Basement Bathrom Mini-Project, Part 2

Ok, last time I wrote about the basement bathroom mini-project, I said I was going to have this project all wrapped up by Christmas. HAHAHA. That is hilarious. Now that it is February, we are just about done. As a recap, I wanted to spruce up our crazy scary toilet-in-the-corner-of-the-basement bathroom, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it, and I didn’t want to do things correctly either.

The biggest challenge we were facing in this room was that the toilet constantly rocked on the floor because the floor is one of the most unlevel floors I’ve ever seen. This room is about 5×8 and there’s probably 3 inches of slope throughout. So how to go about setting the toilet on the unlevel concrete floor without going through the effort of actually leveling the floor?

Here’s a couple pics of the toilet to give you a sense of how unlevel the floor is:

Toilet on unlevel concrete floor.

Toilet on unlevel concrete floor.

Turns out, when I leveled the toilet, I needed exactly one carpenter’s pencil jammed in on it’s side as a shim in the front corner. Actually, when I got to this point, I almost said “well, let’s just leave that pencil right where it is then and call it a day.” But I am not a savage. Plus, I wanted the pencil back. I decided to try and use some quick-dry concrete underneath the toilet base to fill the gap.

Toilet is level. Shims would need to be over 1/2" on one corner.

Toilet is level. Shims would need to be over 1/2″ on one corner.

So with the toilet in place, I used the pencil to draw the outline of the toilet base on the floor.

Outline of toilet on floor.

Outline of toilet on floor.

Then I flipped the toilet over, and spread cling wrap loosely across the bottom of the toilet base (stay with me here…).

Underside of toilet.

Underside of toilet.

Next, I mixed up some quick-drying concrete, and slopped it on the floor about 1.5 inches deep on top of the toilet base outline on the floor.

Slop a bunch of quick seting concrete on floor in the shape of the toilet base.

Slop a bunch of quick seting concrete on floor in the shape of the toilet base.

Quickly thereafter, I smashed the cling-wrapped toilet base into the wet concrete, keeping it level as I pressed it down (do not use a wax ring for this step).

Smash the toilet down into it, but keep the toilet level.

Smash the toilet down into it, but keep the toilet level.

I let it dry for 15 minutes, then used a knife blade to cut off the excess concrete. I made a vertical cut as close to the toilet base as possible, leaving only the concrete that was actually under the toilet base.

Use a utility knife to cut off excess concrete.

Use a utility knife to cut off excess concrete.

Use a utility knife to cut off excess concrete.

Use a utility knife to cut off excess concrete.

Come back a day later, and pull the toilet off. The cling wrap will keep the concrete from sticking to the ceramic toilet. Discard the cling wrap. This is what you’re left with – it’s a perfect mold of the underside of the toilet base, and a level base to install the toilet.

Hardened Concrete Toilet Pan

Hardened Concrete Toilet Pan

Reinstall the toilet as usual, this time using the wax ring. The toilet will set on the mold of itself that you just created. Bolt it down to the flange as usual. Finally, I just painted the concrete to match the floor.

Final toilet set on concrete toilet pan.

Final toilet set on concrete toilet pan.

Final toillet set on concrete toilet pan.

Final toillet set on concrete toilet pan.

From a couple feet away, you can’t even tell the concrete is there. The toilet is solid and level. I’m calling this a success. I realize this is a little bit of an unorthodox method of installing a toilet, but whatever. It’s working. I don’t think the bond between the original floor and the mold is that strong, so if this ends up failing, I expect a few hits with a hammer and this will all come right off and I’ll be right back where I started. Let’s call this an experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, with that finished, I put a final coat of paint on the floor and completed a finishing touch or two. A little spray foam in the joist bays, and ripping out the old wires for the defunct alarm system & it’s looking pretty good. I love this open-joist look!

I am loving the open joist look.

I am loving the open joist look.

Nobody would suspect this was rigged by a half-wit.

Nobody would suspect this was rigged by a half-wit.

This is what a bathroom looks like.

This is what a bathroom looks like.

Next up, paint these folding doors.

Next up, paint these folding doors.

Anyway, I’m calling this project dunzo. Someday I might get around to painting these terrible folding doors, but probably not. More than likely I’ll just sit on my ass.

4 comments to Basement Bathrom Mini-Project, Part 2

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