Monday, August 10, 2015

Floor Prep

When we last blogged, we had demo-ed the bathroom and discovered a nice patch of rotted wood in our subfloor. It took us some time to figure out how we wanted to proceed with patching it and preparing the rest of the floor for tile, but we did it and it looks awesome. Here's what we did.

A reminder of the issue at hand:

This was NOT exactly the solid foundation for a sparkly new floor that we were looking for.
Step 1: Subfloors.

To attack the problem, Adam sawed and pried out the patch of bad wood, exposing the drywall to our living room ceiling, the plumbing and HVAC, and the floor joists.

The water damage had been so bad that it had rusted a hole in our HVAC. No wonder we were having A/C problems. Duct tape to the rescue! That was my job, otherwise I sat back and took pictures. :) I don't trust myself to do important things with a saw yet!

The metal ring for the plumbing had to go on top of the board, so Adam had to get creative with his piecework to get the board underneath; he couldn't just lay one board down. First, hubs screwed in a couple of extra supports between the joists to help hold up the new floor boards. He then measured and cut one board, and then sawed that board in half, and then sawed one of the halves in an L-shape so he could fit it in, since the tub was in the way.

Sliding in the second side was much easier without the tub interference, and then Adam was able to screw everything down into the joists.

While Adam was doing all this, I was in the bedroom building some furniture. We bought two 24" cabinets from Home Depot that we needed to build ourselves. Originally, the bathroom only had one, so we were looking forward to some extra storage and cat litter concealment.

Then we were ready for Step 2: Backer board.

Concrete backer board is a preliminary step to tile. It keeps water from reaching through to and damaging the sub floors (mostly. As you can see, it still can happen) and also adds extra smoothness and support to the floor. We got 1/4 inch boards, which you can score with a box cutter and break easily with some force. For our teeny bathroom, we only needed 2 boards!

We had to get a little crazy with the sawing, though, since we needed the hole for the toilet and didn't want the board to break. Talk about a trust exercise!

 Fortunately, no one was harmed (yet) in the making of this bathroom. 

We glued the boards to the floor with Liquid Nails and Adam screwed them down so they were nice and secure. I then taped the seams with concrete board tape and mortared them to give a solid, smooth surface.

 Ready for tile! And we've already started, so look for a post soon...

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