How to Lay Flooring Around a Toilet

How to Lay Flooring Around a Toilet

Upgrading your bathroom flooring can breathe new life into the space, but the task becomes trickier when working around a toilet. Laying new flooring while accommodating the toilet’s unique shape and plumbing fixtures requires precise measurements, careful planning, and execution.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps of how to lay flooring around a toilet, from taking accurate measurements to ensuring a watertight seal.

You’ll learn valuable tips and techniques to navigate the challenges and avoid common pitfalls, resulting in a professional-looking, seamless finish. This will elevate the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom but also ensure long-lasting functionality and durability.

How to Lay Flooring Around a Toilet

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How to Lay Flooring Around a Toilet?

To lay flooring around a toilet, first, remove the old flooring and clean the area. Measure and cut the new flooring to fit around the toilet base.

Start laying the flooring from the toilet’s edge, then trim it to fit snugly. Secure the flooring in place and seal the edges with caulk. Let it dry completely before using the toilet. These steps ensure a tidy and durable flooring installation around the toilet.

Preparing the Bathroom for Flooring Installation

First, shut off the toilet’s water supply and flush to drain the tank and bowl. Remove any remaining water with a plunger or bucket. Disconnect the supply line and remove the toilet by rocking it gently to break the wax seal, then lift it out.

Next, thoroughly sweep or vacuum the subfloor area to clean it. Inspect for any cracks, holes, uneven spots, or moisture damage that need repair. Use a level to identify high and low areas that require sanding or shimming to create a flat, level surface.

If there are any severely damaged sections of the subfloor, replace them. With the toilet removed and the subfloor properly prepared, you’ll have a suitable base ready for installing the new flooring around the toilet area.

Choosing the right flooring material

When selecting bathroom flooring, vinyl, tile, and laminate are popular options to consider. Vinyl offers water resistance, durability, and a budget-friendly price point. Tile, such as ceramic or porcelain, provides superior water resistance but can be more challenging to install.

Laminate offers a wood look at a lower cost compared to real wood, but it is not fully waterproof. However, since bathrooms have high moisture levels, prioritize moisture resistance when making your choice. Vinyl, ceramic, and porcelain tiles are highly water-resistant options. Laminate resists moisture to some extent but may not withstand excessive water exposure.

Also, factor in the ease of installation. Vinyl planks and laminate are generally easier to install compared to tile, which may require professional assistance. Remember to choose the material that best suits your needs, budget, and skill level, considering moisture resistance, durability, and installation ease.

Measuring and cutting the flooring

Achieving a seamless flooring installation around the toilet area begins with precise measurements. Carefully measure the bathroom floor dimensions as well as the distances to and diameter of the toilet flange pipe using a tape measure. Note any irregularities or obstacles. 

When cutting the flooring material, use a utility knife or saw for straight cuts on vinyl – score the surface several times before snapping along the line. Measure twice to ensure accuracy before cutting. 

For intricate cuts around the flange or tight curves, a jigsaw is essential. Slowly guide the jigsaw blade, making relief cuts first on sharp turns to prevent tear-out. 

The right tools are crucial – a jigsaw for curves and corners, utility knives for vinyl cuts, and power saws for thicker laminate planks. With accurate measurements and proper cutting techniques tailored to the flooring material, you can achieve a professional, seamless fit around the toilet. 

Reinstalling the toilet

After the new flooring is in place around the toilet area, reinstalling the toilet requires a proper technique for a secure and watertight fit. 

Remove any of the old wax ring remnants, and replace them with a new wax ring around the toilet flange opening. Wax ring is used to create a seal between the toilet base and the drain pipe.

Then carefully llower the toilet onto the flange, aligning it with the new wax ring. Use a level to ensure the toilet is evenly positioned. Make any necessary adjustments for a level installation. Once the toilet has been positioned, insert the bolts through the base and flange and tighten the bolts evenly to secure the toilet.

Remember, avoid over-tightening, as it may damage the flooring or toilet.

Lastly, check for gaps between the base and floor apply a silicone caulk bead if needed for an added watertight barrier, and allow the caulk to fully cure before use.

Reinstalling the Toilet

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: New Africa

Cleaning and maintenance plan

Proper cleaning and maintenance are also key. Sweep regularly using pH-neutral cleaners designed specifically for your new flooring. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing. We recommend you place mats in high-traffic areas to reduce wear. Address spills quickly to prevent staining or damage.

Consider reapplying a protective sealant periodically if recommended. These finishing touches, such as caulking for a polished look, are essential. Having a routine cleaning and maintenance plan will ensure your new flooring stays beautiful and lasts for years around the toilet area.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When installing new flooring around a toilet, be mindful of potential pitfalls that can compromise the results. One common mistake is failing to account for door clearance. Measure first, as thicker flooring may require trimming doors for proper operation.

Improper sealing around the toilet is another issue to avoid. Always use a new wax ring and caulk the base thoroughly to prevent leaks and moisture damage over time. Other mistakes include inadequate subfloor preparation, which leads to uneven surfaces. 

Incorrect spacing can cause buckling or warping while choosing flooring unsuitable for bathroom conditions results in premature wear. Avoiding these common pitfalls through proper planning, material selection, sealing, and attention to detail is crucial. 

Being aware of these potential problems is crucial. It ensures a successful, professional-looking installation that enhances your bathroom and provides long-lasting performance.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has helped you better understand how to lay flooring around a toilet. From preparation to execution, following the right techniques is crucial for a seamless and watertight result.

Remember, laying flooring around toilet fixtures requires patience and attention to detail. By applying the insights outlined here, you can confidently navigate the unique challenges posed by toilet plumbing.

With the proper approach, you’ll enhance your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal while ensuring long-lasting durability and functionality.

Mark is a seasoned home services contractor and now serves as the Director of Market Research for Services Curated.