No Joist support for last 20" under cast iron tub

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by soparklion11, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Mar 20, 2017 #1

    soparklion11

    soparklion11

    soparklion11

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    House built 1940s. The 2nd floor bathroom has an original cast iron tub. The tub is supported by 3 joists but the sill does not touch the 4th joist. There is no support at the end of the tub either - leaving No Joist support for last 20" under the tub sill. There is a 4 ft long 2x4 stringer that the back of the tub rests upon. A closet under the tub provides a wall under the sill, so the joists are really just providing vertical support and there is effectively nothing to span in order to support the tub. The plumbing under the tub and an HVAC duct complicates replacement of a full joist or placement of a buddy joist member.

    The tub doesn't move. There is no creaking when it is loaded. There is no cracking of the wall tile above the tub.

    Do I need to span that gap?

    20170319_180155.jpg
     
  2. Mar 20, 2017 #2

    nealtw

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    Can you post some more photos so we can better understand.

    Then what exactly is the problem in question.
     
  3. Mar 20, 2017 #3

    joecaption

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    It's been that way for over 70 years without an issue, why is there one now?
     
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  4. Mar 20, 2017 #4

    Sparky617

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    Is the picture showing a gap between the bottom of the joist and the top of the sill plate? Is the joist compromised at all? If the joist is otherwise sound, and you're concerned about the joist not resting on the sill, just install blocking under the joist to fill the space between the joist and the sill plate. If the joist is all carved up for plumbing and HVAC a picture with more perspective might be helpful. As you state in the original post the edge of the tub is supported on a cleat in the wall, not by resting on the floor.

    While I'm sympathetic to Joe's comment, I've seen far too often in older homes areas where rot and liberal carving by trades over the years have removed any means of support for toilets and tubs. You start pulling things apart and wonder why hasn't this collapsed already.
     
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  5. Mar 21, 2017 #5

    Mastercarpenty

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    I agree wholeheartedly- if there were going to be a problem you'd see it by now. I will add that you shouldn't alter or remove any support there for other things like HVAC or plumbing, It's working fine but if you change anything that could change too.

    Lots of things in old houses were built in ways which we don't consider acceptable today, but in most cases they worked well and often still do. Most of the lumber back then was from 'old growth' trees; denser and stronger than the same size stuff today. Most of the tradesmen back then knew how to get the best from it and selected a better piece if needed instead of just grabbing the next board from the stack. Craftsmanship and pride mattered more then than now, and more time was given to do the job well instead of fast.. Not all the old houses were built well, but most of those still remaining were, and that is why I love them.

    It ain't broke so it doesn't need fixing, but if you do need to do something there then first study and understand how they did it and why, then do your thing with that in mind so the old work isn't being compromised by the new, but complementing it instead.

    Phil
     
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  6. Mar 21, 2017 #6

    soparklion11

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    It all started with a need to replace a toilet... then the toilet flange was broken... the tile floor was on a mud box that had broken down such that there wasn't anything to screw the flange into and the grout was fractured... see attached photos. With exposure of the underlying tile was a layer of 'period mosaic' on a mud box. The copper pipes ran through the mudbox and the old cloth-covered Romex was also exposed. Many sub-projects.

    I noticed that the near end of the tub wasn't on any sort of support. True, the wall tile at this end isn't cracking but I think that the cement mud box ran slightly under the sill on this end of the tub. I would expect it to need some support. I plan to rip a 2x6 and shim it into place on the buddy joist that is to the left of the joist in the photo. The buddy joist is a 2x6 that hasn't been ripped - the joist was ripped to allow for the mud box.

    I expected this in my old house - from the 1890s. I thought that I'd recognize more of the materials and techniques from the 1940s. Apparently to get space under the bathtub in order to plumb the drain, they burned away part of the joist... or they had a seemingly controlled indoor fire in an opportune location.

    20170219_200341.jpg

    20170219_201615.jpg
     
  7. Mar 21, 2017 #7

    nealtw

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    So is it your intention to replace the concrete and tile?
     
  8. Mar 22, 2017 #8

    soparklion11

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    I plan to install 3/4" plywood, hardibacker and tile. There will be a step-up onto the new tile. I can deal with that...
     
  9. Mar 22, 2017 #9

    nealtw

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    So if the old concrete goes under the tub, it needs to be supported while you do the work?
    Is the ceiling below open for inspection?
     
  10. Mar 22, 2017 #10

    slownsteady

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    Probably not burned for size but as a side effect of a pipe-sweating expedition.
     
  11. Mar 23, 2017 #11

    soparklion11

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    They burned a 20" wide path through 2x10 and two 2x8s.
     
  12. Mar 23, 2017 #12

    Sparky617

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    That seems very odd. Can you capture a picture of it? Any pipes near it? Any evidence of old electrical? Sweating (soldering) pipes can produce a spot of charring on the joists adjacent to the fitting but it would be unusual for a something 20" long let alone burning through a joist. Too much risk of burning the house down if they were using burning to intentionally cut through a framing member.
     

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