Layout lines on Ditra

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by jadnashua, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Some complain they don't like Ditra because it won't take conventional layout lines and as a result, spend time to prefill the holes one day, and come back the other, wasting a bunch of time. FWIW, there are ways that work, and are only a slight variation on those conventional ways. While prefilling the holes may make it easier on the knees, a good pair of kneepads or a kneeling pad work if you find the mat so uncomfortable (it's far less obnoxious than kneeling on say cbu to me, though, not counting the fact that that stuff will wear out the knees of a pair of jeans very quickly!).

    If snapping a chalk-line, you need an extra (quick, cheap) step - get yourself a $0.99 special drug-store brand hair spray and hit the line with it...it will stay there and, if you've followed any of my other threads, you'd realize it will make NO difference in the performance of the uncoupling membrane since thinset does not stick to the mat in the first place on top!

    If the needed line is short enough where something like a straight-edge and a Sharpie(TM) would work, use one of those.

    Or, join the modern world and use a laser.

    Some people do not like change, but modern materials usually come around because they have some advantages, and often, require change to implement. If you desire those advantages, trying to apply old techniques may not always be the best way.
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The person who approved my attendance to Laticrete's class knew full well of my association with the forums I post to. I call them as I see them, but base the info on the manufacturer's info and instructions, not someone who thinks they know better than the people that designed it. Getting more familiar with available products is the goal. That's not until June, so plans could change.

    If you were ever to properly install a tile on Ditra Heat, you'd find out just how things are locked together. Since thinset doesn't stick to the membrane, something is holding it in place, and it's the mechanical key into the membrane of the thinset that does it. It's not magic. It's not suction. It's science and good engineering.
     
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  4. Justadrip

    Justadrip Member

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    Thats the only reason you were approved, you post to forums. You dont buy products, you dont install products you recommend products.
    Laticrete is smart to have you at the PTK. All you are is a marketing ploy for them just like Schluter.
    Why else would a company take up limited space at a PTK for a DIY'r and not have the seat filled with a actual setter or new rep or a distributor. Call it what it is Jim, you are only asked to attend cause you post on sites that get traffic to sell the products. Instead of having people go to the manufacturer website and have to read a data sheet they have you.
    Bravo to Schluter and Laticrete but dont kid yourself Jim and think they allowed you to attend so you can learn about the products cause you are interested for yourself. When I say learn about the products thats all you do..learn. Knowing what its like to install is an entirely a different animal. All you are is book smart about the products not real setting smart.
    The reps for companies cant push their products on the forums you post at. Thats where you come in. Your a non paid company rep that can push products.
    Just realize what you really are.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I focus on trying to learn how the products were intended to be installed, and how to do it to retain the warranty. Some people do it like they 'think' it should be, and never look at the instructions, or try to rationalize combining various concepts that have no chance of being successful. Like, how would you ever think a bonded mudbed over an uncoupling membrane would work? Everyone makes mistakes, some are doozies. Crowing about it as a good practice is even worse.

    One does not have to work with the materials on a daily basis to recognize and understand when they are not being used as intended. Sometimes, that's a viable idea, sometimes it is not. If getting the word from the 'horse's mouth' is bad, maybe you should try it for yourself and maybe your opinion may change.

    Back in the 'old' days, before you could hang out a shingle and practice in any trade, you needed to operate as an apprentice to learn. These days, anyone can get a business license and call themselves a pro tiler. I do not claim to be a pro, but have touched and worked with various products, albeit on a limited basis. But, I've been shown by some of the best in the industry, and can recognize when something is done right or not. There's lots of people out there called pros that haven't a clue if you believe the TCNA studies that over 75% of the tiled showers built in the USA failed in at least one or more characteristics of an accepted practice. That doesn't say much for most people claiming to be pros. That I'm hoping to try to improve that statistic with some basic understanding for those DIY'ers here shouldn't be taken as something like 'do as I say', but to promote it like it was designed and intended to be used based on the people that developed and warrant the stuff. And, to do it in a manner that is more likely for a DIY'er to be able to accomplish.

    I've seen some pros do some things that are just pathetic, like use nails as spacers on a Kerdi shower wall. Or, so many that think you can put the liner flat on the floor and expect things to work long-term with good results. The list could go on. All from people that were getting paid for the work that may have been doing it that way for years. Pathetic. Helping others understand how it's done and what to look for and to be able to recognize egregious faults shouldn't be looked at as a bad thing.
     
  6. Justadrip

    Justadrip Member

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    Yes one does. Otherwise you are just reading the instructions.
    Its not, but use words like "i have seen", "i have heard" and "i have been told" not "i have done". That's egregious.
    I moved a huge electrical panel and helped a master electrician feed wire to it. That does not make me a electrician.
    No you cant without doing it.
    Glad you said promote. It's been my point all along on what you do.

    Regular people off the street just dont get to go to Laticrete or Schluter. Did you ask Matt or Peter if you could attend the Laticrete PTK? They are only 2-3 days max besides. No way in the world you gain the product knowledge from an instruction manual or hands on,in that time frame. You are there for a reason...to promote product plain and simple. Just regurgitate the info in the nice binders you get at class but dont make it sound like your an instructor.
     
  7. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

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    You are '' not allowed '' much disagreement on sponsored products , there in the '' all ends '' John .

    One is sufficient to bore you to death with same , same , same ---while available literature is overwhelming --- and parade the contradictions as '' not present ''.

    I guess Laticrete is looking at the Schluter's example of '' pushing products '' on forums ...... something I did propose them few years ago , without success .

    From an engineer POV -- reading data and recommending products -- is just fine , until you use them -- tile setters POV -- . And when you know a little more than the usual , you might think twice where the responsibility leads -- point fingers to ....?! -- you.

    There is no escape to the super tight academic machine ......
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    If you believe the TCNA's assessment that 75% of the tiled showers built in the USA do not work properly because they had build mistakes in them, (and some believe it is closer to 90%), one would have to say that many 'pros' out there don't have a clue. That today's products have some margin for error built in helps cover up some of the issues. Using a product, and using it as it was intended to get the best performance does not always coincide. One does not need to use it every day to see that. I never said understanding the technique and being able to read the instructions meant an automatic ability to perform the task well or efficiently, but there's a huge amount of people that one, never read the instructions, and two, don't follow them even if they did, or three, understand what they've read. If I can help make that percentage the slightest bit better, I will. ANd, I will continue to point out actions that contradict the manufacturer's instructions and will void their warranty. I'm not the tile police that has any authority, but I do try to provide accurate information, something, some people here have trouble with.

    This discussion is similar in concept with one ongoing in the toilet forum here right now...back-to-back toilet installation, codes verses manufacturer's instructions. While the installation in question may meet current codes, those have not been updated to today's realities that the manufacturers have long since identified and specifically state how to get it to work. Plumbers that had been doing it one way for decades, just do not understand the realities of the new products they are installing, and refuse to read the instructions - leading to maybe a code compliant installation, but one that works lousy. Tile setters seem to work in the same manner...I've been doing it like this for years, why do I have to change? Well, products evolve, installation procedures change...you cannot keep doing it like you 'always did without problems'. Old time thinking only works if you apply it to old-time materials in an old-time setting, with old-time expectations...things are not the same. What worked awhile ago, may no longer work. There may be ways to make it work better. A good manufacturer recognizes that, and offers training and materials to help.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  9. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

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    I like the photo :)
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    It became available for sale April 1, 2014. At least that's what their documentation says...have not tried to actually find any. The expiration of Schluter's patent on Kerdi has opened up the opportunity for others to imitate them. Only time will tell how well they work or to have as big of an installed track record. But, it seems that the material is similar. Choice is good. Experience will tell.

    And, while I'm sure this will burn some people, they list 'drywall' as an acceptable substrate, just like Schluter does. Maybe they know something the detractors don't.

    It is applied like Kerdi, 2" overlap, but for now at least, does not have the same range of accessories. If you're excessive/compulsive, it has a higher perm rating than KerdiDs, but both are still better than the current specs called for in the industry.

    When they have been on the market as long, it would be unusual to not know they existed, but it's only been available a couple of weeks...give me a break.
     
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Kerdi has an established track record. The new guys do not have a complete lineup of accessories (that may come). Say you use a 1/2" supply line...their only pipe penetration available now is listed as for 3/4". The substrate must be MUCH flatter before installation, it is thicker, it must be installed in a very particular way, much more strict and restrictive than Kerdi, and better is a subjective thing. To some, a thinner material is easier to form onto surfaces without buildup at the seams. Sort of like asking is a Ford truck better than a Chevy...depends on what you're looking for and your expectations (and, often, what your father drove).

    Just like most stuff out there, the best product is the one that suits your needs.
     
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    RTFM!

    Hydroban sheet membrane - surface should be flat within 1/16" in a foot between high spots and 1/4" in 10' (and other requirements). One slightly bowed stud, and you're out of spec.
     
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    FWIW, Massachusetts has what may be one of the most (obnoxious and) strict plumbing codes in the USA...you are not allowed to use any fixture, product, or method that hasn't been submitted and approved to the state. Laticrete has a bunch of products in their database, but as of today, Hydroban Sheet Membrane is not on the database, so is not allowed or approved for use in MA. Now, that doesn't mean it may not show up tomorrow, but as of today, it is not a legal option in that state. http://license.reg.state.ma.us/pubL...pe=spec&model=&product=&description=&psize=50

    Schluter's Kerdi is, and has been for a long time, allowed there. Their proven track record should make others, if they are a good copy, to get on that list. Time will tell.
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    FWIW, in MA, each product has to be IN their database...it really doesn't matter if it passes some other code. But the fact that it DOES pass that code means it probably COULD become okay to use. The fact that they have approval for the national codes is irrelevant to MA until the manufacturer gets it approved for MA. This is even true with things like toilets...not in the database, no approval. The link I provided is a Massachusetts state government run database that shows all plumbing products that are approved for use in the state. An inspector is supposed to check that database to verify the products prior to giving an approval...not there, no approval unless you wish to petition them. That process can take awhile and is not automatic. Most (all?) of Laticrete's drains are in the list, as is the Hydroban liquid, but not the sheet membrane.

    Did YOU look at my link? In MA, that is the definitive answer to whether it is approved by the state, national codes be damned - MA is funny with plumbing stuff - you cannot even legally replace a faucet in your own home - must be done by a licensed plumber, and you can't use just any plumbing product, either.

    And, yes, in most other places, the inspectors have some leeway and what may be considered common sense and can approve things based on their experience and documentation...in MA, it has to be run by the state first, not the local inspector, and, as of the date of posting, that has not been done.
     
  15. ShowerDude

    ShowerDude Showers

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    Ive ran into a smilar issue locally, was reassured by vendor or mfg rep that its code approved. I simply printed out the laticrete forms that john speaks to and enlightened my inspector with a bevy of documentation. He had never heard of the hydroban bonded system. He did confirm that often times the cash strapped state is a bit behind on updating websites and code approvals . ? If i had to tally the score now id say johns probobly got you here jim, but im not in maryland nor am i a defense engineer so with 2 orange degrees , lets see how this progresses....
     
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Just like you can't buy any brand new legal car in the USA and then try to register it in CA unless it has their blessing, you can't just use anything you wish, regardless of pedigree until it is blessed by the state...in MA, they do it with plumbing fixtures and components. Now, I fully expect that Laticrete will get it on the Massachusetts approved database, just like they did with their drains, etc., but my point was and is, it is not there (yet), and thus, not compliant with the state rules and regulations. A technical paperwork holdup, probably, but until that is done, not legal in MA.

    According to Laticrete's product datasheet, Hydroban sheet membrane became available for sale April 1, 2014. I see they got their test materials to the approval agencies, but if they sent it to MA, they need to check on it, or do it. Until then, not approved.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    For those that can and are willing, the Laticrete class is two full days, and the courses I took at Schluter were 2.5-days (normally only two at remote locations, but they include more, both hands-on and classroom at their facility). You not only get a chance to learn how and why the stuff works, but to actually work with it under expert guidance. This gives you both reinforcement of what you may have been told, but also some helpful hints that may take years of working with the stuff to discover on your own.

    FWIW, there are three states in the USA that have their own approval procedures for things like shower construction: Massachusetts, Michigan, and Kentucky. They do not automatically approve the use of products, regardless of their credentials, until they have been submitted to the state for review and final approval in the state.

    I do not doubt that Laticrete's Hydro Ban sheet membrane will get an approval across the USA, but at least in MA, that has not happened, or at least as reported in their state government database the consumer needs to check (or his plumber) to verify what is intended to be installed has been blessed by the state. If John understood this, he wouldn't be such a jerk. But, because it came from me, it must be wrong. I haven't checked Michigan or Kentucky since I don't deal with them very often - I live all of about 1-mile from MA, and have lots of friends and co-workers that have to deal with it frequently. Why John, over three thousand miles away and in a different country thinks he has local knowledge just goes to show his ego.

    FWIW, Massachusetts posts the approvals to their website so that they don't have to potentially field questions from their nearly 7-million residents on whether something is approved or not. I wouldn't be surprised if they either don't or take awhile to respond to an individual's inquiry, especially if your tag line showed you live in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  18. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

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    I bet the layout lines on Ditra -- is this the OP's question ?! -- are not approved in Massachusetts .....no no no .........that bond breaker thing ............ I've checked the database myself .:rolleyes:
     
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Thinset does not bond to the top surface of Ditra, so there's no such thing as a bond breaker there.

    The thread was started because some people complain it's hard to impossible to put layout lines on Ditra...totally bogus. That it has been sidetracked can be attributed to our friend John.
     
  20. eurob

    eurob master tile and stone installer

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    Who said the thin set bonds to Ditra ........but there is such a thing present -- bond breaker -- if you prefill .

    I didn't see anyone in here saying it's hard to impossible to put lines on Ditra .
     
  21. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Any surface that requires thinset to be bonded can have problems if you let it get dirty or contaminated in some way (Ditra itself, again, doesn't stick to thinset...it is locked in place by the geometry of the material)...thus, the recommendation to just spread your thinset and set your tile. Prefilling the membrane so you can then put down layout lines easier is a waste of time and can offer more problems than it might solve...marking Ditra is not hard without prefilling. The intent of the original post.
     
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