Need info of proper base for a travertine floor


Old 04-03-16, 05:11 PM
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Need info of proper base for a travertine floor

My 5x5' bathroom floor currently has 5/8" plywood, 1/2" cement board, and 12" ceramic tiles that I laid about 10'years ago that still looks new. My joists are 2x8" on 16" centers and unaccessable from below because of finished ceilings. We are now renovating almost down to the studs, therefore a new floor is in order.

Our choice is travertine but a contractor friend is advising agains it due to structure. He tells me that I need to double up each joist and lay 3/4" plywood. We also want to install a cast iron tub that weighs 325# and we plan to use travertine in the shower stall as well.

What is your option of his structural requirements? Also what is your opinion on this plastic matting that the tile stores are recommending instead of cement board?
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Old 04-03-16, 05:14 PM
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Others may have different ideas, but travertine will be the weakest flooring you can put down on your flooring structure. What size travertine are you planning? A 5x5 bathroom would look odd with larger tile, IMO. Your contractor friend was correct in that the 5/8 won't allow enough strength. What is the longest unsupported span under the bathroom?
Old 04-04-16, 09:04 AM
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Short answer is natural stone products need twice as stiff a subfloor as porcelain or ceramic. I think your contractor is giving you good advice.
Old 04-04-16, 10:19 AM
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Your contractor friend is correct, thank him for us. Your 2x8" joists are probably spanning close to 12' which is barely good enough for ceramic tiles. Also all natural stone tiles require a double layer subfloor/underlayment system as he said, plus the concrete backer installed into thinset etc. or the "plastic" stuff you mentioned.

I do recommend Ditra matting but your floor framing needs alot of help first. You should consider porcelain tiles that mimic travertine or something else.

Old 04-04-16, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice, I will personally commend him on his thorough knowledge and research!
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