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Old 07-02-2011, 05:22 PM   #1
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Leveling old floor


We are placing new tiles in our kitchen and hallway but the old subfloor is not leveled. We bought a new hardibaker to put on top of the old subfloor as recommended by the floor salesman but how do we level the floor? As you can tell we are renovating an old house we bought a fixer and we are new to this DIY so bare with us.

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Old 07-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Leveling old floor


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We are placing new tiles in our kitchen and hallway but the old subfloor is not leveled. We bought a new hardibaker to put on top of the old subfloor as recommended by the floor salesman but how do we level the floor? As you can tell we are renovating an old house we bought a fixer and we are new to this DIY so bare with us.

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It would help if you gave a few more details of the job.
How far out of level are we talking about?
Spans of old beams and the type of tiles you were planning to lay?
What type of subfloor and it's thickness?

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Old 07-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Leveling old floor


Bmc--One post per subject---I posted an answer to your other duplicate post---now it's in the trash--
Answer Rons question about the structure and amount of sag--we will try to help.--Mike--
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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Leveling old floor


Oh'Mike sorry I browsed through the app and found the flooring site so I thought that's where I should have posted. Anyhow I'll delete that post.

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Old 07-02-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Leveling old floor


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Originally Posted by Ron6519
It would help if you gave a few more details of the job.
How far out of level are we talking about?
Spans of old beams and the type of tiles you were planning to lay?
What type of subfloor and it's thickness?
It's about a 1/4 in off the dirt that the house is built on is clay so over time the floor sank.

We are installing ceramic tiles and there's probably three layers of vinyl and subfloors underneath in our kitchen. the hallway it's the same but there's wood flooring underneath and a 1/4 inch subfloor on top. We are installing the same floor in the hallway or if we run out of tiles we'll have a floating floor.

The subfloor we want to install are the 1/4 inch hardibacker.

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Old 07-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #6
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Leveling old floor


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It's about a 1/4 in off the dirt that the house is built on is clay so over time the floor sank.

We are installing ceramic tiles and there's probably three layers of vinyl and subfloors underneath in our kitchen. the hallway it's the same but there's wood flooring underneath and a 1/4 inch subfloor on top. We are installing the same floor in the hallway or if we run out of tiles we'll have a floating floor.

The subfloor we want to install are the 1/4 inch hardibacker.

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First off, hardibacker is not a subfloor, it's a substrate put on a subfloor as a tile backer.
A subfloor is the boards nailed to the floor joists. Older houses have individual boards, newer houses have 4x8' plywood or OSB. If your house has the boards, you will need to put plywood over these after you renail or screw them to the joists. Then you can install the hardibacker.
But before you even start, you need to determine the joist sizes and spans. If the joists are undersized or spans are too long, the floor will deflect too much for tile.
I don't know what this means:
"It's about a 1/4 in off the dirt that the house is built on is clay so over time the floor sank."
I asked how far out of level the floors were. When you say out of level, do you mean that the floors have different heights or that they are tilted?
If it's different heights because of multiple floors, remove all the levels down to the subfloor and start with a uniform base.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Clearly I am not an expert in flooring. I'll a picture of the floor sometime tomorrow when i get to the house and maybe you'll have your answers. Thanks man.

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Old 07-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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Also... what about using the self leveler as my finished floor... just staining and etching it too look nice??? Any problems there?
It's not meant for being used as a finished floor and will not work. It will dent and scratch and crack with trauma.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #9
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Leveling old floor


How square is your house? If it is square and sinking down or at an angle, the last thing you should be doing is worrying about trying to achieve level floors determined by a level only.

You need a good carpenter square and a tape measure to establish your floor angles. If you think you see 1/4" leaning? Trust me, it is more. If you level a floor with that kind of house settling? Get used to "looking goofy" as a description.

The best laser or framer's level in the world will not make that floor look right if the house has pitched over the years.


Last edited by user1007; 07-04-2011 at 12:11 PM.
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