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Old 02-11-2014, 05:33 PM   #1
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Hi from Montana,
I have just begun a bathroom remodel in my basement. I'm planning on 18" porcelain tile over Ditra and concrete.
1. do I really need the Ditra?
2. the concrete has a few small dips ( 3/16" over approx. 2 feet) do I need to level and if so what should I use?

Thanks for the help...it's been a long time since I did tile work

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:04 PM   #2
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3/16th over 2' is enough to be concerned about. Level the floor with a self-leveling compound. This should be available where you buy your mortar.

No, you don't need ditra or anything else on the concrete.

How is the general condition of the concrete?

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Old 02-12-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Thanks, Cleveman.
Sorry about getting lost on the forum...it's my first time (in cyberspace). Glad to hear that I don't need Ditra. It sounds like it could cause me more problems than it would solve. Concrete is in good shape except the two dips and two small surface cracks.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:13 PM   #4
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You may try to "map out" your floor before you mix and pour the SLC. I would go through with a straightedge and mark the low spots as they are, for example, a circle, a kidney shaped spot, a long thin spot where maybe a screed cut too low, etc.

Then make sure you follow the directions on the SLC. I like to mop the floor first or sponge over a small area so that it is not dry.

As you have marked all your spots, you'll not skip any, and you'll know the shape of the hole you are going to be filling.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:07 PM   #5
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Becareful when you use a self-lever, if you don't get a high quality product or you don't primer it or mix it correctly you will get what we call spiderwebbing, this is fine cracks as the material shrinks when it dries, you could also level the low spots with thinset, let it dry good then use the required trowel = 1/2x1/2 square notch back buttering each piece as you go
you will get a slight lippage just because you may not have worked with this format tile. To avoid lippage and cracking a product like ProVa-Flex will help or you can use the Tuscan leveling system.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
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c ray,

You can tile direct over concrete if it's in excellent condition and it's a small space. You won't get any of the benefits of using an uncoupling membrane, but it may not matter in your case.

But you said;
Quote:
Originally Posted by c ray
Glad to hear that I don't need Ditra. It sounds like it could cause me more problems than it would solve.
How on earth would Ditra cause you problems?

As for whether to use SLC or a patching material. SLC might not be the right product to fix a few small dips. Remember, it wants to flow and levels itself (with a little help), so it might go the wrong way. You might end up doing the entire floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 26yrsinflooring
if you don't get a high quality product or you don't primer it
I don't know of any SLC that doesn't require a primer.

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Old 02-12-2014, 10:00 PM   #7
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Neither do it but the does not mean they have been advised correctly upon purchase.
I do however agree with you, no SLC is needed for this job based on the information they have offered.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:21 AM   #8
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I don't necessarily think you need to level this surface first. Leveling is actually more difficult than just filling in a few depressions and hoping that everything else around them is fine. The entire floor could be slanted one way or another, which will throw off all your plans.

The depressions can be filled with thinset as you go, but you have to pay attention. Consider exactly what's happening. Assuming you use the aforementioned 1/2" trowel, what you are trying to do ultimately is create a solid 1/4" layer of thinset between substrate and tile (if you don't understand that, ask). If you just go straight over a 3/16" depression area that is smaller than the size of your tile, then you're not going to be filling it in fully. You will have to fill that space first with thinset (perhaps with a long flat trowel) and then back trowel the tile (not back butter as most people think of it) to get the full trowel amount on the tile, in addition to the amount you laid in the depression.

Last edited by jeffnc; 02-13-2014 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:56 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info everyone.
I'm planning on using thin-set to level the depressions and 1/2 x 1/2 trowel.
I have some "moose milk" left from a sidewalk project...should I use some of that in the patch?

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