Re: Toilet leak caused caused subfloor bubble, how do you fix?
Posted by Moore on September 20, 1999 at 01:10:05:
In response to Re: Toilet leak caused caused subfloor bubble, how do you fix?
: My toilet leaked around the wax ring and caused the waferboard subfloor to bubble immediately around the flange. This causes the toilet to be 1/4" off of the floor. How would I fix this?

: I am assuming that I will need to remove the top hardwood flooring and chisel out the bubble until the floor is again level. Thanks in advance for your reply.

You are right. Turn off the water to the toilet, flush it, undo the hex holddown nuts at the base, and wiggle it loose. If you are very strong and VERY careful, you can lift the tank and bowl together, tip them into the tub to drain all the water out, and take it out of the room for safekeeping. Lift the finish top hardwood flooring to expose the subfloor bubble. You should see nails or screws where the subfloor is nailed or screwed to the floor joists. You should also see the line which joins one 4 X 8 sheet of subfloor to the next. If the bubble is contained to a small 36 inch area, you can remove the screws or nails at the joint and chisel out at the place where subfloor is decent, but there is no floor joist. Where you lift out the damaged subfloor, you'll notice that the joists provide a ledge for the new replacement piece to fit onto and be rescrewed, or nailed. The area you chiseled, won't have a ledge, (or fireblock or crossjoist). You have two choices. Continue removing subfloor till you have ledge joists on all four sides, or install a joist cross brace at your chiseled out spot. I recommend you feel under the subfloor area, or look with a flashlight to see if a crossjoist is nearby. At any rate, remove damaged subfloor, replace with new, (cut it so that there is good support for the toilet and the closet flange hold down screws), replace finish floor, clean off old wax ring from toilet flange replace with new flange wax ring, go get the toilet, set it in place and align the hold down bolts, and add weight to it to get it firmly in place (sit on it), screw it down reconnect the water, check for leaks, fill the tank, flush, check for leaks, sit on it . Count your blessings.


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