If you had a toilet leak lately, you may notice the floor around the area feels spongy, and it will cause the toilet to wobble. However, moderate rot doesn't mean you have to replace the whole floor.
You should be able to fix a section of sub-floor yourself, but it should be done quickly to prevent further damage. Follow these steps to fix rotted sub-floor around a toilet.
Prepare to Fix the Rotted Sub-Floor
To fix the rotted sub-floor around the toilet, gather:
- work gloves
- safety glasses
- tape measure
- thick old towels
- steel wool pads
- pry bar
- claw hammer
- small putty knife
- tile cutter (optional)
- three-inch nails or wood screws
- circular saw
- hole saw
Look for the shut-off valve to the toilet on the wall behind it or beside it. Rotate the valve to the right to turn off the water supply, or turn off the main house supply. Flush the toilet and sponge water inside the tank.
Remove the Toilet
Remove the toilet by detaching the water supply line and the two toilet bolts with the wrench. If the bolts seem stuck, use a hacksaw to cut them from the base.
Rock the toilet gently back and forth to break the seal, and lift it from the floor. To make the toilet lighter, disconnect bolts holding the tank to the toilet bowl. Lay the toilet parts on thick, heavy towels.
Disconnect the wax ring, and stuff rags into the drain hole to keep gases from seeping into the room. If the wax ring is damaged, scrape the remnants away, and buy a new wax ring. Also, inspect the soil pipe and flange for damage. To remove the flange, detach the screws using a screwdriver.
Replace the Damaged Floor Boards
Mark around the spongy area that needs to be cut. Trim the rotten board, cutting slightly passed the damaged area, pulling nails with the pry bar, and discard the wood.
Use a putty knife to remove vinyl flooring, or a tile cutter to remove the tile. To avoid cutting too deep into the floor, set the blade on the saw to cut only through the sub-floor, which is commonly three-fourths of an inch.
Measure the opening, and transfer the measurements to the lumber, marking positions for the soil pipe and flange. Trim the new lumber to fit, cutting holes for the flange and soil pipe with the hole saw.
Nail or screw the boards to the joists and reinstall tiles or vinyl. If the joists are wet, give them time to dry, and nail them to a two-by-six board for reinforcement. Clean the flange hole, remove the rags, and reinstall the toilet and new flange and wax ring, if necessary.
For more information, contact a company like Northland Fastening Systems.