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Old 07-04-2005, 07:45 AM   #1
ccrunner
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Old project pics, new project questions

Hello Everyone! Am trying to attach pics of the bathroom you helped me with -- finished over a year ago. New project questions that I hope you can help me with will follow on this thread. Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:45 AM   #2
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New Project Questions

As in the last project, I have numerous "issues" that must be dealt with. My new project involves remodeling my kitchen - new floors, countertops, and appliances. Those darned 24" on center floor trusses are the first thing I have to deal with again.

I have 16" deep floor trusses that are constructed using 2x4s laid flat as the top and bottom, with more 2x4s perpendicular to those top and bottom chord 2x4s, as well as steel webbing at 45 degree angles to top and bottom chord 2x4s. These trusses span a distance of around 14' 5" from middle of exterior basement wall to middle of load bearing wall. The basement room underneath this floor has a pine car siding T&G ceiling blindnailed into these floor truss bottoms. Tore out linoleum and the 1/4" luan it was glued to in the kitchen. Am left with my original 3/4" exterior T&G ply for subfloor. For my bath project, I laid an additional 1/2" ply and Schluter ditra before the heavy duty porcelain tile. Raised my floor up around 1 1/8 - 1 3/16", and I don't think a tank could crack the tile....

I hope to "cheat a bit" on this kitchen floor because of height issues. My kitchen flows from my great room with only an angled counter and bar separating the 2 rooms. 3/4" Northeastern cherry hardwood floor (that I plan to install after the tile ) will meet up with American Olean porcelain Maison Pave tile along a 5 1/2' room transition that continues along the same line as the angled counter and bar. If I repeat what I did in the bath, my tile floor will be 1/2" above my hardwood, which I consider a little much...

I know no one here would encourage me to deter from the Tile Council's standards. Yet I understand these standards are beefed up to what some would consider overkill in alot of situations, because the rules have to apply to ALL applications. Searching the internet, I found the tile council's 1995 comparison of 3 different ways to handle 24" oc trusses and 3/4 ply such as mine. All 3 of the following underlayments achieved a light commercial rating. (They were all applied over 3/4 ply that was over 24 oc floor trusses)
3/8 ply and Ditra matting, 1/4 C.B.U. and Ditra matting, Ditra matting & polymer modified medium set mortar. I would like to consider the last option, thinking that the 3/8" tile, 1/8" Ditra and 1/16" thinset under Ditra, plus the medium set mortar (which I know nothing about) would come up to the 3/4 level of my hardwood. I guess it could be argued that this wasn't good enough, since this standard doesn't exist anymore, but they had to have tested it and approved it at that time, right? I do understand that standards evolve and get ever so much tighter.

I've had 1/4" ceramic tile installed over just 1/4" luan over these same trusses in the great room at the entrances of our home for 15 years. Yes, they only go about 5' away from the foundation wall, so not much deflection. But there is NO cracking in tile or grout. The middle of my kitchen span would be a little over 7' from both loadbearing walls. Is it too crazy to think that with this extra beefing up it may work without failing?? Since the 1995 standards were (hopefully) followed in 1995, have you been to a job-site to fix such a failed application?? Did anyone here install this way 10 years ago??

Sorry for the long post -- appreciate your thoughts and experiences. Sue
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:52 AM   #3
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Nice job would love to see a front veiw of that sink and how you wrapped the cabinet
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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Since you haven't installed the wood (?) yet, you could put a layer of ply down under it, and probably make the transition as close to zero as possible. That way, you'd get a bulletproof tile install and have the minimal transition you want.
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Old 07-04-2005, 04:30 PM   #5
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I am considering putting 3/8 ply under the cherry (over the 3/4" T&G ext. ply). Actually the hardwood guru, Don Bollinger, recommends 7/8 T&G ply for under 3 - 6" random width hardwood, plus another 1/4" ply for 24" oc floor trusses for a total of 1 1/4" under the hardwood. But all 3 mills that I talked to say I'm good to go with what I have. I also could not put the extra ply under and around the 3 exterior door entrances because of height issues, and now I'd be creating 3 more transition areas. Seems like trying to solve 1 problem always creates 2 others. (Right now I'm in the process of jacking up all the cabinets in my kitchen so I won't tile in the dishwasher and lose some of my kickspace - thus the inquiries about subfloor - I need to figure out how high I need to jack them up!)

By the way, the tile sizes I'm considering putting in are 15" square, 10 x 15, and 5x5 in a modified hopscotch pattern. So won't I have to use a medium mortar anyway?
Thanks again, Sue
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:21 AM   #6
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Hi Sue,

The workmanship is excellent. Much attention to detail. Magnifico!

First of all, the standards put out by the TCA are for the most part minimums. L/360, for example, is the least we would want to see anyone operate under. I absolutely love the type of trusses you have. They make a fine floor, and I've installed all sorts of things above them -- always over a little more subflooring, though. I think 3/4 in. ply and Ditra will work, and Schluter will go along with you, but I KNOW it will work with a layer of 3/8 ply over the top.

That gives you a 3/8 in. bump at the transition which is nothing, really.
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:26 AM   #7
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Made a call to Schluter

Hi John, thanks for your input. I'd really like to try the Schluter alone on the 3/4 ply, because I do think it would work. But, consequences are pretty severe if it doesn't - huh? So I called Schluter and talked with them about it. Not surprising, but the reps answering the phones just refer you to their installation instructions on their site, which has the 3/8 ply first, then the Ditra. If there is anyone there who thinks it might work, I'm not going to know about it, which is understandable. I was hoping to get lucky and be able to talk to someone with a little more knowledge about the product. Anyway, I guess I'll just have to go the safe route and put the 3/8 ply down first. Sue
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:20 AM   #8
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How about 3/8 ply and NO Ditra?

I guess you probably knew this was coming... what if I would put the 3/8" ply over my 3/4 T&G ply to take care of deflection between my 24" oc floor trusses, and use an expensive superflex mortar to lay my tile, and use NO ditra? I'm assuming the Ditra is used solely to address wood movement? Or does it help to some degree with deflection too? I would be laying 15x15, 10x10, 5x10, and 5x5 porcelain tile, 3/8" thick. Would a thinset be the right mortar mix for those 15x15s?? Sue
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Old 07-07-2005, 08:26 PM   #9
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First of all, the Schluter folks are pretty innovative, and thier reps are allowed quite a bit of latitude in the decisions they make. If the guy wants extra ply, I'd do the extra ply. (All ready told you I would use it. )

Every major thin set manufacturer now has a mortar they claim will replace uncoupling materials. They might, but they haven't been around long enough to really know.
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Old 07-07-2005, 10:31 PM   #10
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Okay -- I'm going with the extra ply and Schluter, which puts the kitchen floor about a tile's depth above a 5ft 5" wide transition to the living room cherry hardwood (to be installed after the kitchen tile) and another 2 transitions to cherry hardwood hallway, one that's 3 ft, and one that's 3 1/2ft. I don't particularly care for the wood transitions,but wouldn't mind a bullnose tile sitting over the top of the hardwood. I know it would have to be pretty precise, but have confidence that it would work. I didn't see it mentioned when I searched this forum....The way I picture it, there would be a foam rope taking up the 1/4" expansion space betwwen the tile and hardwood. The top "face" of the mortar holding the kitchen tile down would be flush with the top of the hardwood. Then the bullnose tile would go over the mortar, span the expansion space and overlay the hardwood. (no mortar under the approx 1/2" tile that overlays the hardwood.) A possible grout problem would exist since the grout would span 3 different surfaces -- the mortar under the tile, the foam rope (although I could just put pieces of foam rope in as long as the width of each tile, leaving the grout joint open down to the ply) and the 1/2" of hardwood . Does this make any sense? I could use grout colored caulk for the joints on the bullnose only so grout wouldn't crack. Any thoughts? Thanks, Sue
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Old 07-08-2005, 06:37 AM   #11
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I don't think you want any tile to span across an expansion joint and rest unsupported on hardwood. That's a crack waiting to happen.

Since your hardwood is not installed yet, consider adding underlayment-grade plywood under the hardwod to bring it up to the tile. Then a simple caulk joint between the wood and tile.
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