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Old 08-28-2018, 06:42 PM   #1
Mdsims
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1940s Bathroom Renovation - down to the studs

Greetings, I'm a DIY'er who is quite impressed by the knowledge here on this board. New to JBridge, not to forums. (any Land Cruiser guys/gals here?). I hope to use this thread to ask questions and post photos of my project as I go, both for my betterment and any other new people like me who are taking on big projects. Anyway, here's a long status update to kick this thread off, feel free to skip to the other sections as you wish.

A bit about my project. House was built in 1941 and is located in the hills in the East Bay here in California. Lucky for me, it's right along the Hayward fault line. (not kidding). This is the only bathroom we have, and even though we aren't living here full time, the missus is pretty intent on me wrapping this up.

The bathroom is roughly 8'x8', with one 3030 window on an exterior wall opposite the door. Plan is to install a double vanity with linen cabinet along one wall (left side), shower only (32x60) and toilet along the other (right side). Floor finish will be 2x2 hex marble both in an out of the shower (maintenance, I know). The main shower/toilet wall will be 4x12 marble tile in a herringbone pattern across the full 8' span. The rest of the tiled surfaces in the shower will be the same marble tile, set on a TBD 'brick, offset, or staggered brick' pattern, something that doesn't compete with the herringbone. Toilet will be separated from shower by a low wall and glass above to ceiling. Shower will be enclosed in a frame less glass enclosure, nice lighting, brushed gold fixtures, yada yada yada. Nothing too inventive but for sure the nicest bathroom we'll have ever had.

I started demo about 2 months ago, but it's been a pretty slow pace overall: a few weekend vacations, week in Denver, a bachelor party, sister had a kid, work travel, etc. Anyway, demo is done, the room is down to the studs and floor/ceiling joists, all rot has been cut out and replaced. Had to replace 2 floor joists, a good bit of blocking, some sill plate, door jambs, and all the sub floor. It was wild, but the room had 3-4 floors depending on where I was cutting.

Structurally, the room sits on 2x8s on 16" centers, 12' span. Deflection was downright poor (L/302). I considered extreme sistering, gutting them all and replacing with 2x12s, and ultimately decided to run a beam under and perpendicular to the joists at their mid-span. Considering my low crawlspace height and the drain lines that need to cross the beam and room, I needed a shallow section for the beam. I'd need something like (2) 2x14s or a 4x10 just to hit L/720, so wood was out. I calc'd out a few steel options and went with the cheapest steel section I could use. I also choose to run the beam a little long, to grab a couple joists just past each side of the bathroom to aid in continuity and fully support the bathroom walls. Oddly enough, a W4x13 was cheaper than 4" 1/4 wall tube, so that's what I went with. Beam deflection at midspan is less than 0.03", so at the joists I'll be no worse than L/1300. Digging some shallow footings for that beam and setting the concrete pier blocks tonight!

Separate from the structural items, I've already re-piped about 2/3 of the house (the house, not just the bathroom) in new copper, replacing some hack work done in the past by a PO and some undersized/poorly routed lines. I'll find some photos: the supply lines had more solder on them than in the fittings! Also gutted all the DWV back to the 4" main, dropped/hauled out the massive cast iron vent stack and combos, slimmed down the wall behind the toilet to a standard 3.5" stud and have most of the room redone in ABS at this point. It feels good but a few more nights and a weekend still to go before I have the mep rough-in done.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:51 PM   #2
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Here are some progress photos.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:12 PM   #3
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And on to my first question, sub-floor!

Intended tiles are 2" marble hexagon mosaic, 3/8" thick.

Hallway floor composition is 3/4" x 8" pine/fir planks spaced 3/16" apart and running perpendicular to the joists, with an oddball 1/4" thick, wide oak plank flooring for a total section thickness of 1" on the nose.

For the bathroom, I originally thought I could get away with 23/32" nominal span rated ply (0.688") and an uncoupling system (Ditra) and lay my floor directly on that. Now that I've been reading up on marble tile, I get the feeling that would be frowned upon and I should adjust my flooring approach to include two ply layers, some fancy screwing and gluing, and then the Ditra. That said, I'm sensitive to floor thickness, so it may be best to go with a slightly thinner first course and top that with a second layer.

What do the pros recommend as the floor assembly?

You can probably tell, I don't want this floor to fail!
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:10 PM   #4
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Welcome, Matt.

For sure the 1/4" material must be removed. If you actually want a subfloor that meets the Marble Institute of America standards, you'll need to remove the board subfloor as well and start anew with a first layer of an absolute minimum of nominal 5/8ths" exterior glue T&G plywood, followed by a layer of nominal 1/2" exterior glue plywood, each properly and differently installed. I would personally recommend a first layer of nominal 3/4" plywood. In our Liberry you'll find a good article showing what I think is the very best method of installing that double layer of subfloor. They call the second layer an underlayment, but it's actually a second layer of structural subflooring.

Over that you can install the tiling substrate of your choice and your stone tiles.

One of the objectives of that method is to ensure that there are no places where there can be a joint in the subflooring that extends from the joist top through the entire subfloor structure. You could, I suppose, try to install a layer of plywood over your board subfloor in similar fashion, but it won't be the same and won't nobody be your friend if it doesn't work. It might, but see my warranty information below.

That would all be after you've brought your joist structure up to spec, of course.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:25 AM   #5
Mdsims
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Thanks CX. Maybe I wasn't clear, the planks and 1/4" oak are the floor composition in the hallway, and were only mentioned to show the 1" height in the hall that I know I can't match. The bathroom joists are bare right now (and some joists are brand new ). I've read the document you linked, and will go forward with the 23/32 t+g and an overlayment of 3/8. The attachment they outline is pretty fair, and I'll do that too. That should bring my bathroom floor thickness (with tile, thinset, ditra) to 1 3/8". I can transition that into the hardwood nicely with some remnant marble.

thanks!
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:36 AM   #6
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The only caution I would have there is in finding nominal 3/8ths" exterior glue plywood that is sufficiently flat for the application. Most I see these days in the home centers look like they were made by a potato-chip company and you'll have difficulty fastening it flat to the first layer. Up to you, but I'd recommend that second layer be at least nominal 1/2" plywood.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:55 PM   #7
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Figure a quick update may be in order before I start asking more questions...

Poured some shallow footings to keep two piers in place. Added some bar to keep things tight and placed the piers in the wet mix. gave the piers 4 days to chill. Welded straps on the beam, drug the beam through my exterior crawspace door, lifted the beam into place and nailed everything tight. The beam is not attached to the rest of the foundation or the joists really, I simply jacked the joists up a tad and let the weight of the structure hold everything snug.

Mr. inspector didn't even make a comment about the beam, which was nice.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:21 PM   #8
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Insulated (didn't want to but the County made me do it) and installed 23/32 T+G ply subfloor. Exposure 1, exterior, span-rated yada yada. Nailed off with ring-shank common nails and a healthy bead of liquid-nails subfloor adhesive. No squeaks for me!

Did a quick mock-up of the shower system and floor pan (32x46). A sharp eye will see that I'll have light switch issues if I continue with this width. I narrowed down the USG floor pan a bit, and now I'll have good clearance with my glass shower wall coming off the curb. Cut and set my final drain locations for the toilet and shower, and finished off the subfloor.

Missing from the photos was a good bit of roofing. Re-sealed all the plumbing vents for the vanities and shower (luckily they fit in the old jacks) but needed a new jack for the 3" toilet vent. So I flashed that in and cut in a 6" exhaust vent for my whizzbang moister-sensing exhaust fan. Yay code!

Set rough-in housings for down lights (2" led, 600-1000 lumens...), exhaust fan, and wrapped up my wall rough. Had all that that inspected and signed off last week.

Sometime in the last month I got married. It's all a blur. I now have a couple free nights to insulate, install backer for my towel bars, holders, etc. and frame out my shower bench (14" bench + 46" pan =60") before the drywaller shows up Wed/Thursday. I'll probably hang this case of USG foam backer board before they drywall too, just to keep the scope clear.

Did I mention drywall is the only trade I plan to sub out?
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:23 PM   #9
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QUESTION: my transitions from foam backer board to drywall will not be in the shower or wet areas. I'm running the tile long and into dry areas. Should I have the drywall guy mud and tape the 'foam to drywall' transition as if it were a standard drywall joint, then run my last row of dry-area wall tiles slightly over and into the drywall to hide the transition? Or should I tape it with the USG tape?
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:33 PM   #10
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Not sure what we're calling "USG tape," Matt. If I understand where you're talking about, I'd recommend you cover the joint, probably all the way to the end of that wall section with the USG Durock Shower membrane.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:42 PM   #11
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Since the foam panels are faced both sides with the USG membrane, they sell this 5" strip for seaming at panel joints. It's just the normal membrane in the narrow form factor.

https://www.contractorsdirect.com/US...rproofing-Band

On the flat wall, I'll run the USG strip, but what about dry 90 inside corners, where one side is drywall and the other is foamboard and tile. I think there I have to use regular mud and paper tape. The USG membrane roll/thinset will just be too thick to conceal, right?
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:51 PM   #12
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Yeah, the 5" band is fine. When using the membrane I just cut strips if I needed any.

I'm trying to envision where I might have a dry area inside corner done with foam board. But if I had one I could see using either the membrane strip installed with thinset mortar or paper tape installed with drywall mud. You can finish over the membrane edge with drywall mud just fine if you want.

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Old 10-10-2018, 10:11 AM   #13
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Furring studs, wall flatness

Well, I hit a little bump and thought I'd get some opinions before moving forward.

One 8'x8' wall in the bathroom will be marble tile laid in a herringbone pattern. After insulating the interior walls last night, I noticed that wall has a bow to it. I ran a long straight edge over the studs, and it seems my worst spot is about 1/4-3/8" low. Nothing seems high.

I'm using 1/2 USG Durock foam tile backer board, and that stuff is pretty sensitive to uneven substrates.

What's the best way to fur out this wall and get everything plum and flat? In the past, I've tacked thin wood strips to the stud faces vertically to fill in the low spots. When does it make sense to run 1x_ material horizontally and shim those out instead? I'm trying to keep the wall fairly thin as I have a door on the adjacent wall to consider.

Much thanks
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:03 AM   #14
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In those situations it's frequently simpler to scab new, straight studs onto the existing to make the wall plumb and flat.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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It's simpler to scab on new studs, but if this is an exterior wall, that also limits its insulating factor...the wood you add will conduct better than the insulation in between. The foam board will help some, though.
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