Floor Freakout

We are well on our way with the bathroom redo. And what is DIY progress without a little hiccup? On Friday I ripped up the linoleum mad women style. I was gleeful at the sight of plywood underneath. Well if you have ever done anything with a bathroom floor, you know my glee was short lived. I soon learned that my first tile experience was not going to be easy. Plywood can easily get damaged by by water. And it did. That is what had been causing the awful squeaking. And it warped to plywood. A lot.



There are two ways to fix this problem. 1. Pull out and replace the subfloor, or 2. use a leveling substance.

We choose option 2. Using a leveling substance means that all the left over adhesive had to be scraped off the plywood subfloor. Yesterday I scraped for hours- like over 6 hours. Millimeter by millimeter the adhesive gave way. Please note that your local hardware store sells adhesive remover, but I chose not to use it because of the toxic fumes. This bathroom shares a wall with the nursery, and I didn’t want to risk exposing the baby.) I had made definite progress, but I wasn’t prepared to spend another entire day scraping. I got creative. Many sources recommend using a heat gun to lessen  to “stick” of the adhesive, but I had none. I instead used an iron that was wrapped in a paper towel. Fired hazard, yes, but it worked like a charm! The rest of the adhesive came right off.

Then I cleaned the area.

Next, I followed the directions on the leveler and mixed it up. It was 1 part patch additive to 2.5 parts powder. THe patch additive looked and smelled like watered down Elmers. This is when my nerves kicked in. I mixed until I thought it looked nice and smooth, but the whole mixing process was awkward. I used a mop bucket which had an uneven bottom (it had wheels) and a paint mixer to mix it. FYI, not the best decision, but the leveler had to be put down within 20 minutes, so there was no time for regrets.

I used the smooth side of an 1/8″ trowel so spread the it about. More nervousness, it was not as easy as it looked. I spread it as smoothly as I could, but it was far from perfect. And then I questioned how do I know if I am making this part level? And then the levelling substance dried up. Like it or not, this step was done. I hope I did an adequate job! Only time (a few hours to be more precise) will tell.

Another piece of advice. They do make a self leveler, which is runnier than the stuff I used. Most of the information I read recommended the self leveler, but the guys at Lowes steered me toward this product.

The next step is laying concrete board. The concrete board protects against further water damage.  We should be able to be it this evening. After that I finally get to lay tile!


2 thoughts on “Floor Freakout

  1. Pingback: That Dang Floor is Shaping Up! « The Schmitt House

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