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Old 11-08-2018, 10:10 PM   #1
Wordbrew
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Anyone interested in helping me with my bathroom reno adventure?

Hi! Long time lurker, first time poster. I thought I'd hung out here long enough to know what's what, but as life likes to teach you the hard way, I'm quickly learning I don't know squat.

I won't bore you with the background too much aside from the fact that what started as a simple "refresher" has become a whole renovation due to an unexpected mess for the old subfloor (rot in the old t&g, portion of sub missing entirely, another portion crudely cut up 3/4 plywood nailed down).

Upon removal of the subfloor, I found that my joists consist of 2x6 boards set 16 oc, ~10-12 feet long, doug fir, good condition. When I go on the trusty deflecto calculator, I'm getting a deflection of just L / 144. Thumbs down for all tile. WTF.

What I'm not getting is how the previous owners were able to maintain a ceramic tiled bathroom for nearly 15 years in good condition. No grout or tile cracks. Just was a bit outdated for my taste. At L/144, I'd assume that should not be possible.

I'm in a 1940s home, raised foundation. The bathroom is center of the house, just 8x5 in size. The joists run perpendicular on top of at least two beams with foundation footings. Could that be helping to stabilize and minimize the deflection?

Long story short, I'm trying to figure out what I can do to make my floor more hospitable to tile. I'm already planning to block the perimeter edges and add staggered blocking between the joists to help reinforce it some. Anything else I might be able to do to help get my rating better?

To make matters even worse, I've got a height issue, so 3/4 plywood puts me equal to the hardwood flooring in the hallway leading up to doorway. My original plan was to put 3/4 plywood sub with a 1/2 underlay. Now I'm not sure of that even. I was going to try to settle for 3/4 plywood with a decoupling membrane (like Schluter ditra), but with the mini-joists underneath, I'm not sure it would make any difference.

I have a photo of the joists, but can't upload yet. Four joists run through the room. One joist is actually cut short in the section where the tub used to be. There's literally nothing in it's place, but at least the prior owners sistered it with another cut off, shortened joist.

Thoughts? Am I doomed to have laminate or shag carpet in my bathroom for all of eternity?

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Chris.

I'd go with the avocado green shag. You'll need an oil painting of Elvis to go with that.

Starting at the beginning: joists are measured by the longest unsupported span. So if they're 12' feet long, but have a support halfway through, the length measurement is actually 6'.

The species and grade are also important, so get those three pieces of information together (you already have the spacing) and give the Deflecto another run at it.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:12 AM   #3
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Oh man, talk about being stupid. That put me from L/144 up to L829! Thank you for correcting me on that.

Considering my plans to still reinforce some of the area, I wonder if I might be able to get away with a single 3/4 plywood. Or am I tempting the tile gods too much with that?
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:11 AM   #4
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If your joists are 16" on center, you could certainly install over a single layer of 3/4" plywood. Just make sure it's tongue and groove, installed with the face grain perpendicular to the joists, and has a face grade of A, B, or C.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:15 PM   #5
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Perfect! Thanks so much for the help. I feel at least one aspect of the remodel is going to go smoothly now. Plumbing is another issue entirely.

I will be sure to update as I move along with the entire process.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:44 PM   #6
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Best place for a DIYer to buy high quality thinset?

I'm doing a bathroom reno and am at the schluter kerdi shower pan installation stage. I've done my research and want to use a high quality unmodified thinset like Ditra-set, Laticrete, or even Schluter's Set Thinset.

Problem is, I can't find the stuff anywhere for residential/personal purchase. All my box stores have low-quality Mapei thinset, nothing else. I've called some tile suppliers in my area and they either claim not to sell the thinset I'm interested in or won't sell me it under a house account. I can buy some of the types of thinset online and pay nearly $60 a bag, but that just seems ridiculously expensive compared to the $16-$24 a bag I'm seeing referenced elsewhere.

Where can a DIYer go to buy one or two 50 lb bags of good quality thinset in person? Am I looking at the wrong kind of businesses? I live in the Los Angeles area, so you'd think there would be a place I could get this as a casual DIYer.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:51 PM   #7
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Versabond (white or grey) Home depot ~$14

Available in LA stores...
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Custom-B...SW50/100091767

Lightly modified thin-set works well for either modified or unmodified applications.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:08 PM   #8
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set a account up at dal or one of tile stores, or just go up there and ask if you can buy without a acct. If that doesn't work ask one of the installers that is in there if you can buy under his/hers acct. I do this for people all the time
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:22 PM   #9
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Chris, that's one of the types of question where it helps to have a geographic location in your User Profile so it appears permanently.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:52 PM   #10
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@PC7060: Looking to avoid Versabond as I've heard mixed reviews on it. Thanks though. How do you feel it compares to Ditra-set or Schluter's actual thinset?
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #11
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I'd use the white Versabond like PC said.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:10 PM   #12
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Hi Davy. Is it good enough quality? I've heard some bad stuff about it on other forums and was put off by the reivews. If you guys seem to support it though, I'm down to try it. Also, it appears to be a modified thinset which goes against Schluter's directions for installation. I'm not looking to void my warranty with them.

Also, here are some photos of the extremely slow progress I'm going through. I'm taping the purple drywall now while I wait for my corner bench to come in from backorder. Hoping to thinset everything this weekend.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:52 AM   #13
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Chris,

I used Versabond to install my USG foam shower pan, the USG membrane over the pan, and to install all the USG water proofing bands and corner seals. I also used it to install Schluter's Ditra Heat mats, and to pre-fill the same heat mats. Zero issues with it.

While I appreciate you're desire to keep Schluter's warranty intact, if you do ever need to file a warranty claim odds are that Schluter will claim "installer error" even if you do use approved products.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:23 PM   #14
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Versabond definitely works.
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Old 04-25-2019, 06:49 PM   #15
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I’m a rookie but like the Versabond. Easy to find, good price and very workable.

Davy has done several hundred bathrooms versus my two so Id pay special attention to his recommendations.
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