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Old 10-17-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
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Want to do travertine but floor is sloping a lot


I am at the end of my bathroom remodel and the vanity cab. is yet to be set but the shower and bathtub are tiled. There's a 3/4 ply subfloor that's solid. But my floor slopes 1 inch in 8 feet. The high side is at the door and the low side abuts the exterior wall. This low side is also where a abs toilet flange will go.
The flange is not installed right now but I will be cutting out a 5 inch hole into the subfloor for the collar of the flange (which is also 5") to fit into.

I would really like to have durango travertine in my bathroom rather than vinyl; so do you think this is possible given the 1 inch slope?

Tile contractor suggested to start at the door with paper, wire, thinset, and tile for total thickness of about 5/8 inch and then at the low side the tile would finish-out at about 1 5/8 inches. (pretty high, isn't it?) That would level-out the floor.

Then when he's done I guess, I would put the abs toilet flange on top of the tile.

Has anyone ever done this? Is this doable? Maybe I should just have the travertine layed on the existing slope after I set the cabinet.

Would appreciate your opinions/suggestions.

Last edited by ken24; 10-18-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 10-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Tile contractor suggested to start at the door with paper, wire, thinset, and tile for total thickness of about 5/8 inch and then at the low side the tile would finish-out at about 1 5/8 inches. (pretty high, isn't it?)
May God bless you and keep you - and slap some sense into the tileguy!
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:51 AM   #3
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If you are at the end of the remodel---why are the floors still out of level?

To late now,but that should have been fixed right after the demolition of the old bath.

The method that the tile installer is suggesting is not a very good one---Thinset shrinks as it dries.

Can you find a tile setter who knows the accepted methods?
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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The travertine is 3/8 thick and is 12x12 to be layed on diagonal.

I had a lot of water damage from shower leaking over many years. So, we had to tear out the subfloor and also had to replace several joists. Even the exterior wall had to be torn-down and rebuilt due to water damage and termites. But the slope goes way back to the time I bought the place.

When the carpenter was placing the mud sill and some new joists, we could see that the whole joist assembly was sloping but nobody seemed to have a good remedy for the situation at the time. What could I have done?

I did talk to another tile contractor and he said he would start at the door (high side) w/paper,wire,and mud for total float of 1/2" and then thin set and 3/8 tile for total thickness of 1". At the low side, finish tile would be 2" from the subfloor. My concern is: Isn't 2" too high or no? The dam on my 42" neo angle shower is about 6 1/2" high.
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Old 10-18-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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Want travertine - I say why not? There's nothing wrong with tiling a sloped floor. To tile you have to have a FLAT surface - not necessarily a level one.

Sloped floors happen all the time - very common. Mostly common in older homes because of the foundation settling or when sub-par materials are used. This is the case with my house - the joists are undersized so they all have sagged - some worse than others due to water damage. Even after renovations - even after ripping out all the subflooring in the worst areas (kitchen and bathrooms) and feeding in new joists - jacking them up so they bring the floor up - I still have about a 1.25" slope in each room (over a 14' span)

Nothing can be made perfect once it's knocked that far out of whack which is why it's important and nice to do things the right way in the very beginning of building a structure.

But - there's no reason why you need to falsely raise the floor up with a thick bed of material that will likely just fail and create new problems over time. Living with a sloped floor just means that other projects in sloped-floored rooms have to be addressed according to the necessity of it being level VS the appearance of 'being level'

In my bathroom, for example, after raising the floor with new joists I still had a slope - so when I did the tile on the walls I had to find a midpoint between "level" and "40 inches off the floor" - technically the tile is 'crocked' on the walls but you can't *see* it because it's a false sense of 'level' almost like an optical illusion.

Only things that shouldn't be "off level" - like the bathtub and cabinets follow a truly level line - it takes a bit more effort to get a level item to sit on a sloped floor but if I can figure then anyone can.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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Snav, thanks for your reply,

Tile guy suggested as an alternative to lay the travertine on existing slope; which would be thinset and 1/4" hardibacker on top of subfloor; then 3/8" travertine for a total thickness of about 3/4" I suppose.

Between the bathtub and the toilet there will be a 30" wide cabinet. Using my level I see there's a 3/4" drop from the side of the tub to the low side where the toilet will go. (a span of 5'-6")

Also, from the left side of the cab. to the right side there is a drop of 3/8".

Tile guy said I would first need to install the cab. He said I would need to prop-up the left underside of the cab to get it somewhat level with the finish height of the tile there and then shim-up the right side of the cab. another 3/8" to get the cab level; and then he would tile around it.

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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If I were you and doing it myself I'd raise the floor with a false floor that's built on top of the subfloor with furring strips, 1x2's - whatever wood is necessary. This would be a tile-floors thickness lower than where you want the top of the floor to be. . . and this would be attached firmly to the subfloor and underlayment beneath it.

Once this is roughly leveled out I'd build onto it with liner and hardibacker - level out whatever areas are uneven then tile on top of that.

I would not build a bed of mortar or thin set or even leveler to compensate for more than 1" of an off-level surface. Besides - doing a liquid-foundation is also more expensive and if it's too thick it'll never cure.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:10 PM   #8
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Snav, thanks for your reply,

I not sure I get what your saying about building another floor on top;

I will think about it but first what do you think about laying the travertine on the existing slope? Maybe the tile guy can pick-up the low side a quarter inch so the slope is a little less noticeable.

Ken
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Why hasn't this Rube Goldberg tile-guy mentioned raising the floor with Self Leveling Compound instead of smoke and mirrors?

Apparently this tile-guy also hasn't mentioned the substructure requirements when using any natural stone tile.

Has he mentioned that natural stone tile requires a subfloor stiffness that is
double what is required for a ceramic tile floor? (Deflection not to exceed: 1/720)

Has he mentioned that a double layer of plywood is required any time travertine is used?
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Has he mentioned that natural stone tile requires a subfloor stiffness that is
double what is required for a ceramic tile floor? (Deflection not to exceed: 1/720)
While reading this thread I was just about to type what Bud wrote.

Where did you find that tile guy? He's not a tile setter. Raise a floor with thin set.....YIKES!

And, Snav, where did you get that method above?

Jaz
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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Bud, thanks for your contribution

You bring up some interesting points that I am hearing for the first time. I'll have to ask the tile contractor about them the next time we talk.

I don't know if it changes things, but after subtracting the space of the neo-angle shower and the tub w/ pony wall there is about 50 to 55 sf of travertine floor to lay; not a great deal of stone; so maybe that was factored in with his approach.

I am guessing that when laying travertine on a shower wall that there are also more stringent requirements than ceramic regarding the substrate.

Ken
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:04 PM   #12
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Just sayin' !!!
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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Jaz man, thanks for sharing your thoughts/opinions,

I have read some of your posts and you and that Cline fellow sound pretty sharp.

Maybe I explained things poorly; the contractor wasn't going to raise my sloping floor up w/ thin set alone; I think originally, he intended to float the floor and then lay tile after the float dryed;

but last time I spoke to him he changed to a different method where everything could be done in one shot; I think he called it the "full set" method or something like that which I believe consisted of the following:

1. lay down paper and wire
2. apply thin set to it
3. Then "full set" tile
a. lay mud (mortar) on floor
b. Butter back of tile w/thin set
c. Lay tile to appropriate height

Last edited by ken24; 10-18-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
1. lay down paper and wire
2. apply thin set to it
3. Then "full set" tile
a. lay mud (mortar) on floor
b. Butter back of tile w/thin set
c. Lay tile w/appropriate height
Nonsense! You won't find any of that bogus crap in any of the industry recommendations anywhere. That's a recipe for disaster.

Ya know what? Installing tile is really easy and the basic rules are many but simple, and they have been around and standardized for more than 45 years. (In Writing)
I will never understand where these characters get some of the ideas they come up with. These guys must lay awake at night in a drunken stupor dreaming up all of this insanity and caos.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
While reading this thread I was just about to type what Bud wrote.

Where did you find that tile guy? He's not a tile setter. Raise a floor with thin set.....YIKES!

And, Snav, where did you get that method above?

Jaz
Building up with a false floor is what you do with a slab-house that's set on concrete. . . my inspector suggested it for my bathroom but I didnt' do it that way. However - since he suggested it to me I believe it is probably a normal 'approach' to solving this problem in this area.

I think it's best to either live with a slope - or fix it from the joists up and address, as best as possible, the initial cause.

If someone builds up a floor - either with a false wooden floor or a bed or mortar/thinset - and if the origin of the problem is NOT fix it'll just happen again - and again.
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Last edited by Snav; 10-19-2011 at 07:54 AM.
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