Introduction: DIY Reno New Tile Flooring + How to Change a Toilet

About: Second year engineering student studying at the Beautiful Okanagan campus of The University of British Columbia. I like to tinker with electronics and meddeling with 3D printing. I also have a penchant for rea…
The Story (why this belongs in the maker moms contest). My Nana (Dad's Mom)  supported his making of things while he grew up, much like he has supported my endevours.  So when Nana called us to ask if we could tile her bathroom and upgrade the toilet, we were happy to agree. 
The Team: Me , my brother Adam, My Dad, and Some help from my cousins. 
The Plan: Our original plan was to tear out the linoleum and set the tiles directly against the concrete floor, however we had to re adjust our plan later. We would also be taking out the old toilet and be replacing it with a new dual flush eco toilet. 

Before you get started this project involves the use of power saws and sanders, as well as the risk of asbestos exposure. I am not responsible if you harm yourself during the course of this project. 

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Tile cement/Mortar
Sanded Grout
Spacers (for larger floors)
Grout Sealer
New toilet
new wax ring
new toilet hardware (screws bolts)
Rags x  about 5

Tile Cutter
Tile cutter blade (diamond cutting edge)
wrench (for toilet)
Notched Trowel
Putty Knife
Several Buckets about 3
screw driver
belt sander with sand paper belt
extension cord
dust pan (smiley face not needed) + broom
garbage bags
Dust Masks

Other Handy Tools That aren't completely necessary :
electric drill
Stirring attachment for electric drill  
Knee pads

Step 2: Remove Toilet

The first step for removing the toilet is to shut the water off in your bathroom (if that's possible) and then flush the toilet until most off the water out. Even after flushing  a few times there will still be some water left in the bowl, to remove this fill one of the buckets with water. Next forcefully pour the water into the bowl , dump the bucket down. This will force most of the remaining water out of the toilet. Next turn the house's water supply off (If you haven't already). Then disconnect the water line that heads into the toilet, it is a bendy metal tube that connects to the wall. then you can either take the toilet out as one piece or in two (depends on your toilet). To take it out as one piece first pop off the caps that cover the screws on the bottom of the bowl, then unscrew them. The toilet can now be lifted out, be careful there is still water in the U bend of the toilet so either prepare to clean up some spilled water or have a towel or bucket ready to catch the drips. We put ours into the bathtub to drain some of the extra water out. It was then thrown out. Next stuff a rag into the hole that the toilet used to be on top of, this stops sewer gasses from seeping up and stops things from going down  accidentally.  You do not have to remove the wax ring just yet. Tighten the valve on the intake to the toilet.  The water can now be turned on again, however be careful not all of the valves may be completely water tight, so have a bowl or bucket underneath to catch any leaks. 

Step 3: Remove (Or Don't Remove) the Linoleum Floor

If your confused by the title of this step let me explain. Before 1978 (at least in Alberta) asbestos was used in the paper backing applied to the underside of the linoleum, so unless you happen to have full asbestos removing gear laying around don't pull up your linoleum if its older than 1978. My Nana's house was built in 1979 so we decided not to risk it and instead of ripping the up the old linoleum we decided to trim off the peeling bits and then lay the tiles over top of the linoleum. Begin by doing your research to see if  you should remove your linoleum. After that is established remove the floor boards (if there are any)  and begin to peel/rip away the linoleum. Depending on how much linoleum your removing this could take either a long time or be a vary fast step. Clean out any of the stuff in the bathroom and throw out the old lino. 

Step 4: Dry Fit + Measure and Cut Tiles

Begin by placing all the tiles that do not need to be cut into the room. next begin by marking the tiles that need to be cut with a crayon. You could measure how much needs to be cut off, however it is faster to place the tile into the place it needs to be and then marking it with a crayon. absolute precision is not required, especially in small rooms. In larger rooms a greater level of accuracy may be needed. In places were it is possible to hide the cut edge underneath the cabinet and floor boards flip the tile upside down before measuring.  Next fill the saw's trough with water and mount the blade, plug in saw and  to a test to make sure the water pump is working, doing a test cut on a spare or broken tile is also a good idea.  Next label the bottom of the tiles and remove them from the space. We used a co-ordinate system to ensure each tile was put back in the right place. 

Step 5: Sand Linoleum

Next run a sander over the linoleum to aid with the adhesion of the mortar. Wear a dust mask, the asbestos is not in the top of linoleum so you don't need full bio hazard suits. Then stop for a Pizza break, however this is not necessary.  

Step 6: Mix Mortar and Lay Down Tiles

The mixing is best done outside, so grab a bucket and hose and go catch some rays. Follow the mixing instructions on the package of mortar. It should be thick enough to not run but thin enough to be workable. next come up with a plan of laying down the tiles so that you don't have to step on other newly laid tiles while you put the others down. We went from the back left corner to the front right corner of the room. use the trowel to put the cement on both the floor and the tile. Grooves should be on both. Different mortars require different sized notches, so make sure that you mortar and trowel match up. This is were if you have a larger room the spacers come in handy to keep the distances between the tiles the same. A couple of rags are handy here to help keep the mortar were it should be and off of the walls. Next wait 24 hours and then clean any mortar off that is on top of the tiles. Then if there are any gaps in the tiles that are filled in by concrete scrape it out with something. 

Step 7: Grouting

Just like the mortar the grout is also best mixed outside. Mix according to the directions on the box, it should be thinner than the cement. Next just like laying the tiles formulate a plan of efficient movement through the room so you don't have to step on the grout. The grout goes right over top of the tiles (you know how you just cleaned them), if you have a younger helper this is the time that they can go wild. just smear the grout all over so that it goes into all the gaps left in the tiles. then wait about 30min and start to wipe off the grout that is still on top of the tiles, this is best done with just the sponge and water. You can step on the tiles but not on the grout so be careful.  After a few days and a couple floor cleanings the grout sealer can be applied, again follow the instructions on the bottle. 

Step 8: Install New Toilet

this is vary similar to taking the toilet out except in reverse, with the exception of putting in a new wax seal. Begin by removing the rag and old wax seal. Next place the new wax seal in position, bring in the toilet bowl and press it firmly onto the new wax seal. Then tighten the bolts. Place the large rubber seal between the bowl and tank. Next place the tank on top of the bowl and tighten those bolts as well, make sure that the rubber seal is on the inside were the water will be. Then turn the water off again. Re attach the inlet water hose to the toilet, and loosen the valve. The water can now be turned on again, the toilet should fill up, as always always place something underneath to catch any possible leaks.  once the toilet is working properly (do a couple test flushes) the lid and seat can be installed. The seat goes on with screws and the lid with gravity. Thats it  all thats left is clean up.

I am in no way a professional and your comments are always appreciated, Please let me know what you think of this 'ible by rating it (and if you really like it or found it helpful a vote) thanks for reading - Zaphod
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