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reblace 01-29-2013 10:55 AM

One slightly hollow tile
Hey all,

I just laid some porcelain tile over ditra in a bathroom in my basement and I noticed this morning that one of the tiles didn't adhere well on one side :censored:. 2/3 of the tile is solid, but one corner has the hollow sound. Unfortunately it's right in the middle of the room, so it will get plenty of traffic. I haven't grouted yet, and I installed it as Porcelain over Ditra over Concrete slab using some good (Mapei) unmodified mortar (I think it's the Kerabond).

Anyhow, I'm just wondering from your experiences what the best way is to deal with the tile. Should I break it out and set a new one now while it's still easy-ish to do so? How hard is it to lift a set tile off of Ditra without disturbing the neighboring tiles or the Ditra itself? Are there other methods that are good for filling in under the tile in place (epoxy, thinned out mortar)?


joecaption 01-29-2013 11:00 AM

Replace it now.
Use a brick chisle and score an X to break it and pop it out.

DannyT 01-29-2013 02:31 PM

just curious as to why you put the ditra over concrete? it really wasn't needed.

reblace 01-29-2013 02:41 PM

If you Google it, you'll find about a dozen vehement arguments for and against. I figured I'd try it out. A lot of people said that it gives you some added protection against thermal expansion/contraction of the slab and minor horizontal movement at cracks (which I have a few).

I'm not sure if I'd use it again in the same context. If I ever did get a cracked tile, it's not like it's hard or expensive to fix it (certainly easier/cheaper than the extra Ditra cost/effort).

Using the Ditra meant mixing and using a lot more mortar. It also meant using unmodified mortar instead of modified. I would have preferred to use the Ultraflex for the porcelain tile, but Schluter recommends using unmodified on top and under when installing on a slab. I have some confidence the mortar will perform well cause I bought something better than the $6 a bag stuff at HD, but time will tell.

pwgsx 01-29-2013 02:43 PM

His slab must be cracked or he had problems before and is using it as a anti crack membrane :wink:

DannyT 01-29-2013 03:22 PM

i was just curious since you didn't mention the cracks in the original post.
i used it when i tiled my kitchen and 1/2 bath, but i have wood floors. you can never go wrong doing it better.

JazMan 01-29-2013 04:11 PM

It's not an anti-crack or a crack isolation membrane, it's an uncoupling membrane. There's a difference.

It's best to use the Ditra, it'll do you good. You never know what would happen without.

Since it's not grouted it'll be easy. I wouldn't even score it, but go ahead. Hammer in the middle and start removing pieces. Be careful not to lift tiles cuz Ditra may come with it. Use a small putty knife to "slice" the tiles off. Eye protection, gloves, long sleeves etc.


reblace 01-30-2013 08:39 AM

Thanks for all the inputs!

As an update, the tile came up pretty easily doing similar to JazMan's suggestion.

The tile was actually really well bonded. The hollow sound was because there was a little pocket where the ditra hadn't bonded well to the slab. I ended up cutting out the little square of Ditra that wasn't bonded well and re-set it with some fresh mortar and then installed the tile and all is well now.

I guess I have to be more careful with setting the Ditra next time.

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