DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Flooring (
-   -   unique problem with hardwood floor (

seanbellay 04-27-2010 01:37 PM

unique problem with hardwood floor
Hi everyone! I'm new here and I have quite an odd problem. I am replacing the old hardwood floor in my living room at the moment and I have run into a couple of problems which I fixed but one that I am at a loss with.

The old hardwood floor seems to have been installed UNDER the walls, or at very least under the thick plaster. I can not pull the boards out from under the wall, no way, no how. They are stuck. So I figured I'd cut the boards as close to the wall as I could, but still leave them ending on a floor joist, just in case. I then laid 3/4" plywood thinking it would just level out with the old hardwood (I know it's 1/32" under 3/4" but I thought the underlayment would make up for that). That being done I have found out that my assumption was wrong. The hardwood is anywhere from 1/8" high to level with the new subfloor. I tried taking a belt sander to it but that just made it wavy, which doesn't really help things.

I was thinking of just layering up the underlayment, or using the sound dampener stuff for laminate flooring to try and bring up the wood I'm going to lay.

Any advise on this would be GREATLY appreciated.

DangerMouse 04-27-2010 02:12 PM

Hi and welcome.

I've seen people use roofing shingles under flooring to fix what you describe.
Others here may have other more helpful advise.


seanbellay 04-28-2010 07:34 AM

Thanks for the reply DM. Can I actually cover my entire floor with roofing shingles? I would think my floor would end up pretty wavy if I did that.

DangerMouse 04-28-2010 07:41 AM

Can you post a picture or two of the problem areas?


seanbellay 04-28-2010 09:12 AM

Sorry it's not a very good picture but I think you can get the idea. It's like this the entire way around my living room and hallway (where I'm installing the new hardwood floor). Like I said it's about 1/8" difference. Could I use the foam underlayment meant for laminate flooring and layer it up a couple times? I think that could make up the difference in height but I'm not sure it would be a good idea.

DangerMouse 04-28-2010 09:32 AM

I understand now... I'd suggest buying a multimaster type tool that allows you to remove the old flooring right up to the flush of the wall!

Problem solved, lay new floor as usual.


seanbellay 04-28-2010 09:46 AM

I was thinking of doing that with a reciprocating saw and a long blade that I could bend slightly to go flush with the wall. The problem is I have a lot of doors to go around in the hallway. So what I was thinking was lay roofing shingles to cover the subfloor in the hallway since it's pretty narrow (less then the length of a shingle) and cut flush against the wall in the living room.

Picture of the hallway (with dog for scale...he just really wanted his picture taken). The living room is to the left, where the baby gate is.

Thanks for the help!

DangerMouse 04-28-2010 09:55 AM

I'd say if the lap/gap in the hallway is even(ish) go ahead and do the shingles.
The larger room could be problematic with shingles or foam underlayment, I would think.


msv 04-30-2010 12:37 PM

if you want to do a patch job, go ahead with the roofing shingles. The level difference if not constant throughout, so you would still end up with a wavy floor.
BUT, if you want to do it right, this is what you need to find:

it cuts flush with the wall, as would a sawzall but with a little more effort.
A rotozip also has an accesory that would do the same thing:

gmhammes 04-30-2010 02:14 PM

Fein for the win... lol, maybe as DM suggested, invest in a multimaster or dremel with a flush cut blade.

seanbellay 04-30-2010 03:07 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the help! I'm going to buy a dremel oscillating tool right now and get going!

seanbellay 05-01-2010 11:37 AM

it's slow progress, but at least it's progress! The thing heats up pretty quickly, especially the blade. I am able to cut about 1 foot of the flooring up before I need to let it sit for a bit and cool down.

DangerMouse 05-01-2010 12:46 PM

It's getting right up to the edge ok? Good!


seanbellay 05-01-2010 01:41 PM

yea it's getting in there perfectly. I've got about 6' done and I'm calling it quits for today, my hands feel terrible from all the vibration! I've gone through one blade already...they sure don't last long for $15 or so.

tacomahardwood. 05-01-2010 04:35 PM

rent an edger
rent an edger from Home depot . And get a bunch of 36 grit sand paper ,Let the wheels of the edger ride on the flat part of the lower flooring . Then keep it moving as this is a fast tool , A belt sander is way to slow , Then turn it off the higher flooring to the lower flooring [while sanding ] Turn the edger off the higher flooring to the lower flooring as a test , DO NOT sand it this way , Turning it off is just a test to see when it sands flat , If the sand paper doesn't touch for a long gap then work the upper part more , then do a test turn untill it gets pretty flat , DO NOT !!!!! put a bunch of floating underlayment under the floor IF IT IS NAIL DOWN !!.If you are installing a floating floor You May get away with extra underlayment , But it will flex at the joints and MAY wear the lock joint out , If It is nail down and you bring in up with roof shinglles I think you could get away with it .,. I have done this in a low spot , But not a whole floor ,

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:54 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1