Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs


10:08AM | 12/05/04
Member Since: 12/04/04
1 lifetime posts
Our house was built in the 1920s and there is not a level floor or straight wall to be found! Not that I mind, I love the charm of the high ceilings etc, but now we have a problem.

We ripped out the horrible old pile carpeting and in the livingroom and hallway found beautiful hardwood floors. Still to be refinished, but that's another project down the line.

The dining room however had been converted from a bedroom at some stage and under the carpet we found a mess. Two different types of wooden flooring, a bad repair job where a wardrobe had been torn out and old vinyl tiles glued to the floorboards in half of the area. I removed the tile and we decided to put laminate over the top as there does not seem to be any way to restore the bad repair job.

Two problems remain however. Firstly, the room leads directly into the hall without a door, and we'd like to keep the hardwood in the hall. Secondly the existing floor drops about 3/4" across the 2 ft length of my level in one spot, and probably double that across the room. Is self-leveling compound the answer? Can you use it on top of wood, and if so, how do you stop it leaking into the hall? Can you install the laminate underlay directly on top, or should we install a new subfloor over the compound?

Any and all advice appreciated!


09:00AM | 12/06/04
Member Since: 06/23/04
161 lifetime posts
If your floor is dropping 1.5" across one room, then so is the ceiling. The doors are likely out of square as well as the windows, cabinets, and roof line. My first suggestion is that you have the house leveled at the foundation. This will solve a lot of other problems besides the floor. Doors will latch better, cabinet doors will shut, windows won't tend to bind, and the room won't appear to get shorter at one end because you didn't also level the ceiling.

If you have a 3/4" drop across the length of a 36" level, there may be structural problems with the joists or beams below. If so, any leveling you do will soon need repeating.

Engage a leveling company to perform an inspection and give you an estimate. Tell them you want all structural repairs AND leveling included in the estimate. If you can handle the costs, have them give you a firm bid price for the work. Make sure that all the work to be covered is spelled out in the written contract.

Anything you build on a poor foundation may be in vain.


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