How to Mix Versabond for a Ditra Application

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Ditra is a polyethylene membrane produced by the Schluter Systems. When properly installed, Ditra functions as a flexible barrier between the shifting substrate and the delicate tile. Versabond is commonly used to secure Ditra to the substrate. The key to a professional-grade installation is mixing. The consistency of the Versabond determines whether the Ditra holds fast for the life of the floor or lifts as soon as the Versabond dries.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Hoe
  • Bucket
  • Plywood
  • Notched trowel
  • Measure out the dry Versabond and place it in a wheelbarrow. One 50-pound bag of Versabond covers roughly 70 square feet of floor.

  • Fill a bucket with 7 quarts of water per 50-pound bag of Versabond used in Step 1.

  • Add one-quarter of the water supply to the mix at a time. Pour the water into the center of the Versabond. Push the mixture back and forth with a clean hoe. Mix in this fashion until the mortar is an even consistency. Then add more water. Stop adding water when the mortar reaches the consistency of pancake batter or paste. Add water in smaller amounts toward the end to avoid adding too much water.

  • Test the mortar. Spread a small amount of mortar onto a scrap piece of plywood with the smooth side of a notched trowel to create a 1/4-inch-thick skim coat. Hold the notched side of the trowel at a 45-degree angle to the skim coat and drag it across the surface to make ridges in the skim coat. If the mortar is the right consistency the ridges will be easy to make and will just hold their shape without slumping. If the mortar crumbles and cracks the Versabond is too dry. If the ridges slump, the Versabond is too wet.

  • Leave the Versabond to slake for five minutes. Stir the mixture well then apply it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Schluter Systems discourages consumers from using Versabond to secure tile to Ditra's surface. Modified mortars like Versabond take quite some time to dry when sandwiched between Ditra's non-porous surface and the dense tile. The Versabond must cure for 14 to 60 days before it can support grouting or traffic. Use of it in this manner may also void your warranty.
  • Throw your mixed Versabond out after three hours. As it ages it becomes too stiff to work.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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