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Unread 12-01-2003, 12:41 AM   #1
ayerish
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Subfloor basics?

Hi guys, I had a question I wasn't able to really find in a search and my hopes are to maybe get it summed up in this one thread.

Well I'm a newer tile setter, and up until now I've worked for shops that did new construction, mainly high rises, restaurants, sports facilities, navy base, etc..

I have never laid eyes on a wooden subfloor, yeah, I'm not kidding. Strictly concrete, and a very small instance of mud - which they weren't going to trust me with.

Basically I want/need/would like to become all knowing when it comes to wooden subfloors. While I know what joists are, I'd like to know more about span, size differences, and the like.

I'm coming up on some jobs where I am going to be presented with demoing the old floor, and I am clueless as to what I need to do. I definitely don't want to just 'glue and screw' some cement board and slam it in. I want to be able to sleep at night.

I already ordered Michael Byrnes book, but will have to wait to read it. Any sites with diagrams are helpful to my small brain.

Thanks for reading all this!
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Unread 12-01-2003, 08:50 AM   #2
Sonnie Layne
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Hello again, Ayerish... listen, I'm gonna move this over to the Pro's hangout so we can help without adding any confusion to ongoing projects some of our consumers are dealing with...

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Unread 12-01-2003, 10:39 AM   #3
bbcamp
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Check out the floor structure articals in the Liberry.
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Unread 12-01-2003, 12:21 PM   #4
ayerish
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Will do, tanks.
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Unread 12-01-2003, 06:26 PM   #5
John Bridge
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It's a pretty broad subject, one that keeps us going all the time in the shallow end. I've covered it (and Bob has covered it) pretty well in my new book, but you'll have to wait longer for that than for Michael's book. Michael doesn't really go into it in depth.
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Unread 12-01-2003, 06:33 PM   #6
ayerish
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I'd also like to pick your book up as well, as I believe you have to take a bit of advice from all sources and create something with it.

Is it better to wait for the new one or get the old one?

"Get Both!" ┬ęPatti Bridge
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Unread 12-01-2003, 11:26 PM   #7
stullis
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You might want to get some of these publications as well if you don't have them already.

www.tileusa.com/publication_main.htm
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Unread 12-02-2003, 09:23 AM   #8
John Bridge
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Good suggestion, Scott. Anybody who wants to inquire into subfloors should know what the TCA read is on the issue. I'll carry that a bit further and say that anyone who can afford it should attend the CTEF in South Carolina for a couple weeks.

There is no question the new book is better than the old. It contains not only my ramblings on subfloors and mud beds but several much more authoritative contributions from people much better educated than myself. In short, it's a book for everyone. Do-it-yourselfers can read it, and so can engineers and tile professionals.

The first book is laid out entirely for do-it-yourselfers, but it is still valuable because it places emphasis on different aspects of the trade in many cases. Yes, you should have them both, and you should have Michael's book SETTING TILE, particularly since Mike and I don't agree on everything.

Taunton Press (Fine Homebuilding) is coming out with a new book to succeed Michael's book. I learned about it months ago through the industry underground telegraph. It's being written by Tom Meehan, who has written several mag articles for Fine Homebuilding in the past. I met Tom briefly while seated on my couch at Dave G's tile booth at Coverings. I think he'll write a serviceable book, so that'll be another that should be added to your liberry. It's good to get your information from as many perspectives as possible.

Just as I've always done with Michael's book, I'll carry a link to Tom's new book on my real web site. I hope he'll return the favor. Here is his site:

http://www.capecodtileworks.com
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Unread 12-02-2003, 08:45 PM   #9
Cisco
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John I wonder what your opinion is on this tiling procedure and Dave G. for that matter...

http://www.capecodtileworks.com/d2a6.html
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Unread 12-02-2003, 10:14 PM   #10
John Bridge
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Well, I'm not going to bad mouth the guy in public, but I don't much like his shower pan article either.

On the "scratch coat" thing (because that's what it is) I have mixed feelings. I think if a subfloor is going to support a tile installation on its own, a method like he described will probably work. Where he screws up is in not explaining the importance of knowing what's under the installation by way of joists and subflooring panels. (None of this is to say I would ever consider using his method).

Where "scratch coat" fails (I think) is when they go over a single layer of plywood with lath and thin set, set the tiles on it and walk away. They somehow think their little addition is going to strengthen the floor. It won't, no more than Ditra or CBU will.

One strange feature of Tom's system is overlapping the lath by a quarter-inch. Why? A quarter-inch is the same as butting it.

I don't know, Cisco. You know I'm a mud man. I wouldn't try it. How about you?
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Unread 12-02-2003, 10:52 PM   #11
stullis
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What I'd like to know is how he adds 1/2" (the tile thickness), to a 1/4" the thickness of the underlayment plus the 1/4" thickness of his lath and cement mixture and that height matches up to the 3/4" hardwood nosing? Must be some of that new math!

Why even bother with that method? Why not just lay down a sheet of 1/4" CBU without thinset and nail it down? That will work just as good as his modfied method.
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Unread 12-03-2003, 12:04 AM   #12
Cisco
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Well I am not saying I woudnt try it either but I dont like it much. I would be more worried about the deflection between the joists more so then the overall floor deflection. I cant see how 1/4" ply would do anything other then you having to put a trillion nails in it to keep it flat and tight to the sub floor Plus you would have to staple the piss out of the wire to eliminate any kinks or bubbles in the felt paper. I am a mud man myself and am used to having a perfectly flat and solid base to lay tile on. IMO that system is no different then laying down 1/4" cbu. I often get clients that want tile flush with there oak flooring If I cant convince them to do a mud job and deal with a height transition I pass on the job.


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Unread 12-03-2003, 07:19 AM   #13
John K
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Cisco, John.

Don't you think the guy could have left out the 1/4" Plywood( if the subfloor and joists met the deflection requirements) and primed, lathed and re-primed the floor and put 3/8 SLC down and been done with it ?


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Unread 12-03-2003, 07:47 AM   #14
tileguytodd
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Yep Yep Yep, thats what i woulda done John K
Course ,he didnt ask me
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Unread 12-03-2003, 10:55 PM   #15
Dave Gobis
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I used to lose jobs to guys who used that method. I never had the desire to try it or use 1/4" in part of the equation. Once I got this job and started taking phone calls about failures using that method,less the 1/4", my mind was made up, I never will try it. If it works for Tom, thats great. I do know that thickness has very little compressive or tensile strength. It also failed to acheive a residential rating in both the US and Canada along with the thinset version.

Have a group from Thailand this week. Trying to explain how to use backerboard. They want to know why we do all that extra work when we could do mud, real mud in less time for less money.
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