What's this toilet base thingy?

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What's the purpose of that marble base under the toilet?
This is in a bathroom that was added on to our house I'm guessing in the 1950's. I'm just curious why its there at all. It looks like it was installed when the bathroom was built, so I don't think there was a need to adjust the floor height to the waste flange height or anything like that.
We're gutting and redoing the bathroom (don't you just love those plastic tiles on the wall?), and my wife wants to keep that marble base. New floor will probably be 1 inch hexagon tiles, and it seems to me it will just be extra work for the tile guy to tile around that base rather than just tiling all the way up to the flange. All plumbing will be new, including a new flange set in the floor, so the new flange can be set to whatever height is necessary for the tile thickness.
Ken
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Looks like the tan floor was there with a big old toilet on it. Then they wanted a new toilet but when they removed the one with the larger footprint there was a gap in the tan flooring material that was not covered by the newer toilet. So they improvised and put down a piece of material to cover the gap.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The toilet itself is relatively new, there is a date stamped inside the tank in the 1970's, so it was replaced at some point. There are stains around the edges that show the outline of a previous toilet.
I'm pretty sure that the marble baseplate was there when the bathroom was originally installed since if you look at the underside of it from the basement, someone went to a lot of trouble to frame around the edges of the baseplate with no other subfloor under the baseplate. They even cut a joist out and attached the cut ends of the joist to the adjacent joists with headers. There doesn't appear to be any need to do that (no plumbing was in the way) other than someone wanted the edges of that baseplate to be supported by framing members.
Ken
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One would have needed to support the edges of the stone to prevent it from cracking since there is no subfloor beneith it. Notching the joists may have been necessary to prevent it from being too high. Perhaps the original installation had a nicer floor and the remodel in the 70's removed it in favor of what you have now.
At least its not round. The tilesetter will deal with it like a wall and only needs to make straight cuts (may even be able to score and break).
In remodeling and even in original construction, some materials like that get used just because someone has it and is looking for an application. It may have had an earlier life as a table top.
wrote:

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Ken,
The purpose is that your wife likes it! What else do you need to know???
It's a little hard to tell from the photo, is it flush with the floor or does it raise the toilet some? If the latter someone might have done it in part to raise the level. If flush, maybe that was just someone's idea of a high class touch, or they wanted an extra-stable base for the toilet.
It will not be a big deal for a professional tiler to tile around it. They might recommend putting some sort of tile border around it.
--


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Heathcliff wrote:

Well, you're right on that one! I suppose I shouldn't have even bothered to ask the question. :-)

It slightly raised compared to the floor around it, however, there appears to be at least two layers of vinyl flooring, so I suppose it used to be raised even more than the surrounding floor.

Thanks for the info!
Ken
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Heathcliff wrote:

Well, you're right on that one! I suppose I shouldn't have even bothered to ask the question. :-)

It slightly raised compared to the floor around it, however, there appears to be at least two layers of vinyl flooring, so I suppose it used to be raised even more than the surrounding floor.

Thanks for the info!
Ken
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Ken wrote:

Whatever the initial reason for it, it's not needed. Why keep it?

Oh ;o) Well, it may be easier to keep clena that the grout directly around the stool. You'll have plenty of grout to keep clean with the 1" mosaic your planning on installing.
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wrote:

No grout lines. I suspect that it's easy to clean, keeps condensation and dribbling from other low-volume water sources (Drunk men, small children, buckets from somewhere else...) away from the surrounding flooring where it would otherwise soak in and stink and/or rot, and it's a dead-smooth surface to rest the toilet base on so you don't have to worry about making a grout-bed or using shims.
--Goedjn
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Ken, 6/6/2005, 10:17:28 AM,

[snipped]
It's a trap door to the Underworld!!! They get you when you are in the most vulnerable position. You're a fearless man for sitting on that commode. Since your wife wants to keep it I would be very suspicious of her and start looking around the house for other signs of Black Magic.
--
No matter what happens, someone will find a way to take it too
seriously.
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Ahhh... A good point! My wife likes to experiment when she cooks, so I'll be extra suspicious when she serves something that is just for me and not for her or the kids!
Ken
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Tell your wife that the marble base is ugly. It was used to cover a mistake.
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If you plan to tile then you are probably going to put a cement board down first as a substrate. this may bring the floor flush (pun) with the toilet base. you could tile right over the marble using the mud bed to level any step.

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We have a cultured marble base under our 1995 toilet. The reason it is there is because we wanted a carpeted master bath. The builder chose to do it this way. Two layers of vinyl would make it stick up above grade if we had added two layers later.
Not sure if this is what happened in your case or not but I throw it out for your consideration.
Colbyt
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Have you had the toilet up? Sometimes older bathrooms had the drain centerline closer to the back wall than is required for modern toilets. You can get an offset flange that moves the drain opening a couple of inches to compensate, but this raises the toilet and therefore requires some sort of platform to provide clearance for the offset flange. If you take the toilet up it will be obvious if an offset flange has been installed.
This doesn't sound too likely in your case since it seems like you have easy access to the plumbing so the drain could have been moved, but I mention it as a possibility.
Another possibility is that someone just wanted the toilet a little higher. These days you can get ADA toilets that are 2-3 inches higher so they are easier to use for folks that have trouble getting down and up off the lower height.
HTH,
Paul
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