Having sloppy floorings can be dangerous and quite disturbing for the occupant. Therefore, leveling a floor can be the solution to this problem.
However, leveling a floor is not as easy as it seems. Because you must pay attention to many aspects, from the condition of the flooring to the height you want.
Leveling a floor can also be done with different materials and elements. Some of the most used are plywood, cement, and shims. To learn more, here are some of the materials you can use.
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1. Leveling a Floor in an Old House
One of the main problems that people face when moving to an old house is sloppy floorings. Before you can install a new floor inside, it is best to level the floor first.
Leveling a floor of an old house can be difficult but it is not impossible. This step will also make your new flooring last longer than just putting them on top of the existing.
Thus, the first procedure that you should do is fixing the slope using a certain material such as plywood or cement. For more details, here are some of the tips and steps you can use.
Check the Root Cause
Before knowing how to level a floor in an old house, it is important to identify the root cause. Because once you repair it, but cannot solve the main issue, then the problem can occur again.
Normally a sloppy floor is caused due to age-related settlings that make the flooring uneven, so to make it one level you should change the whole structure.
However, another root cause of the sloppy floor is the foundation problems. Usually, there is something rotted in the plate or crack joist which makes it uneven.
So, before leveling a floor, make sure to fix the foundation first. When it is back to normal, you can start fixing the sloppy and event parts.
How to Level a Floor with Plywood
The first material that you can use to level a floor is plywood. This is one of the most affordable elements to use, so if you are on a limited budget, you should surely pick this.
The first step in how to level a floor with plywood is determining the angled slope. You can do this by attaching a nail and string on one side of the room.
Then stretch it to another part of the room and tie it around the nail on the other side. This way, you can see the angle and how much leveling you will need to do.
Note down the distance between the floor and the string. Make sure to write down the length and distance so you know the number of slopes.
To make the job easier, also mark down the floors and the walls to help. Repeat this step a few times to get an accurate result.
When you have the results, and then fill in the gaps with shingles. The amount depends on the angle of slope, so the deeper it is the more filling you will need.
Simply lay the shingles on the floor until they all become one level. Then spread and cover them all using construction adhesive before the plywood.
Do not forget to nail down the adhesive to the subfloor to make it stronger and steadier. Do not worry about destroying the original flooring because it will not penetrate deep enough.
The next step to leveling a floor is to glue the plywood on top of the adhesive. Once it is all dry and steady, you can start covering it with new flooring.
How to Level a Floor with Shims
If the issue to the uneven floor in your house it warped or wrong installed, then one of the solutions is to shim the joists. This also includes attaching wood on top of the sloppy areas to make it a level.
However, leveling a floor with shims is not easy and is best by a professional. It will cost expensive or around $1,000–$5,000 depending on the whole area.
Nevertheless, if you are hands are quite handy and you know how to level a floor with shims, it is better to do it on your own. It is cheaper but it will need extra effort in repairing the joists.
How to Check your Floor
You can say that leveling a floor is done by using a simple marble method. See where they go to test if the flooring is still sloppy or not.
Thus, the first thing you should do is put the marbles in different places in the room. Then watch where they go to see which side of the house is still sloppy and which is fixed.
If they roll to one side of the room, then you can assume that the other side is lower than the others are. On the other hand, if they all go in different directions, then your floors are still sloppy.
Make sure to check the results always after leveling a floor. This is to prevent your new flooring from being damaged to the unfixed issue.
Thus, be patient and fix the main cause first. Leveling a floor does not take too much time, only around 6-8 hours. After it is done, you can start using your new flooring.
Overall, leveling a floor is not an easy task to do. If you find some difficulty in the process, it is best to get help from the professionals, so it does not become worse.
So, before leveling a floor in an old or new house, test it first. Use the marble method to see if your flooring is uneven or not. If they roll to one side of the room, then it means it sloppy.
Then, identify the cause of why the flooring is sloppy because there are many reasons. So, make sure to fix the root issue before leveling the floor.
Once you have fixed the main cause and have leveled the floor, check it out once again. This is to make sure that your flooring is even and there is no sloppy area anymore.