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How to Install the Cove Base Tile and Toilet

The Bathroom Renovations team demonstrates how to install cove base tile and a toilet.

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Step 1: Install the Cove Base Tile

Cove base tile (Image 1) goes around the base of the room. It is a common tile used in your classic Art Deco style bathrooms. It makes the floor easy to clean.

You need to finish any painting before you install the cove base tile. It is recommended that you prime the walls first and then apply a semi-gloss finish in the bathroom to withstand the high humidity.

It is easier to "butter" the mastic on each tile (Image 2) rather than put it directly on the wall. Use the v-notched trowel to get good grooves in the mastic.

Wiggling the tiles into place on the wall will help create a suction to help hold the tile in place. Note: You can butter a couple of tiles at one time, but don't get too far ahead of yourself.

If you get mastic on the tile, wipe with a dry cloth, or it can be scraped with a razor if it has dried.

Step 2: Install the Flange

The original toilet in this bathroom had no closet flange, so it had to be replaced. To correct the problem, a PVC replacement flange that is made for cast iron waste pipes was used (Image 1). The homeowners in this project hired a contractor to install their new toilet.

Once the flange is in place, it is tightened with allen screws that will compress the rubber gasket inside the waste pipe to form a tight seal.

Start by driving 1-1/2" corrosion resistant screws into the subfloor to hold the flange in place (Image 2). Cement backerboard screws work great.

Slowly tighten the allen screws, working your way around the flange to create an even compression.

Slide two brass closet bolts into the PVC flange and then you are ready for the new toilet.

Step 3: Connect the Bowl and Tank

Most new toilets come in two pieces -- the bowl and the tank. Since water flows between the two, you need a watertight seal. Fit the gasket over the threads of the flush valve and make sure it's seated to the bottom of the tank. Set the tank onto the bowl, centering the gasket in the hole. Long brass bolts go through the tank into the holes in the bowl. Now, tighten the nuts -- first one side and then the other -- so pressure is applied to the gasket evenly. Tighten until you have porcelain-to-porcelain contact, but do not over tighten or you'll crack the toilet.

Step 4: Install the Wax Ring and Secure the Toilet

Before the toilet goes in, set a new wax ring into the closet flange. A gasketed ring reinforced with polyurethane to ensure a good seal was used. Make sure it is centered in the hole and seated all the way around.

The toilet is heavy, but it is best for one person to do this so the toilet goes down nice and straight. Line up the closet bolts and set it down gently. Tighten the closet nuts down, but again go slow. You don't want to crack the toilet or the PVC flange underneath.

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