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Unread 10-06-2019, 04:33 PM   #1
RtKris
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Floor Hump

DIY guy here, first tiling job. I’m planning on putting 6” x 36” ceramic tile in a room 13’ long, 10’ wide. My subfloor is 23/32” exterior OSB on 2x10 16” oc, 12’ span. My plan was to use laticrete stratamat for an underlayment.

I’ve found that I have one floor joist sitting about 1/4” high running just about down the middle of the room. I’m not sure what my best option here is but I’m assuming that simply trying to level it with the thinset isn’t a good idea. I’m thinking:

1) ripping up the osb over the joist and planning it down 1/4”, install new OSB? I’m worried about making a patched up floor that already seems barely adequate though.

2) pour leveling compound everywhere around the high spot? This seems like a lot of compound: 1/4” high in about a 8’x10’ of total space on either side of the offending joist. Also I’m hoping to meet my 3/4” existing wood floor height, so I would be nice not to raise it up even more.

3) fill the 1/4” low spots with something else like cement board or 1/4” plywood or even another layer of stratamat in areas less than 1/4” low if that is even possible. Then transitioning it to the hump with thinset.

4) any other options?

Curious what others would do here.... thanks.
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Unread 10-06-2019, 04:57 PM   #2
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Number 1! Number 1! Number ! (Chant)



Seriously though, much simpler and better to plane down the joist. Your call on replacing the subfloor.
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Unread 10-06-2019, 06:30 PM   #3
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I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that that raised joist could actually be a built up beam or girder. Might even be steel in there, which make the trimming of top a bit more complicated.

It's not uncommon to have structure like I'm suggesting in newer, more open construction. The adjacent joists sink as they dry but the center support stays mostly the same.

Can you see framing from anywhere below?
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Unread 10-06-2019, 07:32 PM   #4
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I just recently got done finishing the basement below this room, it’s all 2x10 there from the foundation to a beam. I should have known better, I had a tough time hanging the ceiling dry wall in the basement. A lot of those joists were pretty jacked up, I had to trim a bunch of them to get the ceiling straight. Didn’t think any were near that room though.

I thought I was good to go to tile my floor. I have everything I need, everything was flat and straight where I checked and it’s new construction too so I assumed id be fine...Except for the 3’ strip of carpet we left down to walk on. It just happened to cover the joist that is sticking up, right down the middle of the carpet. I wasn’t happy when I finally pulled the carpet up to start tiling.

Anyways now that I’ve calmed down it seems like number 1 does sound like a good choice, I just really didn’t want to go there
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Unread 10-06-2019, 07:43 PM   #5
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Also, if anybody is familiar with this strata mat.... which I am definitely not and I’ve been hemming and,hawing about this. I’m planning on using laticrete 4 xlt to set the tile (1/4 x 3/8 trowel, maybe a 1/2”?). I was going to use it under the mat as well but decided on some 253 gold instead, I thought the xlt might be too thick for that? I don’t know I’m probaby splitting hairs here. Then I decided to use a leveling system to set the tiles just to be safe, thought I’d have trouble fighting 36” tiles. Does this sound about right?
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Unread 10-06-2019, 09:28 PM   #6
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Welcome, Kris.

You can use what you like to install that uncoupling membrane, but before you spend a lot of dinero on a thinset mortar for the purpose, do keep in mind that the only requirement for such membranes (for which the industry has no standard) is that they have a shear bond to the substrate of 50psi. And you can exceed that with any mortar meeting ANSI A118.11, which you must have for bonding to plywood.

You should also be aware that the industry standard flatness requirement for the substrate for those huge tiles is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in two feet. That's a very, very flat floor and you'll be happy to have it when you start setting those tiles. You must achieve that flatness before you install the StrataMat.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-07-2019, 01:33 AM   #7
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I'd pour Ardex Liquid Backerboard. A 50lb bag covers 65sqft to 1/8" so you'll need 4.
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Unread 10-07-2019, 02:11 AM   #8
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4XLT is an excellent mortar, maybe more than you need for installing Stratamat. 253 may also fall in that category.

Look for 252 Silver. It'll meet the same requirements and likely cost some less.
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Unread 10-07-2019, 07:15 PM   #9
RtKris
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Thanks. I ended up cutting a 4’ wide section out exposing two full joists. I’ll plane them and reinstall tomorrow. This was definitely the cheaper way to go and thanks to shoddy construction using very little glue and few nails it was super easy to get the plywood off. Everything should be very flat now except for the closet comes up about 1/8” at one wall but I’m not worrying about that.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 07:59 AM   #10
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Tile to wood floor transition

I’m not sure how to make this transition. The two floor heights should end up being close to level, the tile may end up at most 1/8” higher so I’m thinking maybe I can angle the last two rows of tile down a hair to meet the wood floor.

Either way how should I do the transition? It’s tempting to just butt the tile right up against the floor and start laying tile. I’m just not sure how much the wood is going to expand and contract though. Maybe leave a very slight gap and don’t fill with anything? Maybe leave a larger gap and caulk it? grout it? Or take no chances and just put in a transition strip of some sort?
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Unread 10-10-2019, 08:19 AM   #11
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Kris, it'll help if you'll keep all the project questions on one thread so folks can see what you're working on and what's been previously asked and answered. A moderator can give it a more generic title any time you'd like to suggest one.

You never want to butt your tile against anything, including other tiles. If you don't want to make a transition strip to cover that gap, just leave a gap of a minimum (more would be better) of 1/8th" and fill it with a color coordinated flexible sealant. The industry requirement for the sealant in that application is that it have a Shore A hardness of 35 or greater and many acrylic grout color-matched caulks are available that meet that standard.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 10:27 AM   #12
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If the height difference is pretty small, a T molding would work, and I think would look better.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 05:28 PM   #13
RtKris
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Oh yeah cx that makes sense, most people here probably have a project they’re working on. I didn’t know I could change the thread title or what to change it too. Thanks for combining it. Good info though, I guess to start I should check out some mouldings and see if I can find one I like.
Btw that stratamat underlayment is great stuff (so far), super quick and easy. Lay it out then zip it off with a razor knife. The grid on it makes it real easy to find and cut your notches. Plus they are laid out in 1” squares which makes measuring easier.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 01:29 PM   #14
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