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Old 01-02-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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Leveling for Laminate Installation


I'm in the process of installing laminate flooring in the dining area of my kitchen (about 2/3 of the room has already been laid down). My house is well over 100 yrs old, last updated in the 70's with thin, ugly carpeting (which we happily tore up!) and as I expected, the floor is not even close to level. One side of the room is fine, with maybe only 1/6" of a dip along the wall (levels out about 8" into the room). The other side of the room dips down as much as 1" along the wall, then gradually slopes back up to the middle of the room (about 1 1/2' into the room until it's level again). The center of the room is perfectly level, it's just these areas along the walls where it slopes considerably.

Taking the advice of "AtlanticWBConstruct." from a post on here back in July '08, I've been using roofing shingles to shim under the flooring, checking it with a level as I go. It's tedious as hell, and I'm being really meticulous about it... esp. since this is the first big project I've done since moving into the house... As I go along, everything will seem level and solid... I'll add a few more rows of laminate... walk on it to check it, feel a weak spot and tear it all back up and shim it with another shingle or two until it feels completely solid and strong underfoot, and measures level... Despite the amount of time it's taking me, I've managed to get everything to lay really well- flooring is interlocking perfectly, and I don't feel any flexing in the floor at all when I walk through the room.

My only concern is in doorways and around the very edges (~1" from the wall), there is a very slight bounce in the floor if you step on it a certain way. If walking normally, you probably wouldn't feel it. But as I'm rocking back and forth on it, and doing all sorts of strange things to check to make sure it feels totally solid... it doesn't in these areas.

The edges of the room are less of a concern to me than the doorways, since we don't tend to lean on the wall and tiptoe along the edge as we walk through a room. But stepping in doorways is a common thing, and I don't know quite how to fix this. It's a very small gap- too small to shim another shingle in there without it then being too high- but enough to feel that bit of a bounce along the edge at the doorway if you step right on it. Are there any other materials I could use to shim it up just enough to get rid of that bounce? (We have some wood shims left over from when we had our cabinets installed... but my gut tells me that those would probably shift over time... or maybe it'd be ok to stick them along the very edges of the room??) Or would I be able to maybe nail it down along the edges, under the transitions, to keep it from moving so much? Since there's a significant height difference at the doorway now that we've leveled out the floor, we plan on getting a strip of wood to place along the doorframe to raise up the entrance to the next room, and put some sort of finishing strip along the edge... so it'll basically be a very small step up into the kitchen/down into the adjoining rooms. We don't mind this much, just want to make sure it's a stable as it can possibly be.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!


Last edited by margog85; 01-02-2010 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Correct spelling errors
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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Leveling for Laminate Installation


No one knows? I had hoped to work on it tonight when I get out of work... but I need advice! =)

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:54 PM   #3
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Leveling for Laminate Installation


I do flooring for a living. Really you should have ran a six foot straight edge around the floor first before you even started laying it. Most lams need a flat floor not to exceed 1/8 to 3/16 in 6 foot. I try to get within the 1/8 inch in six foot. We use a floor patch for small leveling, and a self leveler for large area's. I have built up the floor before with plywood first to lessen the amount of leveler needed to save money. Homedepot caries Custome Building Products brand levelers in the flooring section. There great to work with. Hope I helped, Tony
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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Leveling for Laminate Installation


so do you think i'll have a problem with the shingles? i have 90% of the floor down already- it'd be a lot of re-work to pull it up and relay it now.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #5
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Leveling for Laminate Installation


What you did should work.
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