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Old 09-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


I have a 2100sq/ft two level that is a very open floor plan. This means the trusses are 2x8 @ 16" centers and span the entire floor area. Hence, the concern.

I am sick of carpets. It's too tough to clean with pets and high traffic. I want tile, on stairs and major pathways. I plan on ripping up the carpet and subfloor. Then, I plan on installing hardybacker 1/2" with latex thin set spread over sub floor heating elements (floor heating debatable). Finally, I plan on Tile in the major pathways & stairs.

One of my concerns is truss expansion/contraction and breaking the grout or tiles. The tile stairs will be nosed with a hardwood like Oak or Walnut. Woodwork, I am good at. Slate and ceramic, I need your advice.

-What kind of subfloor combination would you use to tile over wood trusses?


Last edited by Chiefit; 09-16-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


Hi Chief,

Quote:
I have a 2100sq/ft two level that is a very open floor plan. This means the trusses are 2x8 @ 16" centers and span the entire floor area. Hence, the concern.
I doubt very much this is the case unless the house is about 10 ft. wide.

Please check out how the framing is build and with what. Type and size of the joists (2x8), species and grade is very important too, spacing (16"), longest unsupported span. What you've got as subfloor and how many layers.

Quote:
I am sick of carpets. It's too tough to clean with pets and high traffic.
Well, of course. Carpet is unsanitary even without pets and make us sick, literally.

Quote:
I plan on ripping up the carpet and subfloor.
Why rip out the subfloor?

Quote:
Then, I plan on installing hardybacker 1/2" with latex thin set spread over sub floor
You can use 1/2" if you wanna, but 1/4" is made for floors and is actually better. You could also go with a membrane such as Ditra or one of the Noble membranes.

Quote:
One of my concerns is truss expansion/contraction and breaking the grout or tiles.
I guess you mean the joists. We'll find out when you answer the above questions.

Quote:
Woodwork, I am good at. Slate and ceramic, I need your advice.
If you decide to go with slate or any natural stone, you'll need to tell us cuz the specs are different.

Jaz

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Chiefit (09-18-2012)
Old 09-18-2012, 01:38 AM   #3
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


Thanks, I will go into the open crawl space under the home and look at the unfinished joists and sub floor for the first floor. I am pretty sure they are pine 2x8" and don't recall a beam that divides/supports the span. I see your point on the span length in comparison to the standard board length of the joists.

Yes, I plan on paving the 8' crawl space and supporting the joists with steel Ibeams or framed in rooms with headers. That's another project for my man room.

I am a newbie: will pressing thanks close the question?
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


Quote:
will pressing thanks close the question?
No it will not close the thread. It just tells people that I gave you the most outstanding answer imaginable. Thanks.

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Old 09-18-2012, 10:00 PM   #5
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


They are 2x8 @ 16" center, Pine, 12' x 2 sides supported by a header. The subfloor is the cheap OSB. Nothing in this house is top knotch material, I swear.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:12 PM   #6
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


There are several species of pine and a couple dozen grades possible. Chances are the floor was built to just make code which is the worst allowed. So, the floor may meet L360 deflection, but how does it feel? Can you sister the joists, if not the entire length at least the center 2/3?

3/4" OSB subfloor should be a good enough base for your concrete backer, can you add more ply?

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Old 09-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


"but how does it feel?"

There are some soft spots (meaning the joists feel firm, but the OSB board can be a bit soft and squeaky in a few locations. Being squeaky, I am assuming it's nailed and not screwed. The OSB board has one spot that's sagging a tiny bit between the joists.

The joists seem firm and or pretty good quality pine with few to no knots, but the OSB board is soft between the joists and the reason I was considering ripping up the subfloor. Putting a metal straight edge on some joists I find them surprisingly straight.

"Can you sister the joists"
I suppose I could sister these joists before I support the sub first floor with either a good couple headers or steel I-beams for the man room. Currently they are cross bridged and supported with stilts. That gives me about an 8' crawl space, for about 700sq ft, underneath the first floor. The second floor has one load bearing wall that separates the kitchen and living room. Second floor joists seem really solid and very few noisy/soft spots. Once again, I can tell its the OSB rather than the joists giving.

Last edited by Chiefit; 09-19-2012 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


I have laid a lot of tile on 2x8 douglas fir, 16" OC spacing, spanning 12', but I installed the 3/4" t&g OSB with a lot of adhesive and ring shank nails, then 1/2 tilebacker in a mud bed.

Same with 2x6 floor joists spanning 12', 12" oc spacing, with 2 sets of solid wood blocking along the span (every 4').

So these spans can perform fine. Any chance of beefing up with solid wood blocking? You mentioned you have bridging. This is usually installed in the middle of the span. I would put solid wood blocking in every 4' (divide span by 3).

Take a close look at the nailing of the osb and make sure it is sufficient. You'll have to check, but I think you need 7 nails in the field, and 9 on the edges.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Tile on wood trusses & Stairs (expansion, contraction)


So, I am coming to the conclusion that:

As I thought the subfloor is insufficient and the bane of my flooring needs. I will need to probably support the joists a bit better or they might sag.

Hardybacker will help and OSB board replacement might be a good idea with 1/2 to 3/4 ply.

I never liked the idea of putting mud on any type of board. That's asking for dry rot, isn't it? I did find a product that is latex based and used on ships as a leveling compound. It's used to prevent tile/concrete products from rusting out the ship's flooring. I think I would be more comfortable with this type of product.

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