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Old 02-26-2009, 10:11 PM   #1
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Subfloor moves (wood) and want to install travertine

All right i need some help, i have a customer who's wood subfloor is moving. when you walk it looks like you are stepping into the floor up to 1/8 to 1/4 inch depending on how big you are. Wood floor is 10 years old and joist are 2 feet apart. the room is master bath 130 sq. feet. I installed hardibacker board with thinset and screwed tightly down and still it moves. im going to let it dry and check again. Customer wants to install travertine on this floor 16x16. I advised of my concern and they are stressing over cost and dont think they need it cause they had ceramic/porcelan tiles before and didnt see the problem before. Anyone have any ideas or webpages i can show them to not put travertine on a moviing floor. i know travertine will crack with subloor moving.


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Old 02-26-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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Yep, it's called the TCNA handbook.

FYI, the installation is all wrong. No matter what they want you to do, you are responsible for knowing what can be done.


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Old 02-27-2009, 05:56 AM   #3
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What angus said. If you install stone or tile on this floor, you will be getting a call back to redo it. Do it right or don't do it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:00 AM   #4
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Joists 2' apart is a real special challenge for any flooring cover let alone breakable tiles of ceramic or travertine. There is much more involved than just putting down a cbu (which adds nothing to the floor's strength), most of which is structural in nature. Your customers are right to be stressing; they probably know more about their floor than you may and realize there is no 'cbu-solution' out there, so they know they'll need to fork out for a fix. And seeing you put down cbu won't calm their fears, I'm afraid.

But their main problem is having gone out and picked up some travertines just expecting the world to conform to their decision...doesn't work that way and they just learned a valuable life lesson. I hope.

I'm surprised that any Building Code allowed 2' joists to exist under a bathroom, with live and dead loads being so variable. Well, perhaps this was a 'DIY special' - either way it's not a suitable substrate for tiling.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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It's good that you stopped to ask about this since apparently you are not a tile setter. Why are you involved in the installation in the first place? Are you their neighbor doing them a favor?

Yea, it's all wrong, and you should not have installed the CBU.

Also, travertine is not the same as ceramic tile, it requires a much stiffer subfloor system. (As I'm sure you know)?

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