Random (but not really)

Friday, November 8, 2019

Bathroom Remodel: Floored (Part the Fifth)

A hotly debated subject during the project was the floor–and what was under the linoleum.
I said there was wood flooring in the closet and the rest of the floor was plywood. Michael disagreed and thought the entire floor was wood flooring.

For four months we debated this, because, well, just because.

One thing we did know was that part of the floor under the toilet was spongy and almost certainly needed replaced.

Which is why it took so long to get to the floor.

I’m not allowed to use power tools that might take off an appendage, and Michal flat-out didn’t want to deal with replacing the floor.

So in September I pulled out the linoleum in the closet, and discovered that there was wood flooring under the linoleum. (Why they put linoleum over hard wood I have no idea.

It was vile and disgusting and messy and awful and ridiculously difficult, even thought I hadn’t put the bottom shelf in the closet to leave myself more room.

But after using pry bars and chisels I uncovered: this

After some googling I found recommendations on how to clean up the adhesive, and after most of a bottle of paint thinner and an entire bag of rags, I uncovered planks that were in decent shape, and certainly good enough for the floor of a closet.

Some sanding and polyurethane later I was ready to put up the trim (I bought new trim because almost all the trim in the bathroom was either destroyed during removal or not worth the effort of cleaning to reuse.

All-in-all, I was quite pleased with the result.

The it was waiting for Michael to be ready to take out the rest of the floor.

One of the things we did early on was take a core sample of the floor to determine how thick everything was. Answer: Not very. This meant we were going to have to put a very thin floor down, because I was not about to shave the bottom of the bathroom door.

We’ve got solid wood doors in the upstairs that I spent several months refinishing soon after we bought the house. They may be beat up and damaged in places (someone repeatedly shut a small dog in the bathroom, which displeased the dog apparently) but they’re solid and quite attractive despite the damage.

So I was not interested in shaving wood off the bottom of one of the better features of the house.

But eventually we looked at options and after copious amounts of nagging, Michel cut out the top layer of the floor, to expose the plywood underneath.

Surprisingly, part of the subfloor remained in decent shape, so he only had to cut out part of the subfloor to replace.

We nailed studs to the existing joists to give the new section of floor more support, and then were ready to go.

One of the things we did was move the vent from under the sink to the opposite wall.

If I’d known how easy this would be for Michael, I might have chosen a different sink, but since we had almost in choice in tiny sink cabinets, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

Back to the floor!

We went with a very thin vinyl floor, and managed to find an even thinner underlayment to go under it.

What surprised me was that the bathroom floor space is so small, a single vinyl board covered the floor from wall to tub. Would it have looked better to have the sheets run from wall to closet rather than wall to tub? Yeah. Would it have been easier to work with two shorter sheets / boards rather than a single one that had to be trimmed precisely.

Oh yes. Much MUCH easier. Lesson learned there.

But the floor was DONE and I could now finish everything up!

The final bits were a little bit of everything: adding the last of the tile, measuring, cutting and painting the trim, caulking (which I suck at), and looking for any little bits that needed finishing.

We got wooden thresholds, which I stained, and then we were done!

To be honest, finishing was underwhelming. This project has taken almost six months–it felt like the last steps should have been more exciting, but they were–considering everything that had gone before–relatively easy, and then it was done.

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