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Old 10-19-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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mortar and ditra


After installing my ditra the next day I found it didn't stick. I'm using the ditra trowel and my thinset is soupy why is it not sticking and what is the best thinset to use on ply

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Old 10-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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mortar and ditra


Did you want us to guess which thinset you used? You say the consistency was soupy, not sure what kind of soup we're talking about. Did the ridges hold when you troweled, or was it really soupy? Tell us more.

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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mortar and ditra


I've done this only once, so take that into consideration, but I thought you'd want your thinset to be pancake batter consistency and your grout to be peanut butter-like.

Quote:
what is the best thinset to use on ply
A latex-modified portland cement thinset (e.g. Versabond from Home Depot). Gray, so you can see how well it is covering through the Ditra.

Quote:
I'm using the ditra trowel and my thinset is soupy why is it not sticking
Thinset too watery?
Ditra installed upside down (the flocking goes on the bottom)?
Didn't press the Ditra into the thinset?
Didn't check for coverage, not enough thinset underneath?

I had to apply a bit more thinset than what the Ditra trowel would leave to get good coverage, but that's why you check. You can pull up a corner while it's still fresh to check coverage and/or look for color change of the membrane. Remember that you want to embed the flocking in the thinset.

A couple other pointers. For installing tile on top of Ditra, you will want to use an unmodified thinset such as Laticrete MegaBond from Lowes. Some folks use Versabond above and below because it's not modified "that much" but it's no big deal to just mix a batch of what Schluter recommends. You will use a lot more thinset above than you did below. Fill those waffles by going over them all four directions.

Remember to check for thinset coverage under your tiles. My first one came up clean, so I simply buttered them during installation. Quite frankly, my first tile job is better than the $4000 professional job in my kitchen.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:21 AM   #4
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mortar and ditra


My ditra trowel still left notches and I used a hard rubber float to push it in. I did check the corner for coverage and it was good. I was using Tec modified thinset

Last edited by DonnHartwick; 10-20-2012 at 05:49 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 10-20-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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mortar and ditra


I could still see the notch marks in my thinset and after appling the ditra I pressed it in using a hard rubber float. After I finshed I checked for coverage and that was fine. All ditra was installed on ply using Tec modified thinset. So why did it not stick and yes I know that the orange side is up
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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mortar and ditra


Do not start a new thread, add to the original located here; mortar and ditra
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:26 PM   #7
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mortar and ditra


Merged your threads together---
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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mortar and ditra


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Originally Posted by DonnHartwick View Post
My ditra trowel still left notches and I used a hard rubber float to push it in. I did check the corner for coverage and it was good. I was using Tec modified thinset
Well, if all those things are true, then it should be stuck.

A couple points; The trowel left ridges, but did they stay or did they slump quickly? Just wondering cuz even if a little too soupy it should still bond if you applied the proper amount and had good transfer.

How did you decide it wasn't stuck? Did it just roll up? A rubber float isn't the best object to use to smooth out and remove trapped air. By chance did you test by grabbing a corner and pulling up?

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Old 10-20-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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mortar and ditra


The ridges stayed for about 30 second then started to settel down a bit. Came back the next day found I had to vaccum that's how I found out it didn't stick. I did check the corner for coverage and it was fine. What do you recommend for removing traped air if not a hard rubber float. Also haven't heard about the better thinsets to use
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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mortar and ditra


It does sound like it was too soupy, but, as long as it wasn't like broth it will still work. It doesn't take much PSI to bond Ditra to plywood. You used modified thinset, spread with a Ditra trowel, and you said you had good transfer. It sounds right, I have no idea what happened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnHartwick
Also haven't heard about the better thinsets to use
Any modified mortar that hasn't been sitting around for a long time, (under a year), is good enough for Ditra. You used Tec, plenty good enough good. Zakany recommended Versabond, good too.

I use a wooden float to press Ditra into the thinset and remove air. It glides better and is hard, a rubber float may not slide well. Some use a steel finishing trowel, even a short 2x4 will work. Of course you have to remember that you're trying to remove the trapped air as in wallpaper installations. So you gotta work the air towards the edges.

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Old 10-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #11
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mortar and ditra


Quote:
Also haven't heard about the better thinsets to use
Bostik Ditraset

As a homeowner, I couldn't easily lay my hands on Bostik products which is why I put together the BORG good-enoughs of Versabond and Megabond.

In my tiling class they had us use CustomBlend. Heh. I think that stuff is a mixture of parking lot dust and vacuum lint. Perhaps the idea was to make our field work easy in comparison.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:11 PM   #12
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mortar and ditra


Just so no one is mislead, Zakany did not mean to say you could have used Ditraset to set your Ditra on plywood. Ditraset is unmodified and is meant to install the tiles on Ditra or to install Ditra over a cementitious substrate.

I agree, Customblend at the orange place may be one step better than dirt.

Jaz

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