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Old 06-26-2011, 12:25 AM   #1
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


We just purchased a self leveling line laser and were shocked to see how sloped our living room floor is. This will impose a great problem because we plan to put down laminate flooring in the living room, the wood room, and the kitchen (see the diagram below). The laminate floor installation instruction has this requirement on levelness: "Make sure the subfloor is flat. Any unevenness greater than 2mm (1/16") over the length of 1 meter (40") must be smoothed out.". Ours is 10/16" over 40"! Argh!

The rest of the house is not too bad though. I don't know what happened to the living room. Maybe it was built (as an addition to the old cabin) crooked. But if we could avoid it, we will not mess with the foundation. Now, how do we address this sloping floor in the living room (3" over 186" span) just for proper installations of flooring and cabinets?



In my very naive view, we lay plywood sheets across the room, with a gradual reduction in the number of layers from left side to the right. Use leveling compound to even out the step downs. This way, we achieve a level floor in the living room. We will make a 3" step down from the living room into the wood room and the kitchen (along the dotted blue line).



What would you do?

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Old 06-26-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


is it 10/16 or 5/8, this may be the determining factor in the equation. what kind of laminate are you using?

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


The way I understand this is that the floor is sloped from one side to the other. If this is true and the floor is flat but just sloped then there is no problem. Lay a straight board as long as you have (at least 8 feet) on edge across the floor in several spots. If there is not any dips or high spots between the end of the board then you are good to go. Your floor does not have to be level, just flat.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #4
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


I stretch a cpt string 10' and look for valleys with a taper gauge . Being that the guidelines are 3/16 in 10 ' pull it tight . duct tape the ends . this will show you the contour of the floor . Woodman is right . it don't have to be level , it has to be flat .
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


If the out of level has not been a problem heretofore and the floor is flat, no problem.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


As previous posters have noted, flat and level are totally different issues. Assuming you accurately measured a 3 inch deflection delta in elevation over 15 feet, you may want to investigate why there is such a large difference in elevation. This could indicate settlement of the supports towards the center of the house. It is unlikely it was built that way, even the worst carpenter can get a floor more level than that during initial construction.

The largest issue would be the potential for continuing settlement of the foundation. This is difficult to determine, and usually requires you to hire an engineer or specialized contractor to investigate the foundation and determine if the settlement is continuing, or ended some time ago.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


Thanks all to your replies. After I posted, the realization did come to me that the laminate flooring mfr shouldn't care if the whole floor is sloped as long as it's even. The floor appears to be fairly even, but I will do some exercises (straight board or string) to confirm. As for the cause? It puzzles me. The rest of the house appears to be pretty flat, so if anything, I think the uphill side may just have risen. But I don't see big gaps. Don't know and will not lose sleep over it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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Floor severely sloped (3"). What are our options?


Manufacture , and NWFA installation guidelines state the floor must be within 1/8" in 6' or 3/16" in 10' for flatness . Good luck with your new floor .

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