Thursday, March 08, 2007
Guest Blogger Daniel
How to install marble on your bathroom floor brought to you by Bold
Renovations…That’s me Daniel.
Preliminary notes, this is a project that can be done by the do it
yourselfer provided you have some skills in construction, don’t mind
falling through the floor and possibly getting soaked… I did get a
good one this time and so did Calia our kitten.
In our demonstration today we are going to describe the steps
required to installing marble on your bathroom floor, you could also
use less expensive ceramic tiles but after the following steps you
will see why we chose marble. Please note though that you may want to
have the phone number of a plumber handy. Also, this is a great time
to get rid of that ugly wallpaper you can’t stand.
Here are the 21 steps:
1) Remove the toilet and vanity from your bathroom. Toilets are
usually held down to a flange in the floor with two bolts that will
need the nuts removed from. If however, your house is like ours, just
bend at the knees and lift, our toilet came out floor flange and bits
of the sub-floor all attached. Here is where we discovered that the
toilet that has been in the house since Christ was a cowboy has been
leaking nearly half of those years and there is serious water damage
to the sub-floor and floor beams.
2) You will now need to remove the wall that has the bathroom door in
it because as you will discover, that big old cast iron bathtub was
installed before the wall was built and will not fit through the
door. So, if you didn’t already own a sledge hammer from “How to move
a light switch” now is a good time to buy one.
3) Once you have cleaned up the mess from demolishing that wall that
was in the way, disconnect the water supply from the bathtub (make
sure you have turned the water off, this is when Calia and I had an
unexpected shower together) Now drag that 350 pound tub down the
stairs and outside.
4) Go shopping for a new toilet, vanity and tub…if your anything like
me, you dropped the toilet on the stairs and broke it, that 350 pound
bathtub will be impossible to get back up the stairs by yourself and
nobody has a good friend who will help, so go buy a new acrylic
whirlpool they are much lighter! The vanity? Well everything else is
5) Rip out the sub-floor in the bathroom right down to the floor
beams, be careful not to fall through the hole and land on the
kitchen floor below…this by the way is when I had a shot of scotch
and marveled at the wonder of how I didn’t go through the floor while
sitting on the thrown.
6) Call a plumber, you need help getting that cast iron stink stack
out and replaced with a new plastic one. There is no less expensive
time to do it than when the floor is all ripped up anyway.
7) While you are waiting a week for the plumber to come, keep that
sledge hammer from rusting and demo the rest of the walls because you
will have by now discovered you have knob and tube wiring and will
wonder why the copper pipes weren’t leaking as they were so badly
soldered. (See picture to know when this step looks right). I used a
sheet of plywood to stand on as there wasn’t any floor. If you do it
right, all the plaster and crap will fall into the kitchen below so
that you have one less floor to carry the garbage out.
8) Help the plumber remove the old stink stack; this will require at
least two trips to Tim Horton’s and carrying 50 pound pieces of cast
iron pipes outside. At $110/hour it’s best to mostly stay out of the
way and not talk too much.
9) Now that you have a wonderful skylight into the kitchen (or what
ever room is below your bathroom) it’s time to start putting things
back together. This will require some 5/8 plywood or thicker to glue
and screw to each side of your floor beams as they have no doubt been
cut away with large 4 or 5 inch gouges by previous owners who thought
they were handy.
10) Now that the plumber is out of your way, you can run new copper
pipes up to your second floor for the new tub, vanity and toilet.
Some people are using that new Ipex stuff (its plastic or something)
but you don’t risk burning yourself with a torch with that, so I used
11) Screw down two layers of 5/8 plywood to the top of the beams,
this will be your new sub-floor. On the first layer place a bead of
construction glue (liquid nails) to the top of the beams and screw
every foot or so. On the second layer screw in every 4 inches. This
should ensure that there is no movement in the sub-floor which will
crack the tiles.
12) Install your new bathtub, follow mfg’s guides or call that
13) Build a pocket door wall to replace the wall that you tore out to
get the cast iron bathtub out. Pocket doors are great! This way you
won’t have to worry about which way the bathroom door will swing and
it will never be in the way.
14) Go buy some floor leveler, as you will have discovered when the
plumber came back, that your house is crooked and out of level. Mix
and poor the floor leveler onto the bathroom floor, make sure you
plug all the holes first or you will have a big mess in the kitchen
15) After the electrician has left from fixing the knob and tube
wiring issue, hang new drywall in the bathroom, tape, mud and paint.
Alternatively, you could install moisture resistant wallpaper…just
remember though that you will need a sledge hammer to get it off.
16) Now, you can finally install your wonderful new marble floor. We
chose a smoky beige marble. Why? Well after all the rest of the money
spent it was only $50 more for marble over the ceramic we were going
to put in. First step here is to carefully measure and mark the
pattern onto the floor.
17) Next using a ¼ inch notched trowel spread some thin set mortar
and place your tiles down into it.
18) After 24 hours or so has passed, following mfg directions grout
the floor tiles. Use non-sanded for stone (like marble) or sanded for
19) Install your new toilet, vanity, vanity mirror, lights and
install and paint your new pocket door, and trim.
20) Go and buy some oak stair treads to replace the ones that were
damaged by dropping the toilet down them and dragging that 350 pound
cast iron bathtub down the stairs by yourself, cause nobody has a
friend who will help with that either. (We will discus in a future
memo how to do this repair)
21) Poor another scotch (or beverage of your choice)and go sit in
that wonderful new whirlpool tub and forget about the $3000-$5000 you
just spent on the marble floor you thought would cost you $150-$200.
Hope you found this information useful, or at least entertaining. P/s
don’t forget to purchase a couple extra pieces of marble because if
you did like I did, you will drop one of them and it will break and
you will just simply screw up the cuts of another. I call those
pieces practice runs. PPS don’t drink scotch while doing this work,
or you will likely screw up on all the steps and that diamond bladed
wet saw will take fingers off quite quickly.
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