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twobyfour2 04-30-2011 07:11 AM

Should I build a support wall to address long span before tiling?
I've been following several posts about subfloor and joist spans in regards to tiling. I'm also considering tiling my kitchen area.

Our 1993 home has 3/4" plywood for our subfloor that is supported by 2x10 (SPF 2) joists that are 16" o.c. - However the joists span 13"6". based on everything I read from many of you is that tile would be out of the question due to deflection unless I reinforce my floor, right?

I do have access to the basement but building a wall in the middle of the basement to support the joists wouldn't be reasonable... or at least look weird. But what if I built the wall out a few feet to shorten the 13'6" span to something like 11' or 10'? Would that be acceptable? Nailing up 'sister' boards is not practical because of all the plumbing and electrical that I would need to reroute.

I greatly appreciate all of the experience many of you share with us newbies!

woodman58 04-30-2011 07:40 AM

Making the basement area small should not be an option. This is just a suggestion. You should be able to add 1/4" thick angle iron to the joists. This would make them plenty strong for tile.

JazMan 04-30-2011 06:03 PM

As Woodman said, you don't have to build a wall down the center, or even as you described. There are other ways that do not include sistering with other joists. For the sake of others, here are a few methods to stiffen joists without building a supporting wall under the span.

Besides normal sistering, (bolting another joists to the existing ones) you can use a smaller joist, even a 2x4. You can use 3/4" plywood, glued and screwed. Some have even fastened a 2x4 to the underside of the joists. You just loose 1 1/2 of headroom, but very easy to do.

I do like your plan to build a wall under one end shortening the span a few feet though. Make a closet I guess? You are not that much over spanned to meet maximum deflection of L360 at 50 lb. live 20 lb. dead weight. If the span was 13' 0" you would have met minimum recommended standards. But we do not like minimum standards, so build that wall or do one of the other things to beef up the floor. These specs are for ceramic/porcelain tiles and not for natural stone tiles as I think you already know.


Bud Cline 04-30-2011 09:37 PM

How about a beam and two posts?:)

twobyfour2 05-02-2011 02:03 PM

Thanks guys for the recommendations. I think I'm going to do the supporting wall in the basement and bring it out about 2 1/2 feet thereby reducing my span to 11'. I use that part of my basement for wood working, so I think the wall can be used for a type of mini closet where I can store some of my stuff that is not used on a regular basis. Once I finish the kitchen the basement workshop was going to be my next project anyhow, so it fits into the overall plan! thanks much for your recommendations

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