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Unread 02-23-2008, 10:09 PM   #1
rmelo99
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Kitchen Floor Tiling

Ok, so I'm prepping my subfloor for tile, prob a stone but not sure yet.

The deflecto is giving me messing with my head. The problem is I don't know what type of wood my joists are made of.

They are 2"x10"(TRUE) and 108 years old or so. In some areas the span is only 10' but in others it is 13'. There are wooden "x" braces down the center of the span, and some bracing between joists here and there. Other than typical 1/2" holes for electrical wires the joists are butcher/notch free.

The numbers don't work out with 13' on a "unknown wood"

I have removed the 1" T&G original subfloor that was laid diagonally.
FWIW the floor seems super sturdy. I did some jump tests in the center span of the floor and it "feels good"

I'm deciding on subfloors. In the past I usually just play it safe and do 3/4" BC plywood and then 1/2" BC plywood.

There are 3 reasons why I'm thinking maybe just one layer of 3/4"

1.) It will keep tile and hardwood at same height, no transition
2.) Cost, this is a big kitchen
3.) Labor, would really like to not have to install 2 layers.
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Unread 02-23-2008, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hi there, gotta first name we can use? Most likely if the house is that old, the joists could be oak. If you are only going with a single layer of 3/4" ply you can't use the stone for that you need two layers of ply one being the 3/4" and another layer of 1/2". If you use Ditra for your underlayment you can use 3/8" for the second layer if you opt for the stone.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
rmelo99
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OK, so i guess getting away with one layer isn't happening.
So if the joists are oak as you say does that mean they're stonger? I would think so but don't want to make assumptions. This is old growth lumber which I know blows away todays stuff, right?

Yes, the plan was to use ditra.

Any tips on getting the floor "super level" so I can lay the tiles easier and not have to rely on SLC.

Thanks
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Unread 02-24-2008, 09:27 AM   #4
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Oak joists would not be a plus. They would be plenty strong, but not as rigid as SYP or Doug Fir and similar.

Your tiles don't care if the floor is level, they care only that your floor is flat. In your case, if there is a problem with flat, you can easily sister some smaller joists (maybe 2x6) near the top of the existing to provide a flat plane for your subflooring. You could level the floor using that method, too, if you want.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 09:38 AM   #5
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CX You're right I mis-spoke I meant flat, not level.

I'm pretty sure they aren't oak. If I were to guess it would be pine, but I'm not sure. It's def the same wood as the 2x4 studs that the house is built with. How can I be sure? Would pics help?


If it makes any difference there was tile down before(ceramic) installed in about 78' when the last kicthen remodel was done. It was installed over 3/8" plywood, which was screwed down to the t&g subfloor. It held up for 30 years.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
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You wanna install your tile same way the last guy did, Rem, go for it. We can only tell you the correct methods according to contemporary industry standards. We don't guarantee it will fail if you don't use those methods, we just guarantee you'll have a better chance for a lasting installation that way.

Your house, your dinero. Customer ain't likely to sue if it fails, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 11:14 AM   #7
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I didn't mean to come off as not willing to listen, just figured it was worth mentioning what was there before as a sort of guage.

Like I said b4, I usually do 3/4" followed by 1/2" but was trying to see if anything less would be ok.

It's sounding like the pros say no...so I know which route I will be taking.

Thanks for the advice.

Before I get started....
Just for my own recap, first layer 3/4" screwed to joists. Second layer screwed to first layer avoiding joists.

Glue is optional and a touchy subject around here? So I don't ask.

That all right
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Unread 02-24-2008, 11:23 AM   #8
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Wasn't suggesting you weren't willing to listen, Rem. I was serious as a brain tumor about it being your house and your dinero. Sometimes folks are willing to toss the dice with their own house and that's quite all right.

3/4" and 3/8" plwyood is the minimum, with the 3/4" being T&G plywood. I just don't like the 3/8ths stuff for subfloors.

Here is a good article on a good way to deal with that second layer.

Gluing the subfloor layers is always better in my judgement if it's done correctly.

You still must install at tiling substrate over that plywood, of course.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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Great article, very informative.

And the fact that it is my house and MY money is more reason why I don't want to just throw it away. With a kitchen remodel budget quickly approaching six figures, there ain't now way i'm skimping on the plywood.

My last question....going back to the flat floor. What I was asking is how is the best way to check for flat floor. I have 2,4,and 8 foot levels. But this is a large area and I don't know where/how to begin. Do I check as I install the first layer plywood?

CX any chance you have a .pdf in your back pocket for this one?
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Unread 02-24-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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Get longer straight-edges if possible. Just lay'em on top of and across the joist spans until you find the highest point, then flatten from there. Level from there, too, if you intend to level.

No, don't do this while laying subflooring. Should be completely finished before any plywood goes down.

Sorry, no gottee pdf.
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Unread 02-24-2008, 08:55 PM   #11
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My best thoughts come while taking a shower (at home not a holiday inn :-) )

I was revisualizing my dilemma of the unknown wood. This seems to be a problem only in my area that is a 13' span. That areas is only 7-8' wide.

Could I sister those beams prob about 5 or so and be better in the deflection department? Right now I have access from above and below. Can I use 2x8s? What sucks is there was no wiring running through them till today :-( I can pull the wiring out to sister if it will help.

Also I can't get T&G plywood @BC grade. So if I do 3/4" and 1/2" non T&G BC do I have to block between joists(Me thinks so) just want confirmation.

---just saw CXs reply bout flattening. How long straight edge? I've seen 10-12' metal ones at the tile store but those are big buck$ Is there such a thing as a poorman's makeshift straight edge?

Once I have my longer...straight edges I check each joist to confirm it's not bowed up/down, then I check by laying across multiple joists and look for high low spots? that right?
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Unread 02-28-2008, 08:47 PM   #12
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ok, so I have 13 sheets of 3/4" BC plywood bought and awaiting installation.

Planning on tackling this tomorrow. Just coming back for quick pointers on getting my floor FL_____AT.

Can someone help with my last posts questions, I think my reply got lost amongst the other posts.

Thanks
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Unread 02-28-2008, 09:27 PM   #13
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If you don't use T&G plywood you must block the edges between joists.

In a perfect world, your straight edge would span the entire distance to be flattened. In my world they are usually only ten feet long, sometimes twelve. You can use a straight board if you can find one.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-29-2008, 10:00 PM   #14
rmelo99
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Ok so I check my "flatness"

It appears that all of my beams are perfectley straight, less than 1/16" out of flat on each individual.

I did that first and was amazed! Then I went across the joists.

I have 1 that is 3/4" too low and 5 that need to come up 1/4"

So the plan is to sister them w/ 2x4s to get up my flatness height, that ok?

Also planning on running glue down between the 1st layer and the joists, recommendations on adhesive?
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Unread 02-29-2008, 10:59 PM   #15
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Too easy!

Good plan that. Gotta use glue on those sisters, too. Very important with only the footprint of the 2x4. I like 2x6s for that sorta work, but the 2x4s are adequate if properly installed.

My favorite construction adhesive these days is PL Premium. Most excellent pookie for addin' them sisters. For the plywood to the joist tops, I believe PL-400 is the correct choice in the PL line, but It doesn't scare me a bit to use the PL Premium there, too.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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