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Unread 03-20-2021, 03:43 PM   #121
KarenA01
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CX wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
While you can certainly remove your tile installation and mud bed (I'm presuming) and install plywood over your board subflooring, install a "modern" tile substrate of your choice and take your chances, you cannot expect the structure to provide you the same margins as it did with the mortar bed.
So what they did originally may have been OK if they used a mud bed... I take it the existing mud bed could not be reused (if it is there) after the tiles were taken off?

Also I get the impression that a new mud bed would be VERY (prohibitively ) expensive to do and in an any case finding someone who knows how to do it right would be an issue these days as well...

I took pictures and of the joist and they are included below to help ID the wood...

But in doing so I found out these (9.25X1.5") joists in this part of the house are in worst shape than I knew... a couple have significant cracks... <sigh>

There are also pipes between the joists (drains, water lines, heating- forced hot water) that would make attaching anything hard...

As for layout...
At one end of the joists (by there window) on there right there are steps to landing for the stairway to house.
On the left is where the dasher and dryer are and doorway to another small room.

At the other end is the doorway to the rest of the basement under the other part of the house...

Immediately to the left of the doorway is the furnace... and to the right is a wall.

So there is no place to put up a closet to help hold up the joists and lally columns for the joists would block the passage way...

And the only way anything longer than about 6ft or so will get down there would be through that window...

The more I look at the details, the more issues I seem to find with renovation!

Thanks,
-Karen
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Unread 03-21-2021, 10:32 AM   #122
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BTW the pictures don't show all the pipes that are between as well attached to the BOTTOM of the joists or are just factions of an inch below them... never mind the electrical lines... Just realized that when looking at them this morning

After thinking about what CX said, initially I was thinking that maybe it would be possible to put columns on each side of the passage way some place near the middle of the joist span, and put a support bean under the joists perpendicularly to shorten the span. That would not block the passage way, though I might have to duck a little... But after staring at the joists I realized that would be as complicated as sistering because of the pipes attached to and teh bottom of the joists and running along them, as well as teh cross-braces and the pipes running between them.

Because of all of that, any solution to stiffening the joists is likely require a lot of plumbing and electrical work besides the carpentry, and so be very expensive...

<sigh>

Before even trying to find a general contractor, maybe we need to find a structural engineer to confirm the joists need stiffening for tile, and if so, are there any financially realistic ways of doing it... I read on line that is likely to cost $500 - $1000 dollars ... and in this area that likely means $1000 dollars...

If it turns out we can't afford to do stiffening if needed, it would mean having to take out the existing tile and put in vinyl... something I do not want to do...

I have never been in a residential bathroom without a tile floor... and when the time comes we can't stay here as we age, it won't help resale value.

Hopefully we will find a way to make this all work out.

-Karen
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Unread 03-21-2021, 12:49 PM   #123
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Keep in mind that your support beam does not need to be in or even near the center of the span. It can be located somewhere that is not obstructed by any of the things you mentioned (the cross-bracing location is not a factor) and could theoretically even deviate from perpendicular to the joists a little if necessary. You just need to shorten the unsupported span of each of the joists sufficiently to achieve L/360 or better deflection.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-21-2021, 06:26 PM   #124
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Keep in mind that your support beam does not need to be in or even near the center of the span.
That might be possible, but just barely... One side of the passage way would not be an issue to put a column for a support going across... But on th other side of the doorway things get iffy.

If you look back at the last picture in my previous post with pictures, that big insulated pipe is the main forced hot water pipe for heating the house from the furnace. The top of that pipe is 4" below the joists.

Also in that picture if you look at the last visible joist partially visible on the right, you will notice a small cooper pipe attached to the bottom of that joist...

That is the hot water line for the tub and the vanity. The cold water line is on the next joist over on the left that is out of the picture. They go from that wall almost all the to the window wall.

To make things clear I will attach another picture to this post from a different angle.

In any case a post on that side of the door way would need to be placed before that heating pipe. The distance between the doorway wall and the pipe is 40".

The joists under the bathroom start at the one with cold water pipe, so supporting the 2 joists that the hot and cold water pipers are on would mean doing something about those pipes... But there would be other issues with that...

First , a column far enough over to do that, would be awfully close to the furnace and could impede access to it. Also attached to eh bottom of and those joists tehre is what I assume is fire proofing to protect them and subfloor from the heat of the furnace... So placing a column ror a "cross joist" might not be possible or prudent for that reason...

But maybe those 2 joists don't need extra support ... the parts of those 2 joists that are under the bathroom are where the tub is and no tile would be direct over them...

The tile next to the tub would start about half way between the joist with the hot water pipe and the next one, which could be supported... and would be far enough away from the furnace not to be an issue I think.

If that OK to do, it would shorten the span for the other joists over the bathroom by about 3' to 11.5' ... And for cracky joists (which I now know we have) of unknown wood, it gives a deflection of L / 364... just barely making it...

So it MAY be doable without dealing with the plumbing...

What do you think?

Thanks,
- Karen
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Unread 03-21-2021, 09:25 PM   #125
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Karen, if you can determine the species of those joists, I can likely find a span table that will say they meet L/360 design deflection. Our Deflectometer is a rather conservative tool, and we like it that way as most of our visitors are involved in remodeling rather than new construction.

If you determine what's under your floor tile (your really should do that now) and it's the expected mortar bed and second layer of tile, you will save a good deal of dead weight when removing all that (presuming the mud bed is no longer serviceable), which helps your situation.

I, for one, am not telling you you can't tile over what you've got, I'm telling you I would want to know what you've got before making a decision as to what you should/should not do.

Surely you can find an old carpenter, perhaps a retired one with nothing else to do, who would come look at your joists and tell you what you've got. He might say, "Oh, that's Larch. We usta use a lot of that for framing back in the day." In which case you'd be in good shape with what you've got. Of course he might also say, "That's Eastern White Pine and that's all that was used back in the '50s." In which case you'd be back to square one, but at least you'd know.

I can't tell what you might have from any of the photos I've seen.

And you always have to option to toss the dice for yourself. If the joist structure looks good and the floor above feels good (after removal of all tile and mortar), you might opt to just tile it and hope for the best.

Your bathroom ceiling being that low I would want it waterproofed before tiling it. With that 18" joist spacing you do not qualify for any of the common half-inch CBUs (potentially one that offers 5/8ths" thickness would work?), but it's not likely to be too difficult to correct that. Some of the potential PITA involved would depend upon the type of insulation above as Dan mentioned earlier.

You could simply put a moisture barrier over the ceiling joists before installing the CBU or you could waterproof the CBU as you're doing the walls. You would not wanna use a moisture barrier if you installed drywall on that ceiling and none of the direct bonded waterproofing membranes other than Kerdi would allow their product to be used over such a ceiling. I would recommend a CBU and a liquid-applied membrane, such as RedGard in that application.

If you require modification to your ceiling joists it would be an opportune time to also level the ceiling, which would make your wall tiling work out better.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-22-2021, 12:25 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Karen, if you can determine the species of those joists, I can likely find a span table that will say they meet L/360 design deflection.
I will see what I can do but I don't know any retired carpenters, but I can ask around. If I can't find anyone, I guess I may have to hire a structural engineer to evaluate it


Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
If you determine what's under your floor tile (your really should do that now) and it's the expected mortar bed and second layer of tile, you will save a good deal of dead weight when removing all that (presuming the mud bed is no longer serviceable), which helps your situation.
This weekend I'll try to chip out a corner to see, and post a picture here...

I would guess if there is a mud bed, the only way to tell if it's reusable would be after all the tile was off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
I, for one, am not telling you you can't tile over what you've got, I'm telling you I would want to know what you've got before making a decision as to what you should/should not do.
I understand... We expect (hope) to be in the house for another 15 or 20 years (Well maybe 10-15 years), and we would like the bathroom to be good shape when we have to sell, so I want to do things right as much as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Your bathroom ceiling being that low I would want it waterproofed before tiling it.
That is the conclusion I came to... and being only 88" high I think it needs to be tiled to be on the safe side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
With that 18" joist spacing you do not qualify for any of the common half-inch CBUs (potentially one that offers 5/8ths" thickness would work?), but it's not likely to be too difficult to correct that. Some of the potential PITA involved would depend upon the type of insulation above as Dan mentioned earlier.
The insulation was roll type, not blown in... There is a Central air unit over the joists over part of the bathroom, but it's not over the shower.

BTW Right now the existing Fans (there are 2 - need both on when showering - old noisy ones!) are vented into the attic, so the replacement fan will need to be vented through the roof.

Lot's of things were not done right in this house... If I knew way back when what I do now, I would have passed on it...

In any case lots of issues to be resolved for sure with the bathroom and house overall!

I won't even bring up the issues about the other bathroom... Which we eventual hope to redo and do a Tub (acrylic - yuck!)/shower combo to walk in shower conversion, if we can afford it (current bathroom is in the worst shape overall, and after that the kitchen would be next)

Thanks for all the feedback.

-Karen
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Unread 03-28-2021, 05:21 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
If you determine what's under your floor tile (your really should do that now) and it's the expected mortar bed and second layer of tile, you will save a good deal of dead weight when removing all that (presuming the mud bed is no longer serviceable), which helps your situation.
Hi CX,

I started to do that, and found some unexpected things.

I though I could take out some tile in an unobtrusive spot to see what was underneath, so I took off the radiator cover and thinking I could do spot under it...

But when I did that, I found out there are actually THREE Layers of tile on the floor. See the attached picture.

Then I realized that maybe there was an easier way... The head of the tub is up against a closet wall, and that wall extends out about another 7 or 8 inches past the tub.

The tile (and cove on the floor) on part of the wall started coming off awhile back (which Is how I found out I had a white cove over older pink cove) and part of the wall underneath the tile also was broken...

See picture.

BTW the pieces of the broken wall layer are cement like and about 1/4" thick, which likely says something about how the Tub/Shower alcove was originally constructed.


When I took the cove away and cleared teh debris i found out that I could reach a finger down below tile and all the way into the basement! To see were it came out down thee I ran some copper wire through the hole to look for where the hole was... and found more issues <sigh>.

When I found where the wire came out it is obvious there is water damage...

See below for the pic of the hole from the basement... I don't know if the beige is a mud bed...


The hole did let me determine the total thickness of the floor which about 2.5 - 2.75" for the 3 layers of tile, whatever the underlayment is and the board subfloor (which I verified was 1" thick). I don't know if that says a mud bed is likely or not...

But the area between 2 adjacent joist bays show some water damage... The one with the hole and the one with the tub drain.

Looks like before the tile can be addressed there will be more work to on the floor regardless of if there is span length issue is or not... though it would be better if there was not one.

If there is mud bed and that means the span my be OK With Ditra or CBU so much the better... but it seems there is a lot that needs to be dealt with.

-Karen
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Unread 03-28-2021, 05:36 PM   #128
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I can't see anything recognizable in the photos of the hole in the floor, but maybe some of our young eyes will see what you've got. I'd recommend you remove some floor tiles for a better look. It's all coming out eventually, yes?

The area with the removed base tiles is the most common area of first failure of any tub/shower installation. And it's especially common when no waterproofing is used behind the tiles at that tub-leg. The thin mud may have been a thin continuation of the shower wall mud, but I've never done that. My mud wall at the tub leg would be the same as the shower wall and usually about half an inch thick if the walls were initially plumb.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-29-2021, 08:44 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
I'd recommend you remove some floor tiles for a better look
I tried in a spot under the radiator cover but a few wack with a hammer to crowbar on the lowest layer of mosaic. That got me nowhere and did not feel like it would anytime soon...

So I went back to where the base tile was off the wall figuring the edge tiles there would be easiest... and I was able to remove all 3 layers... but there was literally nothing underneath and I wound up with a much bigger hole from the bathroom into the basement... Which make me leary about doing more now when I don't know how long before we get a contractor that can schedule in reasonable timeframe as this is our primary bathroom.

Unfortunately the position of the hole relative to the wall is such that I can't get a look at the tile layer side...

But I have a telescoping dental mirror like tool at work that I will borrow and see if I can see it tomorrow... Maybe then, If I can't get a few from the bathroom, if I get on a ladder I can get a good view from below.

By feel with my finger it feels like there WAS plywood on top of the board subfloor, which is now gone in that spot ... Feeling the tile edge of the hole, there is rotted wood where I think there now (I think that is what the black soft stuff is)...

Googling I found that a mud bed for a floor should between about 1.25 - 2"... But I did not feel anything like that... Could they have laid the first layer of mosaics on plywood back in 1954????

Maybe I'm wrong about that... Hopefully tomorrow, one way or another, I can get a better view.

We HAVE to get this all fixed and I'm starting to get nervous that it will be a much bigger job than originally thought, and take a lot more money than I expected!


-Karen
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Unread 03-29-2021, 09:25 PM   #130
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Karen, there's just no way to know how your floor was initially tiled other than removing what's there and looking. Could they have bonded directly to a plywood layer over the board subfloor? Sure they could. Did they? I dunno.

The actual minimum mortar bed thickness over a wood framed subfloor is 3/4s of an inch. That would require a cleavage membrane and expanded metal lath. The mortar bed you're describing is an unbonded mortar bed and your dimensions are correct, but you'd also need welded wire mesh in the vertical center of the mortar. If you find none of that, it may well be they bonded directly to the plywood. I was only ten years old at the time and lived in Pennsylvania rather than Massachusetts and can't tell you from personal experience what the customary methods were in either locale.

Inspection mirror might do the trick for you. If not, you gotta break you some more eggs before you'll know how you wanna make that particular omelet.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-30-2021, 04:57 PM   #131
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Quote:
Inspection mirror might do the trick for you.
Well I can see more with teh mirror but I don't know if I can interpret what I see... It was hard to get pictures of the image in the mirror (hard to aim a flashlight, mirror and camera path the same time!)

I don't think I see a mud bed...

It looks like the lowest of the 3 layers of tiles is sitting directly on plywood... But it also looks like there is another layer of SOMETHING between that plywood and the board subfloor ... here are the two best pictures I got.

Can anyone make any sense out of this?

Thanks
-Karen
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Unread 03-30-2021, 07:40 PM   #132
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Good photos under the conditions, Karen.

But not particularly helpful for some of us. In the first photo it appears there is a deformed shank (spiral?) nail showing and making me believe we're looking at the cut end of your floor joist.

And either your tiles are uncommonly thick or your plywood subfloor is really thin. Too thin for the application for sure.

I think you need to plan to remove everything above the joist tops.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-30-2021, 09:53 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
In the first photo it appears there is a deformed shank (spiral?) nail showing and making me believe we're looking at the cut end of your floor joist.
That is not real... optical illusion because of debris that fell onto the mirror while moving it around... The hole is between joists as you can see if you look at the previous pictures in the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
And either your tiles are uncommonly thick or your plywood subfloor is really thin.
That plywood you see is not the subfloor. The subfloor is 1" thick boards (But Not T&G).. I was able to measure that from the basement where it was not rotted and you can see them in pictures I took from the basement earlier in the thread.

It looks like the the current floor is as show below from top to bottom:
(you really can't see the board subfloor in these pictures)

3 Layers of Tile
-------------------
Plywood (When I blow up the picture it looks like 3 or 4 ply)
-------------
Unknown material - feels like pieces of cement and looks like squares in the top picture- where this layer can clearly be seen.
------------
??? MAYBE a thin layer of plywood or something else that may have rotted away at the hole edge- I say that based on looking at the space between the boards from in the non rotted area. It looks like wood of some sort
---------------
1" thick board subfloor (which might be teh lowest
-------------------

What is between the subfloor and the plywood layers and why it is there is a mystery!

Maybe it was an ad-hoc way to try and minimize movement from the board subfloor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
I think you need to plan to remove everything above the joist tops.
<Sigh>
And the joists likely need more support for the span for tile... and the best place to do that (because of the furnace) would mean having to deal with the big drain line from the kitchen and the hot and cold water pipes for the bathroom...

This all sounds really expensive on top of the significant expense for the renovation I expected without moving fixtures.

Oh well, the house is paid for now, and it would need to be done even if we wanted to sell...

I guess we don't really need to take vacations in "retirement" (which is likely to happen too soon!)

Thanks,
-Karen
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Unread 03-31-2021, 02:05 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
I think you need to plan to remove everything above the joist tops.
That 1" thick Board subfloor goes under the wall of the alcove, as well as the side wall of the closet behind it and (and it's inside) as well as the the wall (and hall) outside of the bathroom, and the wall across from the tub... That would make it even a bigger job to try and replace it with plywood...

But I'm not ready to give up hope we can do this so that it is OK for tile quite yet...

That hole at the wall by the tub is really the only rotted place in the subfloor that I can find ...

Maybe that can be patched and everything else just removed down to that subfloor instead of the joists, and then put 3/4" plywood over the subfloor if the subfloor is flat? The question what is directly on top of it, which is hard to tell from the pictures.

If that works the only other issue is the 14.5" joist span... As I mentioned above it may be possible to shorten that by about 3 feet without blocking the furnace or having to re-route pipes by... using two posts and a beam of some sort across them to support the joists (be it wood or metal)

If both of those are doable maybe the cost of doing this won't skyrocket!

- Karen
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Unread 04-02-2021, 06:45 PM   #135
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The joys of an older home...The more I learn and so know to look for issues, the more I find.

From a different thread on a different issue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PC
You should have no problems given you are in the center between the beams. It can be a concern when the floor bridges a beam due to potential uplift of rafter ends so glad to see that is not a issue.
That got me thinking... The bathroom is on an outside wall... I wondered if the floor joist be sagging from that point... So I got out a level and started checking the floor along the joist direction from the outside wall to close to the end of the bathroom.

If I understand what I am seeing, it looks like initially the floor slopes down from the outside wall a bit then levels off

But the floor also seems to tilt sideways for awhile toward the cast iron tub which starts at the wall... Once past that, it levels out in that direction... (see attached picture of level readings)...

So the floor is definitely not flat despite being tiled.

Am I interpreting what I am seeing right?

Is this a common issue? Is it easy to remedy this, or is it something that is hard (read expensive) to deal with?

Thanks
-Karen
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