Which came first the Toilet or the floor?

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Old 04-20-13, 09:12 AM
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Which came first the Toilet or the floor?

In the early 70's I was an electrician apprentice and I had plenty of opportunity to see what, and how, plumbers did their jobs. If a bath had linoleum flooring the toilet was installed before the linoleum was laid. If the bath had ceramic tile the toilet was installed after the tile. Which is correct?

I am remodeling my home that was built in 1968. The 1/2 bath had carpet which, to my way of thinking, is nasty. The full bath has white tile and the toilet seems to be sitting on top of the tile. The 1/2 bath had cheap, peel the backing off, tile under the carpet. It seems to have been cut to fit around the toilet. There is a 1/4 plywood sheet, painted black, under the tile. I want to use ceramic tile in the 1/2 bath. Should I lay the tile first or replace the toilet first? Should the underlayment be discarded and replaced with new or can I put the tile over the old underlayment. Finally will the flange and wax seal need to be modified for a newer toilet? I could use some help as I am way out of my comfort zone here. Code here says that I can replace fixtures because they are service related items as long as I don't modify the original plumbing.

The 1/2 bath is having the drywall replaced as of the time of this request for help and I am ready to put the drywall on the sink/toilet wall so I am ready to pull the toilet. I just want to install the new toilet as soon as possible.
 
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Old 04-20-13, 11:29 AM
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Lay the tile first is how I always do it be it ceramic or vinyl. A lot easier then trying to cut around a toilet then fix your mistakes with caulk.

There is a 1/4 plywood sheet, painted black, under the tile
Probably cutback asphalt tile adhesive not black paint. Pull the plywood and install cement backer board or Ditra or if you need the height leave the plywood and install Ditra or cement backerboard depending on height needed before tiles are laid.
 
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Old 04-20-13, 10:12 PM
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It's not really a question of what is done first or second. The final result needs to be that the surface of the toilet flange needs to be flush with, or just a bit below, the surface of the finished floor. Often this means installing the flange so that the bask of it rests on the subfloor, regardless of the material used for that, trimming the tile to fit around the flange, and caulking any gaps that the thinset and grout didn't fill.

Then the wax ring is installed on top of the flange to seal the drain.
 
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Old 04-20-13, 11:17 PM
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Sorry, Nash, the toilet flange ALWAYS goes on top of the finished floor. Sometimes a person can get away with a new floor being higher than the flange by using a thick wax ring or by use of flange extending riser plates.
 
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Old 04-21-13, 06:44 AM
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The black paint is asphalt adhesive. I discovered this when I removed the tiles. The flange sits 5/8" above the plywood sub flooring. So I could install the backerboard over the plywood and then the flange would be even with the sub floor? or do I need to subtract the height of the tile so that when the tile is laid the flange is even with the tile? I think that backerboard comes in 1/4, 1/2, 5/8" thicknesses is that a correct assumption?.

The plywood sub flooring was cut around the flange. The bask of the flange is, at its underside, at least 3/8" above the plywood sub floor. This looks to be the way it was done when the house was built in 1968. I can't say for sure though since I wasn't here when the house was built. The flange looks to be cast iron with a lead top surface.
 
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Old 04-21-13, 07:39 AM
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Flange Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here is the flange.Name:  BasementSidepipe 001.jpg
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Size:  49.8 KBName:  ToiletDrain.jpg
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Old 04-21-13, 07:50 AM
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Is the floor on the other side of the bathroom door higher or lower than the bathroom. Ideally you want the floor on the other side of the bathroom door to be the same height as the finished bathroom floor. That is the key on deciding underlayment. Spacers can be added to the toilet flange so it isn't your real concern. You may not be able to get the floors inside and outside to line up exactly but aim for as close as possible and it will make the transition easier to do.
 
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Old 04-21-13, 02:55 PM
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Is the floor on the other side of the bathroom door higher or lower than the bathroom.

@ray2047

The floor seems to be the same height as the bathroom plywood. It has a, what seems to be, 1/8" underlayment over the floor, then the same type of tile I removed from the bathroom, and then carpet over that. Is the plywood in the bathroom the actual sub flooring then seeing as how it extends into the hall?
 

Last edited by smithdavidp; 04-21-13 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Answering a question do not know how to quote yet
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Old 04-21-13, 03:41 PM
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Is the plywood in the bathroom the actual sub flooring then seeing as how it extends into the hall?
Hard to say but if it extends outside the bathroom I'd avoid trying to remove it and install Ditra and then the tile. Ditra postdates my tile laying experience so you will have to wait for others to anser questions on it but from what I know it would be the way to go. The Universal Underlayment for Tile and Stone - Schluter-Systems
 
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Old 04-22-13, 03:40 PM
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I wound up having to pull a plumbing permit today. I talked to the plumbing inspector and he said "it's best if the finished floor goes under the flange/bask". The reason for the permit is that the 1/2 bath does not have any shut off valves. All the previous owner did was install 2 90's on the sink and 1 90 on the toilet water supply line. Since I am going to cut the water supply pipes to save time and make the new drywall easier to install (just behind the 90's) and install valves that constitutes changing the plumbing water supply lines. The room was originally for a washer and dryer. I know this because other houses, like mine, all have a wash room where my 1/2 bath is located. Some of my neighbors were kind enough to let me see their houses. So I guess my answer is that the floor comes first.
 
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Old 04-22-13, 03:52 PM
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..."it's best if the finished floor goes under the flange/bask"... So I guess my answer is that the floor comes first.
Now go back and read post #4.
 
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Old 05-18-13, 09:03 AM
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Finished and passed inspection

Name:  Bask on finished floor 001.jpg
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Thanks for all the help. The inspector said it was right on the button.
 
 

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