Replace a Bathroom Floor
LESLIE: Sharon in Texas is working on a bathroom project. What’s going on there?
SHARON: Hi. Well, yes, I’ve got a bath-and-a-half and I’m talking about the half-bathroom. There’s only a lavatory inside and the toilet. Now, I’m going to have to replace the flooring because the toilet has gotten old and I’m replacing it. Do I need to replace just where the toilet was or the whole floor?
LESLIE: Hmm. I mean you should be able – correct me if I’m wrong, Tom – be able to just replace the commode itself without damaging the floor, correct? Because it’s just attached with some bolts and a wax seal.
SHARON: The floor is getting old, too.
TOM: Well, then, you’re sort of moving into the three most expensive words in home improvement here: might as well. (Sharon and Leslie chuckle)
TOM: And so if you’re asking us to endorse the idea of replacing the floor, you have our blessing, you have our endorsements; we think you should just continue and do that. But if you’re asking me do you absolutely have to replace the floor, the answer is no. I will say, however, that sometimes the toilet base on the old toilet is a lot bigger than the toilet base on the new toilet and, if that happens, you could find yourself in a situation where the floor is somewhat unfinished around the toilet.
LESLIE: And I wouldn’t – Sharon, I wouldn’t just replace the flooring in the area of the commode; I feel like that might look very piecemeal and not very well thought-out or put together. You can find – I mean, if it’s a half-bath, you’re probably dealing with very small square-footage. Am I right?
LESLIE: So, generally, you’re probably looking at maybe – what – six square feet, eight square feet, ten square feet?
SHARON: (overlapping voices) Yeah, I’d say about six-and-a-half to seven.
TOM: Yeah, it’s not that much, so you might just go ahead and do it.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) So that’s not going to be that expensive and, depending on the type of flooring that you choose, I mean, you could find anything as low as $3 to $4 a square, depending on what you pick.
SHARON: OK. OK. Well, good. Thank you. Because it was like, “Do I replace the half of the floor or replace the whole floor?” And the reason why I keep saying about replacing, because I’ve noticed in the back of the toilet there, on the floor, it looks like it could – it’s wiggly. So, does that mean I need to replace it because it’s wiggly or just – could it be just the toilet itself?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Do you think the floor is soft in that area?
SHARON: Yes. I’m almost sure that it is.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Ah, well, here’s what’s going on. You may have a slight leak around the wax seal and if that’s the case, if the floor is soft, you may have some rotted subfloor there and that’s a little bit of a bigger repair. If that’s the case, you definitely are going to have to pull up the old floor and fix any of the rotted material that’s underneath it and put down a new floor.
SHARON: Thank you. Thank you because (inaudible at 0:04:19.2). I think that’s what I’m going to do; I feel safer that way.
TOM: (overlapping voices) See, I just gave you the reason you needed to replace that floor (Leslie chuckles), which is what you want to do, anyway.
SHARON: Well, yes, you did and I thank you (Tom and Leslie chuckle) so much for confirming that. (laughs)
TOM: Happy to help you out.
SHARON: (overlapping voices) Thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.