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Unread 08-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #1
EvilMole
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Ed's master bath project

I would like to apologize for starting a second thread on this project. I believe my
first post was a bit premature and was more of a plumbing issue than a flooring one. Well, come to find out it is a flooring issue now as you will see below.

My plan is to tile our 160 sqft bathroom with 18" square travertine tiles. The current floor is 3/4" plywood over engineered joists on 19" centers. The span is unknown. I do plan on putting down a layer of 1/2" plywood and 1/4" hardibacker.

I've started the demolition and it's not pretty. The builder did some pretty crappy work to say the least. In the first two pics you can see I've got not one but three layers of vinyl. The first layer was placed directly on the subfloor, which was rough, so it looks like they used mortar to smooth it out. This must not have looked good so they added another on top. The second layer is some kind of nasty 12" tile that I guess was used as a filler.

The builders crappy work continues into the water closest. In the third pic you can see that the toilet had been leaking some. The house isn't even 7 years old yet. It's hard to tell in the pic but there is basically no support behind the toilet where the subfloor ends at the wall. Basically the floor joist was cut near the right wall and no new support was added behind the toilet. I like how it says add right there, but nothing was added. This area has sagged and must be removed and support added, Woohoo!!! Oh did I forget to mention the toilet flange wasn't even screwed down.

My first questions are:

1) Does all that mortar shown in pic two have to be removed before the 1/2" plywood goes down? I need to check the floor with a level but I assume that mortar was added to smooth out the floor not to level it.

2) Are 2x4's adequate for framing around the hole I make in the subfloor or should I go bigger? I pretty much know where I need to cut. I just want to make sure I frame it back up properly.

I will have more pics and questions as I go along. I will keep them confined to this thread.

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 08-28-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
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Welcome back Ed

1- You are fine as long as its smooth and flat. No sense in putting plywood down only to have it be lumpy and not supported well.

2- Bigger is better. Since you distances are short, 2x6 or 2x8 are fine. If there is no big price difference go larger. It can't hurt. And we like overkill. And banana bread.
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Unread 08-30-2010, 08:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Paul.

The floor is fairly smooth except in the areas where the seams are. This is where they tried to smooth it over the most. I may give it a quick once over with a belt sander.

Must I use 3/4" plywood for replacing the sub floor or would an exposure 1 3/4" OSB work? Or is that a no no below a toilet? It seems the builder used OSB everywhere else upstairs except for the bathrooms. The reason I ask is I only need approximately a 2' x 2' piece and my neighbor has some leftover OSB I can use.

Thanks
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Unread 08-30-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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Ed,

I'm gonna guess there will be a few more plywood questions coming. This thread should be a big help.
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Unread 08-30-2010, 10:55 AM   #5
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Paul,

I was hoping not to have any plywood questions, but this damaged subfloor was an unexpected surprise. I have read the link you posted as well as the pdf file outlining how the plywood underlayment should be positioned. In fact I already have the underlayment pattern laid out in CAD, the hardibacker layout as well.

I was just curious if the OSB was a suitable replacement for a small section of the subfloor under the toilet. From my brief reading it appears it might not be. Might see if HD sells smaller sections of 3/4" plywood, but I would guess they don't.

Thanks
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Unread 08-30-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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Well, the subfloor has been cut around the flange. I have a little room to work with for adding new support. Does what I have shown in the image below look sound? The 2 x 6 down the middle may interfere with the new drain coupling I'm going to be putting in. If it does, then I'll have to somehow work around this or move this 2 x 6 to the other side of the flange. The 2 x 4 to the right will be laid flat and just screwed under the seam and not connected to the joists.

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Unread 08-30-2010, 09:41 PM   #7
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Alright, on to the tile question that has been bugging me the most about using this travertine tile. This has to do with the finished tile height of the bathroom in relation to the carpeted bedroom.

How would you handle the transition shown in these images?

I knew I was going to have an issue here and could live with some transition, but that's not going to cut it. The top of the tile is shown where it will be when installed, 1 1/2" above the subfloor. One whole tile and the hardibacker would be visible from the bedroom. To make it worse, it appears that my three layers of vinyl extend under the carpet, thus making it higher than it should have been.

If I can't figure this one out, then I'm going to have to scrap the travertine and go with a porcelain tile over 1/4" hardi only.

Help! any suggestions.

Thanks
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Unread 08-31-2010, 05:26 AM   #8
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Google "Carpet Shims."
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Unread 09-01-2010, 05:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Bob. An extreme version of a carpet shim would probably work, but I believe I've talked myself into going with a porcelain tile. I will still have a transition to contend with but it won't be as high. Gotta love an ever changing project. Good thing the wife is letting me take my time.

My next questions pertain to putting up tile baseboards instead of reusing the ones I removed.

1) What would you consider the minimum height for tile baseboards? I have 3 1/4" baseboards currently but to match the height of the adjoining room I figure the tile baseboard height would need to be around 2 3/8". The pic in my last post shows this area.

2) Would tile baseboards look bad if put across the front of the shower pan and around the tub? The tub has a cultured marble section on the end (see pics). I'm thinking this might look okay on the pan but not the tub.

I have 6 or so bullnose corners to contend with but I'd plan on using square transition caps instead of mitering in a small piece of tile.

Thanks
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Unread 09-01-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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Ed,

In that hallway pic, up to the carpeting, ....

I'd undercut the baseboard and door trim to slide the tile underneath. No need to remove the baseboard.

I'd like to see more pics at the tub shower front, please. Not enough info on those pics.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 06:11 PM   #11
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Paul,

I have already removed all of the baseboards except for the one you see in that pic. My plan was to just rip them down to size and reinstall. That door you see is the only one I have to contend with so I was just going to undercut the jamb and trim there. Instead of reinstalling the old baseboards I thought it would be nice to go with tile instead.

Here's a couple of pics the wife took before the demo. You can't see the left side of the cultured marble tub section/ledge but its height matches the rest of the marble around the tub. You can make this out in the mirror. Also the picture in my first post was taken just left of the tub. I can get a better pic tomorrow if needed.

Thanks
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Unread 09-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #12
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One more thing.

I'm liking the tile shown here in this older POST. Or something along those lines. I thought it might make for a nice baseboard as well. Just worried about it being too short on the wall.
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