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Unread 10-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
elsieCat
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Upstairs bath thread--after two years! Deflection issue first...

So now we're s-l-o-w-l-y moving on to the upstairs, since the downstairs is finished, essentially. DIY is never done...I'm really happy with what we did with the laundry room and the bathroom (rectified porcelain and onyx slice borders on mesh complemented with my handmade slices of good ol' Oregon agates and jaspers subbed for some of the onyx on the borders -- for that local touch ), but I'm really hoping we can have nice tile on the second floor as well.

My very first question concerns deflection: downstairs we would have been good to go with stone, if we'd wanted, but upstairs we have 2x10s, good 1970s doug fir, 16" on center, BUT the unsupported span is *14'*. There are non load-bearing perpendicular walls underneath in between the 14', but the huge beams running across the house between floors go only every 14'. Technically we squeak by for ceramic, acc. to the deflectolator, and DH has replaced the subfloor, which was a hilarious/horrible mishmash of little pieces that look like 5/8" plywood patchworked together under particleboard underlayment for vinyl, with fresh 23/32" plywood. We're hoping to learn here what the best next layers would be.

The thing is: I purchased some porcelain that I'd been planning to use for the walls of the tub surround, but now I'm thinking color-wise would be better on the floor. Unfortunately, it's 20x20, 3/8" thick (an ILVA 'marmi' light grey kind of color, unpolished -- we're doing a modern look), and I'm wondering if that thickness is *too* heavy for the deflection we have currently. What would be the best steps to take to make sure we could use that porcelain on the floor? I want to use something lighter-colored on the walls now, and we don't have anywhere to put this stuff if I can't use it. I would prefer not to have to craigslist this tile and start all over, esp. since we got this for $1/sf.

Is there any hope if we do a really sturdy underlayment over the 23/32"? Or do we have to do the more involved thing of figuring out how to put some structural support in one or more of those perpendicular walls to reduce the unsupported span? Thanks in advance.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 08:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsie
....fresh 23/32" plywood. We're hoping to learn here what the best next layers would be.
Ok, you say your current deflecto is good, and you installed new 3/4" ply. Best thing after that to my mind would be another layer of plywood (can be as little as 3/8, but 5/8 or 3/4 would be outstanding). Your plywood (both layers) should be installed like this:http://www.tile-assn.com/tileletter/...oeste-0604.pdf

Over the plywood I would use Ditra.

note: this is for a porcelain floor tile like you mentioned. Rules change if you go for a natural stone, but it sounds like you understand all that
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Unread 10-11-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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Like you noted, you're fine for ceramic at L/380 per Deflecto and also fine based on span tables at 20 psf dead load. So, if it were me, I'd add a membrane over the subfloor and tile away. My membranes of choice would be Ditra, Ditra XL, Nobleseal, etc.... I'm a sheet membrane kinda guy. DitraXL would give you a little more of a buffer should there be any movement, so if you anticipate any dance parties up there, may want to spring for it.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Oh, and what Brannigan said about that extra plywood. Always helps stiffen things up for tile.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 09:12 PM   #5
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Thanks, deckert & dhagin. We were thinking of doing another layer of ply--we'll use 5/8" just to give us a little bit extra room with the thicker tile, and then Ditra over that. Sounds like we'd be o.k. then?

And just to reiterate the question that was really sticking in my brain like a splinter (oh, I've seen plenty of those these last few days LOL): the fact that it's 3/8" thick porcelain and not 5/16" ceramic tile doesn't make a crucial difference in saying we're o.k. for "ceramic tile"? Would 3/8" thick natural stone be o.k. then too? Or is stone just that much denser and heavier even at the same thickness than the porcelain?

Thanks so much! I'll be using the Fin Pan backerboard and niche on the surround, and the Ditra on the floor. I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be doing this.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 09:14 PM   #6
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Welcome back, Elsie.

I agree with Dana on your joist structure. You could certainly look into additional support from your existing partition walls, but you gotta first look into what's supporting them from below.

I'm not one to recommend minimums on the subflooring, so if you have room for more, I'd recommend another layer of half-inch plywood and then your tiling substrate of choice. Like the others, I'd likely chose Ditra for mine.


[Edit]

You slipped more stuff in there whilst I was typing. The thicker tile is a non-issue here.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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Elsie,

Check out page 28 & 29 of the 2008 Ditra Installation Handbook. There is a discussion and charts that show why stone floors require stiffer structures.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #8
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Thanks again, y'all. I'll read the Ditra handbook. cx, I'm so glad to know that the thickness of the tile doesn't matter! It was such a good deal, and I like it--good that I can actually use it

I'll be back with more, and be sure to put them on this thread.
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Unread 11-28-2009, 03:51 PM   #9
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NEXT QUESTION: wedi board in tub alcove questions

Hi--

Now we've got the Wedi to put up the alcove, and I'm just want to make sure I have the process right. I thought I did until I saw the pic below at the Wedi site, and I'm curious about what the white layer is between the wediboard and the thinset...can anyone help? Is it just the tape or sealant line between joints? Or is it something else that runs all the way through the layer between the wedi and thinset?

Thanks very much for any insight/advice on this.
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Unread 11-28-2009, 10:58 PM   #10
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pic... below?
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Unread 11-28-2009, 11:04 PM   #11
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I hate it when I do that! Thanks for pointing it out.

We're thinking the white bit forward of the wedi is indeed mesh tape, but I'd love to have it confirmed by experts.

Thanks again.

OH, one more question--do you need to make a slight cut into the wedi to accomodate the thickness of the tub? It's not negligible...Or do you just put it over it? Seems like there would be a curve to it, then. We're using a regular Kohler acrylic tub, the Devonshire.

Thanks *again*

http://www.wedi.de/usa/products/buil...areas_tubs.php
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Unread 11-29-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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Hi Elsie. Wedi is seamed by either a waterproof tape or by a bead of Wedi sealant. The white band you are seeing is the waterproof tape. I prefer the sealant myself.

For the tub lip, I like to bevel the back edge of the board where it meets the tub. Lets me slide it down closer to the tub deck. Then seal that edge with a nice bead of Wedi sealant. You can tape the tub off to keep the sealant from getting onto the tub. Doesn't have to be too neat as the area will eventually be covered out to the tickness of a tile and thinset.
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Unread 11-29-2009, 02:37 PM   #13
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brannigan, thanks for your reply. Glad to know that it was the tape and not something else we'd missed entirely. Dal didn't even sell the tape, so I stocked up on a good amount of sealant.

and I'm also glad to read your process with the back of the board where it overlaps the tub flange. I agree, it just makes sense to bevel it so it can fit down closer and still not flare out, but I hadn't read it anywhere (it's probably on the forum somewhere, but I hadn't found it). Don't worry, we'll put lots of sealant everywhere.

Thanks very much!
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Unread 11-29-2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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The tile shop I buy Wedi at doesn't stock the tape either. I don't think enough folks use the tape to make it worth while.

For that wall to tub seam I like to hold the Wedi up in place dry. Run a strip of tape along the line where the wedi meets the tub deck about 1/8" or so out from the board. Remove the Wedi. Apply a fat bead of sealant along the tub. Then squish/lower the Wedi down into it. I think this gets a much better seal than installing the board and then caulking the joint afterwards.

As a matter of fact thats how you do the upper sections as well...apply your sealant on the installed piece, then lower the next piece onto it and force the sealant out the front. Don't install em dry and then just go over the face with the sealant.
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Unread 03-20-2010, 11:36 PM   #15
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Red face

Ai ai ai, well better late than never--just wanted to thank you, brannigan, for the very exact description of how to install the wedi at the tub juncture. We're finally getting to that as soon as I get better from a freak attack of strep. I'm so sorry I didn't see your post before tonight. I'll report back when it's in. Sorry again.
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