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Unread 03-04-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
anotherjohn
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How to handle framing-concrete transition

Awesome forum you folks have here! I've learned a ton lurking and reading for a while, but I've got a specific item I'd like to ask about.

I'm re-doing our bathroom and laundry room, and intend to tile the floors. The laundry is about 7x12 ft, and 2/3 of it has a new framed floor over crawlspace that should be about L/720. The other third is on top of a concrete slab. It's elevated on concrete walls that are filled with rock and soil. I believe it was poured in the late 1960's. I'd like to tile continuously across the transition, but intuition tells me the two foundation systems will move differently and bad things will happen.

My solution was to solidify the transition by setting the last joist in mortar, providing it with the full support of the concrete structure. It's got a layer of 15 lb felt between it and the mortar so it won't be subject to (much) moisture-related movement, and it's PT so I won't have to worry about termites if it is a tad damp. I haven't decided on a tile underlayment yet, but I'm leaning toward 1/4" DensGuard or Ditra membrane as I have a thing for vapor barriers. I attached a drawing showing the situation.

Name:  transition.jpg
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Now that I've installed it... What do you folks think? Will the PT joist shrink and swell and move the joint vertically enough to be a problem? Should I just cut the tile at the edge of the plywood decking and put in a mini expansion joint instead of grout? (I would plan for a regular grout line there, and fill it with something flexible, but my wife wants a diagonal layout) Will Ditra give the tile more resistance to this kind of movement so I can do solid tile? Can I run underlayment continuously across the transition under the tile, or does an expansion joint go all the way down?

-John
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Unread 03-04-2009, 06:07 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, John.

You're gonna hafta honor that transition up through your tile surface or it's quite likely to make a joint for you, whether it aligns with your spouse's desired grout joints or not.
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Originally Posted by John
Should I just cut the tile at the edge of the plywood decking and put in a mini expansion joint instead of grout?
No, you should put a real expansion joint there instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Will the PT joist shrink and swell and move the joint vertically enough to be a problem?
Yes, it most certainly will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John
Can I run underlayment continuously across the transition under the tile, or does an expansion joint go all the way down?
That would be treated as an expansion joint and even Ditra would be separated at the joint. But you'd wanna rely upon the installation instructions of the manufacturer of whatever substrate you choose.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:22 PM   #3
The Kid
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Hello fellow Portlander, I would personally do it this way myself. Might as well do it right the rirst time eh! also I dont think its going to look to terribly bad if you have that profile running through a diagonal field, or you could lay over the joint and replace tiles every season. choice is up to you.

http://www.schluter.com/4_6_dilex_bwb.aspx
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Last edited by The Kid; 03-04-2009 at 07:39 PM.
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
anotherjohn
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Wow, helpful and QUICK you folks are. Yeah, I think I knew that was going to be the answer.

I love it when I go out on the web and wind up talking to a local. Can you aim me at a store around here that stocks those Schluter transition pieces? The big orange one has Ditra, but not much else that I could see.

-John
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Unread 03-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #5
The Kid
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John, Not many of em will without a contractors license and some have to be ordered. Might try OTM or United Tile
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