My bathroom floor project

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zannej

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Jon, I hate the wall-hung ones. The one in the 4th stall in the local Walmart bathroom is detaching. Others were all full, I had to use that one. Sat down and felt it move. It creaked and made noises and shifted with any movement I made. When I looked at it after standing back up I could see the caulk had cracked. Never gone in that stall again and I warned other people not to use that one.

I could not for the life of me find a pencil anywhere in my house to follow Highup's suggestions (will need to get another pencil I guess-- used to have tons of them that I'd see all around but now that I need one they went into hiding) and when I tried to pick up the toilet both my rotator cuff and deltoid muscle said "NOPE". They've both been aching ever since. Looks like I'm going to have to get my friend to help after all (or at least I can get my toilet jack back from him.

I'll have to get it at the store tomorrow when I go to get lunchmeat and cheese. Doofusaurus ate ALL of the cheese and lunchmeat and didn't tell me when we were at the grocery store yesterday.
 

zannej

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So, I mentioned in another thread that my plan now is to put down 1/4" underlayment quality (rated for floor) luan plywood over the entire floor of the bathroom after I fill in some of the dips in the floor on the edges (don't want the plywood cracking). I've seen people use shims to get a little extra height and level the floor, might consider trying that. Painting sticks could work in a pinch. I'd put them down to establish height and then pour the mix between.

I saw something about stapling every few inches when putting down luan-- particularly next to the seams. Not sure if staples will go through the leveling mix but I doubt it so I'll have to use some masonry bits and put some screws in.

Instead of having the foam underlayment stuff directly under the vinyl sheet, I will move it under the luan for insulation (and buffer the texture of the leveling mix a little more). The luan will be laid perpendicular to the joists (the current floor runs parallel). It should take about 2-1/2" sheets for the room up to the tub. Sadly, the luan is around $25 a sheet. Used to be around $5 from the local mill. I'm going to get it from Lowes to get military discount and lower tax though (tax in town is 10.45%, tax up there is 9.94%).

I have a pneumatic staple gun I can try out. I figure I can put some screws in each board to anchor them down initially and then tack with staples to reinforce. I was thinking of using a water sealant on the luan, but I realize that might react with the vinyl and it would be a pain to get it to dry. So, I plan to caulk all seams carefully and have perimeter tape. Since my toilet supply line is already run and has a shutoff on it, I can add one of those split escutcheons around it. Although, it is a push-fit sharkbite so I can turn off the water & pop it off to put an escutcheon down. I'd like to add a small PVC coupling on top of the escutcheon attached with clear silicone to add a little more support for the PEX line coming in. Worst case I could cut the coupling in half and glue it back together to get it around though.

Then I want to build a toilet platform because the ~14" toilet is too low for me. A ~16" height is comfortable for me so for my bathroom I'm thinking one 2x12 board for the base and two 1x6 boards for the top to stack it up. My current closet flange is cracked so it needs to be replaced. They sell a closet flange that is 5-1/2" tall so that could work for extending the flange down more. I figure I can glue & clamp the 1x6s on top of the 2x12 (adding some screws or nails on the underside for extra reinforcement), put the toilet base on top of some cardboard or poster board, trace around it, cut outside the line, and then use that as a template for cutting the base to fit (leaving a teeny overhang-- maybe 1/16 or so), sanding/smoothing, cut hole for closet flange, paint/seal the crap out of the base, caulk around the flange, get it in place and make sure it lines up, and caulk around the entire base. Once the toilet is set on it, I will caulk around the toilet on front and sides (leaving back open as recommended by plumbers in case of any leaks). I'll be using Better Than Wax ring.

Removing the old cracked closet flange will be a pain, but it needs to come out. Plumbing in there is not done right-- it has no vent. I will have to access plumbing from inside the wall where I am cutting it out & will be putting wainscoting on the lower half of the wall. But that will come later when I'm redoing the DWV system. It is sooo messed up right now. Tees where there should be wyes, not a single proper vent, s-traps galore, improper slope.. I'm going to try to salvage as much of the existing pipe as I can and use fernco fittings if possible.

There's also that joist that got cut completely through under the tub's P-trap so I will have to get some joist hangers and make a box w/ 2x6s.

As an aside, when I posted pictures of my workshop, people on another forum spotted a couple of bandsaws. I'm hoping to get them running to see if I can cut the curve of the toilet. Worst case though, I do have jigsaws.

TL DR?
I'm going to put luan down & add a 2" high toilet platform from boards to make my toilet higher.
 

highup

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I'm kind of lost on the reason for the plywood. The leveling compound should just be smoothed out and go directly over that. If the floor isn't flawlessly flat then you certainly don't want to put quarter inch plywood on top of it. Quarter inch plywood is not meant to smooth out a bumpy floor.
With quarter inch plywood, you'd be putting a screw or a staple every four or five inches throughout the entire surface of the panel, and about every two and a half inches long the seams maybe even closer. If you put that many fasteners into the leveling compound you'd probably shatter it into little pieces.
When installers use quarter inch plywood, it's to put a fresh surface on an already smooth floor.
I'd try to find someone to finish smoothing out the floor and forget the plywood.
 

Tile Tom

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I'm more concerned with putting padding under the luan/underlayment. I can see movement causing the staples to not seat properly.
And what's with the luan anyway? Like said above, if you use self leveler then that should be the final layer before flooring.
 

zannej

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Gathered all of my tools and materials. Started sifting the mix (there were huge clumps) and measuring it out. Had my trowel ready. Then Mom paged me and I had to go see what she wanted. I don't remember what it was but I repeatedly told her I was busy and needed to get back to what I was doing. She wanted me to get something for her I think. I set my trowel down while doing it and couldn't find it afterward. Went back in without it and was so annoyed & distracted I screwed up the ratio of the mix. Transposed the powder and liquid portions. Realized it when the mix wouldn't thicken up. Said "Oh shit!" and started sifting powder as fast as I could and putting it in a dry container. Finished off the whole bag of mix (almost half of it was clumps). Spilled stuff everywhere. I kept having to add more powder and the mix splashed all over when I was using the mixer. Finally got a good consistency with no lumps.Had been over 15min since I started mixing so rushed to try to get it poured out and spread. My secondary trowel kept sticking to the mix and messing it up. Had a scraper thingy I used to try to smooth it out. Ended up deciding not to try to rinse the stuff out afterward bc my back gave up on me & I was overheating. It's not perfect, but its better than it was. I filled in some of the big pits. Sill could use a little fine-tuning in terms of a top coat. I tried to dump the bucket out but stuff stuck inside it so I decided to just give up on that bucket and get a new one if I need to do more later. I filled in a few craters and its better than it was before so I will say I'm somewhat happy with it.

First pick was from right after I finished spreading it. Next two are from over an hour later. I'm going to let it sit over 24hrs and let it dry. Probably put it on too thick in some places but I don't plan on doing anything with those. Accidentally stepped in it at one point and messed it up a bit. LOL.
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When it dries a bit more I'm going to sand it a little to try to get it smooth.
 

C.J.

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Gathered all of my tools and materials. Started sifting the mix (there were huge clumps) and measuring it out. Had my trowel ready. Then Mom paged me and I had to go see what she wanted. I don't remember what it was but I repeatedly told her I was busy and needed to get back to what I was doing. She wanted me to get something for her I think. I set my trowel down while doing it and couldn't find it afterward. Went back in without it and was so annoyed & distracted I screwed up the ratio of the mix. Transposed the powder and liquid portions. Realized it when the mix wouldn't thicken up. Said "Oh shit!" and started sifting powder as fast as I could and putting it in a dry container. Finished off the whole bag of mix (almost half of it was clumps). Spilled stuff everywhere. I kept having to add more powder and the mix splashed all over when I was using the mixer. Finally got a good consistency with no lumps.Had been over 15min since I started mixing so rushed to try to get it poured out and spread. My secondary trowel kept sticking to the mix and messing it up. Had a scraper thingy I used to try to smooth it out. Ended up deciding not to try to rinse the stuff out afterward bc my back gave up on me & I was overheating. It's not perfect, but its better than it was. I filled in some of the big pits. Sill could use a little fine-tuning in terms of a top coat. I tried to dump the bucket out but stuff stuck inside it so I decided to just give up on that bucket and get a new one if I need to do more later. I filled in a few craters and its better than it was before so I will say I'm somewhat happy with it.

First pick was from right after I finished spreading it. Next two are from over an hour later. I'm going to let it sit over 24hrs and let it dry. Probably put it on too thick in some places but I don't plan on doing anything with those. Accidentally stepped in it at one point and messed it up a bit. LOL.
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When it dries a bit more I'm going to sand it a little to try to get it smooth.

Three coats! You get three coats then you are required to dispose of said prep trowel.
 

zannej

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Thanks, CJ! I'm calling it done at 3 coats. Not perfect but I think if I try to do more I'll make it worse.

I'll get more pics after it dries more. Right now just the parts at the very back and edge of the cabinet are still dark. Footprint disappeared at least. There were some existing craters that I was able to fill. I found a trowel that was rubbery on the bottom (couldn't find my metal one) so it stuck to stuff but it was actually good for getting stuff into the pits. I know i'm not supposed to press hard, but I did to get it into pits and level things out a bit more. Nothing looks like it will transfer through the vinyl sheet now.

Need to go in and clean up. Sweep & shopvac up. I read reviews that this stuff sometimes takes days to fully dry if you put it on a little too thick- and I did just that. Gonna give it a week to fully cure. I don't think the area where the toilet will sit will be affected if I try to move it in, but I want to see how the floor feels in a few days. IIRC, the mfr said it takes about a week to actually cure. I could be mistaken though. It's walkable now though.

I'm happy with myself for getting at least something done. I am such a procrastinator and I was so worried I'd screw this up that I kept putting it off. I did screw it up but I didn't give up and I decided to just go for it and get it done. Will have to find a new bucket bc when I tried to clean out the one I used my back noped out on me. My legs were like jelly for the next few hours. I'm a wuss. LOL.

The feedback from people really helps to motivate me. Once I clean up I'm going to set the sheet vinyl down and hope the hole I cut for the supply line will fit over the shutoff. If not, I'm going to put a floor ring down anyway. Need to find my flooring tape. I bought it 3x and each time it disappeared. I might need help to get my toilet into the bathroom since, as I mentioned before, I'm a wuss. My tank is under the pieces of a desk my brother is supposed to put in his room & assemble. Hoping it didn't get damaged. I was ticked at him for piling stuff on top of it. At least I have a spare lid if anything happens to the new lid.
 

zannej

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Its all dry and feels solid. The dark stuff remaining is stained from the additive splashing. The splotch I spilled on the closet flange has been removed since this photo.
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zannej

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I have the sheet vinyl loosely in place. I need to move stuff out of the room to free it up to pivot it a little. Gap around the closet flange might be too big, but I still have scraps of the flooring left over that I can scab in as a worst case scenario. Will need to sweep, vacuum, and clean with apple cider vinegar. I'll also try to clean up the cabinets where it got splattered. It needs another coat of paint anyway-- also need to putty up some of the voids on the sides of the doors, fill some nail holes, etc.

Any good tips for getting the sheet to be completely flat without bubbles when I have holes cut and stuff poking through? Need to find my flooring tape after I get everything cleaned up and straightened out. I'm going to perimeter tape it and tape around the closet flange.
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It's filthy right now, but I hope the apple cider vinegar will get it looking better.
Question: Do I dilute the vinegar with water?

Back and left wall will get wainscoting and baseboard. Might do shoe molding or quarterround on the side of the cabinet. Probably quarterround since the toekick edge has a weird curve to it.

Rough sketchup models of the bathroom:
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C.J.

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I like that you have the material laying out in place. Gives it a chance to relax and lay flat. I use a push broom to push out any bubbles and get the vinyl laying flat. If it is binding up on anything you give it a little relief cut and broom it flat again.

I haven’t used the tape yet. It’s either full spread or loose lay for me. Will be interesting to get some feedback on how you like the tape.
 

zannej

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I like that you have the material laying out in place. Gives it a chance to relax and lay flat. I use a push broom to push out any bubbles and get the vinyl laying flat. If it is binding up on anything you give it a little relief cut and broom it flat again.

I haven’t used the tape yet. It’s either full spread or loose lay for me. Will be interesting to get some feedback on how you like the tape.
Thanks, CJ. I didn't think about using a push-broom for some reason but that is a great idea! I have a push-broom somewhere....
I actually bought a new one but it disappeared into the nether.

When you looselay without tape, how do you secure it? Baseboards?

If I can find the damn tape again I'm thinking of just putting it down in small pieces rather than long pieces bc my luck with anything adhesive is not good. All my cassette tapes and VHS tapes have crooked labels. Although, this doesn't need to be completely straight or anything I think-- so long as it catches where I need to catch, then I can caulk the perimeter, put down baseboards, caulk again...

I've actually had the material laid out for years but the patched floor had too much of a ridge so that's why I used the leveling mix. I folded the vinyl sheet back so I could work on the leveling. I probably should've just used a tiny amount of some sort of stuff at the ridge instead of the full-pour around the closet flange. Hindsight is 20/20 though. I did a better job spreading it than my friend did (he's the one who did the first two layers). He tried his best but he'd never worked with this stuff before.

After my left knee stops acting up I'm going to move furniture in my room (I need to take out an end table I got at a flea market and set it up for Mom to use since she likes it better than the end table she's been using next to her desk. The one I have has doors on it for extra storage. Gonna move stuff out of the bathroom and set it up out of the way so I can straighten the vinyl up and clean.

The toekick is going to be a bit of a pain. It originally was just a void that went all the way under the cabinet. I scabbed a piece of luan up there but there was a gap. Tried using tub surround strip but that didn't take. It fell off. I think maybe if I use the tape I might be able to get it to stay up and block off that gap so mice/roaches can't get in.

Puppies chewed some of the baseboards I was going to put in so I will have to buy more.
 

C.J.

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When you looselay without tape, how do you secure it? Baseboards?

When you loose lay you are essentially installing a floating floor. Instead of tiles or planks you’re installing sheet vinyl, either way it just lays there.

You should be just fine loose laying a bathroom. I hesitate to loose lay in areas that will have things moving on top of it. Dining room chairs and sometimes even appliances. When I was in S.C. I loose laid a kitchen only to find out that the old lady pulled out her fridge out once a week to clean behind it. Her grandson would pull, twist and whatever else he did to move the fridge for granny. I went back a couple times to fix the vinyl that had shifted during the moving of the fridge. I even explained that if they just rolled the fridge straight out and straight back there wouldn’t be any problems. Suppose I coulda used that tape under the fridge but I ended up making a trip back to the customers house so I could pull the kitchen back and full spreading the entire job which I knew I shoulda done from the get go. It’s crap like that that gives me bad vibes about loose laying vinyl yet at the same time I loose laid some of the cheapest vinyl in my bathroom and bedroom and haven’t had any problems at all. I used a strip of booger tape at the seam and that’s it.
 

zannej

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When you loose lay you are essentially installing a floating floor. Instead of tiles or planks you’re installing sheet vinyl, either way it just lays there.

You should be just fine loose laying a bathroom. I hesitate to loose lay in areas that will have things moving on top of it. Dining room chairs and sometimes even appliances. When I was in S.C. I loose laid a kitchen only to find out that the old lady pulled out her fridge out once a week to clean behind it. Her grandson would pull, twist and whatever else he did to move the fridge for granny. I went back a couple times to fix the vinyl that had shifted during the moving of the fridge. I even explained that if they just rolled the fridge straight out and straight back there wouldn’t be any problems. Suppose I coulda used that tape under the fridge but I ended up making a trip back to the customers house so I could pull the kitchen back and full spreading the entire job which I knew I shoulda done from the get go. It’s crap like that that gives me bad vibes about loose laying vinyl yet at the same time I loose laid some of the cheapest vinyl in my bathroom and bedroom and haven’t had any problems at all. I used a strip of booger tape at the seam and that’s it.
Ah, that is good to know. I think with the toilet down it should stay and if I ever need to move the toilet it gets rolled on a toilet jack. I do want to caulk all around the baseboards and stuff once they are in just to limit chances of water getting underneath. I do plan to leave some of the edges a little long to run up the wall just a teeny bit on the places where I have some excess.

I have to say, I'm amazed the flooring doesn't have a huge crease where It was folded over and stepped on so many times.
 

zannej

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I adjusted the position but am finding it still slides too easily for my liking so I will do some perimeter tape. The good news is, I found the tape! I need to give it a good scrubbing. I also have the part near the door folded up because it needs to be trimmed a little and trying to fit stuff around the door can be a royal pain. I'm going to have to pry up the carpet and cram this under and tack the carpet back down, but still need to trim some stuff. The super filthy part folded up is what was sticking up over the carpet in the bedroom. The carpet guys cut the carpet too far back so the vinyl shows under the door but I don't really care. Although, I'm tempted to just get some sort of transition strip for that area. I'm thinking oak that I can paint or stain. Then I might not have to pull the carpet up.
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Any tips on handling the doorway area & tucking it under carpet? Carpet looks like it is rolled over (I forgot to get pics and have to keep the door shut to keep cats out).
 

zannej

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I just vacuumed and adjusted the floor again-- vacuum kept pulling the floor up in spots and was annoying. I still need to lay the stuff near the door down flatter, but I think I can tape near the tub. Even with vacuuming there is still a fine layer of dust from the leveling mix and I'm trying to figure what liquid to use to clean it up without activating it to make it stick more. Any suggestions? I should have worn a dust mask in there. Stupid little shopvac stopped working properly (no suction) and I had to kick it to make it work again. Probably dislodged something. The powder is coating the outside of the shopvac and I want to wipe it off but don't want to activate the powder and make it stick worse. I can't use alcohol on the vinyl... Would vinegar work? Maybe apple cider vinegar?

I'm about to go once more unto the breach and see about doing the trimming and perimeter taping. I'm happy with how it sits near the tub and alongside the vanity. Wish I had some bricks inside to set on it to make it stay in place. LOL. Might move some stuff back in to hold it down. I'll see how it goes after I get first couple edges taped.
 

C.J.

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Static cling is what’s making the dust stick to your shop vac. If your patch on the floor is dusty that makes me wonder if it was mixed correctly or if it was over watered. Doesn’t matter now I guess. Would priming the floor help the same as if you were dealing with gypsum? Since you’re loose laying the floor could you cheap out and jimmyrig a solution to your dusty floor without worrying about the jimmyrigged solution being a bond breaker? Could you hit the floor with a coat of hairspray? We used to snap chalk lines then coat over them with hairspray to keep them from being swept or vacuumed away. I’m sure your double stick tape wouldn’t have any problem adhering to that.
 

zannej

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Shopvac got dusty after my friend used the angle grinder to take down the biggest lumps/bumps. Then when I was doing the mix last time, the effing box fell over and powder went everywhere. It was on the counter and it tipped and spilled on the counter, then the whole box fell on the floor and powder went flying.

I don't own hair spray & haven't ever owned hair spray so that is out.. LOL. I think my mother may have had some in the 80s.

The tape turned out to be more like viscous glue with paper backing. It mostly stuck on the floor where I wanted it except in one or two spots. Stuck to my scissors, my socks, and to me though. But, it did the job. It's not perfect, but I'm ok with it.

I swept, vacuumed and mopped but I need to deep clean the floor more. Mop I used wasn't cutting it and the brand new floor cleaner I bought disappeared into the nether. I hate that I can never find stuff in this house. I started losing daylight and the light in that room absolutely sucks. It is too dull and it keeps flickering- which was was annoying the hell out of me. I think I need to replace the bulb but its not easy with that heat/vent/light thing. I can't remember how to open it.

I got down on the floor and started to scrub but my body said "NOPE" and I had to call it a day. I'll have to work on it more tomorrow when I can see better in there.

I really need to get these stains up near the door (this was from before I started cleaning). Didn't help that the bottoms of my shoes are filthy. LOL.
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After some cleaning:
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I'll look for my floor cleaner more later. I need to do some major cleaning in the kitchen and hopefully its in there somewhere. If not, I'll buy another one-- which I hate to have to do, but might be necessary.
I probably cut off too much to the left of the door but that piece was giving me hell on trying to get the stuff to go under the door and lay flat and I finally just got mad. I plan to put trim over it anyway. Worst case, I have some wood blocks in the workshop I can trim to fit and plunk them down on either side of the door. All of the wood trim is rough and needs to be sanded, but I plan to paint the trim pieces white. I might replace some of the pieces with edge trim instead of just 1x1 strips.
 

C.J.

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I don’t own hairspray either but if I was looking at droppin $20 for a gallon of primer or $5 for some Aquanet for a one time goof, I’m buyin hairspray.

Lookin good though so keep it up.
 

zannej

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I think I still have some primer somewhere. I need to do more coats of paint on the vanity after filling in the voids on the sides of the plywood doors with some wood putty. I tried sanding the splashed leveling mix off the side to no avail. I may have to do more wainscoting than I'd originally planned because the old printed wall panels are somewhat fragile and you can see in some of the pictures that strips of it peeled off in places.

I need to get some sort of floor scrubbing brush and some hot water and see if I can get the grime off the floor. I need to attach one of the vanity doors that fell off, get some bins and wipe down all the stuff on top of the vanity and put stuff away, throw out stuff that is garbage, etc. I suppose I should clean the top of the vanity first since I'm sure stuff will fall on the floor and get it dirty again. LOL. Although, I do want to clean the area around the closet flange so I can put the toilet in before I get all of the stuff off the vanity. I have it piled high with junk. Then I can start tackling taking stuff out of the tub. I really need to clear some space in my tool closet to be able to put away some of the tools I've been using. I have a large box of drill bits that belonged to my father. Nice sturdy ones. They don't make them like that anymore. I was going to put the chest of drawers next to the toilet but I think I'll but a trash bin there and have the drawers across from the toilet. I need to replace all the towel bars and stuff too.
 

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