Rotten particle board replacement and tiling

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Old 04-01-14, 05:28 PM
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Rotten particle board replacement and tiling

The toilet in my powder room leaked and the particle board sub-floor is rotten and needs to be replaced. I had couple contractors come in and each say different thing of what needs to be done.

Here what I have now - looking from the basement there is plywood against the joist (not sure of the thickness), on top of that is particle board and than stick on tiles. The particle board is everywhere in my house not just in the bathroom so I guess it is part of structure?

I want to replace the particle board and than tile the floor. One guy said that he will just glue down 1/2" backer board to the plywood underneath and than install the tile. The toilet flange is now just above the particle board so if he did that he would not have to deal with flange replacement (I believe it is sweated to 3" copper pipe). I'm not sure if backer board will be enough of structure support?
The other guy said he will put down 3/4 inch plywood, than 1/4 inch backer board than tile. Since it will raise the floor above the flange he might need to cut off and replace the flange. I also heard that there are flange extenders so he will look into.

What is the proper way to fix and finish my floor? What is the proper way to make sure the flange is on top of finished floor.

Also, what is a proper way to transition to the next room which is carpeted.

Thank you for your help.

Margo
 
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Old 04-01-14, 06:16 PM
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I lean toward the 2nd guy who will put down an additional 3/4" and then 1/4" cement backer board. I assume that removal of the particle board is part of the mix. Make sure he sets the cement board in a Thinset Mortar bed. Use a marble threshold at the transition to carpet.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 06:56 PM
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Yes, the removal of particle board is a given. I was leaning towards the second guy also but than he seemed a little unsure about the flange.
I'm not sure if I want to use the marble threshold since the door is mounted and opens towards the bathroom so the threshold will be visible on Family Room side when door to the bathroom is closed.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 09:43 PM
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Very likely under that particle boards the plywood's going to be molded up and only 1/2".
It's not right, just the way it used to be done.
If there's access below that area it's a simple job to cut the pipe and pull the whole pipe and flange.
A whole lot easier to replace the subflooring and underlayment with the flange out of the way.
A rubber hubless connector is use to reconnect the drain pipe.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 04:38 AM
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I drilled a pilot whole and it is 1/2" plywood under the particle board. The particle board is not rotted all the way through and there is no water damage visible from the basement on the plywood. There is actually nothing wrong with the flange - the only reason to replace it would be so it sits at the proper height and not below the floor or I guess to make it easier to install flooring

So is it better just to:
- take up all the particle and the plywood and put in 3/4 ply and backer board or
- leave the 1/2 ply assuming its good, put another 3/4 ply than backer board

Thank you.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 04:41 AM
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As long as the 1/2" plywood is in decent shape there is no need to remove it. Tile needs a stiff floor so depending on the joist size/span you might need more than 3/4" plywood anyway.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 05:05 AM
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Joist are 16" apart.
So I guess I will ask the contractor to leave the 1/2' ply than put in 3/4 plywood than 1/4 backer board?
 
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Old 04-02-14, 05:11 AM
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Assuming you trust your contractor, I'd let him make that decision. You won't know the true condition of the 1/2" subfloor until the PB is removed, but as long as it's in decent condition there is no need to remove it.

Floor joists are usually on 16" centers, the concern with tile is how far the joist spans between supports. The longer the span, the bigger the joists needs to be to limit flexing and with tile you don't want any flexing. An extra layer of plywood helps to stiffen up the floor.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 05:24 AM
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The reason I am asking questions here is because I do not have a contractor that I like and trust (my BIL used to do work for me but he moved away) and I am trying to find someone I am comfortable with as I will have other work coming up.

The joist span is about 10'.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 05:31 AM
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Will you be onsite while the work is being done? Easy to look over his shoulder and see for yourself if the subfloor looks ok. Don't forget whenever you hire a contractor is best to get multiple quotes and check their references!
 
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Old 04-02-14, 05:46 AM
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Ask friends and neighbors if they have a recommendation. Google wholesale flooring distributors in your area. There are member only stores where local contractors shop for flooring. They are not retail (per se), but if you are working with a member they will sell to you. They know the best local guys that are not affiliated with any major outlet. Inside, looks like any other showroom and the staff are not on commission. PM me if you can't find what I am referencing as I hesitate to give the name but it starts with Pro......)

Remove the particle board and see what you have. I would not worry too much about the flange as you can get an extra thick wax ring or stack multiple together to take up what ever space is needed. The key is that you verify that the wax seal has made a good seal in that you have to wiggle the toilet down after it contacts in order to reach the floor.
 
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Old 04-02-14, 06:01 AM
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Yes, I will be watching over the shoulder of the contractor - whoever I hire. I like to know ahead of time what should be done so I can base my choice of contractors partially based on their knowledge and explanation of what needs to be done.

I've already eliminated the guy who wasn't going to put any plywood just 1/2" backer board on top of 1/2" plywood - based on comments provided here that is not enough support.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 02:30 PM
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Thank you all for your inputs and information. I've learned a lot and feel a lot more comfortable knowing what should be done. I have few quotes and I find the differences in quotes astonishing on the small powder room of 5X6 for the same scope of wor (none of the quotes include actual tile) . The difference from lowest to highest quote is about $1000! Wow! I know that lowest quote is not always the answer but the high quotes just seem unreasonable.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 04:02 PM
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Verify license and insurance, that has a lot to do with the quotes. Working out of your van/pickup is a lot cheaper than following rules and regs. You should be able to look up on line for the state license. Here in Virginia you can see if there are any open complaints or issues filed against the contractor.

I'd toss out the high quote, or let them know what the others are so he can counter offer. Unfortunately, we need to make a little money doing home improvements. Some are more greedy than others. But, Check license, check insurance (have the letter come direct from an insurance agent) and check references if possible.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 07:00 PM
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Many states don't license flooring installers, so checking for a license may not work. But do ask about insurance.
 
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