The next phase of the bathroom remodel is to remove the tile and fix the floor underneath. I have been holding off on removing the tile because I knew there was rot in the subfloor around the toilet. 

To get to the subfloor I had to peel back the layers of time. So far as I could tell nothing had ever been taken off the floor before. Everyone in the past had just added another layer to the top. 

Many layers makes for a tall floor.

The first step was to smash the tile so I could remove it. Surprisingly, there was actually concrete backer board under the tile. I didn’t think that the tiling had been done correctly in the past. 

Under the tile and concrete board were 3 layers of linoleum. Removing linoleum isn’t difficult, but no one had ever felt the need before I guess. 

Wood look linoleum with yellow underneath

Beneath all that was the original layer. I am not exactly sure if it was linoleum or something different. It didn’t look quite like linoleum to me, but I don’t know much about the stuff.  This layer looked somewhat like parquet I think. 

Original floor covering

Lastly I had to remove a layer of 1/4th inch plywood that was attached directly to the subfloor. 

While it was a lot of work to remove all these layers it was interesting to see how people had decorated in the past. None of these floor coverings appeal to me, but somebody thought they were great at some time. 


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  1. tumbleweedstumbling

    If you have found any 9 inch tiles please start using an asbestos filtration breathing mask. Those old 9 inch tiles often has asbestos in them. You might endangering your health.

    1. Joshua

      Thankfully there were none of those there. I will definitely keep an eye out for that in the future.

  2. tumbleweedstumbling

    Good! It is not all old tiles, just some, especially dark ones, and there is a website you can search to find out if the nine inch tiles you have also contain asbestos. We have them on our floor. Fortunately out subfloor is just fine and after consulting many experts we have determined sometimes it is better to let old tile lie (even though our tiles do not have asbestos) and we will be putting in new tiles right over the old ones with a spreadable cement base to crack fill and seal them. If we ever sell th house we will need to let the buyer know we have nine inch tiles and they are not asbestos. In our case our subfloor is in excellent shape with no need to redo. Good luck! What a job eh? But it will look great when you are done.

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