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Old 02-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #16
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So if the slate is planed down thinner, though it still would be thicker than the average tile (1/4?) why could it not be installed as regular tile would be? Say, if I bought a box of 12" slate tile at the store, how would this be different?
It would be different cuz it is different. You're assuming that since the slate is thicker, it would be equal to the ceramic tile. Nature doesn't work that way. The breaking threshold of natural stone will be different from piece to piece. If not done to minimum specs not all the pieces will crack. We consider it a failure if even one cracks. This is not a science. You can break all the rules of installation and get lucky, or just the opposite.

Natural stone requires the joists as well as the subfloor to meet or exceed L720. You also need 2 layers of subfloor sheeting, then the concrete backer or membrane. There is no magic. Will a stone floor fail at L719? What is L719 anyway as compared to L720?

An engineer who works with subfloor loads and deflection may help, but I doubt if any structural engineer with only book knowledge on the subject can be of much help to you. He'd also have to have experience in tile & natural stone setting methods, etc.

As far as the porosity of Vermont Slate goes, I agree it's much better than the garbage the big boxes bring in from China & India. However, it can be a nightmare in the wrong home regardless of the extra maintenance you're willing to do. If you're used to ceramic or vinyl, you will not be happy.

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Old 02-23-2012, 09:02 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by kerronelm View Post
So I would put a beam running down the length of my floor (18' length) essentially cutting the 13' in half, less flex. I see there are several options for adding support.... As shown here. Headroom is a bit of a concern, my basement isn't necessarily a totally used space, but there's the laundry, utility/work room, etc that would be accessed on a regular basis, So I don't want to lose too much head room.
Yes, chopping the span in half would significantly reduce the flex of the floor (I'd think chop it in half or more). Here's a link to the online calculator, I'd try plugging in some numbers and seeing how it'll affect your choices.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl

Sistering joists is a good option that will halve the deflection of the floor, but that may or may not be enough for natural stone.

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http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021184090.pdf
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Any experience with these types of support additions? What works better? I like the last option, where you add a perpendicular beam in between the existing joists (though time-consuming...) but I think that particular method is still going to give me more flex than a solid cross beam with an anchor...
I remember that document when I was redoing a bathroom of mine, but only needed to sister a couple joists to lower the deflection for tile. Stone is another ballpark of stiffness.

Ok, so based on your post it sounds like you're slightly confused on the types of deflection. There are two types of deflection you need to address, the deflection perpendicular to the joists (from joist to joist), which an extra layer of plywood would fix, and the deflection along the 13' span of the beams. As in, imagine holding a toothpick on the tips. Press down in the middle of the toothpick, and see how it bends? Imagine that's your joist, and that's the deflection you're trying to reduce.

The last example in that document where it uses blocking between the joists does nothing to address the issue of deflection along the span of the 2x10 beams. The only thing that reduces deflection along the length of the beam is adding more joists (push down on 2 toothpicks supported on the ends vs. 1), or adding a support somewhere underneath the joists (it doesn't necessarily have to be in the middle), which is like shortening the length of the toothpicks.

I hope that clarified things a bit, as I didn't quite grasp it at first myself. Fortunately these guys were nice enough to explain it to me. Thanks again guys for explaining it to me the first time around.

Last edited by NewHomeDIYGuy; 02-23-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:32 AM   #18
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Ok, here's what I've done. I made a nice discovery downstairs, plus I have another plan to reduce the amount of weight I will add to my floor. (I am just having difficulty explaining it...) Hopefully my picture will help.

First, I already have more floor support than I originally thought due to my basement not being the complete size of my upstairs kitchen. So one corner of the kitchen will essentially be sitting on slab/ground?, instead of the completely open basement. (As indicated by the 'concrete' area on my picture). (Don't laugh at me for not knowing my own house, I just bought it, haha!) The depth of the slab area is around 6'. To add to the support, I was able to fit a 4x6 beam in approximately the center of the kitchen, held up by the adjustable support beams, nice and tucked out of the way downstairs. So I've cut my cross floor beam distance in half.

Also, to reduce the amount of slate tile I will add to the floor, I will not be putting down slate where the cabinets will be installed. I will put two layers of 3/4 plywood on the whole floor, and where I will tile I will have 1/4 concrete backer, and where the cabinets will be, I will have another 3/4 plywood, to keep the floor heights more even (so my counter height isn't all wacky..)

I hope I've explained this where it makes sense. I think between increasing my floor support and decreasing my loading I will have my floor flex down to where I won't crack my slate.



Guys, please let me know what you think. I appreciate all the input so far, and I hope I've done what I need to do to make my floor adequate.


Laura
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:43 AM   #19
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Did you talk to your engineer friend? That 4x6 beam is not doing a whole lot if you only have it bearing on its 2 ends. You would need 2 center posts for that to do much good. I personally would have steel joists installed, they can get you a much higher loading EASILY. Shockingly the steel is not much more than wood and will give you what you need.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #20
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Anyone???
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:57 PM   #21
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Your cabinets shouldn't be dead weight on the kitchen floor as they are fixed to the wall studs,
You stated 2 layers of 3/4"? If so I would think that is plenty of floor to make it not deflect.

The prior poster made a good point the 4x6 won't do much good if it's just hanging by itself support it from below.

I wouldn't do steal only for fire proofing reasons , wood is just as good.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:59 PM   #22
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Well.......4x6 is kinda wimpy but do you notice a difference? Is there any visible movement when a couple of your friends simultaneously step directly over it? You can stiffen the beam by screwing a 2x6 on each side, maybe glue too. I would jack the center a small amount, (1/8") while proceeding.

However, I do see a problem with that slab area. Is there a height difference now? You can't install plywood or backer to that, so now what?

Quote:
The depth of the slab area is around 6'.
What does that mean? :confused1

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