

Grouting brick would be difficult, as the face of the brick would suck up regular grout like a sponge. You might have to go with mortar applied with a cement bag or something similar.

I wonder what our resident tile guru Jazman will have to say on the matter.
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