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Old 03-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Leveling hardwood for laminate

Hi !

I am covering and old hardwood floor with laminate and am not sure about the best way to flatten the hardwood.

Info about the project:

- Area is 220 sq ft (20'x11').
- Laminate needs to be level with the kitchen tile floor it connects with (across the whole 20' side)
- Hardwood will be covered with 1/2" plywood (unless their is a cheaper option) to be even with the kitchen.
- Laminate is 15mm (19/32") thick, 8" wide and comes in 2,4 & 6' pieces.
- The worst drop when measuring with an 8' string is about 1/4" - Except near the outer wall where it drops 1/2" across 4 feet (oriented with the long side of the laminate).
- There is a 1/8" membrane between plywood and laminate
- House is from 1949
- I am on the 1st floor above a basement

Problem 1: Flattening the floor -Since the floor raises about 1 1/2 inch (smoothly) at the outer wall and also because it's not perfectly level, self-leveling compound is not a solution. I am wondering if just the plywood will generate a strong enough pull to flatten the floor enough for laminate. Right now, near the outer wall where the worst drop is, a 6' piece slightly floats above the floor and I would obviously prefer to avoid that.

Problem 2: Getting even with the tiles - As mentioned, the laminate must be level with a tile floor but the height difference between the hardwood and the tile I need to be level with varies by 1/4" across the length of the room so I am not sure how to raise to hardwood to evenly match the tile.

Honestly, I don't have a satisfying solution to either of these problems. I do not want to remove the hardwood as it goes under 3 walls and would involve raising the sub floor quite a bit to be level with the next room.

Thanks for the help.

P.S. For the curious, the reason I am covering hardwood is that we redid the divisions and it would be very hard to elegantly fill all the gaps plus it's not level with the next room with which it now connects to across 20 feet.


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Old 03-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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Why not take the time to figure out why that floors so far off from under the floor and fix that first?


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Old 03-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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I am not sure I understand your question -

If you mean why the floor is not flat it's because it's 60 years old and it sunk a bit in the middle where there is less support and more traffic.

If you mean why it's not level with the next room it's for 2 reasons:
1- There used to be a load-bearing wall between the 2 rooms that we just torn down and there is a 1/4" difference in height between the 2 floors from the way it was originally built.

2- In the kitchen the hardwood is covered with 2 layers of linoleum, 1/4 plywood, thinset & tile (yeah I know, I am not responsible for this).

Hence the difference.

Either way I cannot reasonably fix this and anyway I want the floor to be even with the laminate installed.

Last edited by Fred_; 03-21-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
greetings from Bolivia
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1) I believe you are downgrading your ferrari car with a honda civic chassis
2) first of all, you should discover what the cause is of your current problem and solve that first otherwise you may get the same with your new laminate floor?
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