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matty 08-03-2007 05:50 PM

leveling floor 2" for tile install!
The bathroom floor in my 100 year old house is flat, but slopes in one direction 2 inches. It appears to have been this way for a long time (no current signs of movement). I reinforced many joists in the basement for some peace of mind.

The floor has three layers (1 X 10, then 1 X 5, then 1 X 3) over 2 X 8 joints, spaced 24 inches.

I am going to lay 14 by 14" tile on the floor. I want to keep the weight down as much as possible. After talking to some friends and reading up on it, here's my plan...
  • Lay 3/4" or 1/2" plywood on the lowest parts to bring them up a bit.
  • Prime the floor with latex primer.
  • Install wire lath over the whole thing and dump on lots of Levelquik self-leveler.
  • Install electric floor heat mat over the self-leveler.
  • then thinset mortar and tile
Let me know what you think. Thanks in advance!

SecretSquirrel 08-03-2007 06:34 PM

Are you satisfied that the foundation to the house is level and hasn't deteriorated and that it's not the culprit for the slope in the floor? If the foundation is off then whatever you do will come back to haunt you if you ever decide to jack the house up and get it squared away.

If the foundation is in good shape then the problem has to be in the bathroom floor joists, either with decay throughout the years or perhaps the plumbers got a little aggressive when notching them to run the piping. Although it may seem like the floor has stabilized there is no guarantee that it will remain that way. IMO the best thing to do is rip up the flooring to examine the source of the problem. You may have to raise the joists a bit by shimming them or perhaps sister some joists in there getting them level in both directions and putting in a new subfloor, nice and flat and level. By doing that you end up with a far better remedy than the things that you mentioned doing.... which someone else will have to chime in on as to the effectiveness.

matty 08-04-2007 02:15 PM

Good point about the long term nature of the problem. Thanks for your response. I am too far into the project to jack up the floor (the tile shower and the tub are installed).

The basement is open, so I can see that the 2" drop was caused by part of the foundation being removed (over 20 years ago to add a kitchen addition, which included a new basement). The existing joists were improperly supported, so they sagged. Since the joists are now supported, I don't anticipate ever jacking them up. The house seems stable the way it is, and I'm not excited about dealing with patching up new cracks if the house were jacked. Am I being too shortsighted? Other opinions?

Any thoughts on my method of leveling the floor for the tile?

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