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Old 03-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #16
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


wkearney99,

what do you think of him checking while someone is not standing on the tile and then checking with someone standing there to see what the deflection is. I'd have them stand in between the floor joists which would cause deflection in the middle and uplift at the edges of the panel.

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Old 03-27-2013, 08:23 AM   #17
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


The cracks run the same direction as the joists, I had mentioned it a few posts up. I moved the mat we have at the front door this morning and found a new crack that runs across the joists, I'll have to double-check with my wife, but I am sure that wasn't there at the start of winter.

I put my 4' level on the bottom of the joists in the affected area and they were level. I'll do some measuring though at each end of the span to see if there is much of a difference.

I'm wondering if some cross bracing might help distribute the load, all the plumbing and electrical run through this section of the basement so adding new joists would be a major task.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:46 AM   #18
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


solid wood blocking is always good.

I have never worked with the I-joists before, or with 2' spacing. I have worked with 2' spacing which I decreased to 1' spacing.

I'm not sure how much time and effort you want to spend to find the problem, because the solution is going to be to remove the tile and start over anyway.

You'll want to find out how much sheathing you need on top of your 24" oc I-joists, and how it should be installed. Then during the demolition, you'll have to make any corrections.

We know you have no tile backer or isolation membrane on top of the plywood. We don't know what type of thinset was used, and how it was applied.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #19
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


Ok, details sometimes get lost in posts, thanks for clarifying.

Level of the joists is one thing, but so it knowing if they're all on the same level. As in, one could be sagging more than another. A 4' level is good but it'd only tell you what's happening across one particular part. I'm suggesting it'd be useful to know how the whole span of the floor is level. Sometimes that can help point out a directionality of the sagging, if any exists.

Since you can see deflection happening at the door when you move around, what about having someone (or multiple people) help you by moving around in there while you're down in the basement looking at the joists? You'd probably be able to hear noise from the materials as they move and that might help pinpoint some of the trouble.

I'm guessing the joists just aren't sized to handle the load or there's something wrong with how they were installed. Without a walk-through looking over the whole of the situation it's very hard to guess.

Here's an additional thought, what about asking neighbors that are in the same building design? If you're in a neighborhood that was built from a set of similar models it's possible someone else in your model of house has run into the same situation. I asked some questions of one of my neighbors when I was considering remodeling a bath. His insights on the same job helped prepare me for what would have been unexpected HVAC duct placement.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #20
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


Quote:
Originally Posted by cleveman View Post
I'm not sure how much time and effort you want to spend to find the problem, because the solution is going to be to remove the tile and start over anyway.
I have to agree with this. It's really just a matter of how much you want to know ahead of time before you really have to head down this road anyway.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:13 AM   #21
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


may want to check out this report from the Ceramic Tile Institute of American in regards to engineered wood floor systems and osb subflooring.

http://www.ctioa.org/reports/fr81.html
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #22
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


Right now, I'm just trying to get a sense of what it might take to correct the issue so when the time comes to rip up the floor I'll have an idea of what might need to be done. I don't want to screw and glue the subfloor down if it turns out to be an issue with the joists. I'd hate for this to happen again to the new floor.

I was talking to a co-worker who lives on the same street his house is the same builder but a very different model of home, he doesn't have the issue but the area he has tile is much smaller then ours. He is going to measure the space between the joists to see if they are 24" OC as well, I would imagine they are.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #23
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


I had my wife bounce on the hump and I could see the OSB moving up and down, it was pretty close to the joint of the two piece of OSB. I also had her bounce on one of the cracked tiles and I could feel the OSB moving up and down, there is a cold air return covering that area so I couldn't see it but I felt it. This one was in the middle of the OSB and not near a joint. I didn't feel much movement being transferred through the joist so I guess that's a good thing but the movement was about in the middle of the two joists on both bounce tests.

I contacted a structural engineer and it would be about $400 for them to inspect it, determine a cause and provide a solution. At this point it might be worth it to rip the tile up and see if I can strengthen the subfloor and if there is still too much movement I could get the engineer in before we proceeding with the tiling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:39 PM   #24
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


You could see the OSB moving? But what about the joist under it? It would seem odd that the OSB would have bowed upward, not unless there's rot or water damage in it. If you've got a piece of lumber or other material consider standing one up just under the joist and note the gap. Then have your wife bounce it again. Make sure the bounce isn't also happening with the joists. It they're staying put then it seems like that subfloor is the problem. If it's not actually damaged, which you'd be able to tell once the tile was removed, then you might be able to get away with just screwing it back down to the joists. But if you get "that far into it" then it might be better to just replace it and know for certain that it was done right.

You mentioned plumbing going through the joists. Hopefully not a bad enough hatchet job to have compromised them?
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #25
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


It really felt like it was just the OSB moving, not sure why it would move so easily with 3/4" plywood on top unless for some reason they didn't stagger the joints. I put my hands on the joists and didn't feel any movement but you could see the OSB move about 1/8". There is no damage to the underneath of the OSB.

The plumbing is attached to the bottom of the joists, the only thing running through the joists are electrical wires through the pre-cut holes in the joists. I don't think the joists are compromised in any way, it more of a question of are there enough of them.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:01 AM   #26
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


It's hard to see how much something is moving unless you have surfaces close together. This is why I suggested using a 2x4 or something else propped under the joist bottom edge. This way you could see if the small gap between it and the joist was changing. Make note, however, that you want to be checking along more than just one spot. It's possible there's deflection happening elsewhere. Think of a kid's see-saw.

But you're probably on the right track thinking that it's the joints of the OSB, and probably how they're (not) attached to the joist tops.

If the basement ceiling is always going to stay open then dealing with the electrical wouldn't be as much trouble. Pull the wires out of the way. sister or add joists and then use junction boxes to put the circuits back together. But consulting a licensed electrician would be a very good idea before trying it yourself. Who knows if the work that's already there is any good?
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #27
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


So I have ripped up the tile in the foyer and have some new info and photos. The OSB seems to have nails about every 12 inches on 1 side of the seam of the T&G to the joist. The plywood on top was screwed down to the OSB about every 6-8 inches around the edge and about every 10-12 inches on the inside. In the first picture I removed two pieces of plywood (purple and blue) and the crack was running along the edge of the two pieces of plywood.

I'm not sure I understand why only one side of the seam has nails in it, the OSB that is hi-lighted in blue I only found 1 nail in it in that whole area (about 28" wide).

If I step about 12" to the side of the OSB joint and you can see the floor flex a bit, this puts be right in the middle of the joists.

The 2nd photo is a general overall shot and the 3rd picture is where the biggest and longest crack was. Notice all the extra mortar, I think they tried to repair it at one point.

I've never ripped up a ceramic floor but it took me about 2 hours with my sons (1yr + 4yr) "helping". It kind of felt too easy.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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Trying to figure out what might have cracked our tiled floor


Looks like mastic was used as well. I don't think we explored that possibility before.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:54 PM   #29
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How can I tell the difference between mastic and mortar?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:07 PM   #30
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On second thought, that could be thinset. I thought I was looking at yellowish/orange on gray, but now I see gray on yellowish/orange.

Thinset will be like mortar. It will have sand in it. You can scrape it and some will scrape away. Mastic will be more like dried plastic.

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