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how do I prepare uneven floor for laminate
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posted
My house is over 100 years old. I have a subfloor of 1" varied width boards running across the floor joists. Then there are 2, yes 2 layers of 1" tongue and groove (soft wood) running with the floor joists. I have removed rubber backed 70's shag and several layers of linoleum.

I have tightened up spots that gave when walked on with 3 1/2" long screws driven from the top, but the floor is uneven and unlevel.

Laminate calls for an even and level surface.

Is there some type of self leveling "mud" I can use to even out and level this before I install the laminate?


CJ
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Alpena, MI | Registered: 28 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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YOU HAVENT SAID HOW UNEVEN THE FLOOR IS PPRESENTLY IS, WHAT TYPE OF BACKING IS ON THE LAMINATE AND WHICH WAY THE LAMINATE WILL BE LAID IN REGUARDS TO THE TOP LAYER OF TOUNGUE AND GROVE FLOORING YOU LAYING THE LAMINATE OVER. THESE ARE ALL PERTINENT TO THE LEVELING QUESTION.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: 22 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The surface of the floor has low spots caused by crowning of some of the tongue and groove, these are not bad at 1/8"+ low at the seams of the boards.

There are several low areas ranging 1'x 1' to 2' x 2'. Most of these are where the floor was giving and I snugged the top layer to the other two with 3 1/2" screws. These are no more than 3/8" low.

These is one bad corner where about 18" from the wall for about 5' along the wall, the floor starts to drop off toward the corner and is about 1 1/2" low at the corner.

I am planning a built-in bookcase in this corner, so I can either build the floor up, lay the laminate and do the book case over the laminate or build the floor up and build the bookcase on the subfloor and cut the laminate around the bookcase.

I am planning to run the floating laminate, which has a separate thin pad with the floor joist, which is the same way the tongue and groove is running. The laminate locks together with no adhesive.

There is an adjoining room which will be done in the same flooring, these rooms are joined by an archway so I want to run the length of the laminate right through the archway into the second room.

Over all I have about 24' from one wall through the arch to the other wall. This is out of level no more than 1/2"

The main room is 12' wide and the adjoining room is 7' wide.

Seeing it written down, it doesn't look too bad, but I did a 12' x 12' room two years ago with out any filler, thinking that the pad would take care of the low spots. But when we walk across the room the floor sinks in several spots.

I did find a post from last December, under the foundation heading. There were several ideas and products listed for a similar application, but some conflicting replies.

Thanks,
CJ


CJ
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Alpena, MI | Registered: 28 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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WITH THE QUESTIONS ANSWERED, FIRST I WOULD APPROACH THE PROBLEM OF THE LOW CORNER OF THE ROOM. THAT CORNER NEEDS TO BE FIXED FIRST. THE FIRST APPROACH TO THIS PROBLEM THO THE MOST DIFFICULT WOULD BE TO RAISE THE FLOOR FROM UNDERNEATH. BUT WITHOUT KNOWING THIS CAN MULTIPLY YOUR PROBLEMS, BY RAISING IT WIL IT AFFECT OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME, IS IT AN OUTSIDE WALL OY YOUR HOME, IS THE CORNER OF THE ROOM 2 LOAD BEARING WALLS, IF SO WHAT CAUSED THE CORNER TO BE LOWER, DID THE FOUNDATION SETTLE OVER THE YEARS, DOES THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME HAVE GUTTERS AND DRAINAGE IN THIS AREA OF YOUR HOME. THESE ARE ALL THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SOMEONE WANTS TO LEVEL A FLOOR FROM BELOW. IF THIS APPROCH NOW SEEMS TOO LARGE A TASK, THE I WOULD APPROCH IT BY VERY CAREFULY MEASURING THE SLOPE, A LASER LEVEL WOULD WORK THE BEST, AND CALCULATE THE LENGTH AND TAPER TO CUT SHIMS FROM 2X4s AND ATTACH THEM TO YOUR EXISTING FLOOR. WITHOU KNOWING HOW MUCH MORE HEIGHT YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR EXISTING FLOOR WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH DOORS AND THRESHOLDS, I SUGGEST PLACING THE SHIMS 8 TO 10 INCHES APART, THEN COVERING TH ENTIRE FLOOR THAT WOULD BE GETTING TH LAMINATE, WITH 1/2 INCH PLYWOOD, NOT OSB SHEATING. THIS SHOULD ADD ABOUT 3/4 INCH TO YOUR EXISTING FLOOR. REGUARDLESS OF HOW YOU DECIDE TO LEVEL THE LOW CORNER, I WOUL STILL RECCOMMEND LAYING 1/2 INCH PLYWOOD TO THE ENTIRE FLOOR. I HOPE THIS HELPS ANSWER YOUR PROBLEM, GOOD LUCK!!
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: 22 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I also have a plywood subfloor that is not flat. I am laying an engineered hardwood floor that snaps together.

To level the floor I am laying roofing shingles and then a layer of 1/4" lauan plywood before laying the floor. After laying the shingles to flatten the floor, then laying the plywood over that, there is a very noticable crunching sound of the shingles underfoot when you walk on it. (I read about this on the internet and also on the forum here.)

Will this be silenced when I nail the plywood down or is there something else I should do before nailing the plywood?
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 22 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw a reference to using shingles as well, but no details, so was not sure what they were doing with them. Never thought about them being noisey but it makes since. The crunching you are hearing is the gritty stuff on the surface of the shingles. I would think it would lessen over time as the grit gets pulverized and / or settles into place If your flooring uses a pad under it that may deaden the sound a bit. I don't have an answer for you on the noise, but you may want to consider screws instead of nails for fastening the plywood to avoid risk of nail pops.

CJ


CJ
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Alpena, MI | Registered: 28 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is a gypsum flooring underlayment that can be pumped right over your current flooring, will level out your floors and create a very smooth surface. The best one out there is Levelrock made by USG. It is very hard and won't chalk. You can find Levelrock on the internet.
 
Posts: 5 | Registered: 05 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hello, I agree with PYM, I would use the "floor leveling" compound such as gypsum underlayment. Visit your local building supplier/home improvement store or flooring store and ask for such a product. There are self-leveling products out there for this very purpose. I would not use the aggregate shingle method, they are ment for roofs. If you do use an ashfalt material there are products without the aggregate such as rolled roofing. The self leveling mud mixtures are your best bet with the best results.
 
Posts: 79 | Location: Panama City, FL | Registered: 05 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of BrooklynQueen
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I am trying to go back into the 70's with some linoleum, but my floors are so uneven and warped from water damage and other shotty jobs that I can't lay a thing until I level it. I just don't know the first step in how to level out this floor! My decision at this point is to rip the whole floor up and lay anew, but I don't want it turn into a major major task. Can anyone give me any idea of what I have ahead of me and a break down of the task itself?


MIN
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Brooklyn | Registered: 25 May 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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