top of page

Rotted Subfloor

So here's a doosy...

Got a call from a woman living in a home almost 120 years old, complaining that when she sits on the toilet it rocks- not very stable. She says it's been like that for a long time but over the past few months, it's gotten really bad.

Ok, no problem, Most likely some loose bolts, possibly a bad flange. Head over there assuming that it's a simple to mild job. People don't usually sit on a rocky toilet for too long before they call somebody.

Arrived at the house and she brings me to the bathroom. This toilet, which by her definition has been unstable for quite sometime, is sitting in a 2 foot diameter divot that is sinking down an inch-deep gully. I go to rock the toilet and it moves as freely as a toilet sitting on the side of the road.

I could push my finger and make the whole around the toilet depress with the slightest effort,. Basically, this woman was on the verge of one day sitting down to do her business, to finding herself on the toilet fallen into the basement, pants still around her ankles.

In the last picture above, it's kind of tough to make out, but there was a steady little stream of water, which probably started out as a slow drip, just saturating the area for what could have been and most likely was, years.

So, the plan of attack:

- Removing the toilet and inspecting the flange. This house is just over 100 years old, so odds are it's cast iron drainage with a lead flange.

- We rip up the floor, drain line is actually copper, so we remove the rotted flange and corroded line

We then tied in 3" PVC pipe and secured to copper with a no hub coupling

- Pipe was cut to an inch above the floor, measured plywood with a 3" hole saw cut and set in place

-With an inside pipe cutter, we cut the drain line to size and glued & screwed the flange into place.

This job was done on a budget, so we're only patching the floor resetting the existing toilet and relaying the present tile since it cant be matched due to age.

.- Next we set the tile. Since it was 1"x1" tile, we set nothing under the toilet to save as many as possible. Chipping out old tile barely results in reusable tile so we had to be careful

Giving that at least 12 hours to dry, we then replace the fill valve with a compression angle stop, and reset the toilet, this time in matching grout, which will then be used to grout the tiles.

And this sweet old woman can use her toilet without fear. ear she didnt even have even though using the toilet was like sitting on those horses attached to that big springA f at the playground

Lesson hopefully learned: Your house is not self sufficient. It needs you to look under cabinets, behind toilets, around your boiler, to see if there are any signs of serious issues or things that need to be looked at by a professional

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page