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Old 02-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


New member here hoping for some advice. I am renovating my house and the floors throughout the 2 stories are sagging (its an old house so its normal, nothing structurally wrong). In the middle of the house is the kitchen, going from the back of the kitchen to the front of the kitchen, the floor slopes an inch and three quarters! Most of the dip happens within a 5 foot distance right by the back wall.

I need to do something with the floor, either vinyl tile, laminate or vinyl sheets BUT I would like to fix the slope a bit before I put a new floor on it. This is on the 2nd floor. Here are some ideas:

- Half inch cork underlayment - only will give a half inch but its light weight. Run it until it is almost even with the higher end of the floor and then smooth out the connecting area with self leveling compound

- 1 inch plywood - will give a whole 1 inch, making the floor offset by only 1/2 to 3/4 inch BUT its going to be HEAVY. The area that needs covering is about 12' by 12'. That's a lot of weight especially on the 2nd floor and over a large area, no? Again, use self leveling compound to smooth out the area where the new plywood evens out with the higher original end of the floor.

Both of these will give me a nice hard base for vinyl or laminate.

Are there any other solutions...light weight solutions? Underlayment boards that are thick, durable and light weight? Any better ideas? Suggestions? Jacking up the floors or shimming, sistering joints is out the question.

Thanks!

BTW...floor that is there now is vinyl tiles. I plan on leaving them on and doing something over the existing floor.

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


And why is fixing it right out of the question if I may ask?
Your really limiting the types of flooring you can install by not getting the floor flat and level.

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Old 02-06-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


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And why is fixing it right out of the question if I may ask?
Your really limiting the types of flooring you can install by not getting the floor flat and level.

Time constraints. Limited budget... this is a rental property, does not need to be perfect, after weighing in all the benefits vs. costs ... its just not worth the extra effort and money. I had inspectors and structural engineers tell me there is nothing wrong with the house structurally. I could leave it the way it is, but since I'm getting new appliances, countertops, backsplash, etc. I figured I might as well do something with the floor.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


you can use a floor leveler. Quickrete makes one and they also sell the product at lowes and home depot. Go to the tile section of the stores.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #5
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


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you can use a floor leveler. Quickrete makes one and they also sell the product at lowes and home depot. Go to the tile section of the stores.

I considered it but its a 12' x 12' area that needs to go up at least an inch. The Quickcretes are I think a max of 5/8" thickness. Besides if I did an inch, can you imagine the total weight over such large area?
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


Depends on the floor you do and the rigidity that you need in your underlayment, but if you are going with linoleum, then I would do as follows:

1. Tear up the floor that is in there now.
2. Shim the low spot of the floor with plywood (3/4" = 1/4" =1" or get 1" plywood, the 3/4" and 1/4" gives you flexibility to go down to 3/4" as you get away from the low wall and then down to 1/4" before returning it to the subfloor at 0") to build up to level. Make sure you shim it every 8" or so and decrease the amount of shim as it levels off. Use a 4' or 8' level to ensure that you are getting it flat before you install an underlayment on top.
3. I would go with a thicker underlayment, personally 3/4" plywood given the fact that you are spanning the 8" where you are shimming it.
4. After this you are going to have to more than likely have a transition threshold between rooms.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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Need a lot of underlayment to straighten out a floor. Need help!


I would cut 2 x material into long tapers to level the floor and go 8" apart so every other one landed on a floor joist. This can go right on top of your tile. Then go with 3/4" t & g plywood screwed down. You might be able to get by with 1/2" plywood, but it won't be t & g and the edges won't be strong enough unless you put cleats under the edges. Hey, this is not really kosher, but it would work.

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