How to Do Leak Repair on a Bathroom Subfloor

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When you have a leak in your bathroom, it is important to check the subfloor for damage. You may not notice damaged subfloor at first glance since it is underneath the carpet or vinyl, but undetected, water can rot out the subfloor. You will surely notice if your foot goes through your bathroom floor.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Circular or reciprocating saw
  • Crow and/or pry bar
  • Pressure treated plywood
  • Hammer and nails
  • Stop the leak before beginning any repairs. It does you no good to repair the subfloor if you haven't rid yourself of the source of water.

  • Take up the floor covering that is over the damaged sections. Remove enough of it so you can see the extent of the damage.

  • Determine if you need to remove the toilet to repair the damaged sections. You can do spot repairs to the subfloor so you don't necessarily have to rip it all out if you only have damage in a small area.

  • Cut out the damaged sections of subfloor using a circular or reciprocating saw. Be careful to cut only the subfloor and not cut the actual floor joists. Go slowly so that you are sure of what you are cutting. Cut along the center of the floor joists, leaving yourself something to nail the new subfloor into.

  • Remove the damaged sections once cut. You may need a crowbar or pry bar to help pry it out.

  • Use pressure treated plywood to replace the sections you removed. If you cannot find pressure treated plywood, you can use marine plywood instead, but it is more expensive.

  • Nail the new subfloor into place and then you are ready to put back your floor covering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes when doing home improvement projects.

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