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Unread 08-17-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
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Master bath flooring upgrade

Hello all. It's time to upgrade our seven year old master bath vinyl flooring to something a little better. Before I start though I have a couple of questions/concerns that I need to have answered.

1. We are being given 18" x 1/2" thick travertine tile. I know, not good for a newbie. The bad news is we are only getting 98 tiles. The approximate size of the area to be tiled is a little under 160sqft. My least favorite square layout would consume 74-76 tiles and my favorite would consume 84. A nice diagonal layout would consume 78-80 tiles. I still need to go through the lot and pick out the best tiles. I'm not leaving myself much room for screw ups. Basically how much overage should one have? Should I try to find a close match tile before starting?

2. I will be adding 3/8" plywood and 1/4" hardibacker on top of the existing 3/4" plywood floor. I estimate that I'll be adding approximately 1 3/8"-1 1/2" to the overall floor thickness. I do plan on removing the baseboards and ripping them down to match the adjacent room. Is this common? I haven't removed the toilet yet so I don't know where the flange sits on the current floor. What's the best way to handle the increased floor thickness around the flange? I know there are extenders but isn't 1 1/2" a bit much for an extender?

Sorry for the long winded post. I'm sure to have more questions later on, but for now, the shortage of tiles and the height issues are my biggest concerns.
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Unread 08-17-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
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You need to assess the joists to determine if they are adequate for stone tile. You can cut at least an 1/8" off the height by using Ditra. The toilet flange should be on top of the finished floor, so 1-1/2" is too much to add extenders to. They make inside pipe cutters and special drills to ream out the old pipe from the fitting below that might let you make the mods without tearing up the ceiling below.
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Unread 08-17-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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The floor joists are the engineered type on 19" centers. I would say they are greater than a foot high, possibly closer to 14". I'm not sure about the length of the span. The current floor is pretty solid though but I know it needs more for the stone tile.

So the toilet flange would have to be removed prior to tiling and then put back on after, correct? I may have to get a plumber for that one.
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Unread 08-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #4
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The flange can be installed at any time, just needs to be at the correct height. If installing before finish flooring, then shim it up solid with plywood or equal.

The height of the bottom of the toilet flange should be at the top of the finished floor height.

"the road to hell is paved with osb, mastic, pre-mixed latex 'grout' or 'thinset', "
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Unread 08-18-2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info regarding the toilet flange. I've come to the conclusion that I may need to get a plumber to do this from the topside. I could attempt it myself but fear I'd screw it up and then would need to get to it from below. Getting access from below might be rather difficult and is something the wife might not like. The first pic below shows the drain pipe going into the floor. Nice and open but notice the one floor joist is attached to nothing. The second pic shows the builders "FIX" which completely boxes in the upper portion of the drain.

The images show the size of the floor joists that are under the area to be tiled. I am unsure of the span of the joists in the bathroom area. I know adding 1/2" or thicker plywood to the floor is preferred but I don't have the budget for ditra. Thus the reason I'm going with 3/8" plywood plus 1/4" hardibacker. Overall floor thickness is already a concern.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 04:22 AM   #6
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Regarding the toilet flange. They sell extender pieces that basically look exactly like the top of the flange. They screw into the top of flange. If needed, you can add multiple.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 06:16 AM   #7
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Yes, they do, Chad. They are intended for remodel situations, not new work. In new work, there's no excuse for not putting the toilet flange where it belongs.
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