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Old 02-24-2008, 01:20 PM   #1
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Travertine - subfloor deflection issue


Hi all, I have a deflection problem in my hall (12ft span x 5 ft wide- block wall one end and beam at the other) and i want to install some travertine stone tiles (18" square, 1/2" thick). The floor is only 5/8" plywood over 2x8 spaced 16" OC. There is a height problem as well wth the ajoining kitchen floor (always several problems to deal with). Can I reinforce the floor with a wall in the basement (unfinished, concrete floor) to minimize the deflection or get rid of it altogether, cutting the hallway span to 6 ft between bearing walls? are there any problems with doing this? (the wall isnt a problem in the basement, it falls in a good spot for a closet), another question: 1/2 " backer, or 1/4" backer? ( I would prefer 1/4" b/c of the hieght problem), So this only leaves me with 5/8" ply and 1/4" backer with 1/2" travertine - is this too flimsy of a sub for natural stone? the bottom is open to me (unfinished - lots of wire and plumbing though) any suggestions or advice would be appreciated
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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Travertine - subfloor deflection issue


You also have deflection between the joists that is a main concern. To do this properly you can forget about your height issues for now. When using natural stone you must honor the requirements of the stone and any other issues such as height and transitions becomes secondary.

Yes, you can beam the span and that will resolve that issue.

The next problem is the 5/8" subfloor. Five-eights is the minimum code will allow for most any subfloor in a residential structure and minimums don't get it with stone tile. Adding cement board isn't the answer because cement board offers no structural value what-so-ever, it merely provides a suitable tooth for the thinset to adhere to. So......you first need more plywood, exterior grade, exposure 1.

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Old 02-24-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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Travertine - subfloor deflection issue


Hi Bud, thanks for the response, does cleating the 5/8" do any good (from underneath), i would have to use 2x4 due to the wiring around, cleating across the joists can be done and if it would help, how far apart? how about adding 3/4 between the joists from under and cleating? would this help? i got this idea from a tile guy. I understand that the hieght issue is secondary,but don't mind doing some extra work if i can keep it to a minimum. thanks again
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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Travertine - subfloor deflection issue


None at all. What you MIGHT do, if the subfloor is completely open from underneath (and this is going to be a bigtime PITA) is screw pieces of5/8" plywood into the bays between the joists from underneath. (cleats would only hold it in place, and not really give much support) It's not exactly kosher, but it WOULD do the trick, and then you'd want the 1/4" CBU over the top. One way or the other, though, Bud's right. 5/8" plywood is not enough. TCNA specs call for a minimum of 1 1/4 in two layers under stone.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Travertine - subfloor deflection issue


OK.... after a lot of thought .... Ive decided to put 5/8 on top and put a transition theshold b/w the hd and tile.... another question is in my foyer, which i plan to do as well (hurry, before SHE adds another room ), it has 3/4 x 5 T&G pine on a diagonal as the subfloor (with 3/4 HD on top- which i plan to remove), can i put 1/2 over the T&G to get my 1 1/4 subfloor (this is at the end of the hall, on the other side of the beam) and then the same travertine or do i need to rip that up and replace it with ply? a little chunkier 2 x 8 on this side (old and measure at 2 1/4") 11 ft span
This site is super! Lots of good advise and food for thought. thanks again
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