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Unread 06-23-2014, 04:39 PM   #1
stephenson
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Combining family room/den and sunroom - transition issue!

Major new project on same house, but am starting a different thread as it is not related to other projects :-)

1960s Atlanta house - Family room/den had a slider to outside at some point decades ago. Some decades ago a slab was poured for a back porch ...it was eventually covered with a combined roof and turned into a sunroom. Concrete is not cracked, is dry and has good drainage outside from land contour ...looks like footers were poured, then concrete block then concrete poured inside the perimeter block. The sliding glass doors were removed at some point and a 1x6 oak board nailed over the floor opening ...the walls around the slider were trimmed out and painted. UGLY.

Fast forward ... The opening to the sunroom was expanded to nearly the width of the family room with a double glulam beam ...nets out around 16' now so the room flow - son did great job of tearing out the panelling (nearly the whole house was paneled), installing correct headers over the windows and doors, and insulating everything. The floor transition is now the issue with a secondary issue of how to account for a couple of inches of slope in the sunroom slab (about 15' across the slope).

The floor transition (photos) is from the outside plate, with sheathing, and then brick veneer, to the concrete slab ...6" or so.

Could anyone offer advice on how they would go about dealing with the transition and the slope? We wanted to tile the whole room, but I am increasingly concerned about movement between the two areas since they aren't actually connected with rebar, etc. Some options prior to installing sleepers?
1. Dry mud pack the transition
2. Seal up cracks and pout concrete with galvanized lags into the outer plate
3. Don't worry about it, just pack with insulation

Then rip sleepers to align with top of the outside plate/joists and account for the level change across the sloped floor? Poly under the sleepers? Looks like folks install sleepers both with the slope and across it ...bridging across the transition with two layers of plywood would seem more logical ...

If it isn't a good scenario for tile, would it be any better for oak strip flooring to match up with the flooring in the family room, or be safe and carpet it to best hide any movement?

This one has had me scratching my head a lot ...sorry so long winded!
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Unread 06-23-2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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Second photo ...
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Unread 06-23-2014, 06:26 PM   #3
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George,

Welcome to the forum.

I can see the plywood below the plank flooring isn't up to speed for tiling and will need to be replaced with CC or better.

The first step though is to use our handy dandy deflecto-meter and see if the wood joists are able to handle a tiled. floor. You can find it linked in the dark blue bar above.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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HR,

Agree ...don't think the calculator has option for t and g oak strip flooring ...would obviously want to double up plywood for the new room ...have 2x10 joists on 16" under the family room, with 1/2" ply then the t and g oak. If went with tile, could it just fill in the transition area with dry mud mix and stagger plywood layers over it, or would I still end up with serious issue with differential movement between the two rooms?

It looks very stable between the concrete pad and the brick veneer, but I'm concerned.

Would concrete be better in the transition with something to tie the two areas together?
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Unread 06-24-2014, 09:22 AM   #5
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George, if you plan to tile the area now covered in wood, your first step will be to remove the wood flooring and the moderately useless half-inch plywood subflooring. You'll then be able to start your new floor with nominal 3/4" T&G subflooring and, were it mine, a second layer of nominal 1/2" subflooring. Then you can work on the concrete side.

I'd want to fill that big gap you've got with concrete after digging down into whatever substantial undisturbed soil you might have. You've not included a geographic location in your User Profile so it's difficult to speculate on any requirements for foundation design. I'd want to mechanically tie that new concrete to the old as best I could and I'd likely try to tie it to the wood structure, too, just because I could. You'll still need a movement accommodation joint - or two - in the tile surface between the two floor constructions, though.

The only method I'd likely consider for flattening and leveling the concrete side would be concrete and/or deck mud, either bonded or un-bonded and perhaps some of each depending upon the thickness at the thinnest area. I'm just not a big fan of the sleepers over SOG concrete for a ceramic tile installation if there is an alternative.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 03:38 PM   #6
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CX, I'm interested in hearing your concerns regarding sleepers over SOG where tile will be installed. I agree it may be more desirable to bring the slab up to grade and level through with existing but that's not always practical.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #7
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Hi CX,

So, the T&G ha to go if we do tile ....hmmm..btw, house is in Atlanta ...

Don't know how would get down to soil ...it might be that a footer was poured beside the brick veneer ... Can't really tell from above, and by pounding the brick veneer out, it may make it less stable.

Tile sounding harder and harder ...if we went carpet, instead, we could keep the original floor in the family room, right? Could dry mud the transition gap and then sleepers with a couple of layers of plywood topped by carpet? Less issue with differential movement?
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Unread 06-24-2014, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cx, post 5
You've not included a geographic location in your User Profile...
If you don't do that the information will be lost to view before we leave this page.

Doubt y'all are required more foundation than just the common 6 inches into undisturbed soil in your area, George. Here it would also require a minimum perimeter vertical section of 24 inches and you could get by with the interior grade beam at 18 inches. But I've got no idea if any real foundation work might have been done for an add-on porch there.

Bodie, my concern with sleepers over existing SOG is mostly moisture. If we knew the former back porch slab had a proper vapor barrier under it, which is very unlikely, it would be of less concern. But putting wood joists over SOG with no such barrier, then putting plywood over the joists, then putting a tiling substrate and ceramic tile over that makes me uncomfortable. Especially in the very long term, which is always the anticipated life of a good ceramic tile installation. Others might not agree.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 07:58 PM   #9
Bodie Powers
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CX, could not the moisture concerns be mitigated by placing visqueen over the slab and beneath the sleepers?
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Unread 06-24-2014, 08:04 PM   #10
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I doubt it.

We do that with hardwood installed over such sleepers, but the hardwood is a lot more breathable than solid decking and a tile installation.

Again, that's all just my opinion. I wouldn't do it. Others may not agree.
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Unread 06-24-2014, 09:27 PM   #11
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CX,

I'm in Virginia, but son's house is in Atlanta.
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