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Unread 04-02-2021, 07:59 PM   #136
cx
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Karen, those photos don't really tell us anything at all except that the bubble is in different places in the different photos.

Keep in mind that your tiles don't give a rat's patooti whether your floor is level, they care only about flat. The larger they are, the more they care.

Best way to evaluate the floor flatness is to use the longest straight-edge you can comfortably fit in the area you want to measure and evaluate the flatness with that. The industry standard for tiles with no side longer than 15 inches is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/4" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in one foot. Flatter for bigger tiles. For smaller areas you'll need to extrapolate your readings, of course.

It would, of course, be beneficial for you to know why your floor may have taken on a profile other than flat or level so you could repair it if necessary, but it doesn't need to be level unless you just want it level or to accommodate a tub installation or similar reason.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-02-2021, 08:57 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
Karen, those photos don't really tell us anything at all except that the bubble is in different places in the different photos.
When I wrote level I meant flat.

The way I interpret it is that the pictures say the floor is not flat as it slopes at different angles in different places... With the pictures I am going straight down the direction of the joists at the same position in the other dimension. (I followed a grout line to make sure)

Given how I did the measurements I think, if all the bubbles were in the same place in all the pictures, it would mean the floor is flat, even if not level, no?


If one took a rectangular board and say you tilted it at a 10° angle in the long direction, then took level measurements down the the incline in the center of the short direction, wouldn't the bubble be at the same place in all the measurements?

If that is right, hopefully the deviation from flatness is not enough to matter!

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Keep in mind that your tiles don't give a rat's patooti whether your floor is level, they care only about flat. The larger they are, the more they care.
I know... The tile I have been planning to use is 8"X16"... This tile also comes in 4"X8" and I could drop down to that if the floor is not level enough the larger tile. I wanted to go with the 8"X16" to minimize the amount of grout lines.

I don't have a straight edge anywhere near long enough...

I took the yardstick I do have and put on end by the outside wall and laid it in the direction of the joists on it's edge... In that 3ft the yardstick, with the 2 ends on the floor, the center of the stick was about 5/32" off the floor.

Within one foot of an end being on the floor, there were are deviation of about 2/16" within one foot.

Not looking good. Old houses make things "interesting" for sure! I think I'm going to need a very good/knowledgable/resourceful GC... Finding one (and paying for them) won't be easy!

-Karen
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Unread 04-02-2021, 10:30 PM   #138
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BTW if worst came to worst, this tile also comes in a 2X2" mosaic that could be used for the floor (I assume that would not need the floor to be as flat)...

Probably awfully pricey (was not planning on using it so no idea of price) and it would mean an awful lot of grout... But I would consider it, if it was that or vinyl.


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Unread 04-03-2021, 01:51 PM   #139
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I was wondering if anyone was familiar with this type of wall construction

From where the walls are penetrated and layers exposed exposed (near but outside of the tub and under the sink in the vanity , ALL the walls in the bathroom (at least outside the shower) there is a skim coat of plaster over a cementitious material layer about a 1/4" thick...

Right now the lower parts of the walls are wainscoted with tile over the plaster, and the upper parts painted.

I don't think the cementitious layer is mud because I think i read one would expect to have a wire mesh inside it... and from the the really broken part of the wall I posted pictures of earlier is this thread, it does not look like it.

Was CBU around in the mid-50's when the house was built?

Anyway it seems like a REALLY good way to make durable/sturdy/relatively water tolerant bathroom walls... Or would it be a bad idea?

If all the walls do need to be taken down to the studs, given the house has plaster walls, I wonder if for the bathroom the best way to match the rest of the house (As well as the original bathroom construction) would be to use Durock instead of BlueBoard for the walls and skim coat it with plaster.

According to the manufacturer Durock can be be skim coated with plaster and it can obviously take tile... and that way the same wall material could be used everywhere in the bathroom...

Of course the issue would be cost. Is it likely to be a lot more expensive to buy and have Durock installed outside of the tub/shower area for all the walls rather than blueboard? (I assume the cost of doing the plaster skim coating and tiling would be the same for either)

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Unread 04-03-2021, 02:51 PM   #140
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Not gonna be a CBU, Karen, or at least not one anyone else knew about before about 1968. I don't have an authoritative citation for you, but I believe that's when the first CBU was patented and which later became Wonderboard.

Lotta ways to "plaster" a wall before then, though. I got no real eye-dee what you might have.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-11-2021, 04:02 PM   #141
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A question about esthetics vs practicality and cost. We will be using a general contractor for our bathroom renovation so they will be doing the tile wok but I want to get some feedback about ways of doing things.

We are planing of having tile wainscoting all around the bathroom and tile all the way to (and including) the ceiling in the tub/shower area... alcove.

At the end of the show alcove (right side as shown below) there is an outside corner that the wainscoting needs to go around ... That corner is in a tight spot to get by and it sure to get bumped into.

For looks I would rather continue the tile pattern around the corner , which would mean those field file (Glazed porcelain injet) would need to be back mitered... which potentially weakens the corner (don't want to have to deal with broken edges!) and adds added labor cost.

In another thread the Schluter FINEC corner profile (which is very narrow) was mentioned and might be OK if one of the colors it comes in is close enough to the grout or field filed tile background so it is a possibility, but we are going for a traditional style and I am not sure it would blend enough.

The field tile does have a Bullnose (2X too long but could cut the cut in half to match horizontal grout lines at least), but we are not using it elsewhere for finishing edges - for that we are using pencil .

Using Bullnose of course would mean the tile pattern is interrupted... Bullnose of course is more expensive than filed tile, but I think this would be the least labor intensive and maybe the most rugged solution?

I would say priority one for this corner is ruggedness, with the cost and esthetics close behind

So there are 3 options:
Use Bullnose,
Just back Mitre
Back Miter with Schluter FINEC profile

What order would you out them for
1) ruggedness
2) relative cost

A second question...
Originally I wanted to get a Tub the same height as the one we have (16") and would have been at the height of a horizontal grout line, which would have been perfect...

But the only cast iron tubs that fit are only 14"... Which means to maintain the same horizontal grout lines around the hole bathroom, along the tub top the first row of tile would only be about 2 inches (see drawing below)... is that an issue for tiling over the tub flange?

Thanks,
-Karen
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Unread 04-12-2021, 08:43 PM   #142
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With respect to my second question in the previous post...

As I said I originally thought the tub would 16" high, but to fit in the space, if I want cast iron it will be only 14" high, and tiles we plan to use are approximately (8"x16" - Italian tile so the actual size is not exactly that because of metric units)


That would not be an issue if we were only tiling the alcove, but we plan to have the rest of the bathroom wainscoted with tile... and ideally one would want to run the wainscoting tile pattern all through the lower part of the alcove...

But to do that, as seen in the above post, that means the first course of tile, which has to go over the tub tile flange, would only be about 2 Inches high...

I know one usually tries to avoid slivers like that for esthetic reasons, but in this case because it has to go over the tub flange I wonder if doing so might be problematic because of practical issues as well.

If it is, the only way I can see to handle it is to use 16"x16" tiles (the ones used on top) cut to 10"X16"... But that causes mismatches at the end of the alcove.

In the drawing below, on the left hand side by the tub you can see where the change in tile size happens an it is definitely awkward, though would usually be hidden by the shower curtain I think.

The right hand end, as mentioned in my previous post, is an outside corner and that one change in grout line height would be around the corner...

So would the a 2 inch course over teh tub flange be an issue? If it is, is there another solution (besides redoing the tile pattern for teh whole bathroom) beside what I show below?

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-Karen
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Unread 04-16-2021, 08:50 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen
The way I interpret it is that the pictures say the floor is not flat as it slopes at different angles in different places...
I don't have a long straight edge but ...

I saw an "Ask This Old House" segment about a sloping kitchen floor . Tom Silva put a roll of tape on the floor and it started rolling... then came to stop part way through the room around the fridge.. He went down the basement and found a joist cracked at the end because of how it had been notched to sit on the support beam (the is where it cracked) ... He fixed it easily with some glue, a joist hanger and a jack... but it did not take the slope out of the floor...

I decided to try the roll of tape test in my bathroom. I put it down by the outside wall and it REALLY took off... then about the middle of bathroom it slowed down, rocked back and forth once and came to a stop...

So, even if the joists met L/360, obviously the floor is at least bowed and so not flat. If the velocity of the tape is any indication, significantly so...

I know some of the joists have several long cracks in them, including joists NOT supporting the cast iron tub. I have some picture earlier in the thread... When looking more closely I saw there were more.

I was planning on using 8"X16" tile on the floor so the "bow" would likely need to be fixed (probably even if I wanted to use the 4"X8" tiles this also comes in)...

How hard (read expensive) is fixing the floor likely to be? At this point would it be best to bring in a residential structural engineer? (and if so, how would one find a good one?)

- Karen
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Unread 04-16-2021, 11:08 PM   #144
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Depends on what's causing the bow, and how many joists are bowed.

Did your tape roll perpendicular to the joists, or parallel?

You could also use a string stretched across the room to get an idea of where the slope is. You'd have to do it in multiple areas and directions to get the full picture.

Quickest way to fix a bowed joist would be to remove the subfloor in that area, sister the joist, then replace the subfloor. That could conceivably be done in a day or so, depending on what has to be moved out of the room, and what floor covering you have now.

Another way would be to use a foundation jack to push the joist back up into place. But that would take some time, because the joist won't straighten back up overnight. You'd be moving it a fraction of an inch every day or two. Then you'd have to sister it or support it from below to keep it from sagging again.
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Unread 04-17-2021, 08:43 AM   #145
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Thanks kevin,

I am trying to figure how to proceed and what will need to be done before I start taking to contractors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
Did your tape roll perpendicular to the joists, or parallel?
parallel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
You could also use a string stretched across the room to get an idea of where the slope is. You'd have to do it in multiple areas and directions to get the full picture.
Thanks,

I'll do that... and I guess that way I could measure the size of he dip(s) without a long straight edge.

Getting a lot of angles will be difficult because the bathroom is only ~47 sf with an alcove tub, toilet and 36" vanity... so not a lot of open floor space

Quote:
Quickest way to fix a bowed joist would be to remove the subfloor in that area, sister the joist, then replace the subfloor. That could conceivably be done in a day or so, depending on what has to be moved out of the room, and what floor covering you have now.
There are 3 layers of tile on the floor. Since we intend to replace the toilet, tub and vanity everything would need to come out of the room anyway.

Does sistering need to be the whole length of the joist? There are lot of pipes (hot and cold water for the vanity and tub, main pipe for the forced hot water heating system and separate drain lines from the kitchen and vanity sinks as well as the tub, and electrical lines.

Quote:
You'd be moving it a fraction of an inch every day or two. Then you'd have to sister it or support it from below to keep it from sagging again.
I think it is more than one joist, and they are over the passage way to the rest of the basement so supports directly under the joists would not be workable... But if the pipes were out of the way it would be possible to have support columns on either side of the passkey and have a support beam in-between. Besides fixing the bow that would certainly solve any issues with meeting L/360 for tile for the bathroom.

It sounds like this could be pretty expensive to take care of, if for no other reason than all the piping/wiring in addition to the floor fix.

Is evaluating exactly what is best to do, something that could be left to the typical general contractor these days, or should I look into hiring a structural engineer for evaluation and a plan first despite this being a very small project from their perspective?

Thanks for the feedback,
-karen
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Last edited by KarenA01; 04-18-2021 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Mean to say parallel but typed perpendicular for direction of roll
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Unread 04-17-2021, 09:50 AM   #146
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With a string across the length of the bathroom (~110") it look like it drops ~ 1/4" in the first 1ft from the outside wall and then comes back up to about ~ 1/8" off the floor.

It stays about that far above the floor until a bit past the middle of the bathroom, then the string is back on the floor to the doorway.

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Unread 04-18-2021, 09:29 AM   #147
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After reading the last 2 posts, any recommendations on if

1) I should look to hire a structural engineer to evaluate and recommend specifically what to to about the cracked and sagging joists, along with the Deflecto calculation that for cracky joists unknown wood type not being stiff enough for tile.

OR

2) if the typical GC should be able to accurately diagnose and come up with an appropriate and cost effective solution?

Besides not knowing how to find a good structural engineer or evaluate one, it would be an extra cost we would rather avoid...

But not having the problem dealt with correctly (and cost effectively) could cost more in the long run, so it is important for things to get done right.

-Karen
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Unread 04-18-2021, 10:06 AM   #148
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1,2. A typical GC? Mmmm, not sure I know what that might be.

If I were your GC, I would evaluate the situation and probably decide what a proper repair might be and if it were within my capabilities, I would then execute said repair. If my evaluation showed that it were beyond my capabilities, I would advise you of same and recommend you find the appropriate substitute.

The times I have called in a structural engineer have always been when the local code compliance jurisdiction representative required such. Otherwise I usually feel competent to diagnose and repair such problems as you might have.

Does that make me a typical GC? I dunno.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-18-2021, 02:19 PM   #149
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Are you amenable to making design changes at this point, Karen?


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Unread 04-18-2021, 03:03 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
A typical GC? Mmmm, not sure I know what that might be.
I mean the degree of expertise most GCs are likely to have these days... You are VERY experienced and I would guess more so than most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
If I were your GC, I would evaluate the situation and probably decide what a proper repair might be and if it were within my capabilities, I would then execute said repair. If my evaluation showed that it were beyond my capabilities, I would advise you of same and recommend you find the appropriate substitute.
If the GC was informed of these potential issues up front, even before coming onsite to take a look before quoting so they know to look carefully for these issues, would would you expect an estimate for the cost of repair to be included in the proposal?

Back when I first posted here 5 years ago, we were considered doing something much more ambitious with enlarging the bathroom and moving all the fixtures. We got 2 proposals... but between some work instability and deciding we could not afford the loss of closet space, we did not move forward at that time...

But the issues with the joists and lack of flatness were there back then (though I did not understand them and their significance back then)...

When the GCs where here to look at the place before submitting their proposals, none of them looked at the joist span or checked flatness that I saw, and there was nothing about such things in their proposals.

If we had hired one of them, the issues would either have been ignored (so the floor tile instillation would likely have failed by now) or we would have been hit by a big unexpected expense after the work started...

An expense that someone who knew what they were doing and paid attention, could easily have seen upfront and should have talked about...

Needless to say I don't think I want to use those people now and why I am asking these questions.

BTW learning about such basics , even if one is using a contractor is a HUGE benefit of this site to home owners!

Thanks,
-Karen
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