Squishy floor in front of toilet

soozMay 9, 2011

A while ago, I noticed a wet spot on the rug which is located on the floor in front of the toilet in my DH's bathroom. Who knows how long that had been going on! He pulled out the toilet and put in a new wax ring, thinking that was the problem. Before he got to work pulling the toilet, I asked him to inspect the area around the pipe and hole to see if there was any water damage or water indication around that area. When he pulled and re-seated the toilet with the new wax ring, he said he couldn't see or feel any wetness.

I forgot about the whole thing...until yesterday.

I was in his bathroom and noticed that while the rug no longer had a wet spot, now there was a squishy sound when I stepped in front of, and to the side/front of the toilet. I also thought I felt the flooring give a little bit. The floor is linoleum. DH wouldn't notice a squishy sound because of his hearing loss, and as for feeling the floor "give" a bit, well, he's just not that aware of things like that.

I'm thinking we'll need to remove the toilet, remove the linoleum and see what's what in the floor/sub floor and do repairs as needed.

We're kinda handy and can do some things as DIYers, but if we need an expert to fix the floor/sub floor etc, who do we call? A general contractor? A plumber?

I'd appreciate any suggestions, input, ideas, or links on how to problem solve this issue, or other possibilities of what might be happening.

I'm posting this over on the bath room forum too.



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If the sub-floor is damaged it is not that hard to repair a spot most of the time.
You remove the damaged area (sawzall works well) then cut out to the nearest joist on each side.
Put some 2x blocking on the sides of the joists and attach new sub-flooring using the blocking to support the patch.

You can use plywood of the same thickness, or if the sub-floor is planks adjust the blocking height to make plywood match the existing sub-floor height.

If there is a lot of damage around the flange it can be a little hard to replace right up to the flange, but you can easily use a sawzall (or jig saw) to cope two plywood pieces to match (one for each side of the flange).
Some additional blocking may be required near the flange for proper support.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Who to call if you can't DIY?

A carpenter. A handyman with a good background if framing and remodeling is who to call.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 5:16PM
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Thanks, brickeye and aidan, for the help and info!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 2:16AM
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Are you sure the leak is fixed? Did DH find any evidence of a bad seal on the wax ring? Sometimes leaks such as these can "come and go" depending on ambient conditions. You said the wet spot was at the front of the toilet. Did you find any puddling anywhere else? Is the toilet tank leaking? (cracked, bad gasket seal, etc.) Maybe the supply line is leaking? Maybe the tank is sweating?

For my money, if I was tearing the whole thing out, I'd be very tempted to put in a whole new toilet.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 3:55PM
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Update--remember, I did say it was DH's bathroom.

I actually started looking at the obvious first, and voila! There it was! A leak in the flex pipe.

Yes, that was where the leak was. DH pulled the toilet and we put little pieces of wood around the hole in the floor to kinda separate the linoleum from the subfloor, and we put a fan on for the good part of three days to dry things out. He crawled under the house to check the status of things from underneath, and no wetness, no damage, etc.

Thank you for all your help and suggestions! It does pay to check the simple things first...kinda like gee, the lamp doesn't turn on, so I should make sure it's plugged in to the outlet first. lolam


    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:45PM
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