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whitesjtaa 05-06-2012 01:24 PM

Leveling an old subfloor - sand vs roofing felt
Hopefully I can explain this clearly enough. I am leveling a subfloor in an old house prior to installing a new wood floor. There is a serious sag in one area (1 1/2 inch over 4-7 feet). (the cause of the sag has been repaired but the sag remains). There is a radiator in the area so I do not want to remove the subfloor and shim the floor joists.

Because of the depth of the sag I did not want to use a leveling compound because it would be too deep to nail through. I cut shims out of 2 by 3 stock and filled the area pretty well.

The problem is that the sag in the floor isn't uniform so the shims I cut aren't thick enough in some areas. The remaining sag in those areas is about 3/8 inch. I layered roofing felt under my shims to fill the gap. The floor is now flat but when I walk on the shims, the roofing felt makes a "crinkly sound" and I am worried that sound will continue after the floor is installed.

Should I use sand instead of roofing felt to finish the flattening process?

inthedrops 05-06-2012 11:15 PM

Sounds to me like dealing with the radiator and fixing the subfloor proper is now the best solution.

joecaption 05-06-2012 11:19 PM

I agree, it's going to come back and bite you in the butt big time of you do not take the time to fix it right.

whitesjtaa 05-07-2012 05:31 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I am comfortable with the wood shims as a solution structurally. They will provide as solid a nailing surface as the subfloor. Any comments on the use of sand as a leveling agent for the minor remaining dips?

joecaption 05-07-2012 05:36 PM

How did you ever come up with the idea of using sand? It's an inside floor not a patio, No it will not work.
Use non gypsom floor levler.
I'd strongly suggest staying away from shims. Your going to end up with humps and weak spots all over the floor if you try doing it that way.

whitesjtaa 05-07-2012 05:57 PM

Thanks, I knew a couple guys (20 years ago) that used sand indoors with some frequency. This is my first floor and sand makes sense to me for the same reason that it is used outdoors but wanted to get some feedback. I'll check into commercial levelers.

As far as the shims, they are perfectly level and flat and won't create any humps or weak spots. Thanks for your assist.

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