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Old 12-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #16
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Yeah, the job that was done was not particularly great -- as I said at the beginning, you get what you pay for.

Thanks for the advice. Wish me luck as I embark on my first DIY tiling job -- I think I'm gonna need it!

I'll let you know how things turn out ...

Richard

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:31 AM   #17
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Remember when you asked if the Ditra was still bonded?

Well, I was double-checking everything, and I noticed that the Ditra was a little springy where the two sheets meet. I ran a knife along the seam, and lifted it a bit so I could squirt some glue in there, and the area just got bigger and bigger. The thinset is sticking to the Ditra, leaving the plywood pretty clean.

Can I vacuum out any debris, squirt some glue (I'm thinking SikaBond) in there, and then put a heavy weight on it (e.g., 5 gallon bucket of paint) until it dries?

Alternatively, can I cut out the Ditra, spread some glue, and then put it back down?

Some other alternative?!?

The best expression of my mood right now? Arrrrrrrrgh!

Thanks for your help,

Richard
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:32 AM   #18
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


Cut out the bad area and reinstall with thinset if it's a large area. What kind of thinset did you use to stick Ditra to the plywood?

Jaz
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #19
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

I'm not sure what thinset the tiler used -- I believe it was non-modified Mapei.

The area is about 4x12, maybe a bit larger, with the seam running through the middle of it. Are you saying I should cut the unbonded Ditra out on either side of the seam, coat the bottom with SikaBond, and put it back in place?

BTW, I've cleared the Ditra of all the old thinset -- it's as clean as a whistle. Almost looks like brand new Ditra, save for the various nicks from my digging the thinset out of the squares. (And yes, a bit of the anal combined with available time overpowering good sense ...)

Your help is greatly appreciated, JazMan.

Richard
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:22 PM   #20
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


If the right thinset was used to bond Ditra to plywood, (modified, not unmodified), but you had a couple of loose seams, I suppose squirting some glue would be ok. But then it sounded like the problem is worse than that.

If Ditra was installed with unmodified thinset, it's not gonna stick very well. It all has to be replaced. You mentioned 4x12, but I'm not sure how much is loose. But the important part is to know which thinset was used. Guessing will not work for me.

Now you say you cleaned the old thinset out of the Ditra. But I don't know what you mean. Is it still on the floor, mostly bonded, or rolled up waiting for to be reinstalled?

Jaz
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:27 PM   #21
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Unfortunately, I don't know what type of thinset was used under the Ditra. In fact, I'm concerned that they may have used the same thinset to install the Ditra, and then the tile over the Ditra. I guess I could call the installer, but I'd like to avoid that ...

I'll take pictures to show the current state and post them so that you have a better idea of what things look like. I should have those for you tomorrow.

As always, thanks!

Richard
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:56 PM   #22
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Here are the promised photos.

The one with my hand (#1358) is to show how far the lack of bonding goes. My thumb shows how far it stretchs horizontally; my other fingers show how far it goes vertically.

If you need more, just let me know.

Thanks,

Richard
Attached Thumbnails
Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra-img_1351.jpg   Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra-img_1358.jpg   Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra-img_1359.jpg  
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #23
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Just some additional info

#1358 is the one in the middle.

On the right, the lack of bonding stops where you see the Ditra sticking up from the floor.

The lack of bonding runs in an arc from the left to the right, reaching a zenith vertically as indicated previously.

If you need more info, just let me know.

Thanks,

Richard

Last edited by RichardZ; 12-16-2012 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #24
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


So cut it, peel it back and spread modified thinset and you're done. Then use the rest for the tiles.

I guess you don't know which thinset was used, but you're confirming the rest is stuck good....right? I would make the call.

Jaz
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #25
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan,

Thanks for the guidance. I'll cut out the Ditra.

I do have a few questions about putting it back down:

o Do I need to knock off the old thinset on the bottom of the Ditra?

o When I put the new thinset down, do I do a full 1/4" notch spread, or just trowel a very thin layer?

o I understand from Schluter's installation instructions that I should use modified thinset to lay the Ditra, but unmodified thinset to lay the tile. As I understand your post, I should use modified thinset for both. Is my understanding correct? If not and I just need a thin layer to stick the Ditra back onto the plywood, could I use glue to put down the Ditra, and then I'd only have to buy one bag of thinset for laying the tile? (Hey, I do want to do the job right tho: if I've got to buy two bags, it's only a few dollars more, and I certainly can spend the extra $ to do the job right ...)

Sorry for all the questions. Next time, I'll hire you and then job will be done right the first time!!!

Richard


P.S. - No problem getting Mapei, even if I have to go a bit farther to get to Lowes. At the same time, somebody said when they needed modified thinset, they went to Home Depot to get VersaBond, a CBP product. A -- ahem! -- few posts suggested that CBP products were not particularly good quality (unflattering comparisons to dirt were made, I believe). Is VersaBond an exception? Thanks. Richard
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #26
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


Gently scrape or brush off what will easily come off, you don't want to remove much of the fleece.

Thinset for Ditra is not spread with a 1/4" square notch, use 1/4x3/16 V or similar.

You can use modified to set the tiles too. I think we went over this earlier. Schluter recommends unmod for the tiles, but do you care or think they're gonna warranty this installation in any way? It's only a repair and must use modified under, so use it for the tiles too.

We weren't talking about Versabond when comparing the cheapo thinset to dirt. We we talking about Custom Blend $6 for #50 dir......ah..ah...thinset. Versabond is plenty good enough for most jobs.

Jaz
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:15 AM   #27
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


Jaz quick question It looks like the thin set came off the ditra way to clean, whice makes me think they did use the wrong one. If this is true won,t the problem with the tile coming loose keep happening?
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:36 PM   #28
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
Jaz quick question It looks like the thin set came off the ditra way to clean, whice makes me think they did use the wrong one. If this is true won,t the problem with the tile coming loose keep happening?
Richard must have worked at it for some time, I don't know how he took it off or how well it was applied in the first place. Either type of thinset would work to bond the tiles to Ditra. What we don't know is whether the right type was used to bond Ditra to the ply.

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:45 PM   #29
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


JazMan and ToolSeeker,

The tile was stuck down pretty well (it took quite a bit of effort to get it off), and the thinset on top of the Ditra stuck to to the Ditra pretty well too. About a third of the thinset came cleanly off the Ditra when I removed the tiles. The other two-thirds stuck stubbornly to the Ditra. It took me quite a bit of time to get it all off. I used a metal scraping knife. I'd stick a point in the middle of the square, keep digging at the thinset until it loosened up, and once a bit was loosened, the rest would come out relatively easily. Not difficult, but with so many squares, it was pretty tedious. I did a little bit each day, and finally got all the thinset out. Not having spare Ditra can make one desperate enough to do the seemingly stupidest things ...

JazMan, thanks for alerting me to the proper trowel. Question, if I use a 3/16" V notch trowel to install the old Ditra, do I risk having it go above the Ditra that's already on the floor, given that some of the old thinset will probably still be sticking to the underside of the Ditra? Does it matter?

Also, about modified vs. unmodified, the Schluter installation instructions say to use unmodified to set the tiles because otherwise you'll need to wait days and potentially months for the thinset to dry before you grout. If I use modified, how long should I wait before grouting?

Thanks,

Richard


P.S. - regarding the fleece, I understand your caution to me about it, having experienced it when I took up the Kerdi band. The fleece made dealing with the thinset under the Kerdi band an exercise in frustration. The thinset in the areas without the fleece wasn't particularly bad, but the fleece left over from the Kerdi band made removing the thinset underneath it 4x more difficult. In one sense, I appreciated what it lends to a proper installation. On the other hand, it my case, it was nasty stuff to deal with. Richard
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:13 PM   #30
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Replacing 2 ceramic tiles over Ditra


You must use modified to install Ditra to ply. Since you now own some, go ahead and install the 2 tiles with the same. It'll work just super.

A basic 3/16x1/4" V is usually enough, but it depends on how you hold it and how thick the thinset is. It's supposed to be thinner than normal, almost runny but will still hold the ridges when troweled. It's important, but not critical. You should apply less if there's still some thinset stuck to the back of Ditra.

Normally the thinset adds no height to the installation of Ditra. Be sure to "beat" the Ditra into the mortar. I use a wood float, but smooth side of a trowel is fine.

You'll have no reason to wait longer before you grout, unless the big game is on.

Jaz

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