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Old 06-26-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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Subfloor thickness question


Hi folks. You were all so helpful during our big bathroom reno, it turned out beautiful....so here we go...stage 2!
We have gutted the kitchen and are hopeful for a fancy, working new one....soon!
We've stripped the floor and here's what we have:
Floor joists are 16"oc 2x8's
On top of that is 3/4" tongue and groove laid diagonal, in good shape.
Do we have to put 5/8 plywood or can we get away with 1/2"? (Going to install 20x20 porcelain tile). I *can* deal with a transition if I have to.....just don't want to if I can avoid it.

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Old 06-26-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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Hi folks. You were all so helpful during our big bathroom reno, it turned out beautiful....so here we go...stage 2!
We have gutted the kitchen and are hopeful for a fancy, working new one....soon!
We've stripped the floor and here's what we have:
Floor joists are 16"oc 2x8's
On top of that is 3/4" tongue and groove laid diagonal, in good shape.
Do we have to put 5/8 plywood or can we get away with 1/2"? (Going to install 20x20 porcelain tile). I *can* deal with a transition if I have to.....just don't want to if I can avoid it.
Floor joists... what is the span.?

3/4 TnG what?

Jump on it.... what does it feel like.... less engineering wise, but could be solid as heck or limp as a drunk .....

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Old 06-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #3
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Floor joists... what is the span.?

3/4 TnG what?

Jump on it.... what does it feel like.... less engineering wise, but could be solid as heck or limp as a drunk .....
Joists, douglas fir in good condition.
Joist height 2x8
Joist width 2"
16" on center
10ft spacing

The plank floor:
tongue and groove run on a diagonal, good condition, nailed down not screwed.
Just shy of 1" in thickness
The boards are 5" wide.

Last edited by soberjulie; 06-26-2013 at 08:13 PM. Reason: lacking info
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by soberjulie View Post
Joists, douglas fir in good condition.
Joist height 2x8
Joist width 2"
16" on center
10ft spacing

The plank floor:
tongue and groove run on a diagonal, good condition, nailed down not screwed.
Just shy of 1" in thickness
The boards are 5" wide.
Please know I'm not an engineer, but assuming it seems solid to my jump test, and you have 2" joists (old home I guess) and 1" TnG planking (even thoiugh diagonal).... gut feel I think you'd be fine with your 1/2underlayment.

I think it would be smart to listen to others opinion though, your construction is something I'm not overly familiar with.

Best and good going
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Subfloor thickness question


Hello again soberjulie,

Just for accuracy the joists are spaced 16" oc. and the 10 ft. is the unsupported span.

If the planks are in good shape, and since they're t&g, I think 1/2" underlayment grade ply would be good. Of course the thicker the better as always.

I would put 2 screws into the planks at every joist and then install the underlayment fastened only to the subfloor using 1 1/2" flooring or deck screws. Be sure to leave an 1/8" space between sheets and of course offset the sheets. The sheets go long ways perpendicular to the joists.

So, now the underlayment is in.........now what?

Jaz
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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Hello again soberjulie,

Just for accuracy the joists are spaced 16" oc. and the 10 ft. is the unsupported span.

If the planks are in good shape, and since they're t&g, I think 1/2" underlayment grade ply would be good. Of course the thicker the better as always.

I would put 2 screws into the planks at every joist and then install the underlayment fastened only to the subfloor using 1 1/2" flooring or deck screws. Be sure to leave an 1/8" space between sheets and of course offset the sheets. The sheets go long ways perpendicular to the joists.

So, now the underlayment is in.........now what?

Jaz
OP... Jazz is a specialist... I'm a GC... I agree with him exactly... I forgot to tell you some of the rest prep. Thanks Jaqzz

EDIT: Still do a jump test... in case there is something we don't know... I know it sounds stupid... but itr does not cost anything... you're looking for a significant giving (deflection) in the floor... or a rattling/ looseness/ squeeking in your subflooring

Best
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Last edited by MTN REMODEL LLC; 06-26-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:32 PM   #7
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well Sir Jazz.....is that a test question? Are you trying to see how much Ive learned from our previous interactions?

Actually....after the subfloor is in, we are going to glue down our tiles. Kidding!!
We are investigating RPM mats for radiant heating, in place of backer board. You ever used them?
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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well Sir Jazz.....is that a test question? Are you trying to see how much Ive learned from our previous interactions?

Actually....after the subfloor is in, we are going to glue down our tiles. Kidding!!
We are investigating RPM mats for radiant heating, in place of backer board. You ever used them?
Julie... Don't use glue... if you use Dap Painters Caulk, and a lot of it for sqeeze out... you won't have to grout.

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Old 06-26-2013, 10:14 PM   #9
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sober....I have the same floor in my existing house....2x8 16" OC....

In the kitchen I have 3/4" T&G plywood on top of my sub-floor....and even though I only have a 8' span....it is somewhat bouncy.....especially compared to what I have upstairs in my new addition....1 1/8" T&G.....

One question....are you planning to put down cement board? If your planning on 1/2" board...I think your going to be fine.....

I don't know if you can put tile down on plywood....if so....I would do 3/4" minimum.....

But that is me....


just don't use 1/4" hardibacker on your shower walls.....
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:29 PM   #10
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sober....I have the same floor in my existing house....2x8 16" OC....

In the kitchen I have 3/4" T&G plywood on top of my sub-floor....and even though I only have a 8' span....it is somewhat bouncy.....especially compared to what I have upstairs in my new addition....1 1/8" T&G.....

One question....are you planning to put down cement board? If your planning on 1/2" board...I think your going to be fine.....

I don't know if you can put tile down on plywood....if so....I would do 3/4" minimum.....

But that is me....


just don't use 1/4" hardibacker on your shower walls.....
Dawg.... Don't beat yourself up... I'm betting you'll be fine. (I would go to 1/2 on your other baths though)

I put greenboard on my 16" OC bath ceiling many years ago... worried about it for a year... that was 20 years ago... and it's fine.

Best
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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What tile are you planning on using? Some are much heavier than others and that floor structure might not handle them. Try the Deflectolator: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #12
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What tile are you planning on using? Some are much heavier than others and that floor structure might not handle them. Try the Deflectolator: http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl
We are going with a 20x20 porcelain tile. I adore the travertine we put in the bathroom......but along with the extra work, it didn't seem to be a very good choice for a high-traffic kitchen.(When we did the bathroom, we bought the travertine before we understood that its not the same as a ceramic or porcelain tile. I lost sleep!) Im still hunting for the 'perfect' porcelain tile. One that resembles natural stone as closely as possible. Husbands mantra: "Tell me again...why didn't we just move??"
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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20x20, I take it you mean in centimeters? Otherwise 20x20 inches is a bit tile, with it's own set of installation issues.

I agree on not putting travertine in the kitchen. A porcelain would likely be more resistant to kitchen issues.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #14
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Inches ....not cm.
yes, a big tile but we installed 18x18 travertine with no issues. And that was our first tile job. (Bragging)
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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Sure, done right and with good tiles the larger formats can offer a great look. We're using 24x24" in our master bath.

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