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Old 01-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


I am installing 9/16" engineered hardwood throughout the first floor of my home. In the family room there is a high spot (~1") in the subfloor about 4' away from the nearest wall. There is a wall directly below this spot in the basement and the high spot in the sublfoor runs the length of this wall. The floor joists are running perpendicular to the basement wall on either side of it. Basically the wall in the basement is 1" too high.

Any ideas on the best way to correct this? It is too difficult to correct the height of the basement wall because it contains two steel poles. Only idea I have come up with is to take up the subfloor and use a planer to remove the inch at the top of the basement wall and gradually plane the joists to the correct height.

Thanks!

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Old 01-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


I am a little puzzled, you say you have a wall with two steel poles in it. I am assuming the poles are lally columns, although a picture would be nice. Usually lally columns are installed underneath a beam, the only reason I can think of that they would be in a "wall" would be if the wall were there to hide the columns. But you do not mention the presence of a beam in the basement, so I don't understand if the wall is a load bearing wall, or cosmetic. This makes a big difference in terms of options for lowering the floor elevation to make the floor flat. Post a couple of pictures, they would help.

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Old 01-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


I don't have an opportunity to post a picture right now (this is a second home that I am only at on the weekends). I have created a diagram illustrating the main floor and attached it.


The basement wall is a load bearing wall and the poles/wall are supporting a beam. The main floor joists are nailed into the beam on both sides.

I hope this provides more clarity.
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room-floor-issue.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Seems strange the wall is load bearing, yet 1" too tall? Has something (the foundation) settled causing the increase in height that should be sorted out first?
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #5
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


The only load it is supporting is the floor referenced in the diagram above. There is no evidence of any structural issues in the foundation (e.g. cracking, uneveness, etc.). BTW...a previous homeowner tried to sand down the high spot on the floor prior to installing wood flooring. My uniformed wild guesss is that the lally columns were too long from the start. The main reason I believe this is the distance from the subfloor to the ceiling is 8' 1/2" around the perimeter of the room and it is 7' 5/8" at the point just above the basement wall.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:37 PM   #6
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Have you checked the floor for level? Specifically on the subfloor and along the joists below? I'm sure you're right about where it's off, but dang - that sucks! Also, is it just one spot that's high - or the entire length of the basement wall?
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Also, how old is the house and are the lally columns in good condition?
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Maybe I wasn't clear in my question. You show a load bearing wall in your diagram, that you say the joists are nailed into. Is that a load bearing wall, or a beam supported by lally columns? I don't see the lally columns in your diagram. Usually the term "wall" refers to 2x4 or 2x6 studs supporting a double top plate, and there would not be lally columns in a wall, except under very unusual conditions. So, are there lally columns in the wall, and if so, where are they?
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Sorry for the confusion. Not sure how to explain best. There is a beam in the basement (the grey horizontal line in the diagram) that has a lally column on the left side and one in the middle and a wall beneath that beam that has a triple stud on the far right. That is why I was describing it as having the column in the wall...maybe the wall was built around the lally columns.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


DIYWorker...the height is off the length of the wall, but it gets gradually better as you get toward the left and right side of the basement wall. The lally columns are in good shape...the house is ~25yrs old.
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


back to your original question - taking up the floor and planing it all out seems like a huge time and financial investment. Is there the possibility of getting a screw jack and lowering the floor 7/8 of an inch - bring it back to where it's supposed to be?
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #12
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by the way, I think this is where you thrown in the caveat that an engineer should be involved on some action like that. Lowering the wall seems like a natural way to tackle it - but again an engineer reading this may be shaking his head thinking I'm nuts...
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


I thought about getting the screw jacks to temporarily support the wall while I shortened it by 7/8", but actually thought that would be more work than just taking up the subfloor (note: I have removed the old flooring to install new flooring), running a planer on the high spots, and reinstalling the subfloor.

The other option is to do nothing and chalk it up as a unique characteristic of the house . I am afraid I will be thinking about the imperfection for years to come.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


Ya, that is an interesting predicament - the only thing I would be worried about, is can you get to all the spots you need to bring down? I'm still thinking the screw jack to bring the whole floor level but dang that's alot of work!

It's a toss up though about just leaving it.. a bit of "Character" never hurts. but... I know the feeling - everytime I walked over that spot, a bit of me would just cry.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #15
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Floor joist too high in the middle of the room


OK, we are making progress. You have a lally column on the left side of the beam, and one in the middle. On the right side, you have a triple stud supporting the beam. How big is the beam? The "wall" you discuss may not be supporting the beam, at least from the way you describe it. Maybe you can take a picture, or at least add the lally columns to your diagram. And exactly where is the floor too high, maybe above one of the lally columns?

I am guessing that perhaps the lally column was installed an inch too tall? Or maybe the end columns have settled? You really need to put a string line on the beam to see how level it is before any of this is going to make sense.

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