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Unread 07-06-2020, 04:08 PM   #1
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the mystery of the nonsensical bathroom

This isn't really a question, this floor is getting vinyl sheet. Just wanted to share this because it's going to haunt me.

I've got a small 4'x6' half-bath upstairs. So-so floor tile job, enough lippage that the toilet rocked until I caulked around the base. Hasn't cracked but it would've sooner or later. The whole upstairs is getting renovated so I'm ripping it up. I start in the back corner next to the toilet. I pull up a tile to find ...
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... another tile just like the one I removed. I keep going. I find GP DenseShield used as underlayment.
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Screwed down over the original floor planks. Keep going. I find this gypsum board spanning an 8 in gap where they cut out to the floor boards to work on the plumbing.
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The gap I get. It's under the vanity. Close enough. But why bother with DenseShield at $40 a sheet, span it 5 of the 6 feet of the length of the floor, and space up the last row in the back with spare tiles? Didn't feel like cutting around the toilet drain? Had a spare chunk?
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Unread 07-06-2020, 07:01 PM   #2
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As an aside, if your toilet doesn't sit without rocking, you MUST shim it. You need to locate the shims prior to setting it down on the wax, as the wax isn't a spring, and once compressed, will leave a gap when it rocks back. Many places REQUIRE caulking around the toilet. This is for two reasons:
- help prevent it from moving (the porcelain toilet on a slick tile won't be held in place strictly by the bolts
- it prevents crud from seeping underneath the rim (dirty mop water, misses, dribbles, etc., where it's nearly impossible to clean out again)

On that last point, most of them want you to leave the back open so it's easier to spot a leak, should one occur. They make some special caulks for that...don't use 100% silicone as that will make it REALLY difficult to remove the toilet!

FWIW, I tend to use coins as my shims, but you can buy plastic shims. I wouldn't use wooden ones or a composite that might swell if it got wet. I don't have to run to the store to get any, and it's often cheaper than buying them as you tend to use either a penny, nickel, or a dime. Some find it neat to use ones minted the year you're doing the install so it is timestamped!
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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Unread 07-07-2020, 08:38 AM   #3
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The toilet from this bathroom is sitting in my garage. Caulking around its base was probably the first thing I did around the house after moving in and worked surprisingly well. I did leave a gap in the back but that was because I couldn't reach back there. When I pulled it up (and yes, it was silicone and I did have to cut it), there was no signs of leaks. How exactly does a loose wax ring cause a leak? Doesn't the horn on the bottom direct all the flushables down the pipe? Is it sewer gas? Seems like it would only back up if the pipe itself was clogged and then you have problems either way.

The latest toilet that i set in the bathroom I built was done exactly as you described. But I used plastic wedge shims. It hadn't occurred to me to use coins and I probably couldn't bring myself to do it if it had.
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Unread 07-07-2020, 09:01 AM   #4
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When using a wax ring, if the toilet rocks to one side the wax gets compressed. Then when the toilet rocks to the other side a gap is opened, either between the toilet and wax or the wax and drain flange, because the wax does not spring back to its original height after being compressed.

There's splashing occurring when that sudden dump of water into the drain. If the opened gap(s) are between the toilet and the way it can leak a little bit there. And, sewer gasses, of course.
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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