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Old 03-15-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
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Travertine Tile and deflection


I am prepping to Lay 18 x 18 x 1/2" thick travertine tile. Covering approx 600 sq ft on my main floor. The floor joists are 2 x 8 spf 16" o/c and a 10 ft span. The subfloor is 5/8 OSB. The largest room is the kitchen in which I plan on sistering the floor joists under the kitchen as I have easy access to them. The hallways are narrow over a relatively small area (5 x 18). Should I still sister the joists under that area? The basement ceiling under that area is drywalled and stucco'd. I also plan on tiling the powder room (21 sq ft) and the laundry room (25 sq ft).

A couple questions that are nagging me:

1. what is the best substrate to use in this scenario? I have used Ditra on my bathroom floor. Should I use Ditra, Wonderboard, HardiBacker, or go with the wire mesh and self levelling mortar as a base?
2. Is my structure going to be strong enough to support the load of natural stone?

I have read a lot about the Schluter system and they "claim" it will help eleviate any potential issues with deflection.
Anyone have any experience or issues laying this much stone over such a large area in this scenario?

Best recommendations?

Thanks

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:31 PM   #2
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Travertine Tile and deflection


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Anyone have any experience or issues laying this much stone over such a large area in this scenario?
Here's how that is supposed to work.

To install stone tile the deflection requirement is 1/720 (L/720). This is double what is required to install ceramic tile.

You should check your structure and subfloor criteria against some span tables and see what it says. I'll bet that criteria is a typical 1/480, not near enough for a stone tile installation.

A second layer of plywood is also required but even at that it wouldn't have much effect on the overall deflection rating.

I'd say it is a no-go at this point. Sistering ALL of the joists may be an option - just depends on how you go about it.

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Old 03-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #3
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Hi Mike,

Quote:
I am prepping to Lay 18 x 18 x 1/2" thick travertine tile. Covering approx 600 sq ft on my main floor.
Beautiful, isn't it. You didn't buy it yet did you? I ask cuz you may need to go to plan B.

Start with #2.

Quote:
2. Is my structure going to be strong enough to support the load of natural stone?
NO, not even close.

Quote:
1. what is the best substrate to use in this scenario? I have used Ditra on my bathroom floor. Should I use Ditra, Wonderboard, HardiBacker, or go with the wire mesh and self levelling mortar as a base?
Once you correct #2 above, you will need to add min. 1/2" ply, then either Ditra or a CBU. I recommend Ditra, but neither Ditra nor any CBU or membrane will help with deflection of your joists or subfloor sheets.

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Old 03-15-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
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Travertine Tile and deflection


jazman, as a tile guy, have you ever had to turn down an installation because the structure was not strong enough to support the weight of the chosen tile? I have never heard or seen of someone not being able to lay down a stone floor with 16o/c. I have helped with a few marble floors and we put it down right on top of Wonderboard (or HardiBacker) with no concern of the basement below. Were we wrong to assume it would be fine? The tiles were also 18x18 but maybe only thick. I doubt it was a full " but could be wrong about that as well. They were a little heavy but nothing crazy that made us ever think the floor would not be strong enough.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Hi Hit,

Thanks for contributing to Mike's thread. Your weight question is also relevant.

OK, so, we're got weight, joist deflection & subfloor deflection. Your basic minimum code generally calls for L360 deflection @ 40/10 (live/dead load) lbs. per sq. ft. load. Many if not most builders aim for this code cuz it's the worst they can build a house and still be fine. That's fine for regular flooring, but we don't think it's stiff enough for ceramic/porcelain and especially natural stone tile floors.

Although those specs may work for ceramic/porcelain tiles, you're really rolling the dice. We've seen floors installed over that construction that had grout cracks or worse even before the new homeowners got their keys. For ceramic I like to see anything above L360, but at 50/20. For natural stone the industry recommendations is L720.

That doesn't mean that if a chart says L718 it won't work, it's just a guide. Matter of fact, a certain well respected tile setting materials manufacturer claims their materials should work with natural stone even at L480. You really never know, plus there's variations in every floor from area to area.

So.....
Quote:
I have helped with a few marble floors and we put it down right on top of Wonderboard (or HardiBacker) with no concern of the basement below.
Some would call that hack-work, but it might work fine some of the time. Plus what is the definition of a failure? It's not all just gonna crack and come up.

Quote:
Were we wrong to assume it would be fine?


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Old 03-15-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Bud,
I have a question about one of your statements:
"Sistering ALL of the joists may be an option - just depends on how you go about it"

What do you mean "may" be an option? Is there some issues around sistering that I am unaware of? Just curious and interested in getting everyones comments.

Jaz,
I dont know now if this is a good thing or a bad thing - Yup, I bought it, had it delivered. Got it at a great price (80% less than anywhere else I looked) GULP... I couldnt pass it up... It was after I made the purchase I thought to myself "Oh CRAP... structure".
Thanks for the advice. I think I'm tearing down a basement ceiling now .
But, it could be a good thing. I can see what the old owner did down there - hidden electrical junctions or worse...


Thanks
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:18 PM   #8
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Mike,

Actually I presumed you had already bought it. I was just being a smart a**. At least you thought to check the framing before it was too late.

I'm sure Bud will be along soon, but I think he meant depending what you were willing to do. ie. sistering isn't always possible, build a wall underneath or switch to porcelain tiles.

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Old 03-15-2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Quote:
Bud,
I have a question about one of your statements:
"Sistering ALL of the joists may be an option - just depends on how you go about it"

What do you mean "may" be an option? Is there some issues around sistering that I am unaware of? Just curious and interested in getting everyones comments.
Take down the ceiling then we'll talk.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:05 AM   #10
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Very interesting thread we got going here. Instead of sistering the joists together could you just pull up the subfloor and reset at 12o/c?
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:51 AM   #11
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Travertine Tile and deflection


Thanks for your advice, I will be getting to the ceiling from underneath and sistering the floor joists. There will be some electrical that needs to be done, but I beleive its the best and simplest solution to this.

I have no water to deal with . The electrical is just going to be an extra day to pull, sister the joists and re-run.

If pull the basement ceiling I get to see what the old owner was trying to hide...

I will post back and let everyone know how it went.

Another question, would there be any benefit to sister with engineered joists? Or is that just a severe overkill? Any suggestions on the use of sandwiching the joist with 3/4 ply ripped to 7 1/4" and staggered seams? Ply seems a lot easier to handle (not to mention more stable (no expansion over the seasons)), however, it does only come in 4 x 8 sheets...

Last edited by Mike159; 03-16-2011 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Add a question
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:54 PM   #12
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Travertine Tile and deflection


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There will be some electrical that needs to be done,
Quote:
I have no water to deal with
Quote:
suggestions on the use of sandwiching the joist with 3/4 ply
Quote:
Ply seems a lot easier to handle
There ya go! I just knew if I waited you would save me a helluva lot of typing. Now we're on the same page.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #13
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Travertine Tile and deflection


So, using 2 pieces of 3/4 ply to sandwich the joists will provide enough structural support to get me to the magical L/720?

Cool... A lot easier.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:14 AM   #14
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Travertine Tile and deflection


I am not an engineer.
You need an engineer to tell you that.

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