The Ongoing Bathroom Saga – Not For The Faint Of Heart

This post makes me laugh.  Nothing is ever easy-especially when you are updating an old house. Right, Melissa?

Last week I told you that my dad was going to help me take out the sink cabinet. Well, he came on Thursday and disconnected the seemingly permanently-affixed galvanized pipes and we got that sink cabinet pulled right out.  It was disintegrating into sawdust underneath…ewww.

Then we found this…

Glued down vinyl under the sink cabinet. Yuck!

The first concern that I had was with asbestos because it can be present in both sheet vinyl and the adhesive.  I was actually really freaked out about it, so I spent hours talking on the phone to home inspectors, the health department and others.

I finally got some helpful information from a local company that does asbestos testing and remediation.  Because the vinyl is small  (2×3), it’s considered quite harmless when handled correctly.  The professional I spoke with said that we could take it out whether or not it was or wasn’t asbestos, as long as we took precautions like wearing masks and using a spray water bottle to keep asbestos particles from floating around in the air.  Apparently, it’s considered unfriable unlike crumbly plaster.

Anyway, I took Ridley to my mom’s on Saturday and we suited up with masks and taped off the vent and door with plastic.  We began to remove the vinyl when we made a disgusting discovery.

We were not expecting to find a totally rotten and molded floor.


We called our landlady who lives next door and she came over and was equally as horrified.  We decided to also pull out the toilet and we found that the floor was really bad there too.

Can you believe that the BACK of the toilet was molded?  Why did it do that??  Just from condensation?  Do we need a new toilet?

Anyway, we went to Home Depot and found this flooring.  We’re going to let it acclimate to the humiditiy and temperature in the bathroom for a few days before we install it.

Today the hubs is off work, so we’re working on pulling out the old flooring and subfloor.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get the subfloor replaced as well. Woot!

The sinkless, toiletless bathroom


This project has turned out to be a can of worms…but it’s a good can of worms. I’m SOOOO glad that we didn’t just put new flooring down over the vinyl since there is a rotten floor there.  It could’ve been a much bigger job years down the road!


In other news, these Spring beauties are blooming right beside the back door.


The forsythia is just starting to bloom. I love the bright happy colors in my yard! :)

Have you ever had to deal with mold or asbestos in your home??

Thanks for hanging with me here at The Casa!  I wish I could have you all over for lunch one day! :)

Have a fab day!!

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  1. Vicki says

    Oh, this reminds me of the problems we found when we began replacing the flooring in an upstairs bathroom (it had been carpeted…yeeccchhh!). The subflooring beneath the toilet and around the shower was molded and soggy….and sagging into the laundry room below. That meant ripping out and replacing the downstairs ceiling (after a little preemptive plumbing work) as well as the flooring above. When the shower was measured for a new enclosure, we found that it had sagged so much it was two inches out of square! These “problems” can really set us back, but they are great opportunities, too!

  2. says

    oh. MAN! Thank goodness that you saw it and are able to replace the sub-floor and the icky mess of mold! Let me be a complete freak out here— what is under the tub?? :::shudder::: don’t you wonder?

    What kind of floor did you get exactly?

  3. says

    oh,. and I’d LOVE to come for lunch, I’m DESPERATE for a touch of spring. We had another 3 inches of snow yesterday, and it’s sleeting now. I want some fresh forsythia blooming. even my evergreens are looking sad. :(

  4. Tricia (@Tricia_triesDIY) says

    Oh girl! It is always something, isn’t it? Home improvement projects never seem to go as easy as you think they will. I told you about the mold we found behind our kitchen sink base. Yuck!

    The toilet shouldn’t mold like that. Condensation can form from the cold tank water and a warm room, but it should not mold. Was there mold growing on the wall too? Do you have a good exhaust fan in there? If not, you might want to add that to your project list. The toilet is totally salvageable. Just use lots of bleach!

    Good luck with this and just think about how pretty it will be in the end. Then it will be worth all of this…even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.

  5. says

    I was waiting for this post in excitement of what you were going to do.. But after reading your post I feel your pain! We bought a 28 yr old cottage that was foreclosed on! It all started with a running toilet to find out or sub flooring was rotted! Huge project but I’m soo happy that we discovered it early on as frustrating as the process was! Good luck and I’m glad it’s been solved now! Healthy happy beautiful bath to you and yours!!

  6. says

    Oh that made me itch all over to see all that mold. I’m SO GLAD you guys discovered it so you can get it all cleaned up and have a fresh, beautiful bathroom.

    And I’m glad your hubs is smiling. :)

  7. says

    our toilet in our old house used to get mold on it from the condensation if you let it build up between cleans. Bleach is a super cleaner and disenfects it and it will be fine. Obviuosly you need to make sure the bathroom has adequete ventalation, but apart from that, just disenfect the toliet where the condensation forms regularly. :)

  8. Jean says

    I love reading about your renovation- we are trying to get up enough nerve to totally gut our 1950’s bathroom too. I think my husband has done everything before except tile- and honestly that seems like brain surgery to me! Any ideas for a website etc on how to learn to tile? Will you be using tile in your new bathroom…I am hoping so – that way I can be inspired:)

  9. Becki says

    I’m sure you’ve thought of ventilation issues. Is the house air-conditioned? Someone mentioned a good exhaust fan. In the south with high humidity you can have serious mold problems especially if the house has been closed up. This will be a fabulous bathroom when you are finished! Good luck!

  10. says

    Ah, yes. I know the pain (and fun) of an old house.

    One thing we did in our old house when we remodeled was to put an exhaust fan in. It really helped cut down on the moisture and mold problems we were having! Good thing you tore something out otherwise you’d still be living with hidden mold! EEEK!

    Can’t wait to see how the flooring turns out!

  11. Judy W says

    Wow that is a bad surprise! I believe I would put tile instead of hardwood floors in bathroom. I would be afraid of the toilet over flowing and warping the hardwood floors. With my luck it would happen! I bet the bathroom is going to be great when you finish. Can’t wait to see pictures!

  12. says

    Oh man, I have dealt with some mold… In an old house you almost have to have a de- humidifier, also there are lightbulbs that help with mold spores in the air.. however our must anti- mold tactic by far has been to buy a large roll of vapor barrier and lay it out under the crawlspace. It make s a HUGE difference.. it simlpy puts a barrier between the floor and subfloor- that way when it rains for days you don’t feel the dampness or have the perspiration on the windows, which is normal or an old house. Hope this helps:)

  13. Ann Miller says

    In painting your bathroom, make sure you paint with something that will keep the mold at bay. We, too, have had to deal with mold in this old house. The bathroom is always gross to me (guess it’s from living with 4 gentlemen who have a hard time with their aiming). I use cleaning wipes to wipe down the toilet and floor. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and am happy to have found this! Really looking forward to read/see more as you go along. Think of the end product and keep smiling 😀

  14. Johanna says

    My parents house had the exact same problem when the started to do what was supposed to be a simple bathroom redo. Ended up the entire floor was bad and the bath tub and everything had to come out. Crazy!

  15. Betsy says

    Ewwwww! Brings back awful memories of my bathroom remodel a few months ago. We had a tub drain that didnt work properly so water was going UNDER the tub. Of course, the drywall loved the water. We had black mold about 4 feet up the walls once we started tearing them out! It was NASTY!!!!. I would definitely think about installing a ceiling exhaust fan. They are not too hard to do. My hubs and father installed ours in about 2 hours total. I also would look into investing in a mold resistant sub floor. Good luck with the rest of your reno. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  16. says

    Oh my gosh, I would have FLIPPED! Nothing freaks me out more than mold. There’s a weird spot next to our shower wall that I think is getting moldy (maybe the shower pan isn’t sealed correctly?) and I pretty much break into hives just thinking about it. I’m so glad you are getting that taken care of! You will be so relieved.


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