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Old 11-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Master Bath - Tiling


Hello all.

Our master bath has remained unfinished for nearly 15 years...serving mainly as a storage room. When we built, we had the rough plumbing done but nothing else. We want to finish it now but I'm concerned about the joists under the floor flexing and cracking any tile we put down.

The joists are 2X10's, 16" OC with the largest unsupported run being about 13 feet and width of about 8'. The sub floor is 5/8" tongue and groove plywood glued and screwed down. I have 3/4 of an inch to play with before I am at the height of my finished bedroom floor (which is 3/4 red oak hard wood flooring).

It's my understanding that as is, simply putting down cement board and then tiles (12"... or greater in size) would simply lead to cracking because the joists would flex.

What are the different options I have? One, I'm sure I could rip up the sub floor and add joists so each one is 8" OC... but this would likely damage the ceiling below it and force me to redo a lot of the rough plumbing. Not out of the question but a bit of work.

Two, I could forgo the idea of tile altogether and put an alternative floor type down (some of the laminate floors sold in strips are quite nice) assuming they are OK in a bathroom environment.

Are there options I am overlooking?

One of my concerns is also that we will be putting in a jacuzzi tub that will also serve as a shower. When filled with water, they can be quite heavy. Even though it will be flush against the wall where the joists start, do I have to work about the weight causing screw pops in the ceiling in the room below it?

Thanks for any info.

--Rick
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
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Least of your worry's should be about the two different floors lining up.
Install a marble or wooden threshold.
5/8 is the minimum thickness for a subfloor for any type of flooring but not thick enough for tile.
Go over the whole floor with 1/2 subfloor rated plywood making sure to not have the seam line up with the seams below and use narrow crow staples or underlayment nails every 4" on the edges and 6 to 8" in the field making sure to not nail in to the joist.
1/4" tile board set in a bed of thin set then your ready for tile.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #3
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Your joists set at 16 inch centers are fine. The free span of the joists is pushing the limits but still do-able if you add 1/2" to 5/8" more plywood (as suggested) on top of the minimal 5/8" subfloor. You could then also add Schluter DITRA at 1/8" thickness for your tile backer and isolation membrane.

Don't expect the floor levels to come up flush with one-another when using ceramic tile in the mix.

The Jacuzzi tub may torture both the tile installation and the ceiling below if the floor (joists) aren't reinforced somewhat. Good luck with that idea.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:57 AM   #4
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Thanks both for the responses. Regarding the jacuzzi tub, aside from supporting the span from the room below the master bath, what can be done to reinforce the floor so no problems will occur?

Thanks,

--Rick
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick D View Post
Thanks both for the responses. Regarding the jacuzzi tub, aside from supporting the span from the room below the master bath, what can be done to reinforce the floor so no problems will occur?

Thanks,

--Rick
Probably the best thing to do is you would have to open the ceiling below or the floor above long enough to install some sistering floor joists supported on both ends the same as the existing.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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OK, the sistering of joists is what I alluded to in my first post... if I were to do so from the top by removing the subfloor and putting a new 2X10's between every joist in there now I would have 2X10's 8" OC. I would put a new subfloor down of 3/4". At this point I would think the floor would be strong enough as is to just put my cement board down and tile over it without any concern for flex from the tub, correct?

Also, when I estimated the 14' span, I did so from within the room and overlooked that I actually have only about a 10' span before I have a wall below the floor and then the remaining 4 feet runs out to another wall. So, given this span of 10' would the tub still cause havoc on the ceiling and tile if I kept the 16" OC configuration and just added additional plywood to the subfloor? The tub would be flush against and outer wall where the joists start so it's not situated in the center of the room.

Thanks,
--Rick
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick D View Post

Also, when I estimated the 14' span, I did so from within the room and overlooked that I actually have only about a 10' span before I have a wall below the floor and then the remaining 4 feet runs out to another wall. So, given this span of 10' would the tub still cause havoc on the ceiling and tile if I kept the 16" OC configuration and just added additional plywood to the subfloor? The tub would be flush against and outer wall where the joists start so it's not situated in the center of the room.

Thanks,
--Rick
Okay now things are sounding much better. The four feet you have just gained makes a huge difference. You may be fine simply adding plywood.

How big is this tub? What style is it exactly? Is it a mostly typical one person bath tub with jets or is it a garden-tub style that holds hundreds of gallons of water and the local high school football team?
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the followup. The tub is likely going to be a Jacuzzi brand drop in whirl pool tub that will hold about 50 to 55 gallons when full.

--Rick
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Thanks for the followup. The tub is likely going to be a Jacuzzi brand drop in whirl pool tub that will hold about 50 to 55 gallons when full.

--Rick
Add the additional plywood and go for it. I no longer have the same concerns as earlier.
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