Before I head inside, let me explain what we’re going to be doing here. We’re going
to show you how to install Schluter DITRA on wood plywood. So in this video you’re
going to get all the tips and tricks that you need to do this yourself. And in the end,
we’ve got a really cool offer for you if you’re going to be remodeling your bathroom.
So stay tuned until the end because I think you’re really going to like what we have
to tell you. All right, let’s dive into the tutorial right now.
We’re going to go ahead and install the underlayment for tile on a wood subfloor.
Since I’ve been using this process not only does it make the floor waterproof, but it’s
considerably faster and easier. And the technology behind this product ensures that your tile
isn’t going to be subjected to expansion and contraction of the wood you’re going
over. Now there are some things you have to consider
before installing any tile and knowing what your joint spacing is, knowing the thickness
of the wood that you’re applying it over. Ideally, if it’s plywood you want to be
at least ¾” thick. Now there are some engineered specs. If you’re going out 24” on-center
and you’re using stone, you’re going to have to thicken that subfloor for deflection.
But on a typical install, if you’re doing porcelain tile, ¾” subfloor or standard
16” on-center joint, this product is going to be perfect for you. It makes it very easy.
It’s called Schluter DITRA. And basically this is just an uncoupling membrane that I’ll
be adhering directly over the plywood, and then the tile will be installed over top of
this. Thinsetting this to the floor, and then thinsetting the tile to this. And the idea—there’s
a lot of theory and technology and engineering put into this product—but the basics are
that this separates the plywood layer from the tile and allowing just normal expansion
and contraction of that wood to not transfer through the tile.
So it’s better than putting a cement board down. These days if you put cement board down,
you’d almost want to still put this over top of it. But not only does this help keeping
that transfer of expansion and contraction, but it also is waterproof. I mean, what’s
better than that? I mean you have your toilet overflow or kids are making a lot of splash
in the tub, having this waterproof gives you confidence and peace of mind, and it’s not
going to ruin anything below it. There’s way too many times that I pull up a toilet
and I see the wood totally rotted around that whole area. Now granted it probably has to
do with a lot of the toilet leaking itself, but if you used a product like this that’s
going to keep that from happening. So there’s a lot of advantages of doing
it. For me personally, it’s so easy and light. I can cut it with a utility knife.
I’m not inhaling any dust by cutting all that concrete board. I don’t have to screw
anything down; I’m just thinsetting it. So it’s a very easy product to install.
So there’s a couple of components that go with it. It’s the actual membrane itself,
and these come in all different size rolls. For this little bathroom area, you can probably
just get a 50-sq-ft roll and be fine. It comes with the KERDI Band. This is exactly the same
stuff that we used for around the tub surround to waterproof the joints of the KERDI Board.
So you want to put this over any seam in the corners of the room and wrap that up the wall
so that you have a nice, waterproof, tight floor. And you want to use the KERDI Fix.
This is primarily to fill the gap between the tub and DITRA. So we’ll show you how
to install that. And then I’d say one of the very important aspects of this is using
the right notch trowel. Schluter makes a trowel specifically for DITRA. It’s 1164; it’s
basically 3/16” square notch trowel. This will make adhering this down to the subfloor
the proper thickness. And another great thing about it is if you’re using a correct notch
trowel, not only do you get a nice, flat surface, but you can immediately install tile over
top of this if you wanted to or try to attempt to install tile the same day you put the underlayment
down. Most other products you’re just not going to be able to have the time to do that,
especially if you use cement boards. It’s going to take you half a day to install that.
And by the time you get to doing the tile, it’s usually past the time you want to work.
So we’ll go ahead and put this down. It’s a great product, and we’ll show you how
easy and simple it is to do yourself. So
the first thing you want to do is just to dry fit this down. And the rule of thumb is
basically trying to keep a ¾” reveal between the edge of the floor and the DITRA. And Schulter
recommends this—and this is especially important to stay within their warranty—you want to
have an expansion joint between the edge of the floor and the DITRA itself. So when you’re
dry fitting, just keep that in mind; and that’s around all areas. Against the tub as well.
Keep a ¾” gap between the tub and the DITRA. Now I’m just going to rough cut this before
applying thinset. Okay, so the first you want to do after you
have your first piece dry fitted, is to make sure your surface is all clean. Take any of
the drywall mud that might be stuck to the floor. Anything that can possibly jeopardize
the thinset that’s going to adhere to the actual plywood. So make sure your surface
is clean and dust proof. I mean dust can actually keep that thinset from bonding to the the
plywood. And what you want to do to apply the DITRA
to your wood subfloor is using modified thinset. So make sure whatever you buy or whatever
you’re looking at purchasing, that it’s going to be modified. Now that’s what you
want to adhere down to the subfloor. And to keep that layer of thinset from immediately
getting dried out from the plywood—because plywood’s mostly wood, I mean it’s obviously
wood, but it’s dry. And as soon as you put down that thinset, you don’t want it to
suck the moisture out of the thinset too quickly. So just take a damp sponge; it doesn’t have
to be soaking wet. We’ll just wipe down your subfloor, in the areas that you’re
going to be putting this DITRA. So this will also take any dust off. You just do a quick
once over prior to installing the DITRA. Okay, so when I mixed this thinset, I made
it very loose. It wants to kind of fall off the trowel. You want to try to apply the maximum
amount of water to your thinset says that it can do because you want to have this very
thick. Just allowing it to spread this out and be able to adhere it to the DITRA correctly.
So I’m going to put a bunch out here. The first step like any tile setting is to
firm the thinset into the soft surface. So just taking the flat surface of your trowel
and just working it into the plywood. I usually just do an area of arm’s length in to get
that full area. A little more. So just get that layer thinset down, and try to comb everything
in the same direction. And then, make sure you have that ¼” reveal. I just have a
regular grout float that I use to apply pressure to it and put it in place. First time you’ve
done it, I mean you’re going to feel for it. If you use the right lodge trowel and
you just did what I did, you get quick coverage. You can see about 80% of this covered, and
that’s what you’re looking for. So just make sure you have good coverage.
We said 80% coverage in the video, but try to shoot for 100% if you can. That just ensures
that the DITRA is completely embedded in the thinset.
Okay, so with the right lodge trowel, using their DITRA trowel, you can walk on this afterwards.
It won’t indent. Sometimes if you kneel on it a little bit, you can in some areas.
But if you’re using the right lodge trowel, it’s not going to sink too much. And obviously
for floors pretty level, it’s meant to be walked on immediately afterwards. Do the same
thing on the… as you continue. You might be wondering what Steve is doing
here. He’s pounding in any loose ring shank nails. Always a good idea to do that.
Okay, so you just want to butt this straight up against the other piece of DITRA as close
as you can; it doesn’t have to perfect. But remain with that ¼” gap around the
room here. It’s a little tight around the corner here,
so I’m just going to take out a little bit of DITRA to get that ¼” reveal. And again,
you can just pull some of this out and make sure you’re getting the right amount of
coverage. Actually, I think we have a blind spot right there. So I want to make sure I
have…. Then you can just use whatever you have left,
too. I mean it doesn’t have to be a full piece. You can put as many pieces together
as you want. So in this little mock-up that we have here,
obviously we don’t have a toilet flange where we need the toilet. So since this is
the mock-up, and it’s just the basic product, we didn’t have that put in here. But really
that is just as simple as cutting around that flange, keeping that same ¼” reveal around
the flange. And then you’ll be able to use the KERDI Fix to go around that toilet flange,
and it’ll keep everything waterproof up the toilet flange.
Now obviously, I mean, this is waterproof to a point. If your toilet does overflow,
there’s obviously areas around where your bolts connect and everything that water can
get down and below the pipe. So this isn’t meant to necessarily be able to take a shower
in this room, but it’s going to keep the majority of the water from splashing out of
the tub to some basic water issues from absorbing into the plywood.
All right. So that is how you install Schluter DITRA on a wood subfloor. This is actually
a part 1 of 2 video. You can watch the second video right here, and that will show you how
to completely waterproof the DITRA in a bathroom. Now here’ what I wanted to tell you about.
We have a free video series for you if you’re going to be starting a bathroom remodel. You
can check that out right here, and we’ll show you how to demo a bathroom, put in a
new tub, put in the plumbing, and so much more. So again, check that out right here.
But for today, if you have any questions about this tutorial, ask them down in the comments.
So again, ask them down in the comments; we’d be more than happy to help you out. And as
usual, you can always click the subscribe button if you want to watch our videos over
here on YouTube. They come out every single Tuesday.
So that’s it for today. I’ll see you in the comments. Take care. Have a good one.
Believe it or not, it’s January in Pittsburgh, but it’s 60∞, right Kate? No better time
to practice soft ball.