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Old 01-13-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
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Looking for ideas for weak subfloor


About 7 years ago my ex wife and I tiled the bathroom and kitchen floors in my house after it was flooded. Not long after that the bathroom tiles started cracking and I've since replaced them with vinyl plank. The kitchen always seemed to be holding up but in the last couple months they've started making some noise when I walk on them and now some mortar is starting to crack and chip out. The tiles are 12x12 ceramic on 1/4" cement board.

I've done a handful of tile jobs and without any problems and I feel like the issue is with the subfloor and not with the tile work. (Then again, my ex wife laid most of these tiles, and it was done along with repairing and remodeling every other room in the house as fast as possible, so who knows..) I'm planning on ripping everything out of the kitchen this summer for a full remodel (again.. sigh), so I'm trying to decide now what to do about the floor without spending my life savings.

First off, I'm not sure what's wrong with the floor. As I mentioned above, the house WAS flooded. The subfloor was dried but not replaced. The floor joists are some kind of manufactured part that looks like an I-beam made of plywood, and they are spaced at 24". The part of the basement beneath the kitchen is unfinished so I do have access to it. So, I think I also feel that the issue is NOT weak floor joists, but the span between floor joists and/or weakening due to water.

So.. what do I do? My parents' house has bridging between the floor joists. Would that help? Should I replace the subfloor? Add another layer over the top? (I'd rather not do this as a tile floor is already sitting higher than the laminate it transitions to)

Or.. can I leave the subfloor alone and go to a different type of flooring? Would my weak subfloor cause issues with hardwood or any other type of flooring?
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:45 PM   #2
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Do you know what the subfloor material is? It may have been compromised in the flooding? make sure it is 3/4 material with the span being 24"
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Those engineered floor joist can bounce.
Some manufactures suggest adding another layer of OSB on each side with construction adhesive as well as fasteners.
Sub floor should have been 3/4 T & G with construction adhesive and 8D ring shank nails every 6", then a layer of at least 3/8 A/C plywood (1/2 is better) laid so the seams do not line up with the seams below, not attached to the joist and attached every 4" on the edges and from 6 to 8" in the field.
Thin set under the 1/4 backer board.
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