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Old 07-18-2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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granite tile and 3/4 hardwood floor install

Hello, I am having my house renovated due to Hurricane Sandy. I want to make sure my contractor does the right thing when it comes to the floor so i have a few questions for you guys so i know what needs to be done before hand.

Already have the tile and hardwood. The Whole subfloor was completely redone. It used to be very unlevel and kitchen was raised and leveled over the old floor. All this has been taken care of already. Joists were all leveled and reinforced and the whole first floor is now on equal plane. On top of the joists the contractor used 3/4 plywood and then another layer of 1/2" plywood. This is where its at now.



The tile is 3/8" thick granite and hardwood is 3/4" Ferma brazillian (patagonian) rosewood . How should this be installed and whats the best way to transition it so the granite and hardwood is equal in height?I would like for it to be done right and look as nice as possible.Would like to know as much as possible even down to the products to use and brands . I believe the contractor is using cement backerboard under the tile not Ditra. I mentioned Ditra to him but he never heard of it. Thats another reason why i wanted to ask you guys first to make sure he does everything right.



A little more info: The whole first floor is a open floor plan now with the living room and dining room being the hardwood and kitchen being the granite tile. From the front door it goes Livingroom>Dining room>kitchen. No walls. The tranisition will be from dining room to kitchen.

Lastly the granite is supposed to go under the kitchen cabinets too correct?

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:57 PM   #2
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Chris,

Welcome to the forum.

While the joists were flattened and such, was a deflection calculated ? For natural stone tiling, your floor needs a deflection of L720 or greater. Lucky for you we have our very own handy dandy deflecto-lator linked in the dark blue bar above. Plug in your joist information and let us know what you find.

The plywood for natural stones needs to be 2 layers as you have AND (this is a big 'and') the first and second layers must be of the proper grade, type, and installed properly. The plywood needs to be exterior glue plywood with a face grade no lower than C. No sheathing. The first layer should be 3/4" tongue and groove. If not T&G it needs to be blocked at the joints. The second layer needs to be installed also face grade no lower than C, run perpendicular to the joists, offset on the long axis from the first layer, and installed as Frank W describes in this article.

Yes, I prefer to tile the entire floor before the cabinets are installed. You don't have to tile wall to wall, but get at least under the toe kick and some more under the cabs. You do need to be under the dish washer and other appliances. We simply run the tiles past the toe kick in whole tiles, and use cut offs to get us past the toe kick to save on materials.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:40 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply Paul. I have checked the deflection meter and we are close to around the 720 mark from what i gather. i have been on the forum for a long long time just dont post much.

I am not sure what kind of plywood he is using. I know he didnt use T&G. There used to be on the old subfloor but now its just the 3/4 ply in the pic below. I hope he is using the right one. He was only going to use 1 layer of 3/4 ply but we made him put a extra 1/2" layer of ply on which cost us extra. He didnt put the 1/2" layer on yet.

Is it possible to tell what 3/4 ply he used in the pic here
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In the pic the plywood thats down is 3/4" with sheets going vertically and the joists are horizontally.So that would be the first layer is perpendicular to the joists but you say only the second layer should be perpendicular to the joists?

It says something on the piece in the pic.Cant quite make it out. I do see exterior. Im not there to check right now. he isnt putting the 1/2" layer til tuesday so if you give me the type of ply i should get at homedepot i will tell him to use it. he doesnt seem to knowledgable on products to use.I mentioned deflection ratings and he didnt know what i was talking about. He just said to jump on it and see that its strong lol.

What if its not the correct 3/4 plywood that he already put down?

What do you mean by blocking the joints?
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
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Welcome back, Chris.

If your installer didn't use T&G plywood he must install blocking under all the between-joist seams to support the plywood edges. If he didn't, which is almost a given, he gets to remove the subfloor and do it over with the correct material or the blocking. If you have access from below, it's possible to install blocking after the panels are installed, but it's a very tedious process.

The plywood in your photo looks like it could well be a CD grade, which is not really suitable for your subflooring.

Here is a good article on how best to install the second layer (after your first layer is corrected) of plywood and I suggest you follow the recommendations therein.

All layers of structural subflooring must be installed with the strength axis perpendicular to the joists.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #5
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It looks like CDX from here, which is sheathing grade. If the plywood has the word sheathing on it, its the wrong stuff.

If you can see unfilled holes in the plywood (from tree growth) then its not the proper grade.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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oh man then this is a problem.

I checked and it is CD rated sheathing.im not sure he even put the face up. This isnt the first thing we made him change already. He also put in #10 wire for the electric stove when we told him it needed to be a 50amp breaker (aka #6 wire).He put the 50amp breaker but #10 wire which is not safe. Luckily i know electric. Also had him redo a wall that came out crooked and change the badly beat up baseboard that he was going to leave.He was also supposed to make a built in entertainment center with tv lift but he didnt have a clue how to build it and was about to start using cheap warped 2x4's until i told him to stop and i am now building that myself. making a nice stained built in cabinet with 2x4;s was not what we had in mind. He is still getting paid for it even though i bought the materials and am building it myself. Cabinets coming out nice now that i am building it with nice red oak hardwood and A grade red oak ply. He was recomended to us by a few people and went with him after seeing the work on their homes but we didnt really see whats beneath the covers. he doesnt seem very knowledgable on products or what to use.Other then that stuff though the work isnt soo bad . He did correct a lot of the issues that the house had for years.

it is actually my mothers home but i am helping out by making sure things get done right or pointing out any probs i see. My mother is afraid to ask him to tear out all the ply he already put in and redo it. She is afraid of him walking off the job if we keep making him do things over. Not sure what to do about this one.

Im thinking its going to be hard to fix since he has the ply under the wall that was put in. He doesnt have the sheathing fully put down though. He has it only tacked in with nails on each corner right now. We though he was actually going to leave it like that until he told us he didnt screw it yet.



If i can convince my mother to make him redo it what product specifically should i tell him to use for the first 3/4 layer ? He told us before he only buys from Home depot so it would have to be from there. Does the entire first floor need to be redone or can he leave the sheathing where the hardwood will be and only replace the first layer where the tile will be ? Also what ply specifically should be used for the second 1/2" layer ? I am not sure what to get.most of the ply i see at home depot says sheathing.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Sturd I Floor at homedepot

http://www.homedepot.com/p/23-32-in-...9#.UerWNcu9KSM
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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Question

The hassle with subflooring that isn't interconnected (i.e, the tongue and groove) is that if you apply a heavy load along an unsupported edge, it can and likely will, deflect. When they are interconnected via the T&G, that load is shared by the adjacent sheets.

CDx is NEVER approved for subflooring...it's good for roofing or siding, thus the sheathing label. It's even more critical for tile since the D-face means there could be gaps - gaps mean unsupported section that is weak - tile doesn't like weak!
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #9
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RipRap I checked Homedepot online with the link you gave me and that plywood is not sold in any home depot in my area . Is there any other choice?

I found this on there site . Would this be acceptible t&G
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eco-Build...5#.UetO8qxYTII

They also have this one
http://www.homedepot.com/p/23-32-4-f...7#.UetQTKxYTII

Also anyword if i can just do the kitchen (tiled area ) over and leave the crappy ply for the hardwood since hardwood doesnt need as strict deflection numbers? It will still have the 3/4 crap thats on there now plus 1/2" on top. What kind of ply should be used for the top 1/2" layer?All i see on HD site is rtd sheathing in 1/2" thickness except for hardwood plywoods but thats more for cabinetmaking.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:59 PM   #10
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As per the article in the 'liberry', any ply used as subflooring for tile must have exposure I or exterior rated glue (not hard to find) AND, all sides must be 'C' or better (i.e., A, B, or C - NO D face). THey probably have BC sanded stuff, which costs more.
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:11 AM   #11
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So i will be telling him for sure to take up the stuff he has down now and use the DryPly Sturd-I-floor T&G 3/4" ply for the first layer.

The stuff he has in there now is 3/4" and does say exposure 1 exterior on it. Im thinking its CD grade though. Is it possible i can use this for the second layer with the C side facing up. Since its 3/4" thick im thinking it may be ok since we were only going to use 1/2" as the second layer. That would make it 1.5" thick overall plus the 1/4" Hardibacker cement board ( I know cB is non structual) under the tile.

If this is possible i feel it may be the best option so we dont really make the contractor too mad throwing away all the stuff thats there already. I would like to use better stuff for the second layer but that is a major cost at 38.00 a sheet doing a floor 20'x60' and i dont think the contractor will be ok with that expecially with the extra cost of doing the first layer over with the good T&G. I have a feeling the contractor is going to charge us to change the first layer too since he charged us for putting a second layer even though it should be standard and included in the original cost. In the contract it just said "Plywood for subfloor" .We did not know by that he meant a single layer of low quality sheathing.

Let me know if this would be a passable solution.I know not ideal but with the proper 3/4" T&G and extra thickness of 3/4" on the second layer should it be somewhat passable? Only negative then would be the D on the bottom of the second layer instead of C right? It would still be a major improvement over the way it was ,no?
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:16 AM   #12
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So i will be telling him for sure to take up the stuff he has down now and use the DryPly Sturd-I-floor T&G 3/4" ply for the first layer.

The stuff he has in there now is 3/4" and does say exterior on it. Im thinking its CD grade though. Is it possible i can use this for the second layer with the C side facing up. Since its 3/4" thick im thinking it may be ok since we were only going to use 1/2" as the second layer. That would make it 1.5" thick overall plus the 1/4" Hardibacker cement board ( I know cB is non structual) under the tile.

If this is possible i feel it may be the best option so we dont really make the contractor too mad throwing away all the stuff thats there already. I would like to use better stuff for the second layer but that is a major cost at 38.00 a sheet doing a floor 20'x60' and i dont think the contractor will be ok with that expecially with the extra cost of doing the first layer over with the good T&G. I have a feeling the contractor is going to charge us to change the first layer too since he charged us for putting a second layer even though it should be standard and included in the original cost. In the contract it just said "Plywood for subfloor" .We did not know by that he meant a single layer of low quality sheathing.

Let me know if this would be a passable solution.I know not ideal but with the proper 3/4" T&G and extra thickness of 3/4" on the second layer should it be somewhat passable? Only negative then would be the D on the bottom of the second layer instead of C right? It would still be a major improvement over the way it was ,no?


Also not sure what has to be done but before we get into it . Is there going to be a problem taking up the sheathing thats down now. In the pic you can see there is a partition wall in the kitchen .That wall wasnt there when he put down the plywood so the plywood is now under that wall. The sheetrock also wasnt in at the time and it looks like the plywood goes underneath the sheetrock. How is he going to remove the sheathing in those areas? He doesnt have to remove the wall and sheetrock does he?
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Old 07-21-2013, 12:16 AM   #13
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Chris, you especially do not want the CD plywood for your second layer. The problem with the stuff is not so much the voids in the face that you can see, but the permissible voids in the interior plies that you cannot see.

Your Pro can find a use on another project for the incorrect material he purchased.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #14
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ok i guess thats not a option then. is there any ply i can use thats cheaper then 35-40 a sheet. Since im sure he paid less then 15 a sheet for the original stuff he is going to be pissed at having to fork out 35 a sheet for a 20'x60' room on top of the old stuff hes pulling up. I know its his mistake but i just dont want him walking out on the job and my mothers already saying we should just leave it the way it is now. If i can find something around 20 a sheet i may be able to make it happen. If not we may have no choice or maybe have to just replace the ply in the kitchen only with good stuff.

How is this stuff

http://www.homedepot.com/p/3-8-in-x-...7#.UeuH_KxYTII

http://www.homedepot.com/p/15-32-in-...7#.UeuHqKxYTII
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:55 AM   #15
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Chris, are you talking about only the second layer now - as far as cost and specification ?

The first is definitely going to be changed to the 3/4 t&g plywood - right?

I guess, my advice is to consider the big picture here, this is a 1200 square foot job, and you are using premium materials and will need premium installation in the end to make it successful. Proper grades of plywood are expensive - no doubt, and you will have to decide for yourself what the contract covered and you are owed.... but on a job like this, I can't imagine it makes any sense at all to put down substandard materials to save $750 ( 1200ft2 = 38 sheetsx$20 extra).... so I would either get him to do it or offer the difference - to make sure it is done correctly.

In your first link to the 3/4 t&g products, the first link is a OSB product I believe, the second is plywood.

For the thinner stuff, the first link should be an acceptable 3/8 BC sanded plywood - double check that it has exterior rated glue

The second is sheathing, and will be likely unacceptable CD material.

There should also be a 1/2in version of the BC sanded ply that would give a bit more strength and be almost the same price.

A call to your local lumber yards may get you better prices, not sure it makes sense to require HD only.

As far as the sheathing layers as subfloor under the wood - it would probably be OK, but personally I would have him change it out and I really don't see why it is acceptable for him to put down unacceptable and unapproved material to do a job - it should be assumed he is going to work to required standards - right ? I am worried about where this job is going if he starts out be trying to shortchange the foundation of everything.

Under the wood floor, just the single layer of 3/4t&g is all you need, unless you want it higher for some reason.

I feel your pain getting in the middle of this and trying to make sure your mom gets what she is paying for. Good Luck.

Did the building inspector approve of sheathing on the floor?
Can you get them to be the bad guys?
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