Toilet Day

Today the old toilet will be removed and the new toilet installed. It is a day that will find me shopping frequently, and using the washrooms at the stores I visit.

10:30 a.m.

Around 10:30 a.m. this morning Attila removed the old toilet from the bathroom at the little house in the city. Good news underneath, the floorboards were sound, badly stained by water, hacked up by previous renovations, but sound.

Where the old toilet used to be. As you can see the drain flange is elevated, something we are not going to change. Also, the black vent can be seen on the right, where it sticks out further than the wall studs.
DSCF2732 old toilet out

I spent the morning hours shopping for building materials and food, while Attila laboured to remove the toilet and four layers of flooring

He also installed a stud. The stud was installed on the outer edge of another stud, bringing the wall out another two inches, out and around the vent pipe. The solution to getting around this vent pipe, that juts out past the edge of the studs, was to angle the drywall out around it, so that it curved out. The old wall looked crooked and slightly disturbing.

1:30 p.m.

On arriving home we ate some lunch, then discussed the next step. We could apply a layer of mahogany subfloor directly onto the existing floorboards. The 1/4″ mahogany comes in 4 by 8 foot sheets, which will not fit into our car. So Attila worked out and drew a diagram of two cuts to perform on the sheet, so that it would fit into the car and be easy to install in the bathroom. Also, we needed a new water supply hose to the toilet. So I was off to the lumber yard with my list and cutting diagram.

The Home Hardware where I shopped was friendly, and gladly helped me find the water supply hose I needed, cut the mahogany just as outlined in the diagram, and loaded it into the car for me. I like shopping there because there is always an employee around to give advice and assistance, someone who knows what they are talking about.

5:00 p.m.

The mahogany subfloor was just installed. Attila is preparing a “platform”, because the toilet drain flange is raised an inch above floor level. So the toilet will have to be raised one inch. Two 1/2″ thick pieces of wood, cut to the outer dimensions of the toilet, need to be installed, and the then the toilet installed on top of them. It will be a raised throne! Our guess is that the toilet drain flange was raised during a previous renovation, to increase the angle of the drain pipe and optimize the flow. So, it is a good idea to leave the plumbing as it is, and work around the issue with the one inch wood “platform”.

The toilet we bought is “chair height”, so it will be one inch higher than that. Short people might have a problem with it, but I think Attila and I will manage without discomfort. It will be such a change from the old toilet, which had a very low height.

6:00 p.m.

We escaped to a McDonalds restaurant to visit the washroom there. After driving directly there and back again, Attila is hard at work once more. The goal is to have the new toilet functioning before bedtime tonight.

7:30 p.m.

The inevitable snag appeared. The floorboards beneath the toilet sag toward the toilet drain flange. The floor needs to be level beneath the toilet. Oh dear. This will require some thought, a solution must be found.

Attila will connect the toilet for tonight, using some very ugly but wonderfully functional temporary wood shims. The toilet may be left that way for quite a few nights, while we think up a solution. We will be thinking toilets for the foreseeable future.

The upshot is that the new toilet is temporarily installed and functioning. The “platform” will be trimmed to the shape of the toilet, painted with a very high quality, high gloss paint. Plastic shims and plaster of paris will be used to level the toilet. Although the job is only partially done, we can now see our way forward to getting the installation completed.

The new toilet installed, on the new subfloor. Note on the right the additional stud added to the wall, so that we can drywall around the vent pipe.
DSCF2743 new toilet

The stores are closed now for the rest of the holiday weekend, and will not open again during this visit. The materials we will need, plaster of paris, plastic shims and paint, will have to be purchased between now and our next visit.

This is why I prefer demolition! Building the bathroom is all about finding solutions to small but vital problems, problems created over many years, and in the case of the little house in the city, by many people.

8:15 p.m.

Yes! We can both confirm that this new toilet is working, and that it works really well!

Now we can have some dinner, pita pizza’s are on the menu for tonight. I will enjoy this meal. On Monday and Tuesday I am on a clear fluid diet, in preparation for the dreaded colonoscopy. It is one procedure I will not be writing about in any detail!

Worldly Distractions


Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 19.3°C
Dewpoint: 10.7°C
Humidity: 57%
Wind: NNW 15 km/h


“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”
Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809)

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We gutted and rebuilt out upstairs half-bathroom and Paul did it all by himself. He didn’t have a clue about how to do it but he managed. He also had to build up some blocks under the toilet like you did because the flange thingy was too high. Must be a common thing. It took him forever to get it done, and I was working at home, just feet away from the loo, and I was happy he didn’t want me interfering with him.


Excellent news that the subfloor was sound. Replacing that would have been major surgery.

Let me know how the colonoscopy goes; I’m supposed to have one, and I’m too chicken to go through with it. Maybe some encouraging words from you will do the trick?

I can see why you prefer demolition. The successive parade of problems to be solved and solved in an attractive way as well as being sound in construction is much more taxing than just ripping the stuff out. Begone!

Hope you have a relaxing holiday weekend. You’ve certainly earned it. INMO