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Old 01-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
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Structural Support

Um, I have absolutely no idea if anyone hear can help me or not. And I know nothing about home repairs - although I'm eager to learn. Here is my situation: my partner and I recently had our upstairs (main) bath renovated by a contractor. The bathroom has porcelain tiles (12 X 24) in the bathtub area, on the outside of the tub, and floor. There is also a toilet, small vanity, and regular size tub.

I have some concerns about whether or not the structure underneath the bathroom is strong enough to bear the weight of the new tile and fixtures, including a glass shower door which is arriving later this week and which weights about 100-150lbs according to the contractor. We live in an older home (built in 1907), and I know at some point most of the walls on the main floor were removed to make it open concept. The bathroom is over our dining room, which is a 13X15-1/2 room. We'd always noticed a little sagging in the dining room ceiling, but nothing substantial, and when you walk on the floor upstairs it feels solid. The joists under the second floor are 2X8 (we know this because at one point we had a hole in the dining room ceiling and were told the joists were 2X8). We've had the contractor in and he doesn't seem to be concerned. I think we should get a structural engineer to come in and make sure nothing is going to fall through the ceiling.

If anyone could provide any thoughts or direction on what we should do here, and whether I'm just being paranoid, I'd really appreciate it.


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Old 01-15-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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Structural Support

Call in a real engineer before he does anything.


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Old 01-15-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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If you can get use a few numbers--we have several engineers here--

Floor joist size----spacing--type of wood if possible--and unsupported length--(from bearing wall to beam or other bearing wall) one of us will help---

This would have been easier before the bath was completed---but 'sistering' in additional joists along side the existing ones could be done from below---
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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Structural Support

Well Cordelia, it is possible that the joist will be sufficient for the bath area. Yours is an older home and if the 2x8s are spanning the shorter distance and on 16" centers or less you should be safe from any catastrophic failures.
That is not to say that the floor may not experience some additional deflection (sag) over time though.

I don't think I would be overly worried about it but of course I am not there to look at it.

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Old 01-16-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
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Structural Support

Many of older houses had air-dried rather than kiln-dried joists. They were milled a true 2x8 inches, and USUALLY #2 grade wood. A local SE could establish the span/grade/species for you but here are the basics; Check the spans, may help you decide action taken...

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #6
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Thanks to you all. Am having a structural engineer come in on Friday to take a look at everything and make sure there are no issues. I fear it will mean opening up our dining room ceiling, but necesssary, I think, for peace of mind.

Thanks again.


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