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Old 10-18-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Renovating a 58 year old rot ridden bathroom myself to save money. Thanks in advance for any help that you can give me.

To make a long story short...water behind the tub wall from the cold water valve caused lots of rot...gutted bathroom down to the studs and floor joists.

Current issue. Had sub sister in 2x10 floor joists to repair damaged existing 2x10 floor joists...I sistered in nailers to level new joists so bathroom floor will be level...all done...getting ready to put down Advantech subfloor...noticed that old cast iron toilet flange will be below top edge of subfloor and after installing hardy board or similar and tile...well below the floor level.

Dilemma: If I put my subfloor in now, it will have to be cut so as to surround the current cast iron toilet flange. It has been suggested that I do that, and just add a spacer/s and longer closet bolts. Toilet will sit on floor, and spacers and wax ring...and be bolted to the old cast iron flange, which is in good condition. This arrangement will not allow for screwing the flange to the subfloor as has been demonstrated in videos that I've watched.

So my question to you experts is...will this work...adding spacers and attaching everything to the old cast iron flange...if good, yea, if not...will you please suggest an alternate method. If this is okay, my wife is more than ready for the subfloor to go back in...lol.

Thanks again...Ed

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Last edited by Ed911; 10-18-2011 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


I saw some flanges for iron pipes the last time I was wondering HD plumbing dept. If what you are doning is what I think, you'd just make the hardy board opening the same as the inside of the 2" iron pipe, covering the old flange. Then you'd slide the new flange into the pipe and screw it to the hardy board.

the flange I saw had about a 3" diameter pipe going down a few inches with a 3 squeegee rubber seal to seal it to the iron pipe you insert it into. I've seen others that do the same thing, but you tighten up some screws to expand a rubber seal to the cast pipe.

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Old 10-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Thanks for the reply...I hadn't thought of that for this application. I was actually looking at them for my other bathroom just before I posted here.

I'm afraid it won't work for this problem. The subfloor is right at the height of the flange and will butt into it, leaving the flange slightly recessed. If the flange were lower and subfloor would go over the top of the flange, this would be a great idea.

I think what I want to do will work. I have a flange kit...Oatley CFK5000...the picture on the package shows my situation...but the instructions say to screw the flange adapter/spacers to the subfloor...no can do. I'm just trying to be careful...and I need some expert advice.

One plumber told me that since a house is built around the toilet...I ought to tear down the house and rebuild it to suit my toilet...lol.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


I would cut the cast iron riser off above the 90 and adapt to plastic, stub it up thru the new floor. Then glue on a new flange after the tile is set.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:02 AM   #5
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Thanks, Eplumber.

I was actually just wondering if what I wanted to do would work...since cast iron isn't screwed to the floor, or wasn't in my case...and isn't in my other bathroom. So, since it's just free floating, so to speak, wouldn't what I'm doing in my OP work?

What are the drawbacks to doing it my way...I guess that's what I'm looking for. I'm not going to be putting pressure on the cast iron flange, other than the closet bolts...the toilet will be sitting on the floor...so there won't be any weight on the flange.

Thanks, Ed
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:48 AM   #6
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed911 View Post
Dilemma: If I put my subfloor in now, it will have to be cut so as to surround the current cast iron toilet flange. It has been suggested that I do that, and just add a spacer/s and longer closet bolts. Toilet will sit on floor, and spacers and wax ring...and be bolted to the old cast iron flange, which is in good condition. This arrangement will not allow for screwing the flange to the subfloor as has been demonstrated in videos that I've watched.
I had the same situation, gutted to the joists and sistered. I put down 3/4" sub, 1/2" ply, 1/4" hardi + 3/8" tile. Much thicker than original 3/4" planks, metal lathe and tile.

In my case the flange was "no hub", the carpenter used a hammer to gentle tap the existing flange off leaving me with just the cast iron pipe (4"). After all was said and done I got a Sioux Chief brand cast iron replacement flange from Lowes--it fits into the existing cast iron pipe... it's neck is tapered shape w/ screw pattern, there is also a 1-2" wide rubber ring w/ an opposite screw pattern which goes into the existing cast iron as well. Once in, you twist the whole assembly and the rubber ring is gradually expanded until it's REALLY tight in there. Using this I was able to set the new cast iron flange directly on the tile floor once it was done. The fit for the flange w/ just the rubber holding was SUPER tight on it's own, once I put in the 4-5 stainless screws around the flange there is no way it was going anywhere.

I had a plumber doing all the plumbing work (except this) and he was pleased w/ the setup, said he uses them all the time.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #7
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Thanks Bubbler,

I could cut the existing flange off with a cutting wheel and then put in my subfloor...and then use a flange with extension that could be screwed to the subfloor...just not experienced cutting cast iron pipe and don't want to mess it up and make it more of a problem than it is. Know what I mean.

If I try to tap it off, and it breaks, then I've bought into a whole other project.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Quote:
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Thanks Bubbler,

I could cut the existing flange off with a cutting wheel and then put in my subfloor...and then use a flange with extension that could be screwed to the subfloor...just not experienced cutting cast iron pipe and don't want to mess it up and make it more of a problem than it is. Know what I mean.

If I try to tap it off, and it breaks, then I've bought into a whole other project.
Take a picture of it.

I never would have thought my flange was removable until the carpenter nonchalantly said "of course it is, it's melted lead in there", and proceeded to gently (and sometimes not gently) tap it... I was surprised to see it come off quite cleanly.

You're tapping UP on the lip of the flange, not on the cast iron pipe itself.

My house was built in 1949/1950 and the cast iron looks like every other cast iron I've seen since, so I'm guessing you _may_ have something similar.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:31 PM   #9
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


This is a view of what my flange looked like, it's the red thing... yes, I used a scrap tile wedged into the remnants of my wax seal to hold out the dirt and yeah, my toilet literally was supported by the cast iron at the end!




This is a view of the 4" no hub pipe sticking thru the subfloor + 1/2" ply. On top of this I added 1/4" hardi and then tile. The pipe was a good 3/4" below the finished tile surface, but using the new flange spanning that gap was no problem:



Search Lowes for "Oatey 4" PVC Twist-N-Set Flange", I used that cast-iron version of that. I was tempted to use the PVC but decided not to because the cast iron really felt beefy, and it was right there on the shelf next to it. It was Oatey btw, not Sioux Chief, but I'm guessing S.C. makes the same style product.

It looked like this:



Good luck, and do post a pic of your flange so the experts can give better advice (mine is just anecdotal based on my own experience).
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:47 PM   #10
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


My nearby Lowes has two cast iron ones, but the rubber seal is missing...so they are useless, but we have a huge plumbing supply store nearby...so, I'm sure they will have them. I'll post some images of my flange. Mine looks different than yours...the top is rough black cast iron...and where the flange couples to the pipe, there is something like wiry cloth hanging out...where it was packed in the joint. I'm thinking I was told it was lead and oakum...that was used on it...but, don't quote me there.

It's amazing that there are so many similarities in these old bathrooms...pink tile...pink tub...or green tile and green tub...my other bathroom. Sometimes, it's like I posted and forgot...lol...

Thanks for the pictures...
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:49 PM   #11
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My nearby Lowes has two cast iron ones, but the rubber seal is missing...so they are useless...
Bring them all up to the service desk and tell them to replace them... they don't have a clue, all they know is the computer says there are 4 in inventory (or whatever) and so they'll never be replaced...
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:04 PM   #12
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Okay...here are a couple of images from my bathroom project. Bubbler, you were right, my flange is the same as yours. You can see the fabric of some kind hanging down from where the flange fits onto the pipe...does anyone know what that is...technically.





Just threw in this one so that you can get an idea of where I am. You can see the new sistered in nailers...the top of the flange is 5/8 inch above the top of the nailer. So, the top of the flange will be 1/16 below the top of my subfloor using 22/32 Advantech.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #13
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


I would remove that entire riser and use a hub doughnut to convert to PVC.

Dig the lead and oakum out of the hub---a drill will get you a hole started in the lead--then a screw driver can be used to pry out the lead in the hub.

When most of the lead is out --gently rock the pipe back and forth --that will compress the remaining lead and allow you to pull out the pipe.

Get a 4" to 3" rubber dough nut (hub coupling) and a short section of 3" PVC. Insert the PVC into the coupling--

Tap that assembly into the iron hub using a hammer and a scrap of wood.---Mike---
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:28 PM   #14
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


Besides working with a new flange, the benefit to removing your current flange is that you'll be cutting a smaller hole in your sub-floor, tiling, etc.

Is that a 3" or 4" pipe? It's difficult to tell from the pictures. If it's 3" then I've been told it's best to maximize that diameter, meaning do not use anything that fits into the pipe which reduces you below 3".

For my 4" pipe I wasn't too concerned about using the type of replacement flange that fit into the pipe because even then the opening is still larger than 3".

What is below there? Is it a finished or unfinished basement? Crawlspace? That would make a big difference to me in terms of how I moved forward. If the space is inaccessible once the floor is down I'd be doing everything possible to replace what is there with newer and easier to deal with components like PVC. In my case it's all accessible from below. In a worst case situation I remove the toilet and can replace all the plumbing again if I had to.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:55 PM   #15
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Renovating a 58 year old bathroom...ugh...


It's crawl space...but accessible...not the most comfortable place to be, but accessible.

The pipe diameter is 4 inches...and I'm thinking your way...better to get it off now, than later...should something happen. I like the idea of screwing the flange to the subfloor. Plumbers and HVAC guys have been under there...me too for that matter...when I first started the project...to take pictures...wasn't too bad...but, not a place where you can sit up and work...at least not at my size...lol...

Been looking at a product called Set-Rite...using their spacers to support my new flange once I get the subfloor in...all of this can be done after I install the subfloor, and backer board and tile.

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Last edited by Ed911; 10-20-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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