Wood – Remove tiles (and plywood underneath) around toilet without removing toilet


Is it possible to remove tiles and plywood from a bathroom floor around the toilet without removing it? If so, how?

The floor is ceramic tiles over plywood over floorboards, in a 1st floor (one floor up from street level) flat/apartment. I'm trying to do as much as possible myself, before getting professionals in to retile and (presumably) remove and put back the toilet when needed.

Best Answer

Anything is possible, but this falls under the Why On Earth Would You category.

Removing and reinstalling a toilet is a fairly simple job for even a novice DIYer. Don't let that intimidate you into making your project far more difficult than it needs to be.

Without knowing the details, here's a basic outline:

  1. Close the water supply valve at the wall.
  2. Flush the toilet to (mostly) empty it. Wet/dry vac the remaining water out of both the bowl and the tank (if convenient).
  3. Detach the water supply at the underside of the tank. It's likely either a hex nut or a plastic wingnut. Be gentle. This stuff isn't cast iron.
  4. Remove the caps for the base mounting bolts (2 or 4), and then remove the nuts.
  5. Cut any caulk present against the floor with a utility knife.
  6. Wiggle and twist the toilet until it loosens, then carry it out. Optionally detach the tank for easier carrying.

Reinstallation is basically the reverse, but there's the wax ring to deal with. Do a bit of reading here and elsewhere for tips on that.