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rheagle1
03-06-2005, 09:50 AM
I just found this forum, and I think you guys are just the people to help me!

We are remodeling a bathroom, which is in a very old house 100+ years. I'm not sure if I'm going about it the right way or not, so if I need to change something now is the time. We have rough cut 8" ( I believe it's oak) joists, appoximately 16" oc spanning 12'. It is uneven due to settling so we will need to level the floor for the tile. There is a 1" plank subfloor over the joists. On top of this I was going to put a leveling compound then 5/8" ext plywood, then the 1/2" (or would 1/4" suffice) cement board. The install electric radient heat, and the tiles. I'm not sure yet if the tiles will be 2", 8", or 12" if this makes a difference at all. Thanks much for your help.

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cx
03-06-2005, 10:06 AM
Welcome, Eagle, give us a first name to use. :)

If those joists are a full 2 inches thick, too, you should be OK for tile. The oak is very strong stuff, but it's a little less rigid than SYP of Doug Fir.

I'd recommend you add screws to the board floor before you put anything on top of it to be sure it's well fastened and won't squeak. Your 5/8ths ply is good, but you wanna put it directly over the boards and screw it only into the boards, not the joists. Then you can add 1/4 inch CBU and be good to go for tile.

Any leveling or flattening should be done before any subflooring goes on (including the boards), or after the substrate (CBU in your case) is installed. With the addition of the electric heating, I think you can consider using a self-leveling product either before installing the heating elements or on top of them. We have some folks hereabouts who use those radiant heat thingees a lot and will give you better advice on that.

How much leveling/flattening we talking about here?

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
03-06-2005, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the reply. We're talking at least 1/2" at the lowest spot. Luckily it's just a corner. I would rather not have to take up the planks so if I could use the leveling under the radient heat wires that would be great. Would I need a certain type of leveling product, or would most any work. I looked at some but don't remember the brand. We're going to be putting a cast iron clawfoot tub in this room too, does that make a difference in anything? Thanks again. Ron

jadnashua
03-06-2005, 05:21 PM
What many appear to do is that they put the heat stuff down, then put the self-leveling concrete down over it. It is much easier to tile over a flat floor, and if the heating mat is covered with the slc, then it works better. Figure enough to entirely cover the wires all over the floor. Prior to pouring the slc, make sure to test the stuff for shorts/opens. My unprofessional opinion.

rheagle1
03-06-2005, 07:48 PM
Another question with this subfloor. After looking closer at exactly how far out of level this is, we find we have a bigger problem. The one corner dips about 1/2", but the opposite corner drops almost 2". Would it be possible to use 2x4, cut for the slope and screwed on top of the old subfloor and joists to make it level. Then use 3/4" plywood, 2 layers crisscrossed, then the cbu and radient heat then the tile. Would that be structurally sound. Would it make the floor creak? Thanks for your help! Ron

cx
03-06-2005, 11:00 PM
I'd really rather not see you do that, Ron. You're just introducing a lot more pieces that could move about in that floor system, and that's what causes failures in the tile installation and causes squeaks. It might work, but I'd vote against. But that's only one vote. :shades:

I'd really like to see you get under that floor and determine for sure why it has settled that much in one area. That's a lot of settling, no matter how old the structure. It may be that you have other issues to deal with before you concern yourself with the subfloor.

Best possible repair in situations like that is usually to remove the flooring and sister in new joists to create a flat, level plane, then install new subflooring. You might wanna consider that. Or not. :)Then use 3/4" plywood, 2 layers crisscrossed, Two layers of 3/4 ply is a good thing, "crisscrossed" is not. You always wanna lay your subflooring with the face grain perpendicular to the joist structure, no matter how many layers you use. With CBU underlayment, direction makes no difference.

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
03-07-2005, 11:48 AM
The reason this floor has settled so much in this area, is that it used to have a dirt floor, with wooden supports to hold up the beam. Over the years the supports rotted and sunk. Add to that the weight of a 4 story hanging chimeny (yep, it hung 4' off the floor). :sick: This area is directly beside the chimney. The previous home owner cemented the basement and put steel posts in to support the beam and built the chimney support to the floor so it's not going anywhere else, but it also can't be raised back up. If I'd sister joists to the old ones, could they just be attached to the joists that are there, I can't get them on the foundation, as it's a rock foundation that is mortered all around the joists and beams. Also the beam itself sags (although it's now supported), how would I raise it for just this room? There's no way we could afford to redo the whole house. Thanks :bang:

rheagle1
03-07-2005, 07:29 PM
Just bumping this up, hoping for some ideas. Thanks for your help!
Tonya (Ron's wife)

ChasR
03-08-2005, 01:35 AM
I'm just going to throw this out there for the others to ponder.
Most self leveling concretes are limited to 1" max. thickness for a pour. Is there any reason Ron couldn't pour a couple of 1" lifts in the low corner first as long as it's not too big an area. The plywood could be fastened to it with panel adhesive.
Just a thought.

John Bridge
03-08-2005, 06:32 PM
Hi Tonya and Ron, :)

I'm not looking at the floor, but I don't see any reason why new josts couln't be sistered in level. It would still give you the mechanical advantage of sistering, and it would level the floor.

cx
03-08-2005, 09:19 PM
If I'd sister joists to the old ones, could they just be attached to the joists that are there, I can't get them on the foundation, as it's a rock foundation that is mortered all around the joists and beams Yes, you could do that. If you're confident the existing support structure is stable, installing new, flat, level joists (level is optional, flat is not) attached only to the existing joists is fine. Also the beam itself sags (although it's now supported), how would I raise it for just this room? If you wanna raise it, you'll need one or more pole jacks and some time. You don't wanna make any large changes in height at one time, but you can gradually increase the height by giving the jack(s) half a turn every day for as many days as it takes to get it all where you want it. I say half a turn a day, but you'll need to see how far that raises the particular jack you're using. For sure you don't want to raise more than an eighth of an inch a day, less if you've got time. Some cracks are certain to appear in the house due to this raising, but doing it very slowly can reduce them dramatically. An eighth of an inch a week would suit me better if I lived there and had planned well in advance on this project. If you've got a long way to go and plan to fix a lot of walls and door casings and such anyway, you can raise it faster, at least initally, and see how it goes. But the long, slow method makes it the least painful for the house. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
03-10-2005, 12:51 PM
Hi there! Thanks for the advice. We decided to go ahead and sister joists to the existing ones to make it level. We are planning to glue and nail to the joists, is that good? We will then put 2 layers 3/4" treated plywood (not criss crossed :) ) on top, then the cement board then radient heat, and will probably do SLC, just to be sure it's good and flat. We were thinking of doing some crossbracing between the joists under the tub, just because it is so heavy. Would this be a good idea? This forum has really been a great help to us so far. I wish this was far enough along to start tiling, I'm anxious for it all to be done. We hope to be able to get this done and start the plumbing this weekend. Any more suggestions would be great! Also, which is better, ceramic or porcelain tile?

I was gonna add, the reason we can't raise the center back up, is the chimney is now connected to the floor, and would crackand be separate. The person who put the new liner in, said it could cause cracks inside as well and potentially be a fire hazzard. After all this work, we don't want to take any chances. Thanks much!!! Tonya

bbcamp
03-10-2005, 02:28 PM
We are planning to glue and nail to the joists, is that good? We will then put 2 layers 3/4" treated plywood (not criss crossed :) )


Also, which is better, ceramic or porcelain tile?



Use screws and glue to join the sister to the joist.

Plywood should be Exterior rated, not treated.

Porcelain is ceramic, but not all ceramic is procelain. Just find a floor tile you like. Look for a PEI rating of 3 or better.

rheagle1
03-10-2005, 03:40 PM
Uh oh. I just went to get the plywood. I bought treated. Will that hurt? Now I feel like a dumb girl :crazy: I guess I should have asked, or at least checked with Ron, but I figured I could get us working on this tonight. Thanks, Tonya

bbcamp
03-10-2005, 05:15 PM
Sometimes that treated plywood is really a sheathing grade like CDX, and that's no good for tile.

rheagle1
03-10-2005, 06:09 PM
Bummer, I guess I get to take it back. What exactly do I ask for, just exterior grade plywood? I know it's a dumb question, but I want to make sure I get the right stuff this time. These are the days I wish Ron didn't work so late so he could take care of it. Is 2 layers 3/4" good? Thanks much! :bow: Tonya

cx
03-10-2005, 06:30 PM
And treated plywood, like treated dimension lumber, is usually wet and it does shrink and warp and otherwise misbehave. Might be different in some parts of the country, as apparently is the dimension wood, but you still don't want it.

You don't really need Exterior grade plywood either, Exposure 1 is fine for your subfloor. You may find that what's available is rated Exterior, though, and that's fine, just a bit of overkill. But overkill is good. :)

The two layers of 3/4 inch ply for a subfloor is excellent. You can live with 3/4 first and then half-inch if you'd rather. But if the two layers of 3/4 inch get you the height you want, that's a very good thing.

Oh, and if that sagging beam is now solidly supported and you sister all your joists to flatten/level your floor, you'll be in very good shape - better than the original when it was new, for sure.

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
03-10-2005, 06:54 PM
Thanks much, I guess we'll be reloading the truck tonight :cry: . Oh well better now than after it was down!! I can even say I learned something today (as everyday since reading on here)

rheagle1
03-22-2005, 12:12 PM
Hi everyone, we're back. Got a new question now, as we got the subfloor problem taken care of. We now have a nice flat, level subfloor in 1 room of the house :dance: Should probably change this thread to whole bathroom remodel?

rheagle1
03-22-2005, 12:24 PM
OOps got a little excited there and posted too soon. Anyway, I was trying to figure what the height will be of the rest of the floor when we're done. We're planning on thinset,1/4" hardibacker,radient flooring (looked to be about 1/8" thick), SLC about 1/4" (to cover heat and make sure it's all level) then the thinset and tile. I was guessing about 7/8", does that sound right. We have a 2" step into this room already because of leveling it, at least it should be big enough people see it :crazy: . I was going to cut tiles and put in front of the step (like the edge of a counter), think that would work? I'm debating how high to make the opening for the new door, I was just going to wait and set the door on the tile when it's done. Does this sound like a good idea, I thought it would save cutting the door jamb?

A question I'm also trying to figure out with the design I want to do in there. I want a diagonal design of 12" tiles with a border of 2, 2" tiles, and then a border of a 6x12 tile (I know, clear as mud, right). The room is 74 x 136". I can't figure a way to do it and have whole tiles both directions. What would be the best way to do them?

Then 1 more question, for right now anyway. I was thinking we'd put in the drywall, and wainscoating before we lay the cbu and tile. Would that be best or do the tile first? Which would be easiest and less likely to mess everything else up? Thanks for all your help, you guys are great! Tonya

rheagle1
03-23-2005, 01:09 PM
Everybody must be busy on their projects. Just bumping this up to get some ideas on what I'm doing. Thanks

cx
03-23-2005, 02:09 PM
I'm debating how high to make the opening for the new door, I was just going to wait and set the door on the tile when it's done. Does this sound like a good idea, I thought it would save cutting the door jamb? If you're raising the floor that much, Tonya, I'd want to set that door without cutting the jamb legs anyway. You're only starting with a six-foot-eight door to begin with, and cutting that down a couple inches makes it pretty short for tall persons.

You might wanna consider how the head casing lines up horizontally with other door or windows in the room, but even if it's different, I'd be inclined to leave it a full height. I trust you have alrady raised the header in the framing to accommodate the higher door?

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
03-23-2005, 05:39 PM
We're actually framing that wall right now, so I can leave the header wherever I want. Lucky for us we have 9' ceilings so it doesn't look so bad being a couple inches higher than the others. I just wasn't sure if there would be any reason not to set it on the tile. Thanks

Any ideas on the layout? Is that too complicated for a couple of tile newbies?
Is it hard to get thinigs to line up? Thanks again

cx
03-23-2005, 07:35 PM
Door jambs are happy sitting on tile. :)

The layout? You can do anything you want if you take your time, especially on the layout part. Most folks couldn't comment much without a picher, eh? But there's always some way to lay it out so the cuts are balanced and look good.

If you do your floors first, the gap around the perimeter will be covered by the wall tiles and not require caulking. But then you hafta keep the floor clean whilst you do the walls.

If you do the walls first, you don't gotta worry about the floor, but you gotta make really clean, straight cuts at the perimeter and caulk that joint.

Me? I'd do the floor first. There will be other opinions. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

rheagle1
04-05-2005, 06:52 PM
Hi there, I'm getting ready to go get the rest of the stuff we need to finish this bathroom. Although we're still a couple of weeks from tiling (can't seem to get the other half to finish his plumbing), it's over an hour to the nearest HD or Menards so we're hoping to get everything this trip and save some gas. I'm sure this has been asked 100s of times, but I can't seem to find it when I do a search. I just wanted to check on the thinset and grout I need to get. I need the unmodified thinset under the cbu? then the modified to lay the tile? Any certain brands. Then the grout, what exactly do I look for, a certain brand? Then for the sealer, again what to look for, a certain brand? Thanks much for your help, everyones been so nice about my million questions. Tonya

bbcamp
04-05-2005, 06:57 PM
If you go to HD, they sell Custom's thinset. Masterblend is the unmodified for under the backerboard, Versabond is the modified for everything else. You want a modifed grout, sanded if the groutlines will be 1/8" or more, unsanded if 1/8" or less.

rheagle1
04-05-2005, 07:23 PM
Wow, thanks for the quick answer. Another question I thought of, should I use a 3/8" trowel, or a 1/4"? Any suggestions on a good sealer for it? I'm hoping to not have to seal it very often, do any last more than a year? Thanks again
Tonya

Rd Tile
04-05-2005, 07:26 PM
1/4" for under the board thinset, I use 3/8" for floor tile, then check the first few for coverage and go from there, anything over 13" I backbutter and all porcelain.:)

Also, always spread the thinset on the floor with the flat side, then go over with the notched side, hope this helps.:)

jdm
04-05-2005, 09:56 PM
Tonya --

The modified grout you will find at HD is Custom's Polyblend. It comes sanded and unsanded. HD usually has both TileLab and AquaMix brand sealers. Stick with the AquaMix. I don't know the specific product, but read the labels.

It might be a good idea to buy several different size trowels. That way you can go up or down in the amount of thinset you spread, until you find what works. You can return the unused (or lightly used) ones, of course.

rheagle1
04-06-2005, 03:17 PM
Thanks for your help :bow: , that's exactly what I needed was specific names! Now I can go get everything (hopefully) and be ready to get this done. I'm sure there'll be more questions though, seems I come up with some everyday. Thanks again, Tonya

John Bridge
04-06-2005, 03:49 PM
Tonya,

The sealer is Aquamix Sealer's Choice 15 Gold, about thirty bucks a quart. Don't buy the cheaper "Grout Sealer."

rheagle1
04-08-2005, 06:04 AM
Hi there, I got what I needed, except the sealer. The Menards and Home Depot here don't carry any aquamix products. Where else could I find this stuff at. I don't know where a "real" tile store is up there, or could it be ordered? Thanks again!! Tonya

jdm
04-08-2005, 09:06 AM
Tonya --

You can order StoneTech sealers from the TIle Your World online store. They're good stuff. Hopefully JB will stop back to make a specific product recommendation.

rheagle1
04-10-2005, 07:26 AM
Hi everyone, just bumping this up to see if anyone has a recomendation on which sealer to order. Thanks again! Tonya

John Bridge
04-10-2005, 10:38 AM
Check with Aqumix. :)

http://aquamix.com

or order Stone Tech heavy duty from our store. :)

http://tileyourworld.com/catalog

rheagle1
05-05-2005, 12:49 PM
OK, on to a new question now. I think we're finally about ready to lay the hardibacker. Do we need to wait for the thinset under it to dry before laying the radient floor, or can it be done right away? And do I need to tape the joints since I'm going to be putting slc on top anyway, and if I do, which thinset do I use? Thanks!! Tonya

ChasR
05-05-2005, 09:56 PM
BY now, you've obviously waited long enought. I don't think you need to tape the joints but others may know better.

rheagle1
05-06-2005, 04:34 PM
Just bumping this up to see for sure about taping the joints. Thanks Chas for your response. If I do tape them which type of thinset do I use, modified or unmodified? Also I had thought of another question while at work today, but can't seem to remember it now. :crazy: I guess I'll be posting back again later. Thanks for your help :bow: Tonya

ChasR
05-06-2005, 11:16 PM
It doesn't matter. Go with unmod, it's cheaper.

rheagle1
05-07-2005, 06:09 PM
Thanks! I'm going with the unmodified then. Do I need to wait a certain amount of time before putting the slc on top of the cbu? Thanks again, I'm sure there'll be more questions. Tonya

ChasR
05-07-2005, 06:40 PM
:)

rheagle1
05-08-2005, 10:01 AM
Hi there, would it be possible to change this title to a whole new bathroom, or something similar? Since it's evolved into much more than just a subfloor question. Thanks

Now for the new question. We're about ready to pour the slc, :yipee: how do you all plug up the holes for the floor register and toilet? should I pour the slc under the toilet flange, or just up to it, and tile just to the edge and use the spacers? I'm not sure of the best way to do this. Also, what's the best way to spread the slc out, without overworking it? Thanks for all your help once again! :bow:

Tonya

John Bridge
05-08-2005, 03:39 PM
Tonya,

I'll ping flatfloor for you. He's our slc expert. I have never used the stuff. :)

I'll also change the name of your thread to "Tonya's Bathroom."

flatfloor
05-08-2005, 05:45 PM
Sounds like your in good hands.

When your ready to pour the SLC if you still have any areas over 1" deep you can put some pea gravel into that area and then pour the SLC to the required height.

BTW, which brand of radiant are you using? Not all radiants work with SLC since the mat is too dense for the SLC to pass through.

rheagle1
05-08-2005, 09:23 PM
Hi, the heat is warm tiles (easy heat), it's the cable laid out not the mat, so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm worried about starting to pour the stuff and either using too much in one area, and not getting the whole floor level, or not using enough. The floor is pretty level to begin with, it's mostly to make my life easier while laying the tile. From some of the posts I've read on here, I'm worried I'll goof it up and end up with a floor more uneven than we started with. I'm also not sure how to block off for the floor register and the holes for the toilet and the supply and drain pipes for the tub (it's a clawfoot). I know I'm just full of questions. I want to make sure I know what I'm doing (or can at least pretend) before I start and mess it up. I've been planning this new bathroom for a long time, would be just my luck to screw it up at this point.

You've all been so great on here to help us!! Ron's had me take over the research part of everything, says he's just the helper. Just not sure why I still have to clean the buckets though :rolleyes: Thanks again! Tonya

rheagle1
05-09-2005, 03:38 PM
Hi, just bumping this up to see if someone can tell me how they block off the openings. I'm hoping to get this slc done tonight. Thanks much! Tonya

ChasR
05-09-2005, 11:09 PM
Assuming the toilet flange is the correct height, you should pour the SLC under it. The flange needs the support of the SLC to hold the weight of the toilet.
You can build a form for the heat vent from plywood scraps and insert it into the duct with the top set at the SLC level. Make it a snug fit and wrap the outside with a layer of tape. That will prevent the plywood from sticking to the SLC and also keep it from seeping through the corner joints. In fact, I would probably run a piece of masking tape around to joint between the floor and plywood to seal it.

rheagle1
05-10-2005, 10:38 AM
Thanks for your help! One more quick question on this, how long do I wait after putting the primer down? The bag says after it's cleared (about 2 hours), but I read somewhere that it was supposed to be done within 2 hours. Thanks again

Tonya

flatfloor
05-10-2005, 05:27 PM
Wait 2 hours. You could also caulk those seams, cheapest caulk you can find. Little trick, keep a handful of dry SLC nearby in a small pail, if you see any SLC dissappearing down an opening you missed throw the dry SLC into the opening. Plugs it right up. Make sure you duct tape any pipe openings.

rheagle1
05-10-2005, 05:48 PM
Thanks!! I guess it will (hopefully) get done tomorrow night, thanks to my work schedule. Can you drill through the slc after it has dried, or will that crack it? I caulked soda bottle caps to the floor to block the opening for the pipe :idea: should that work, or will the slc push it out of the way? Someday I'll have this done and quit coming up with questions. Thanks again

Tonya

flatfloor
05-10-2005, 05:57 PM
No you can drill it, it is cement.

Soda bottle caps? That's a new one:) I guess so.

rheagle1
05-10-2005, 06:03 PM
Yep, soda bottle caps for the supply lines, and a shot glass for the drain. Ill let you know how it worked :crazy:

Tonya

rheagle1
05-11-2005, 03:27 PM
I put the first coat of primer on the cbu, and it seemed to soak right in, should I put a second coat on or will it be ok? Thanks!!

flatfloor
05-11-2005, 05:00 PM
Put another coat on. :)

rheagle1
05-11-2005, 06:46 PM
Help!! Just poured slc and the wires for the heat floor are floating. Any quick suggestions?? :bang: :bang: :bang:

Thanks

rheagle1
05-17-2005, 05:29 PM
Another hopefully quick question. The tile is down and grouted, but I have the dreaded white spots. I'm pretty sure it's the effloresence, anyway how long should I wait to wipe with the vinegar and water? It's been 24 hours since I grouted, is that long enough? Thanks! Tonya

jdm
05-17-2005, 05:34 PM
Tonya --

I've used vinegar and water on grout after 24 hours without problems.

rheagle1
05-17-2005, 06:55 PM
Thanks much! I wanted to make sure so I didn't mess this up at this point! It's getting so close to being done. :yipee: