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Unread 12-31-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
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Location: Dayton, OH
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Correct structure and material for tiled landing on sleepers over concrete floor

I need to build and tile a one-step landing at the bottom staircase into my basement. (1978 construction in Virginia, block walls, stable concrete slab. Very occasional water seepage (I keep the Billy Bookshelves along the walls up on 3/4" firring strips to avoid problems) but never had any accumulation.

The ultimate floor is an already-tiled, pour concrete basement floor. The landing will be ~3' x 5', and both the top and exposed sides will be tiled. I haven't decided whether to use 12x12s or something larger.

Here's what I'm thinking for the structure and process. Please tell me if I'm missing something, making it overly complicated, or if I'm just plain wrong.
  1. Rip 2x8s "sleepers"/joists to the appropriate height (TBD): (3) 5' long and (2) 3' long. Sand the endgrain. Paint them with Thompsons water sealer on all six sides.
  2. Sit the 5' sleepers 18" OC (not 16" OC because I'm trying to make half of 3'). Nail the 3' sleepers as a "rim joist" on the ends. Place sill gasket under the whole assembly. "Toe nail" into the floor with tapcons, and attach to the abutting stairs.
  3. Cover the top of the assembly with 3/4" BCX.
  4. Cover the top and the "rim joist" sides/risers with 1/4" CBU, held down with modified thinset and galvanized roofing nails, leaving 1/2" of clearance from edge of the CBU to the concrete floor on the vertical sides/riser.
  5. Tile the top and two exposed sides. Use some protective edging between the tile on the top of the landing and the tile on the sides/riser. Leave 1/4" gap between the tile on the side/riser and the concrete floor. Caulk later.
  • I know that convention calls for PT on top of sill gasket, I'm worried about the PT shrinking and moving. Another alternative to PTs is laying down a 1.5" thick sheet of XPS (extruded polystyrene/rigid foam insulation), as it would provide keep moisture out of the dimensional lumber and be dimensionally stable (unlike the PT). Plus painting the 2x8s seems so much less complicated than adding another layer. Am I screwing this up?
  • Is a single layer of 3/4" CBX good enough since the entire structure is supported by the concrete floor and isn't spanning anything? Would 1/2" or 5/8" cut it?
  • Do I need to cover the sides of the box with BCX, or can I attach the CBU directly to the 2x8 sleepers?

Thanks and Happy New Year.
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Unread 01-02-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
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Hi Steve, from what I'm understanding you are going to frame this box step on the tile that is there on the floor. If that is the case you can just do it the way you said but I would use construction adhesive and just glue the frame to the floor then put your 3/4" on the top and wrap it with the CBU then tile.
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