LESLIE: Kim in Nebraska is working on a bathroom-flooring project. How can we help you?
KIM: We had a leaky stool and so we are needing to replace our stool. But as we lifted it up, we could see that there was rotted subfloor and we replaced that.
TOM: Hey, Kim, you said that you had a leaky what?
KIM: The stool. The toilet?
TOM: Oh, the stool. Oh, is that what you call a toilet? A stool? Yeah, that must be a Nebraska thing. I’d never heard that before.
KIM: I know. It sounds a little bit nicer than “toilet.”
TOM: Alright. So, we’ve established that your toilet is leaking and it apparently has rotted out your bathroom floor.
KIM: And so we replaced the subflooring that was rotted. But websites were suggesting that if I’m going to replace the floor, just go ahead and take the rest of that one – the old vinyl linoleum off. And it’s original to the house, so it’s 27 years old.
And so, I’ve been slowly doing that. I’ve just been scoring it and using a 4-inch scraping blade to get it off. But I’m really gouging that particle board underneath.
TOM: What are you going to use for underlayment?
KIM: It suggested the underlayment – wood?
TOM: So, what I would suggest you do is get all the rest of that linoleum off. And if the floor is really gouged up and you want to put something that’s got a little bit of strength to it, I would use 3/8-inch plywood. Just make sure it’s like AC plywood so you have one really smooth side, like A-grade on one side, maybe C on the other. Or ½-inch.
But 3/8- or ½-inch should be fine for the underlayment. And that will take up any depressions in the floor caused by the scratches or the gouging, OK? And then, on top of that, you can add the tile and go from there.
KIM: OK. That sounds great.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.