Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bathroom Rehab: Flooring

After completing some relatively easy projects in my bathroom rehab, it was time for the much more complicated projects - replacing the flooring, toilet, and vanity. These projects would require careful planning and coordination to avoid any problems or delays because there is only one bathroom in my house. I could take my time removing and replacing most of the flooring, but the final set of tasks would have to be completed within a few hours at most: removing the toilet, removing the flooring underneath, installing the new flooring, and installing the new toilet. Additional coordination was needed after I decided to hire a handyman to install the new toilet and vanity.

Hard work would be required, but the wonky tile flooring, mismatched toilet, and cheap vanity had to go!

The projects began with replacing the flooring. The first step was to remove the tiles. I quickly determined that the tiles were quite firmly attached and could not be pried off intact. So I had the pleasure of smashing them into pieces with a hammer. Demolition is very therapeutic! :D

After breaking up and removing the tiles. I was left with the thinset mortar.

How to remove the thinset? After researching the options and trying some of them, I opted to use my cordless oscillating tool with a carbide-grit grout removal blade. I ran my Shop-Vac alongside, so there was very little dust.

This left me with smooth cement board to lay my new floor over.

I used TrafficMaster Allure, a vinyl plank flooring, in Iron Wood. It's a floating flooring, meaning it's not attached to the floor underneath, so no adhesive, mortar, or nails are required. It's super easy to install.

I installed as much of the flooring as I could with the toilet and vanity still in place. Then it was time for the careful coordination! I arranged to have the handyman come in on a Monday to install the new toilet and vanity.

Sunday evening, I removed the the vanity/sink. First, I used a utility knife to slice through the caulk between the sink and the wall. Then I shut off the water supply and disconnected the water lines and drain. Finally, I removed the screws holding the cabinet to the wall and pulled the cabinet out of the room. Easy!

I broke up the floor tiles that had been under the cabinet and ground off the thinset. Then I cleaned and painted the wall.

Monday morning, I spoke with the handyman to confirm that he'd be at my house in about three hours. Then it was toilet removal time!

The toilet was easy to remove. I shut off the water supply and flushed to remove the standing water from the tank, then sponged out the small amount of water remaining in the bowl. Next, I removed the two nuts/bolts connecting the tank to the bowl and lifted off the tank.

Then it was time to remove the toilet flange bolts (the bolts at the base of the toilet). Sometimes, these nuts/bolts become corroded and have to be sawed off. But luckily, I did not have that problem; the nuts came off easily. I lifted the toilet bowl off the floor and removed it from the room. I stuffed an old towel into the waste pipe.

I removed the floor tiles and thinset, and I cleaned and painted the wall.

With the room now emptied, I installed the rest of the flooring.

The handyman arrived, and it was time to bring in the new toilet, vanity, sink and faucet. :) Part 3 post coming soon!


  1. It look beautiful . Cant wait for the reval.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. I am really pleased with the new flooring.

  3. So excited to see how your hard work pays off!

  4. Oh my gods, that flooring! It's so lovely!

    1. Thanks! It is soooo much better than the beige tile!

  5. That flooring is beautiful! We're thinking about something similar for our bathroom, but I don't know if it will go with the rest of the house....
    Yours looks amazing though. You are a miracle worker!

  6. This is why you have one of my favorite blogs! You show the dirty work of replacing major stuff as well as design elements. It's so inspireing!

    1. Thank you so much! :D Making things pretty sometimes requires a lot of work, and I want to show that realistically. Even more, I want my readers to see that that work can be done by a regular person, and hopefully they can feel encouraged and inspired. :)

  7. Thank you very much for this great post. drugs