Not true - the Ditra has a "fabric" back that gets boded to the flor
substrate with thinset. Then the waffle of the ditra gets filled with
thinset, and the tile is back-buttered with thindet and applied to the
filled ditra. Properlu installed, there is pretty close to a 100% bond
between the tile and the ditrs - every bit as good a bond as you get
with a notched trowel to concrete board.
Why cannot it be strong? You get full support on 50% of the tile area,
evenly disributed - guaranteed. (assuming you can follow
It is NOT floating as a sheet. It is firmly bonded to the subfloor by
a full contact thinset layer but with a small amount od "slip" built
in to "decouple" the tile from the subfloor so any shift in the
subfloor, within limits of course, is not transmitted to the tile,
causing either the tile ot grout joint to fracture.
It was definitely not installed properly because a properly installed
ditra-heat system has the heating caple or tubing 100% embedded in the
thinset, which is thermally conductive and stable. Either the wrong
thinst was used or it was not properly installed. Properly installed,
a thermal imaging camera will show the location of the heating element
when turned on, but within minutes of turning off the power the entire
tile surface will show virtually the same temperature and finding the
cable would be a guessing game.
It sure is true. I've seen many tile on concrete slabjobs where the
tile is cracked because the slab cracked. You see it in shopping malls
all the time. It happened in our old office building (second floor of
re-enforced concrete structure) and it has also happened in the
building we are in now (a single story concrete "pad" construction.
Tile may be waterproof, but grout most definitely is not. Nor is
concrete.. Ditra and it's companion product Kerdi are used to make
100% waterproof tiuled shower enclosures, including the shower pan
It sure does.
It's been time tested in europe, where it has been used for forty
It was developed by a german master tile setter to solve problems that
has arisen in the "old country" - where tiling is done by "masters"
not untrained workmen, and particularly after the advent of single
fired ceramic tile, which is about all you can buy today (double fired
ceramics dissapeared with the first oil crisis)
It also is a lot thinner than concrete board, allowing you to install
a 3/8" thick tile without raising the floor level by more than 1/2
inch. Try that with concrete board!!!
I installed ceramic tile and hardwood plank floor on the same surface
with a match between the tile and hardwood that passes the quarter
test, and it was both the first tile job and the first hardwood job I
had attempted. The tile is in the front foyer over 3/4" plywood that
had a 1/4" offset in the biddle of it, so by using 2 different
thicknesses of Ditra I got a perfectly smooth and level surface, and a
guarantee that any moisture tracked in will NOT penetrate the grout
and get to the wooden subfloor.
A lot to be said for PEX - and for copper - but that's a different
subject. Also a lot to be said for and against the newfangled yellow
plastic coated stainless steel flex gas line. I'm "old school" and
would not allow "gasfitters" to install it externally to connect my
natural gas grille. I ended up doing it myself with iron pipe and
calling in the gas company for an inspection when I was finished
I can (possibly) see it's use inside the building envelope, but
certainly not exposed.
Copper pipe hasn't particularly stood the test of time either, but
that "newfangled" copper pipe (as it was surely referred to back in
the thirties and forties) has definitely been a great improvement over
galvanized waterpipe, and CPVC drain pipe has definitely proven to be
a better solution than either clay tile, cast iron, or Transite.
| >. The floor as a sheet can't be very
| >strong, given the waffle design
| Why cannot it be strong? You get full support on 50% of the tile area,
| evenly disributed - guaranteed. (assuming you can follow
And what about the other 50%? It sounds like the
finished product would have a great deal of flex, since
the top of the waffles will have just a thin layer of
thinset, and the sheet itself is very flexible.
| It is NOT floating as a sheet. It is firmly bonded to the subfloor by
| a full contact thinset layer but with a small amount od "slip" built
| in to "decouple" the tile from the subfloor so any shift in the
| subfloor, within limits of course, is not transmitted to the tile,
| causing either the tile ot grout joint to fracture.
That doesn't make sense. I though the selling point
was that it floats. It can't be glued down and
also "decoupled". A small amount of slip built in?
Built in to what? Either it's stuck down with thinset
or it isn't. Concrete board, on the other hand, does
float. Your description doesn't make any sense
to me. You're describing a dense foam sheet preventing
cracks in grout and tile better than a sheet of concrete
board. (And as I said, the one job I've seen is already
showing problems in less than 6 months.)
| > The selling points mentioned on that page are
| >not convincing. "Even if your house shifts, your
| >tiles won't". They're implying that a mortar bed
| >or thinset on concrete board install will crack, which
| >is not true.
| It sure is true. I've seen many tile on concrete slabjobs where the
| tile is cracked because the slab cracked. You see it in shopping malls
| all the time. It happened in our old office building (second floor of
| re-enforced concrete structure) and it has also happened in the
| building we are in now (a single story concrete "pad" construction.
I'm not talking about concrete slab. That's a different
situation. I'm talking about wood construction houses,
with plywood subfloor, where either a mortar bed or
concrete board are used. The OP does have a concrete
slab, but he hasn't mentioned anything about cracks.
The trouble he's having is with tiles coming up.
| > They also make a claim about being
| >waterproof. Waterproof is a main feature of tile.
| Tile may be waterproof, but grout most definitely is not.
Next time you step out of the shower, let yourself
drip a puddle and see if it runs down between the tiles,
soaking into the grout.
Not only have youi never used it you have not downloaded the
installation instructions to see how it is used.
Not onlky jhave you never used it or read the instructions, you have
obviously never even laid eyes on the product.
It does? It is fastened down by both nails or screws AND thinset.,
with all joints taped and filled with thinset., and all joints need to
be properly staggered etc.
It is not a foam product - as I said you've never seen the stuff - and
if it is failing in 6 months, it was not properly installed. If you
used concrete board the way you seem to think it is used it will fail
as well - every bit as soon.
Ditra works even better on wood subfloors, with even more advantages
over cement board (which you would NOT use on a concrete slab,
It definitely penetrates grout. That's why you need to seal grout.
That's why unsealed grout discolors and mildews.
ALL concrete products are pourous and none are waterproof. They may be
water resistant, butif you totally dehidrate a concrete product it
turns back to powder.
Why else do you need a water resistant or waterproof backer for tile
shower enclosures? Put tile on drywall, and the drywall turns to mud.
The ditra is the right way to lay tile on wood substrate - actually
better than cement board if done according to the instructions.
Not sure there is any advantage to using it on an established concrete
floor. One thing it WILL do is prevent cranks in the concrete slab
from damaging the tile.(this is particularly true on a new slab which
may develop cracks after the tile is installed)
I'm inclined to agree to a great extent with the
others. You seem to be saying that the $900 job
took less than one day. That's pretty steep. And
why are they squirting in adhesive? What do you
mean by "adhesive"? Hopefully this wasn't tile mastic
on a concrete floor. And why are you walking on it
the next day? There seem to be details missing.
They should have stuck down the loose tiles with
thinset and then grouted the next day. Thinset is
generally a 2-day cure. It shouldn't have been
walked on the next day except to grout, and then
only carefully, with something like a sheet of plywood
to spread the load.
My best guess is that your whole floor is probably
going and is likely to leave you with two choices:
Redo the whole thing, hopefully breaking out the
old tiles first, if you can, or get your self some
thinset and grout, then just re-stick tiles as they
come loose. The latter solution will mean, of
course, that you'll also have to accept putting in
some new tiles that probably won't match.
In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 06 Sep 2015 14:21:21 -0400, dgk
This is a problem, but morally and legally it's not necessarily the
Morally, I've only read a couple replies so far, but I agree with
Trader, that it sounds like you're waiving damage they do directly, and
if you had ever thought that what he did would cause damage that is $500
more than the original job, you would never have agreed to let him do
the job. He named the value of the job as $1400, not you.
Also look up contract of adhesion. That's what you had, a contract
written by them, take it or leave it.
AIUI, contractually, you can waive negligence on the other party's part,
but you can't waive gross negligence. If they used the wrong product,
or applied it like no one else would do, I'll bet that is gross
negligence. Both legally and morally.
Right. After he repairs them for 700, he'll do $2400 damage but be
willing to repair it for 1200.
Whatever you do, don't put down "cheap" laminate and expect it to
stand up to heavy use or any exposure to moisture. I sure would not
put laminate directly onto a concrete slab in a humid location like
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 11:43:20 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There does seem to be some debate on that topic. I would use a top
quality laminate since it's in a kitchen. What would be installed
between the concrete and the laminate?
One thing I read about laminate is that it is very easy to replace and
not very expensive to buy, so if there is a water leak and it gets
ruined, it's fairly easy to just pull it up and put new stuff down and
a contractor isn't needed. Is that true?
It is true it can be quite easily removed. Removing damaged areas and
replacing just the damaged area is possible, but not necrssarily easy
- and it depends on the laminate. The expensive crap I installed in
my base,ent convinced me to use real hardwood in my living and dining
rooms. The laminate was a real bugger to install, and there are
several edge chips in a lightly used rec room / office area. Thinner
laminate is likely easier to install than the 14mm stuff I used but
won't stand up any better.
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 12:08:38 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
But not hardwood in the kitchen. And now more on the Real Estate agent
before I get back to the laminate. She got badmouthed here because I
said that she had recommended the tile repair company and I was wrong,
mostly because I was trying to be concise and partly because I was
The way it went down was that the inspector found tile issues and the
seller got an estimate from a tile company for $500 to repair it. They
asked (through the agent) that I defer having that done until after
the sale because the old lady who owned the house didn't want a big
mess. So they offered the $500 off the price. Being a nice guy, I said
When I moved in, there was a ton of stuff going on and I deferred
doing the tile until a month later when one of them actually started
coming up. I called in the company that had given the estimate, but
they said that too much damage had been done and now it would take
$900. Since I thought that the real estate agent had recommended that
company, I said ok.
The real estate agent is well known, respected, and lives within my
900 home community. She handles most of the house sales and is
thorough and apparently quite honest. I emailed her about the kitchen
two days ago and she immediately came by to see for herself.
The first thing she asked was why I used that company, and I said that
I thought she recommended them. No, that was the seller's choice and
she said that they overcharged me. She then sent around her preferred
He said that there just weren't enough spare tiles (three) to fix the
damage, which I sort of suspected. He didn't say that he thought that
the contractor screwed up, but did say that if he had done it the
kitchen would probably be fine. But, he also added that the tiles are
over 30 years old and I could probably expect more loose tiles over
the next 10 years.
I asked about laminate and he said that it's not a bad idea and that
many people use it in kitchens. It won't stand up to a real flood,
llike a dishwasher disaster, but it's pretty easy to replace if that
His estimated charge to remove the existing tiles (being careful to
save as many as possible for future use) is $2 per square foot, $2 psf
to install the laminate, and a $100 for the tile disposal fee. There's
some extra trimming and saddle stuff, so the whole estimate is around
The laminate is up to me, but he said that we'd need a moisture
barrier and that it will either come with the laminate or will need to
be bought separately. Either way, even the best laminate will be
cheaper than the labor. It seems like a reasonable deal.
So, please don't blame the agent or assume she got a kickback. I like
her and that isn't the case. And I'm sorry that I didn't get this all
in at the beinning, but that post was long enough and now look at this
Anyway, let's speculate about why the seller asked me to defer having
them do the tile. I never had tile floors so didn't know about the
possible issues. One more thing. Two days ago, early morning, I saw a
fox across the street. During the day I went across to my neighbor,
who has a small dog that is often unleashed, to warn them about it.
During the conversation I mentioned the tiles exploding. The woman
told me that Ellie (the seller) had had problems with the tiles in the
So, I can assume that the real reason that they asked me to defer
having the tiles done was because they suspected that there might be
complications. Still, the kitchen shouldn't have exploded.
They aren't very expensive so I'll do that. Whether I can maintain
them so that they can be used down the line is a fair question. The
only real storage space is the garage and it isn't air conditioned and
this is Florida.
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