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Unread 02-18-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 211
floor & toilet problem

My mother in law has a small full bathroom in her home that was remodeled about 10-12 years ago. Unfortunately her husband passed away a few years ago and there's not much record of who or what was done exactly.

I was asked to take a look at the toilet when I was there for the holidays and found that it was not stable, rocking back and forth pretty easily. The nuts were screwed down pretty tight but it didn't appear to be shimmed at all and had no caulk around the base. I said I'd bring my stuff with me next time and check it out...

... so this past weekend I arrived with tools in tow, removed the toilet, and found this disaster.

Crumbled grout, cracked tiles, rusted closet flange, rotted subfloor (both layers of plywood), and tiles set directly to plywood and with zero coverage. That cracked piece popped off with a gentle finger tug. Yikes. Note the flex supply hose is routed down the drain for now as the valve wouldn't stop the flow completely so I had to do something with it. It's all sealed up with plastic and tape for now.

So it looks like I'll be tasked to fix this. The good news is the basement below is unfinished so access for plumbing is easy. I have no idea what kind of drain that is, the top of it is above the floor but it didn't have the flange built in. The flange was a separate, two piece metal ring screwed into the floor with about 6 screws. There was a thin, wide rubber gasket atop the drain that I suppose was serving the role of the wax ring but didn't look like any of the wax ring alternatives I've seen.

I figure the order of operations will be to remove the tiles (6 of them, 12x12s) that are around the toilet, cut out the top layer of plywood, and see how bad the bottom layer is. With any luck only a relatively small section spanning the joists on either side of the drain will need to be replaced, which I can then go over with a second layer of an appropriate thickness, install a new drain with an integrated flange (like this maybe?, and tile on an appropriate substrate. I advised her that unless there was a box of spare tiles lying around somewhere the new ones wouldn't match and that it might be tricky to get the finished height exactly the same, but got the impression she'd rather go that route than have me demo and redo the entire floor. This being 3 hours away and me having no shortage of work to do in my own home struck me as a good compromise

Any thoughts or tips as I do my planning? I'm probably not going to be working on it until April. Thanks.
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