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Old 02-25-2007, 11:21 AM   #1
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


Hello, I'm new to the forum, so this is my first post. I just have a question about installing a new floor in my bathroom.

First I have to mention that I'm not the most handy guy, so if my descriptions or explainations about my situation aren't the best, bear with me I am also someone who has a disability, so in doing this project myself I'm looking for what would be the easiest option for me to do, which still produces good results.

Currently my bathroom floor consists of what I think are low grade peel and stick tiles. I want to replace it because the floor just looks old, dingy, and disgusting. One tile has lifted and bent at a corner, exposing whatever it was adhered to underneath. Other tiles have slight seperations between them, and others have edges that are riding up onto adjacent tiles a bit. Upon further examination I see that the tiles are not really adhered any more, as I could probably rip each one up with no effort at all.

So, what I want to do as it's easier for me to do myself, is put down higher grade peel and stick tiles. I do know that I'll have to put down an underlayment first because they will definately not stick to the flooring I have now.

My plan is to either rip up the old tiles or just lay the new floor over the existing floor. Regardless of how I do it (although just going over the existing floor would be easier), I was planning on doing a few things to make it easier on me:

1) I know that plywood is generally used as an underlayment, so I was going to get however many sheets I need, and possibly cut them in half, just to make them easier for me to work with. I'd rather deal with a 4x4 piece than a 4x8.

2) I was considering installing the floor around the toilet, making a template of the shape of the toilet. This is because I can't really be without use of the bathroom for too long, and lord knows how long it would take me to do this *lol*I know this isn't the best option, but would it still be ok to do it?

3) I was planning on doing the floor in sections, whether I remove the toilet or not. Our bathroom is a rectangle. Standing facing the toilet you'll have the tub behind you, with the toilet in front of you on your right, with two pedastal sinks to your left. I was planning on starting with the toilet section, putting down the underlayment, tiling it, but not going all the way to the edge of the underlayment, then removing the first sink to get it out of the way, putting down more underlayment, joining the seams, tiling it etc.. Then I would put the first sink back, then remove the second and last sink, put down underlayment and tile it.

I know that the best option is to probably use as big and as few sheets of underlayment as possible and do the whole floor at once, but that might not be the easiest option. Also, I know that usually you find the middle of the room and start tiling from there, but I thought I would draw an outline of how many 12" tiles are down on the floor now (or how many half tiles), and go with that same outline, so I can start in another area. Oh I would also remove the baseboard molding.

So is my plan doable? I also have just a few other questions:

1) Is plywood even the best option for underlayment in this case?

2) Do I have to prep it in any other way for the peel and stick tiles other than joining the seams?

3) What is the best way to secure the underlayment? Nails, staples, or screws? I've also read that they should be every 6 inches, is that correct?

Am I missing anything else? I know to some this might seem like possibly more work, but for me it may be a bit easier, being able to just lay alittle bit at a time, removing only one fixture at a time, putting it back, and then removing another.

Thanks for any advice!

Here is a picture of that lifting tile, so you can see possibly what material it may be and the flooring underneath:

www.handidrummed.com/bathroomfloortile.jpg

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Old 02-26-2007, 09:06 AM   #2
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


What kind of sinks do you have; cabinet or pedestal? What is the existing subfloor material? What condition is it in?

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Old 02-26-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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What kind of sinks do you have; cabinet or pedestal? What is the existing subfloor material? What condition is it in?
I have 2 pedestal sinks. The existing subfloor material, I'm not sure. Peeling up the tile, it looks like it's Lineoleum. It looks like it's a mess though with most likely other adhesive.

I had another idea though. The Armstrong tiles I got said that I can install over existing vinyl flooring. I thought I could either nail or staple the existing tiles down, then put embossing leveler over it (which the instructions say to do if going over existing vinyl flooring), then put a latex primer (again according to what the tile instructions are saying) and then put the new tiles over that.
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


Sorry, I read your message 3 times and didn't see pedestal. Anyway, linoleum isn't a subfloor. Depending on the age of the structure, that could be asbestos tile. Since you mention "stapling", I'll guess the subfloor is plywood. How solid is it? Remember that any imperfections that haven't been resolved will show through the new floor. Attaching new to old and loose isn't a good thing. You'll need to make sure all the tiles are tight to the floor. You may want to pull them up and then use the leveling compound.

Take all the fixtures out at the same time. You're not going to want to "level" the floor in sections. You have another sink in the house for the short term. Doing it all at once won't add to the time you don't have access to the toilet.

Putting in plywood over the existing flooring will introduce an issue that you'll need to address. You will be raising the floor. Therefore, you'll be raising all of the fixtures. You'll need to put an extension on the toilet flange(not a big deal). You'll also be raising the sinks. Depending upon how the walls have been finished, you'll need to compensate for the sinks being moved.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by beer_geek View Post
Sorry, I read your message 3 times and didn't see pedestal. Anyway, linoleum isn't a subfloor. Depending on the age of the structure, that could be asbestos tile. Since you mention "stapling", I'll guess the subfloor is plywood. How solid is it? Remember that any imperfections that haven't been resolved will show through the new floor. Attaching new to old and loose isn't a good thing. You'll need to make sure all the tiles are tight to the floor. You may want to pull them up and then use the leveling compound.

Take all the fixtures out at the same time. You're not going to want to "level" the floor in sections. You have another sink in the house for the short term. Doing it all at once won't add to the time you don't have access to the toilet.

Putting in plywood over the existing flooring will introduce an issue that you'll need to address. You will be raising the floor. Therefore, you'll be raising all of the fixtures. You'll need to put an extension on the toilet flange(not a big deal). You'll also be raising the sinks. Depending upon how the walls have been finished, you'll need to compensate for the sinks being moved.
Why won't either nailing or stapling the existing vinyl tiles down, then putting an embossing leveler over the floor, using a latex primer over that, and then putting the new tiles down work? It seems to me that it should. The Armstrong tiles say that they can be put over existing vinyl flooring as long as the the tiles are firmly bonded (nails or staples) and it has embossing leveler on it to level the floor, and a latex primer to help the tiles stick.

I don't know for sure if the floor under the existing IS Lineoleum, but it looks like it. As for if there is a plywood subfloor under that, I won't know unless I pull up everything, and that's not something I can do. I would think that just making sure that the existing vinyl tile floor is stable, level, clean, and smooth would cause no problems with adhering the new tiles.
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


I never said it wouldn't work. I said "You'll need to make sure all the tiles are tight to the floor." That was in response to your statement "Upon further examination I see that the tiles are not really adhered any more(empahsis mine), as I could probably rip each one up with no effort at all."

If that takes, as you put it, "no effort at all"; I don't see why you wouldn't remove them. IMHO, adding layer upon layer upon layer is looking for "trouble". You'll have, at a minimum, 3 layers of flooring when you are done.

Anyway, you seem to have already made a decision. I'll bow out at this point and defer to anyone else who wishes to add an opinion.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:34 PM   #7
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


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I never said it wouldn't work. I said "You'll need to make sure all the tiles are tight to the floor." That was in response to your statement "Upon further examination I see that the tiles are not really adhered any more(empahsis mine), as I could probably rip each one up with no effort at all."

If that takes, as you put it, "no effort at all"; I don't see why you wouldn't remove them. IMHO, adding layer upon layer upon layer is looking for "trouble". You'll have, at a minimum, 3 layers of flooring when you are done.

Anyway, you seem to have already made a decision. I'll bow out at this point and defer to anyone else who wishes to add an opinion.

Good Luck.
Oh I'm sorry, I misunderstood you as well.

Well actually when I meant by no effort at all, I just meant that I wouldn't have to chisel them off the floor. They're not down like someone just dropped them in place.

My reason for just leaving them, is because I'm just trying to find a good balance of what is the easiest for me to do, with what is still functional. I'd rather not pay someone to do it, as I don't really have the money, and I don't have many people who can help. It may not be the ideal way to do it, but if it works, I'll be happy as this will only be temporary. We don't plan on being in the house forever, so I just want something that looks good and is functional and sound for a decent period of time.

I think the floor will probably last longer than the one that is there now. If the new one is over Linoleum, from what I've read they shouldnt've put it over that to begin with anyway.

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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Advice on installing bathroom floor


Is the floor solid?
is this a first floor bath or second floor bath?
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:56 PM   #9
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Is the floor solid?
is this a first floor bath or second floor bath?
The floor itself is structurally fine, seems very solid to me.

First floor bath and the only one we have. Hence my dillemma and reason for wanting the easiest solution

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