hardibacker and mortar base?

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Old 11-10-06, 10:23 PM
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hardibacker and mortar base?

What if 1/4 inch Hardibacker is used on the floor but no mortor base is put under it? I know this voids the warranty but is there really going to be any adverse effect? It is going over 3/4 OSB and will be nailed down every 8 inches in all directions. 12 inch tile will be going on top of the Hardibacker using modified thinset. The subfloor is very level and smooth. No uneven edges or raised screw heads.
 
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Old 11-10-06, 10:39 PM
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Two problems:

1) I don't like hardibacker anywhere you walk. I've been hired to repair floors coming apart and many times they were installed over hardibacker. The stuff is a layered product and the layers can come apart over time with traffic. It's OK, I guess, on walls, counter tops, and places you don't walk. I always use concrete board on floors. It isn't layered and won't come apart.

2) Skipping the bedding process is a guaranteed failed install. There is no way, no matter how many fasteners you use, that you can fasten the board down without a bedding material where it won't flex. It is not the purpose of the thin set under it to glue it to the floor. The purpose is to bed the board and eliminate any voids thus eliminating any flex. Tile is not flex friendly. I'm sure it isn't what you want to here, but there will be adverse effects if you don't bed it.
 
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Old 11-11-06, 05:20 AM
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I agree with Smokey49. The manufacturers have specified it this way for a reason.
 
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Old 11-11-06, 12:45 PM
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I would say that's not a very fair claim to make against Hardi. Probably more accurate with Hardi is a step probably missed even more often than no thinset underneath. That is to introduce moisture into the board before setting anything on it. As thirsty as it is, it will suck the life out of your thinset before it can properly cure. Wet it first, really moisten it and you will have a very strong install.

Smokey, next time you see something like that to repair, See how well the thinset is stuck to either the tile or the backer. It will probably scrape right up off the Hardi, a clear indication that the board was not wiped down and wetted and if the perimeter is grouted, you can expect the reduced shear bonding caused by missing the above steps to make the floor die even quicker. Think back to those repairs and let me know what you think based on my statements. It could also have been hardi left outside on a job site and got wet during freezing conditions. That will cause delamination problems with the Hardi as it's high compression strentgh combined with it's high absoprtion gives it no option but to delaminate. Stored properly, you won't have those problems either.


Kmeyer, pull up the boards and reset properly. Nothing will prevent you from having your floor fail on you.
 
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Old 11-11-06, 05:26 PM
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problem solved

I had only put down a small amount of hardi. I have now pulled it back up and I am going with cement board (durock) like I have used in the past. I have never had a problem when using that and I am now seeing that it is best just to stick with that. Thank for all of the help. This board is a great source of help because of guys like you.
 
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Old 11-11-06, 08:07 PM
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I've run into three scenarios. The most common of course was the no bedding one. As dicussed before, we agree on that one. No bedding=failed floor. The second and not quite so common has been the no moisture one and it did just as you described. But it's the third that I've found far too many times to cause me to be confident in hardibacker on floors and that is the delaminted one. I've found jobs that failed where the tile was loose, part of the backer board was adhered to the tile, and part of it was bedded to the floor. Since I didn't do the original install, I have no idea how the board was stored or if it was allowed to freeze, but I would just as soon err on the side of caution. With concrete board I know delamination won't be an issue so I use it pretty much exclusively. Hope this answers the question.
 
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Old 11-12-06, 09:13 AM
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I learned the hard way that hardi will suck the moisture out of the thinset. Keep it moist with a sponge or a spray bottle and no problems. I havent seen any delamination problems with it though. Ive used lots of this stuff on floors over the last few years. Prior to that I used Wonderboard. The Wonderboard was a PIA though. Hope your wrong on the delamination problems Smokey.
 
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Old 11-12-06, 02:24 PM
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For your sake, I hope so also. Re-does are not only a drain on limited time resources, but will louse up a reputation in a hurry, which is the only thing of value that any of us have. It's what feeds us.
 
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Old 11-12-06, 05:32 PM
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Never had a problem with Hardie, alot cleaner to use, will never touch cementboards again, yes, I know Hardie is also a cementboard, that said, I'm slowly, well let's say fastly stopping using CBUs all together on floors, if I can't mud them, it's Ditra or some other membrane if needed.
 
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Old 11-13-06, 07:56 AM
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Smokey

Yeah redos are costly but I dont ever see my reputation being an issue because I use Hardi. My reputation is based on the quality of work I do and the fact that I am responsive to my customers when there are issues. Even if the issues arise after the warranty period. My first experience using Hardi (several years ago) resulted in a failure. I didnt read the instructions and had no idea that Hardi sucked the moisture out of the thinset. I was lucky in that this was only an 8' by 10' laundry room cause I wound up doing the job over at my own expense. I was able to clean up the Hardi, but wound up replacing the tiles. The second time around I knew better. Needless to say, my customer was thrilled that I took care of this as quickly as I did and the work was done to their satisfaction. Earlier this year they had me redo their entire master bathroom. They were so happy with my service last time around that they didnt even get quotes from anybody else this time around.

That being said, I did some research last night on some of the other forums and dont see any of the issues you describe. If this was a wide spread problem Im thinking I'd see alot of discussion on this on some of the other forums. My best guess is that the failures you have encountered have been due to improper installations. Short and sweet, installers not following product directions properly. Inadequately framed floors that cant support a tile installation, no thinset uder the Hardi, not moistening the hardi etc. I'm curious, in the failures that you have encountered, have you contacted Hardi and if so what has been there reponse?

As I get older, I need to start to work smarter. This trade takes its toll on you. I need to start thinking like Tileman. "Ditra or some other membrane" is the way to go.
 
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Old 11-13-06, 03:14 PM
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I didn't mean to imply any reputation issues over using any particular product. It's the re-does that can cause that, particularly if they're not handled properly. No one is infallible and we all make mistakes upon occasion. It's what we do about them that counts. It sounds like you handle your business the same way I and any professionals worthy of the handle do. Above and beyond style service will keep a guy going for life. Good work.
As to the Hardi discussion, you bring up some interesting points that make me think I need to look at the whole thing a bit closer. The community I just left is a small mountain town. There are several folks installing tile but there were only three tile setters, if you get my drift. None of the three would use Hardi under any circumstances and the rest almost exclusively did. I saw so many of their jobs I had to repair that it really soured me on the stuff. From what I've heard here, it may not have been the material so much as the mishandling of it. There is almost no chance I'll start using it, but I'm open to giving it a closer look. I do, however, have one question. What the heck is Ditra?
 
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Old 11-13-06, 03:37 PM
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Check out this link.

http://www.schluter.com/english/products/2002/sectionf/ditra/601-index.html
 
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Old 11-14-06, 07:01 AM
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Ditra

I also want to know more about Ditra. It sounds like a very interesting product. Anyone here have any experiences with it? I think I will start a new thread on this.
 
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