Author Topic: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet (UPDATE: Called the Plumber)  (Read 2828 times)

mammothunder

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Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet (UPDATE: Called the Plumber)
« on: December 22, 2015, 08:48:56 AM »
The vinyl flooring behind the toilet in our downstairs powder room has gray/blue stains.  After some research, I convinced myself that there is mold under the vinyl, and the moisture must be coming from the toilet.

I called two plumbers, and neither one of them wants to look under the vinyl.  I called a flooring guy who doesn't want to touch the toilet.  I eventually found a general contractor/plumber combo who came to look at the bathroom and give me an estimate.  He doesn't think there is mold at all.  The vinyl is solid, and the toilet doesn't move.  There's no smell.  We looked in the basement crawlspace under the bathroom, and there's no sign of moisture or discoloration.  He said the vinyl could just be discolored from adhesives/poor installation.  He recommended that we not do anything.

I'm still worried though.  We have the same vinyl throughout the kitchen and other two bathrooms that was installed at the same time, and none of that vinyl is stained.  Should I just pay to have a plumber come out?

I know this is the DIY forum, but please don't suggest that we take out the toilet or rip up the vinyl ourselves.  I have lupus with a compromised immune system, and DH has an English degree.  We're not DIY people.  I just need to know if I should take a "wait and see" approach or if I should have a plumber come to the house.

UPDATE:  Ended up calling the plumber.  At first, he was certain that we needed a new wax seal after looking at the floor and finding a loose bolt that allowed the toilet to wobble.  He pulled up the toilet and was surprised to find the wood around the old wax seal was totally dry, so it's unclear whether the wax seal was the problem.  He only charged me $50, which seemed like a good deal for some peace of mind.  I'm just going to watch more closely for any condensation on the tank in the future.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 09:13:17 AM by mammothunder »

pbkmaine

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 09:01:34 AM »
Wait and see. There are many things that can stain vinyl.


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zolotiyeruki

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 01:22:40 PM »
It sounds like the only problem at this point is the visual appeal (or lack thereof).  Unless it's causing problems or growing/changing color, I'd say just let it be.

mammothunder

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 01:32:54 PM »
The stains have definitely been increasing/spreading in the last month or so.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 01:54:19 PM »
Not enough information here. I'm no expert, but so far, nothing you've said is an obvious sign of mold.

Did the stains appear recently, or have they always been there?
When you clean the vinyl, do the stains go away? Or are they not affected by cleaning? What cleaners have you tried? Is the discoloration something that you can scrape off with a fingernail?
Are the stains wet or damp to the touch, or dry?
Check the toilet tank where it is bolted to the bowl. There could be a hairline crack that is leaking onto the floor (we had this).


lthenderson

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 02:09:20 PM »
The vinyl is solid, and the toilet doesn't move.  There's no smell.  We looked in the basement crawlspace under the bathroom, and there's no sign of moisture or discoloration.

My first thought would be to ask you if the outside of your toilet sweats due to differences in water temperature and air? If it does, the discoloration could simply be from moisture condensing on the outside of the toilet and running down.


mammothunder

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 02:23:05 PM »
There was one stain under the tank when we moved into the house a year and a half ago.  It's only within the last month that the stains began multiplying.

I've tried cleaning the stains with diluted bleach and white vinegar.  Don't worry - I did these separately.  No toxic gases.  The stains do not go away with cleaning.

When I run my hands over the stains, they just feel like vinyl.  There's no residue that can be scraped off, and the stains are completely dry to the touch.

I've checked around the base of the toilet where it meets the vinyl, and I've checked the bottom of the tank where it's bolted to the bowl.  I can't find any water.

I did just find out this afternoon that DH put a Clorox bleach tablet in the tank about a month ago...despite the bright orange warning plastered to the tank telling him not to!!!  Coincidence?  http://www.amazon.com/Clorox-Drop-Toilet-Cleaner-Carded/dp/B0009P68KC

I've attached a picture, but the lighting wasn't that great.

mammothunder

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 02:26:20 PM »
The toilet is not sweating now.  Unfortunately, I can't remember if it did during the summer.

paddedhat

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet (UPDATE: Called the Plumber)
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2015, 04:12:43 PM »
Hard to believe that it wasn't somehow related to moisture, but who knows? It sounds like the plumber treated you real well, and there are no problems evident. The contractor was right, vinyl can act pretty strange if it is installed with an incorrect glue. I have a vinyl floor that has slowly developed a strange pink staining, deep in the material. This stain has nothing to do with water, or other issues, but is probably just a reaction to the adhesive used to install it.

lakemom

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Re: Gray/Blue Vinyl Behind Toilet (UPDATE: Called the Plumber)
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 05:30:47 AM »
Ok I know you've already called the plumber and know the toilet is not leaking; however, we had the same issue in a bathroom and it IS mold (not dangerous just yucky).  Our issue was that there were several very tiny gashes (due to careless kids) in the vinyl.  When water was spilled on the floor it could seep into those gashes then was trapped beneath the vinyl which over time caused the mold to grow under the vinyl.  In our case the spots were in front of the shower and in front of the sink.  I would say that a new floor in that room should go onto your 'get to sooner than later' list but it is not a do it this weekend emergency.  When we finally pulled up our floor it was pretty gross (we probably should have replaced it much sooner).