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Old 11-10-2014, 09:10 AM   #1
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Skim coating plywood to flatten?


I've got a ~6x9 plywood bathroom floor that I need to flatten. Overall it's not too bad, just a couple significant spots to deal with along with several more reasonable ones. I was thinking it would be easier to just skim the surface to flatten it. Questions:

1. What would I use? I'm guessing thinset? Modified or unmodified? Is there something I should look for/look to do in order to make the thinset easier to skim?

2. What about the gaps between the boards being filled with the material? Would it be better to fill them with caulk ahead of time?

3. I plan on putting down Ditra afterwards. I know when Ditra is laid on plywood you're supposed to use a modified thinset, but over concrete you're supposed to use unmodified. If the floor is skim coated with thinset, does that change the equation for the Ditra any?

Thanks!

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Old 11-10-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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Skim coating plywood to flatten?


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Originally Posted by xienze View Post
I've got a ~6x9 plywood bathroom floor that I need to flatten. Overall it's not too bad, just a couple significant spots to deal with along with several more reasonable ones. I was thinking it would be easier to just skim the surface to flatten it. Questions:

1. What would I use? I'm guessing thinset? Modified or unmodified? Is there something I should look for/look to do in order to make the thinset easier to skim?

2. What about the gaps between the boards being filled with the material? Would it be better to fill them with caulk ahead of time?

3. I plan on putting down Ditra afterwards. I know when Ditra is laid on plywood you're supposed to use a modified thinset, but over concrete you're supposed to use unmodified. If the floor is skim coated with thinset, does that change the equation for the Ditra any?

Thanks!
First of all, thinset doesn't make a good repair filler. It is hard to smooth out with a trowel and is sticky. As it dries it will shrink and your repair won't show the gains you thought it would. Use a Portland based floor patch instead. You can use modified thinset throughout for the DITRA. The existing gaps in the subfloor should first be filled with a flexible caulk to allow for future expansion and contraction of the subfloor material.

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Old 11-10-2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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Skim coating plywood to flatten?


Thanks Bud. When you say floor patch, do you mean something like Feather Finish? Also, when I hear patch I think "spot patch", so it would have no issues being skimmed over the entire floor?
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Old 11-10-2014, 04:13 PM   #4
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Skim coating plywood to flatten?


You say the floor is; "Overall it's not too bad". But by your own description doesn't sound very good to me. I think I would consider a self leveling compound for the entire area.

Otherwise a patch as mentioned will work too. You may as well skim the entire floor even if it's not needed to have the same base throughout.

Schluter wants you to use a high quality unmod under Ditra for over Portland patch, but modified will work just fine. As you said they want unmod for the tiles too, but you can use modified and it'll work fine.

The only hard part of using a high quality unmod, is finding one, and so many people use modified instead.

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