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Replacing a Bathroom Subfloor V.2

Posted 01-29-2010 at 12:37 AM by faucetman886

If you are a frequent reader of my blogsite, you know that I have the “Sitemeter” system installed. Not only does it give me an accurate count on my number of visitors it also tells me what question or site led you to me, how long you stayed, how many pages you read, your geographic location and a lot more demographic info. This allows me to see what works for you and what you’re looking to learn. I watch this info daily, usually looking at every visitor daily which can be a job in itself on high traffic days. What this allows me to do is to make sure I giving you answers and material that you want and need. The most widely read of my blogs and most frequently asked questions, should come to you as no surprise, is “whats that smell”. On this subject alone I have probably researched and written 6 or more different blogs, one just last week. Another frequently visited blog is the one I wrote on replacing the subfloor in your bathroom:

To make sure that you are getting all of the info you need on this subject I found an additional article that gives some even better step by step info on this not so easy task. Hopefully, now, if you read the old blog and combine it with the info below you will be fully prepared to patch or fully replace a bathroom subfloor.

Replace a Bathroom Subfloor in Six not so Easy Steps
If your bathroom subfloor is made of plywood or OSB, chances are that at one point or the other you are going to suffer some water damage to it. Why? Think of all the possibilities for a water leak in a bathroom – sink leaks, bathtub overflows, toilet overflows or leaking wax ring; you get the idea. When this happens, your choice is obvious. You must know how to replace a bathroom subfloor.

1. Dismantle the Bathroom: The bathroom is a fairly small area to hold so many devices. Consider a bathtub/shower, a toilet, a sink, etc. The first thing to do is remove all of these things. Leave the bathtub for last. You don't want to fool with that if the subfloor around it is stable. You will also want to take up your existing finish flooring, obviously. Chances of saving anything here are minimal so don't waste your time on it. Just rip it up! Get some help removing the toilet. These things are so heavy and awkward you can strain your back. If you have a large vanity you may be able to set it in the tub. Or, if the subfloor is stable around it leave it in.

2. Survey the Subfloor Damage: Here's your chance to come to your senses and call a real carpenter. If you are not overcome with the adequate fear, proceed forward. Is it just one spot of the subfloor that went bad? If it is a small section you may get away with a patch job. If the damage is large enough it will warrant ripping up and replacing it all (other than the areas we discussed previously).

3. Remove the Subfloor: Mark out the lines you will be cutting with a chalk line. If you keep your cuts square you will be simplifying the task of installing the new subfloor.
To remove the subfloor you will need a circular saw, safety glasses, a claw hammer, a crowbar, and a chisel. Begin by cutting out the subfloor with the circular saw. Take caution not to run over any nails. Set the depth of the blade just a hair deeper than the thickness of the subfloor. Get out as much as you can with the saw. At some point you will have to resort to the hammer and chisel. When cutting parallel to a floor joist, cut down the center of one so you will have something to nail to. Pull these nails so you will not cut through them with the saw. After the subfloor is out, take a look at the floor joists. If any are damaged you will have to sister them which means to reinforce the existing beam by nailing another beam to it to give the damaged on stability. Remember to use the same size and length of lumber as the one you connect to.

4: Install the New Subfloor: Now it is time to reinstall your bathroom subfloor. If you are planning to go back with ceramic tile as a finish floor, consider installing backer board and skimming it with thin set. Otherwise, use either pressure treated or marine plywood of the same thickness as the original. Nail down or screw with deck screws? I prefer the screws. They have a better hold and are more moisture tolerant.

5. Install the finish floor of your choice: Just remember that laminate flooring is not a choice in a bathroom environment. If you want that look use real wood and two coats of polyurethane.

6. Reinstall everything: Finally, put the vanity, toilet, and anything else back in place. Don't forget to use a new wax ring on the toilet! See my specific blog on how to best go about replacing the ring:

As always I hope this info along with my other blog on this subject will help you to replace your subfloor as easily as possible. Full credit is given, along with my thanks for the use of this material, to the source of the information contained herein and can be found in its entirety at:
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