257 responses

  1. suz
    July 27, 2014

    Hi Roger I did the ditra and mosaic and have an issue with it. I used bostik modified thinset glued the mosaic to it. Let it set over night and it the thinset did not adhere to the ditra or to the tile. It loosened the glue that gel the mosaic to its netting and adhered to the netting but not the net side of the ditra. I know the thinset was Ok because where it spilled out onto my tarp its as hard as concrete. Do you have any idea what or where I went wrong? I used a 1/4 inch notch trowel on it. Thanks and thanks for the fan website. Ps any ideas now to salvage my mess since the mosaics are now pretty.much just loose tiles.

    • Roger
      July 27, 2014

      Hi Suz,

      It may have been that you did not wiggle the mosaic into the thinset to get a good bond, but I believe it is the mosaic itself. On some of those they put WAY too much adhesive, and on some the adhesive is water soluble. Stupid, right? You do need to make sure to burn the thinset into the netting on the back of the ditra to get a good bond, but the mosaic should not have come off the netting due to the thinset. I don’t know how big your mosaic pieces are, but if they are still relatively in the right pattern you can turn them upside down, burn thinset onto the ditra, comb it then lay the ditra over the backside of the tiles and wiggle it around to get a bond.

      • Suz
        July 27, 2014

        Thanks Roger. I did wiggle them, there was thinset on the back of the tiles but it crumbled wherever the netting was. I believe that may have been the issue and there is some sort of slick piece of paper paper behind each glass piece. There were some tiles where I had cuts that had no netting or paper backing and the thinset stuck to those. I tried to redo a few of them today to see if it will work but what a pain. The tiles are 12×12 and I am cutting them into 3×10 pieces. I will check on them tomorrow. I found a forum that said some glass tiles need high polymer content thinset. I just used standard modified thinset.

  2. Lou
    July 20, 2014

    HI ROGER,
    Read all your books on design and tile tips ,looked at all the pictures too.I have a design question or problem.I want to use 12 x24 tile on floor and two walls horazonaly 4 ft. up. Then to tub surround to the ceiling. If i use the 33% rule and center at the tub how do the grout lines line up and if i line up with the floor, the opposite wall from the tub will not line up with the floor.one wall will have a free standing vanity covering most of that wall. It is 90 degrees from and next to the tub. 5×5 floor two 4×5 L shaped walls, then tub walls 3,5,3. Door and shower door on other wall. I also have a 2×6 hall way to enter the bath room and a toilet and closet on right of hall ,witch will all be tiled. Do I go vertical to center and balance tile or change size of tile. Small room 5×9, same problem for steam shower. I hope this all makes sense.

    Question two. can ditra be cut to fill in small spaces and to save waste or do you need one full cut for each space. I have a toilet and closet area that can be filledin with left over from the bathroom with very little waste.

    • Roger
      July 21, 2014

      Hi Lou,

      When doing an offset like that with perpendicular walls the grout lines will rarely line up through the entire installation, you always have walls which will butt the long side against the short side. Just lay out each wall so the grout lines DO NOT line up, and get them as close to the offset you’re using, in this case 33%, as you can. As long as the grout lines do not match, or are not closer than three inches or so to one another, it looks completely normal.

      Yes, you can patch ditra in with small pieces, it works just as well.

  3. Patrick
    July 12, 2014

    Roger

    I have just removed all the slate tile from the stoop outside our front door and am about to retile the stoop using Kerdi and Ditra. We live in Canada, so the stoop is subject to freezing in the winter months. I was thinking, possibly dangerously, that I could instal the Ditra with the flock on the top. That way, no water will collect in the little squares with the bevelled sides and I should minimize problems with freezing and expansion of water collecting in those little upside-down plastic hats on Ditra when it is installed with the flock down. This is how the Ditra-Drain product works, but the hats have been replace with bumps. Please fill me in the problems associated with installing Ditra upside down. Thank you very much.

    Patrick Cowan

    • Roger
      July 14, 2014

      Hi Patrick,

      You won’t get a complete bond to the substrate with the waffles as you would with the fleece, and the bottom has cavities as well under the fleece, just in opposite places. Your best bet is to install the ditra right side up, then cover that with kerdi. That will give you the bond you need as well as waterproofing the surface.

      • Patrick
        July 14, 2014

        Thank you very much, Roger. This sounds like a wonderful solution which will make installing the Kerdi easier. Cheers!
        Patrick Cowan

  4. Julie
    July 9, 2014

    Hi Roger,

    Love your website. Thanks for taking the time to do it! Hey,
    I’m getting ready to tile my shower and I’m using 6×24 porcelain tiles that are 3/8″ thick with small glass mosaic strips that are not as thick. So, I like the idea of using Ditra as a backer for those strips. I even have some leftover from a flooring project! The problem is that the glass tile on top of the Ditra makes it a little thicker than the porcelain. Can that be dealt with by varying the thickness of the thinset when I’m installing the tiles or am I asking for trouble with that kind of thinking? Is there another material I could use as a backer? Thanks for your help!

    • Roger
      July 11, 2014

      Hi Julie,

      You can use any substrate that is rated for use in wet areas. I’ve used 1/4″ durock, 3/16″ kerdi-board or even kerdi. With kerdi it doesn’t add thickness, but you can build up the thickness of the thinset beneath it without it coming through the mosaics.

  5. Mark Knize
    June 9, 2014

    Hi Roger,

    I want to use Ditra to make glass tiles the same thickness as the rest of my tiles. I will be using 2 small tiles to form 1″ x 2″ tile inserts for our pattern. I see that latex modified thin-set should be used on my glass tiles, but unmodified thin-set should be used with Ditra. Which type of thin-set should I use?

    • Roger
      June 10, 2014

      Hi Mark,

      Modified.

      • Mark
        June 13, 2014

        Hi Roger,

        I have a Lowe’s near me that sells a couple Mapei products. Should I use Mapei’s white porcelain tile mortar (yes, its modified) to install the glass inserts to the Ditra?

        Also, can I use the same modified thin set to install the inserts onto drywall? The main tiles are ceramic 6″ x 6″.

        One last question- in your experience, do I really have to apply Mapei’s “multipurpose acrylic latex prime” on my walls before applying the thin set?

        Thanks for the advise,
        Mark

      • Roger
        June 13, 2014

        Hi Mark,

        Yes, yes, and no, never.

        That was easy, thanks. :D

  6. Lorann
    June 8, 2014

    Thanks for the great idea of putting ditra on the back of the thinner mosaic so they finish at the same level thickness. My question is – with the ditra adhered to the mosaic, can you use the wet saw to cut all of it together to the needed size as you are installing? I’m planning on adhering the ditra to all the mosaic pieces at once so they have plenty of time to dry (I got that memo:) ). I think if I try to pre-cut around the outlets for the mosaic before adhering the ditra, as I go along installing the cut ones I thought were perfect before everything else was installed, then won’t fit so well.
    Thanks for your assistance!

    • Roger
      June 8, 2014

      Hi Lorann,

      Yes you can cut it on the saw after it’s bonded to the ditra.

      • Mark Knize
        June 14, 2014

        Thanks Roger.

        I found a place to order Ditra by the foot. When I told him I only wanted 4 square feet he asked “What are you trying to accomplish”? When I described your tile insert trick, his only replay was “that’s a good idea”. Your tips even impress other pros!

  7. Josh
    June 8, 2014

    Roger,

    I notice you say here that you can use 1/4″ backer to fix this as well. I think this is the way I need to go. I used hardi as the original backer. I was thinking of using 1/4″ Duroc to ‘fill in’ the difference between 1/2″ travertine and 3/8″ glass accent. If so, would I just thinset that Duroc to the hardi with something like Versabond? I am thinking I will tile up the wall to this spot, then set in the duroc, let cure for a day, then add accent and finish tiling up. Maybe just leave a space for accent as I tile up. Either way, is thinset the way to set the duroc to the hardi?

    • Roger
      June 8, 2014

      Hi Josh,

      Yes, just thinset to bond the filler strip to the substrate.

  8. Andy
    June 3, 2014

    Hi Roger,
    Thanks to your very helpful website, I decided to add a shower to my basement remodel. I used Kerdi to waterproof and have begun tiling. Instead of jackhammering up the concrete for the drain, I am using a macerating toilet system capable of handling a shower as well. Due to this, the shower floor is a bit higher than usual. The vertical side of the curb is about 10″ and unfortunately not fully square. After tiling the top of the curb with bulldoze tile and keeping the center grout line straight, the bulldoze tile I used has an over hang that goes from about 3/8″ on one side (perfect so the face tiles will be nice and flush with the bullnose) to about 3/4″ on the other side. Can I use a layer or two of Ditra to build up the area so all face tiles are flush? Sorry if my description is confusing!

    • Roger
      June 3, 2014

      Hi Andy,

      Yes, you can use kerdi, ditra, backerboard, nearly any proper tile substrate can be used to build it out where you need it.

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