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Showing posts with label floor tile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label floor tile. Show all posts

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ditra Flooring Membrane Underlayment System Reality Check

Ditra Flooring System Doesn't Make Sense

I've been installing tile most of my adult life. From the first introduction of Durock then Hardi board,  Even back as far as metal wire and hand "dry pack" concrete bed floors. I personally prefer Hardi board for my installation as I understand the "water barrier" properties of this product and would recommend this product and use it exclusively in my own house as a tile underlayment.
Although I am always open to the introduction of new products and always open minded to something that might prove to be a better product or a improvement upon current installation methods.
I've know of many tile installers who swear by the installation process of the "Ditra" product. But upon a closer inspection of the product and the installation process both from a common sense and scientific prospective I have great concern regarding the quality and longevity of a "Ditra" tile installation.
First, why do many installers swear by the product I believe it is exclusively because it is so easy to use. It is light weight  no nails needed no carrying heavy boards cuts easily with a knife  and installs quickly .But I am not so concerned that my installer have a easy installation in my home  but more so I get a quality installation that will last a lifetime! I am afraid this product  doesn't live up to that expectation And here's why .

The "Tile Installation | Tile Repair " manufacturer requires the use of unmodified  thin set mortar to both install the "Ditra" membrane on top of a wood sub-floor as well as then install again with unmodified thin set  the tile on top of the "Ditra". This type of thin set is the lowest quality type of thin set available costing like $5 per 50 lb bag. Right on this bag of thin set itself it says "for use on concrete floors" It also says to use "acrylic mortar admix" in this product (prohibited with DITRA). Now using Ditra on wood floors is defiantly not a concrete floor installation. Instead you are adhering plastic (DITRA) onto wood with a product that states right on the bag "for concrete floor installation only" right on the bag!!! This thin set again is the lowest grade thin set available on the market . And your tile is stuck to your floor only as good as the thin set concrete you use to install it. Now common sense and science dictate to me that by using this product in the way the manufacturer suggests you are in fact getting about the lowest quality tile installation possible.

I've attached some photos of the thin set and the Ditra so you can see this for yourself and make your own decision on the quality of this very expensive product . Now I don't claim to know everything about tile installations  nor do I claim " to be the best" I only offer my 30+ years of experience in installing tile and my professional opinion. I would love to hear from other expert tile installers on this issue. And again will approach these other opinions with a open mind.  Regards  chris

Ditra membrane adhered to floor with unmodified thin set

notice this thinset mortar says on bag ad acrylic mortar admix for strength

See this product stated for concrete floor installations Also notice it says meets requirements WHEN mixed with additive

See how this thin membrane is adhered to floor with only UNMODIFIED low grade thin set to wood floor

I mentioned earlier when I pulled this post aside in order to review and discuss the feedback we received with Chris. that Chris would read all the many contrary comments and consider his post and/or provide clear evidence of his stand.  ButChris insisted I put the post back up as he stands by his original post. In my haste to put the post on hold, I erased the very helpful comments from all kinds of tile experts.  I'd love to hear back from them.  We appreciate your patience. Thank you. Diana. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tiling and Grouting in Same Day

Tile and Grout in the Same Day? YES!

The live feed blog written the other day focused on a backsplash that was completed in about 4 hours. The blog post walked the reader through the backsplash installation from start to finish. It was installed and grouted within this 4 hour time frame. Now there are some installers and manufacturers of tile and tile products who will tell you  that you have to wait 24 hours before grouting tile. In some instances this is completely true. Whenever using tile adhesives the time required for the premixed stuff is 24 hours .
However I am a mason and all tile I install is set and installed with concrete. And I know from my years as a stone mason and tile installer that concrete is concrete no matter  grout or thin set it is still concrete. If  you use the correct thin set and the weather allows your tile to dry beyond the phase of still moving then applying the grout is not a issue again as long as the tile is set enough not to move. Now I must also be clear that NEVER at any time do you walk on tile before the 24 hour drying time because this WILL weaken the bond of the tile to the floor. In this instance it was a backsplash so walking on the tile to grout it was not a issue. IF you have questions or comments about this post FEEL FREE TO COMMENT WE INVITE ALL COMMENTS AND LOVE TO HEAR ALL POINTS OF VIEW  HERE SO OUR BLOG READERS GET ALL THE INFO POSSIBLE   regards   chris

Monday, September 24, 2012

Specialized Round Glass Mosiac Tile Floor Installation

Recent Custom Installation Slate, Round Glass Tile Floor, Natural Stone Fireplace


Sorry not a lot of time lately to write here on the blog, but I haven't gotten any questions here either! Come on, guys! Thanks for the emails and calls though, keep them up, but if you write here, I get a notice from my site and it helps remind me to write!! I've just been so busy, I could use the break. I'll be posting some shower pics I did on a handicap accessible shower a couple of weeks ago. Thanks.



Pictures from tile installation jobs of Chris Lawson, Tile Excellence August 2012 

  Natural Slate Tile Installation


Two Bathroom Showesr, Floors  & Wall and Customized Tile Installation including custom made soap and wall inserts

  Natural Marble Bathroom Floor Tile






Round glass mosaic tile installed on bathroom floor


Sunday, May 6, 2012

ceramic tile repairs floor tile replacment and shower regrouts

Tile repairs are a very specialized service and its hard to get tile contractors interested in small sometimes difficult detailed repairs.The trick to these repairs are to remove and replace the cracked or broken materials without it being obvious its been repaired.To complete these repairs and it not look like a after thought is  a very
tricky undertaking.The first step is to remove the grout around the targeted tile so as not to disturb the tiles around it that will not be removed.Grout binds together tiles and gives it solidity and if not removed then action against one tile can effect others if the grout is not removed first.Alot of times it takes a hammer and a chisel to remove tiles and if the grout is not removed first then the impact can break surrounding tiles around the tile being removed.
   After the grout is removed  then the tile to be replaced can be broken from the middle out in pieces and removed carefully using the hammer and chisel a little at a time or all at once if the tile is not bonded very well. If it is bonded strongly  then a little at a time is the only way to remove it.After the tile is removed  then the task of chipping of the thin set or adhesive is the next step and can be very difficult and time consuming as well as very messy and create alot of dust.Again the hammer and chisel will be your best bet unless you have a electric alternative such as a way to sand or chip away at the concrete left stuck under the tile on the wall or floor.Once you've removed all the adhesive,you can re adhere your replacement tile back in place of the one you've removed, wait some time for it to dry and then re grout the repaired area with the same color grout as the rest of the area around the repair.
   Shower re grouts are in some ways much easier because you don't have to worry about breaking tiles from removal. But scraping and cleaning of the grout and old caulk can be very patients testing. Any loose grout or caulk has to be removed completely before  the new can be applied.The trick to these repairs is getting the new grout to adhere to the old grout.This is generally accomplished by removing enough grout from the area so the new grout has room to stay.Generally you need a 1/8 of a inch of new grout on top of old for it to adhere and not flake out later.Repairs are in some ways much harder than standard installations and in many cases you should get a professional to come out and implement the repair if possible.If you cant seem to gather any interest from any tile guys to do your repair  I will be glad to assist you in any way I can  just give me a call and Ill gladly walk you  through it right over the phone Chris Lawson owner operator tile excellence inc   978-471-9127

Sunday, April 8, 2012

backsplashes,tile installers and timelines

 Just the other day I had the experience of meeting someone who had a local tile man(to remain unnamed Who I know personally) replace 6 tiles in their kitchen. The homeowner  had already removed the old tile, then supplied the new tile. And even then this tile guy charged them $500 for the repair. Now I hear this all the time and understand that all folks value their time differently. But fair is fair and real is real And in my real world If I charged this kind of price for what I could do in one hour I really would have a hard time sleeping at night. Now I know that in this economy some guys need to get as much as they can for their work and it works for them
  In another instance  a customer from Peabody called me about his 30 sq ft glass back splash , I asked him a few questions gave him a list of materials and a $350 labor quote  right on the phone. He was immediately skeptical asked about my experience and checked my web site as we spoke. He booked the job with me on the spot after we agreed on the price and the day I could get there.After we had made the deal he shared with me the following;      The cheapest price he had gotten so far was $750
and everyone had said it would take 3 days. I had already committed to a day to complete his job and
to the $350 price and was very happy with the terms. When the day came to do his job the actual job took me the day to complete and now his customer referral is on my web site and a picture of his backslash as well.The short time it took me to do the job was in some ways due to 34 years of  tile experience  and also the quotes he received were based on time lines of  the installers involved. The value and time lines of all installers vary and they all have different ideas of how to do business. So your best bet when looking to get tile installed is to shop installers carefully and consider all factors before making a commitment .

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Honest ethical contractor behavior

Ive just left Craigslist where on a regular basis my postings are flagged by competitors. The same thing happens on bulletin boards around my home town and the North shore. My ads ,flyers and cards are removed on a daily basis by other tile contractors  who cant stand reasonably priced competition. Some of my competitors dont like the fact that I put out there prices, free advice and even offer to give my customers advice on how to do it themselves. The fact that I offer a premium installations at a affordable price, Do one job at a time, and offer personalized  service  doesn't sit well with my local tile installers. But you see I am a working man myself and have had the experience of needing something done and not being in the position financially to have it done. My  web site reflects my "In your shoes" mentality by never collecting and selling my web visitor information  and my "ask Chris" section allows anyone to ask a question and get a educated answer about their tile installation any time and for any reason  even if doing it themselves. I have been getting allot of international traffic over the last year, and people from France, Australia and parts of Europe have been visiting. The most important thing to Me at Is not to make money (although I have bills like everybody else) but to share and help as many people as possible with my years of experience. So in conclusion where ever you are and whatever the job.  I invite you to Get a second opinion before you commit to a price on your tile job or If doing it yourself from someone who will give you a honest straight up answer with no thought of what will I get from it. And if you live in the Boston North Area give me a call and I can get you all the info you need to Make your  tile, marble, or custom Job all it can be thanks   Chris

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