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Unread 11-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
_mike_
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Mike's Bath Remodel - no shingles for leveling the floor!

My 3/4" subfloor has some low spot. My intent was to level it with shingles cut to the fit low spot, place 3/8 underlayment rated plywood over that, screwed to the subfloor (not over joists). Ditra and tile over that.

Most of the low area is where a vanity sits.

Is this a good approach?
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Unread 11-23-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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Good, meh. Good enough, probably, since you're adding another layer of ply and using ditra over that. The one thing that concerns me is there has to be a reason the ply is low along that wall. Either your floor joists (joist, depending on which way they run), are rotting there, or bowing. You really ought to find out and fix the problem before it gets worse, vanity or no vanity.

edit: After putting on my glasses, I see the low spot there is between joists. I wouldn't just ply over it and forget it. Vanity or no vanity, you need to cut out that section and put new underlayment down. It looks as though the plumbing there leaks, or had a leak at one time, which would explain the dip in your ply. If so, you may want to check those two joists for rotting, and either put a few cross-braces in, or scab some 2by onto the joists, going at least 2-3' past the rot in both directions.
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Last edited by Bowtiesarecool; 11-23-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #3
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I'll cut it out and replace it if I have to, but I'm pretty sure it's the one joist by the wall and it's a framing error or it's due to the wood shrinking or warping a little. It seems as if I cut it out, I would just end up adding a sister joist to raise the depression (~3/16") and implementing a fix similar to the one I started with at much greater expense.

All the floor nail heads are rusty, which I attribute to the deck likely being exposed to weather during construction since the wood around the nails in most cases is fine. I added deck screws to ensure the floor is secure to the joists.

Also, if there was enough water to damage the joists, wouldn't it have damaged the drywall in the ceiling above?


I moved the shingles, here are some more photos. There's a closeup of the worst water exposure in the 4th photo:
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Unread 11-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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OK, I also was able to stick a phone down by the toilet pipe and get a glimpse of the joist. I don't know if it's very helpful since it only shows a small section.:
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Unread 11-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cx
I very much prefer to see the CBU overlap the tiling flange regardless the type of water containment system to be used. That frequently requires furring out the stud faces, for which I favor rips of an appropriate thickness of plywood.
What's the best way to transition to another wall type. For example going from tile to drywall. Would you have the drywall and cbu backing meet at the last stud with tile and then, on the next stud behind the drywall, go back to no shims? If one wall is an exterior wall with a window then don't you need to get back to 1/2" off the stud before you get to the window?
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Unread 11-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
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Welcome Mike.

Have you checked your joists to see if they'll support a tile installation? Plug your framing info into the "Deflecto" above in the blue bar and tell us what you get.

I think Stanley has you headed in the right direction with a few things here.

First, 3/16 isn't a whole lot to deal with. If there's rot or some other structural deficiency, of course you want to fix that first. You have what appears to be back-to-back bathrooms, so some water staining on the ply doesn't surprise me too much. Joist looks good, what we can see of it. in the bottom of the joist photo, it appears there's a pipe running thru it. Maybe it's bored too close to the edge? or not.

Next, regarding leveling, I'd not do anything under the 3/8 ply you're planning to put down over what you have. You want both ply pieces to fit snugly together, not have something between them. Install the 2nd layer like this

http://www.johnbridge.com/images/mik...-0604.pdf..pdf

Over the top layer of ply before you get it all dirty, is the place to do any leveling. Use a floor patch that you can taper to feather edge and install according to the manufacturers installation instructions. We use Henry's/Ardex products mixed with their latex additive. Available at the box stores.

Over that you install Ditra & tile.
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Last edited by dhagin; 11-23-2012 at 07:49 PM. Reason: add Deflecto link
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Unread 11-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #7
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Hi Mike.

I moved your post from that other thread in here. We like to keep all questions & posts about a project in one thread so we can all follow along. We can rename your thread to something more generic if you'd like, just ask and the first moderator who sees it will make the change. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
What's the best way to transition to another wall type. For example going from tile to drywall. Would you have the drywall and cbu backing meet at the last stud with tile and then, on the next stud behind the drywall, go back to no shims? If one wall is an exterior wall with a window then don't you need to get back to 1/2" off the stud before you get to the window?
Generally, we try to keep backer boards flush with drywall, then tile past where the backer ends onto the painted drywall, then caulk the edge of the tile to drywall. How we handle windows depends on where the tile ends, whether it's in a wet area, etc.... need some more info for this one.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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The latest photos show a much better depiction of what's going on. I would agree that looks like simply the joist was hung with the crown upside down or some other minor issue. The first photo made your subfloor look like it had been soaked and I'm glad to see that's not the case.

As for your original question, I'll defer to my original answer. It's doubtful anyone here would sign off on using a couple shingles as shims like that. You can get floor patch & leveler for about $20 at the DIY stores.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
Have you checked your joists to see if they'll support a tile installation? Plug your framing info into the "Deflecto" above in the blue bar and tell us what you get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deflectolator
For joists that are SYP or Douglas Fir, in good condition, 9 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide, 16 inches on center, and 12 feet long between supports, the deflection calculated is 0.276 inches.

This translates to a deflection of L / 522
There's actually another 1/2 bath below so the distance could be more like 6 feet. I went to the load bearing support near the center of the house for the Deflectolator.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
Joist looks good, what we can see of it. in the bottom of the joist photo, it appears there's a pipe running thru it.
Good catch. The pipe actually runs under it. The room below has a ceiling dropped along that wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
Over the top layer of ply before you get it all dirty, is the place to do any leveling. Use a floor patch that you can taper to feather edge and install according to the manufacturers installation instructions. We use Henry's/Ardex products mixed with their latex additive. Available at the box stores.
OK, I'll check this stuff out. Maybe more questions on this later.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtiesarecool
As for your original question, I'll defer to my original answer. It's doubtful anyone here would sign off on using a couple shingles as shims like that. You can get floor patch & leveler for about $20 at the DIY stores.
Yea, I wasn't sure about the shingles, so I started where it seemed like I needed the most immediate help.

I didn't think that SLC would work (too thin) but I guess the floor patch should do the trick - so I'll go down that road.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
I moved your post from that other thread in here. We like to keep all questions & posts about a project in one thread so we can all follow along. We can rename your thread to something more generic if you'd like, just ask and the first moderator who sees it will make the change. Thanks.
OK, I'll keep the entire project here. You can rename it to:

Mike's Bath Remodel - no shingles for leveling the floor!
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Unread 11-23-2012, 09:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
Generally, we try to keep backer boards flush with drywall, then tile past where the backer ends onto the painted drywall, then caulk the edge of the tile to drywall. How we handle windows depends on where the tile ends, whether it's in a wet area, etc.... need some more info for this one.
As of now, the plan is to run tile 1/2 to 3/4 of the way across the stud bay to the right of the window. I was going to use CBU (because I'm a chicken) and kerdi. The CBU and drywall would meet at the stud where the plastic ends to the right of the window and the tile would end in stud bay to the right of the window. I'd run the CBU to the window if it can be made smooth and painted like drywall....

In any case, if I have to shim the wall out 1/4" to overlap the tub flange, then it seems like getting the window trim good might be an issue.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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Where does the shower end on that wall, Mike?
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Unread 11-23-2012, 11:18 PM   #13
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Shower is on the interior wall:
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Unread 11-23-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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Based on your last pics, there is too much bow to your walls for tile.
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Unread 11-23-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhagin
Over the top layer of ply before you get it all dirty, is the place to do any leveling. Use a floor patch that you can taper to feather edge and install according to the manufacturers installation instructions. We use Henry's/Ardex products mixed with their latex additive. Available at the box stores.


I've found:

A) Henry 545 Fast-setting, feather edge patch and underlayment
+ HENRY 546 Feather Edge Additive

B) HENRY® 547 UniPro Universal Underlayment
+ HENRY 546 Feather Edge Additive

or

C) HENRY 549 FeatherFinish


Is one better than the other? It looks like B) 547+546 might be best from what I've read so far.

I assume I'll still have to do some sealing between plywood sheets and also at the wall where the studs meet the floor. Would caulk do the trick? or maybe just mix up a small batch of the 546/547 and apply to the those places, let it cure, and then do the final coat.
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