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Old 03-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #1
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


After reading a number of posts on this site, I am confused as to what to use in order to be able to ceramic/porcelain/stone tile over a concrete expansion joint. I am hoping that someone can set me straight

I have a 16'x16' enclosed three-season porch on the back of my recently purchased house. When I removed the carpeting, it revealed a relatively new (under 6 years) poured concrete floor which seems relatively level and in great shape. However, running directly down the middle of it is a 1" wide expansion joint (I assume I am correct in saying that it is an expansion joint - it is a sawed/manufactured joint that has a 1"x2" insert of wood) While the joint appears fairly level and the wood does not protrude, I certainly don't think I can tile directly over it.

I originally was thinking that I should use a sheet membrane (like Noble CIS) and size it accordingly to go beyond either 6" or 12" tile. But then I read on here that Schluter Ditra would be a good solution for this type of application.

Can anyone give me some solid advice here? Thanks!

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Old 03-09-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


First off I would take out the wood peice. Wood will rott. They should have used a type of felt (?) made for expantion joints. Put this in place of wood. Ditra is not a crack isolation membrain. You should use a membrain you can find in your area and install per manufacturers recomendations. Then you can use ditra.

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Old 03-09-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Thanks woodman.

I'm hoping I properly classified it as an expansion joint (versus control joint or cold joint) as I am a humble newbie. The noble CIS membrane I looked at and the explanations on Noble's site led me to believe I am dealing with an expansion joint. I can post a picture tonight

In the event I remove the wood, what should I fill that void with?

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Hi 77 & 58, (gee guys, simple common first names like "Jaz" would be nice)

I like Ditra, use it on most floors, but it's not appropriate for this installation. It's also not the right product after an isolation membrane is used IMO. With Ditra, the original expansion joint has to be honored.

CIS is the way to go. I'm not sure about that one inch width though. An inch wide is kinda nuts. If you get Noble's blessings, the joint may need to be wider than normal, not sure.

Call Noble at; 800-878-5788 ask for Eric and tell him Jaz told you to call to pick his brain.

Jaz
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #5
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Jaz - thanks a bunch for the info.

I had my wife check the gap and its 3/4", not 1" like I had stated. If I go the CIS route, do I remove the wood and fill the gap, leave the wood, or put something else in there?

Direct moisture not going to be an issue as it is enclosed, but the porch will get humid in the hot weather and quite cold in the winters as its not heated and we live in the northeast.

This site is fantastic, btw

- Jay
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Not sure about the piece of wood. I would remove it cuz as Woodman said it's gona rot. You will probably need to fill the void with compacted sand, then place a backer rod in there, then top with an appropriate caulk. Pretty sure Noble will want you to make that joint at least the width of the joint or wider.

Also depends on the exposure to the sun and other factors. You forgot to list where you live, that's kinda important esp. for this Q. The NE to me means CT-DE-RI-VT-NH-MA-ME, but the weather can vary a bunch between these states.

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Not sure about the piece of wood. I would remove it cuz as Woodman said it's gona rot. You will probably need to fill the void with compacted sand, then place a backer rod in there, then top with an appropriate caulk. Pretty sure Noble will want you to make that joint at least the width of the joint or wider.

Also depends on the exposure to the sun and other factors. You forgot to list where you live, that's kinda important esp. for this Q. The NE to me means CT-DE-RI-VT-NH-MA-ME, but the weather can vary a bunch between these states.

Jaz
Jaz,

Live in New Jersey. I havent pulled out the wood yet - so I'm not certain on the depth of the joint, but I am familiar with backer rod and caulk so I will check with Noble on application. Only our first year in the house, but the space I am referring to does get quite warm in the summer months, and down below freezing in the winter as it isnt heated and all windows on 3 sides.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


You're gona need expansion joints at the 8' point both ways and of course around all perimeter walls.

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Old 03-09-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Jaz,

From a purely practical point of view, given that the enclosed porch is subject to variations in temperature, is tile a better choice than a wood laminate implementation? The reason I ask is because the old carpet in this space was not practical just because it gets musty - put down directly on top of the slab. And a concrete slab (even painted) is really not something we want. Was leaning towards tile because we use the porch in the summer as someplace to relax after being in the pool, and I assumed tile would be more appropriate for the occasional wet feet, than a laminate.

We recently installed a Berry laminate floor in our basement (over Dri-Core) and we love the way that feels and looks. I just am hesitant to use the laminate on the porch because I felt the tile would be less worry. But if I have more reason to be concerned with tile cracking due to temp changes and expansion joints on the slab, I'd be happy to do a laminate of some type.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Tile is one of a few types of flooring that will work. Laminate definitely not.

Is the slab at ground level or elevated a bit? Does water run off around the house? Carpeting will get musty even when the floor is suspended and dry. Tell us more.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:17 PM   #11
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Jaz,

Best I can do from here at work is attach some pics of the space in question. The porch is elevated approx 2' off the ground and there are no issues with water. These are 'before' pictures and the interior pic still shows the carpet that was laid over the slab. BTW, tile would definitely be our preferred material. In the first picture, the porch is the on the right with the french door


In the next picture you are looking at the inside, facing the ajoining house

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:46 PM   #12
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


had some pics of the actual joint on my cell phone:


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Old 03-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #13
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


As long as the room does not get wet, you can put laminate in this area. You must leave an expantion joint around the peremiter.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:55 PM   #14
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Quote:
As long as the room does not get wet, you can put laminate in this area. You must leave an expantion joint around the peremiter.
(perimeter)

Well.....maybe, check with the manufacturer about installing in an unconditioned space.

I would find it hard to believe they would honestly recommend a laminate in a space like that and with a pool to boot. Laminate flooring and "ceramic" tile do not belong in the same paragraph.

That looks like 3/4" stock, but the space looks wider than 1" to me. But, might be 5/8" furring. Is that a valley I see there? Either way it was not a good plan by who ever did it.

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Old 03-09-2011, 09:11 PM   #15
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


I couldn't have said it better myself!

Jaz

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