shaving joists


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Old 08-09-07, 07:46 PM
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shaving joists

I think I posted this question in the wrong place before...this board is probably the better place.

I want to add hardwood flooring to my kitchen and dinette area that matches the look and height of the flooring in the adjoining family room.

The subfloor height of the kitchen matches the height of the subfloor in the family room, but the subfloor in the dinette area is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch higher (a poorly done addition).

We found someone willing to shave down the joists in the dinette area (about 12' X 8'). I was hoping to get someone else's opinion on this. Is this OK to do? Will we have to reinforce the joists somehow? Any "Gotchas" to watch out for?

Thank you for your consideration.
Sue
 
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Old 08-09-07, 09:26 PM
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I will go out on a limb here (I'm no floor specialist) but speaking strictly as a carpenter, generally it is not a good idea to reduce the width of any floor joist. Granted, 1/2 to 3/4" does not sound like much, and maybe no harm would be done if your floor joists are 2x12 or 2x10. But a 2x8's strength would be marginalized, and you would certainly never do that to a 2x6 which is usually too small to use for a floor joist anyway. You did not mention the size of your existing floor joists.

Add to that the fact that lumber is milled in such a way that the strongest part of the board is oriented down the center. If you remove some of the wood on either side of center, you change the structural strength of the entire board. Basically it is the same reason that a 2x4 will be stronger than a 2x8 that has been cut in half.

Like I said, I don't do floors, but I'd recommend that you make a sloped transition (threshold) between the two floors of different levels. But maybe others have done this before with good results. I'll be interested to learn what their experience has shown.
 
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Old 08-11-07, 02:21 PM
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I will agree with Sleeper. My question would be what is the floor and the sub-flooring like in the dinette area. I guess you could cut your floor joists if you wanted to, but I would not if they were mine, unless they were 2 x 12's, 16" oc. I think I would taper your hardwood into your dinette area and out again.
Sometimes 1/2" is not much, other times it is a mountain. Good Luck
 
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Old 08-15-07, 08:32 PM
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shaving joists is not a good idea for two reasons:
1. the quality of wood joists is based on the type and quantity of defects (knots, etc.) and how close they are to the top and bottom of the joist. any defects at the top or bottom edge seriously reduce the strength of the joist, so if you shave them down, you may expose defects that were previously in the middle of the joist and not a problem, but now are. shaving the top edge is better thant the bottom edge in this case.
2. the key to a floor that feels solid and not bouncy is the depth of the joists. for comparison, if you shave a 2x8 joist down 3/4" you reduce the stiffness 28%. if you shave a 2x10 down 3/4" you cut the stiffness by 22%. if you have to shave the joists or you life wont be complete, reinforce the floor by sistering a new joist onto every other existing joist, and you should be okay
 
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Old 08-17-07, 03:37 PM
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where does the old stop and the new start

Originally Posted by newtoremodel View Post
I think I posted this question in the wrong place before...this board is probably the better place.

I want to add hardwood flooring to my kitchen and dinette area that matches the look and height of the flooring in the adjoining family room.

The subfloor height of the kitchen matches the height of the subfloor in the family room, but the subfloor in the dinette area is about 1/2 - 3/4 inch higher (a poorly done addition).

We found someone willing to shave down the joists in the dinette area (about 12' X 8'). I was hoping to get someone else's opinion on this. Is this OK to do? Will we have to reinforce the joists somehow? Any "Gotchas" to watch out for?

Thank you for your consideration.
Sue
What is the thickness of the existing hardwood? If 3/4 ", then can you match that with a new click together 3/8" flooring in the Kitchen? OB
 
 

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