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Old 04-14-2020, 11:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 3
Replacing Bathroom Floor-Water Damage

Rotten Bathroom Floor Repair
I am halfway through a removal and repair of a RV bathroom subfloor. I have been searching extensively for a video on what to do and how to do it, but very few found specific to the issue I had. I am sharing my experience to help others and will accept any suggestions.

TT info: 2011 Forest River Surveyor Sport SP-293
Flooring Type: Vinyl linoleum w plywood subfloor on aluminum frame
Shower type: Radial w glass enclosure and plastic surround, hexagon pan
Tools Used: Cordless drill with various types of bits, screwdrivers,hammer

(Suggestions welcome for tools needed)
Tools Needed to complete: Skill saw, jigsaw, tape measure, wood glue, marine grade plywood, 2x4 pieces for added framework if needed, vinyl tile & threshold, command hooks to hold wiring during install

I am numbering for the sake of questions/comments
Issue: Soft spot on floor in bathroom directly in front of shower
1. Used box cutter blade to cut vinyl along walls and cabinet to see damage underneath. Once it was pulled up, the damage covered 50% of bathroom floor but had not spread to toilet area.
2. Removed front access panel/vent from shower pan to see damage below shower-noticed that rot continued under pan and that the drain hardware was loose. I loosened the drain assembly until it was completely separate from the drain. The access panel was tiny and there was ductwork so it was rather difficult to even reach the drain assembly from that small opening.
3. Decided to remove shower since the subfloor would have to be replaced. Used box cutter to cut through the silicone seal from the inside of the shower. Mistakenly thought the glass enclosure was simply glued to the shower surround and spent the better part of an hour trying to use a flathead screwdriver to help pry the enclosure away from the wall. I had a hard time finding a video of removing a glass enclosure but realized when it seemed like I hit a screw that’s there must be a track screwed into the wall. After finding a video showing exactly that, I removed the perimeter screws from the left and right side of the enclosure, removed the top track cover screws, and removed the 2 anchor screws from the bottom track directly under the enclosure door. One side came away easily, but the other was still stuck due to the generous silicone so I used a paint can opener to pry the other side from the track, sliding down until I had cut through the remaining silicone.
4. I was doing this by myself, and underestimated the weight of the enclosure, so getting it off of the shower pan and out of the bathroom was terribly difficult. there was a lot of cracking going on, but no glass shattered and if something is bent, I will deal with it later. Make sure you have help to remove the enclosure.
5. Next I removed the screws from the wall tracks for the enclosure and removed the 2 anchor screws from the shower pan into a piece of wood anchored to the floor below. The floor was rotten, so it came away easily.
6. I didn’t want to remove the shower surround unless completely necessary so I peeled behind one corner to see if the shower pan was screwed to the wall. It wasn’t. I was able to pry out one of the plastic pins attaching the surround to the wall but I had a hard time getting the second one out so I decided to pull the pan out from under the shower surround for now. Surprisingly it came away fairly easily.
7. I removed the shabby wooden “support” that the shower pan was resting on by pulling it away from the floor. It was only glued down and was quite flimsy which is why the shower floor felt spongy while showering. I will be replacing that with a much stronger support when we put it back together.
8. The first thing I noticed was all of the rot beneath the shower and that the drain assembly sat in a square cutout that went approximately 3-4 inches below the floor. It seemed like a foil drip pan or something similar. My theory is that the drain assembly was very loose, which caused the water to leak out every time we used the shower. Once the drip pan filled, it spilled over onto the floor under the shower and caused the rot. I have had the TT for almost 5 years and the soft spot just appeared within the last year, but I cannot say how long it has been leaking. I removed the P-trap and set aside. The drain pipe ran toward the sink, so I left it as is.
9. Under the shower pan and under and around the wooden support was a collection of electrical wires, heater ducts, and water lines. The water lines run up to the shower controls, along the wall on one side to the toilet and along the wall on the other side towards the sink. There was a large heater duct that ran to the bedroom partially smashed) and a smaller duct that faced the access panel on the shower pan as it was also a vent. The electrical wires were anchored down with some sort of clamp that screwed into the subfloor. I was able to remove most of the clamps with the drill but a few of them were too close to the corners and had to be pried from the rotten wood since the drill was too bulky to work properly.
10. I kept cutting the linoleum around the space to pull up the rest of it
****Here is as far as I was able to get on day 1 ****
Here is the plan:
10. Draw a square area past the rot to make a square shaped cut.
11. Lift all electrical wires and duct work away from the rotten floor
12. Carefully measure area to replace, including square cutout for drain assembly
13. Remove rotten floor with hammer, crowbar, etc
14. Clean up debris and survey other damage
15. Test for leaks in water lines
16. Glue down new subfloor into space and caulk cracks
17. Use vinyl tile to cover subfloor
18. Replace foil drip pan
19. Replace shower drain assembly and attach to drainage pipe
20. Replace shower pan support
21. Re-anchor electrical wiring
22. Reposition ducts
23. Replace shower drain (old one broke apart when trying to remove drain cover)
24. Reseat shower pan and anchor to new floor
25. Re-glue shower enclosure
26. Screw wall tracks for shower enclosure back onto wall
27. Reassemble shower enclosure using screws provided
28. Use silicone to seal from inside of shower along walls
29. Replace vent/access panel
30. Finish tiling bathroom floor with vinyl tile and add threshold where tile meets linoleum
31. Begin celebration or therapy

I welcome any tips, suggestions, especially on how to remove the floor up to the exterior wall as I think the rot extends all the way.
Note: My subfloor seems to be glued down to the aluminum frame instead of screwed into wooden joists.
Main questions:
A- Should I remove the toilet and replace entire floor of bathroom?
B- What type of saw is best for near the wall of the bathroom?
C- Is a skill saw set to 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch ok to cut near the toilet since the holding tank is directly below?
D- I will be replacing the drain assembly but is there something better than original type?
E: I cannot find the name of the square foil pan that lined the square drip area directly beneath the drain. Is a regular foil pan sufficient?
F: Can I move the larger duct behind the shower support so that it is not in the way of the access panel area or is it hazardous to be on top of the electrical wiring due to the heat it will carry?
G: Can I anchor the electrical wiring on the wall instead of along the floor under the shower pan?
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:05 AM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 85
Excellent write up!! I do not have the same setup as you so I can't offer you any insight. I did have to replace a section of my bathroom floor though mine was due to a water leak from my washing machine which was located in the bathroom. I replaced my flooring with a waterproof click together type flooring from Home Depot. The only thing I can help you with is the a saw/cutter recommendation. I used a circular saw carefully set to just barely cut through the floor while leaving just enough wood to finish the cut using a back cutter type utility knife. Also I think you should look at a oscillating type cutter like the multimax or whatever brand you want. They are fantastic for cutting close to walls. Another suggestion is Dremel makes a 3 pack of carbide tipped cutter blades that are $35 for a 3 pack but are fantastic and stay sharp for a long time. Well worth the money.
Good luck with your project.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 3
Update 1

Update #1:
After cutting into the floor, we discovered that the flooring is high density foam with only 1/4 inch plywood or wood paneling glued on top of it. I cannot see any of the aluminum framing.
We purchased a Dremel multi tool (to use for various projects) and I used it to cut large squares that i can remove in smaller areas. However, we didn’t purchase the wood blade, so it was a bit more difficult with one of the blades that came with the set, so I will be purchasing the wood blade ASAP.

Since the “wood” is glued to the foam, I didn’t want to use a crowbar to gouge out the foam, so I used a heavy duty putty knife to slip between the layer of foam and wood and lifted it to crack the wood and remove in pieces.
It is a large mess, but is very simple to remove, even at the wall line. I lift the putty knife up toward the wall to snap the wood up and it seems to be snapping with a clean edge so far.
The drier parts require the multi tool to cut the edge of the square cutouts, but you could probably use a chisel and hammer to cut through the wood as well since it is so thin.

The “foil pan” is actually just a cutout into the foam to make room for the P trap drain assembly, so I will likely re-foil that area or find a silicone container with similar dimensions to see when there is a water leak in the future. It is likely a waste of time, but I am concerned with leaving that foam exposed.
I will post more updates as we go along.
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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Posts: 389
I used foam board, liquid nail, to build up floor. and laid wood flooring from door to couch and back to bathroom. Cut carefully so you can caulk neatly around edge. Solid floor now and looks great. If you take your time you don't have to pull up toilet. THIS DAMAGE TO FLOOR CAME FROM THE REFERGIATOR DRAIN TUBE NOT DRIPPING OUTSIDE OF TRAILER. Tongue up hill after disconnecting from truck. Defrost water made its way to bathroom floor. SO floor never dries and rotting floor continues. New trailer or used trailer i always make sure drain tube is dripping outside of trailer. I have told many rvers that there frig. is draining in there wall and they never had been told to put tube through the outside fridge vent.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:27 AM   #5
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You have a 'sandwich' type floor that uses two thin sheets of Lauan (top & bottom thin plywood sheets) with foam in between. This flooring is manufactured using heat. glue and a roller press to squeeze it all together and form larger sections of flooring.

There are many threads on this type of flooring failing (soft spots) even when not wet.
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Old 04-17-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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I would have loaded the thing with explosives and videotaped the thing falling from the sky in a million pieces and put it on YouTube for profit.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by milton_w_herron View Post
I would have loaded the thing with explosives and videotaped the thing falling from the sky in a million pieces and put it on YouTube for profit.
get real,
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:11 AM   #8
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I just replaced a section of flooring around the toilet last month. I placed 1/16" steel below the luan to seal over the areas where I pulled up the insulation. I glued everything. It seems very solid. I didn't have as much water damage as you had though. Is everything drying out okay? I had a friend of mine cut the vinyl flooring and just peel it back. It laid back down perfectly. It looks like nothing was ever done. I wish I had taken some pictures.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:19 AM   #9
Just as confused as you
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If silicon adhesive/caulking was used to seal the glass enclosure, plastic surround and trim pieces to the shower pan you need to make sure you clean off all traces of silicon residue before resealing. Nothing will adhere to the old silicon, not even new silicon.
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