Fixing the bathroom floor

The bathroom floor was warping and smelled funny, so we decided to pull up the linoleum and fix any rotten wood. Easy, right?

Good lord! What the hell is this? Under the linoleum we pulled up, we found mold and, I kid you not, more linoleum. As Shakespeare once wrote, "WTF?!"

We pulled up that next layer of linoleum and found... more linoleum!

Under this layer of linoleum we found... guess with me.... that's right, another layer of linoleum. We realized that we were essentially looking at two or three decades of half-assed repairs, illustrated in a way no book can hope to match.

Under this linoleum, we found something completely different.



Not nice tile, mind you, but the quasi-wooden/composite tile you may remember lining the floors of such shops of high fashion as Woolworths, K-Mart, and perhaps the Pic'n'save.

We painstakingly chiseled the tile up and scraped up more moldy linoleum and adhesive. At once point, I used a solvent to dissolve the glues and scrape them up, but I almost passed out because of the fumes. I staggered out into the livingroom, trying not to throw up and looking for some sympathy from my girlfriend.

"What are you doing?" she asked sharply.

"I... need some air. I'm seeing spots." I bump into a wall and lean on it for support.

"Well, maybe you should have better ventilation, don't you think?" I glanced up to see her hard, pity-less eyes staring intently at me. She left the word "stupid." off the end of her sentence, but the meaning was clear to both of us. "Go get a fan, and get back to scraping."

Looking at this picture, you must appreciate for a moment that the smell I encountered from this mold is not something that translates well to photo. Please don't misunderstand me, this was not mold that came from a loaf of bread allowed to expire by one day, this was something on the order of 20-30 years of SUPER MOLD that had grown stronger after every shower, dripping sink, and badly aimed urination. By the time I encountered it, there was probably a small mold civilization flourishing. I like to imagine that they had regular mold wars between the different layers of linoleum, and that as I ripped off each successive layer, streams of refugee molds flooded deeper and deeper until the first blasts of my solvent ripped across their landscape like a cleansing fire. Of course, perhaps it wasn't the fumes that almost made me pass out, perhaps it was a "mold fleet" attacking me in a desperate bid to save their world from the terrible destruction the solvent wrought across their land....?

The more likely answer, of course, was that the preceeding paragraph is merely proof that I inhaled too much of the solvent fumes that day.

K-Mart tile meets... what?

This blurry picture, while meeting the criteria of a UFO photo, is actually the result of our incredulity at finding that the toilet installed was the one that was put in when the building was built in the early 1950s. The thing was built in 1952 and leaked water into the floor (when it wasn't busy using 10-20 gallons of water during a flush, of course).

"Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you.... 'Generations of lazy painters!'

When you pull out a toilet, guides often suggest that you put a towel over the waste hole to avoid 'an unpleasant odor'. I suppose that if you're the type who equates the smell of rotting waste, methane, and partially digested meals 'unpleasant', then you should consider following this advice.

After replacing the parts of the subfloor that were rotted, I start putting down cement backerboard for the tile.

Once it was down, I started to lay tile.

Here my friend John practiced the art of 'Obstructing my shot'

Tiling around the hole for the toilet is... tricky. We ended up breaking some tiles into smaller pieces and making it look, er, artistic. Yep, that's the ticket!

Nothing says 'Celebrate completing the bathroom' like a motorcycle ride into the Santa Monica mountains!



Howdy, police officer!

Did I miss the turn?

Truth be told, these last few pictures of the mountains have nothing to do with the bathroom floor job we did. I confess, I was just too lazy to pull them out of the directory I uploaded.