DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Leveling my subfloor

1275 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  SeanD1976
Hello, this is my first post to the DIY Chatroom. Please see my attached diagram (2 grid cells = 1').

I'm in the middle of my kitchen remodel, and I have to deal with the fact that the kitchen floors aren't level. This is a stable 50 years old pier and beam house, and I'd really rather not try to make that part of the house level (especially since it would probably mean issues with the new drywall). I just want to make the floor flat enough to handle small tile or laminate.

The upper right is my frame of reference. As the floor moves toward the middle of the diagram, it rises to 5/8", and then to 1" in the bottom left of the diagram. It isn't totally consistent, but these are the major differences, with arrows showing the major deltas. So, it rises 1" over the span of about 18', with the worst difference of about 5/8" over 4'.

The floor itself has to somehow transition to the hardwoods in the upper right. At the moment, the hardwoods are 1/4" above the subfloor, which is acceptable to me. On the right of the kitchen is a sunken living room, so that part isn't an issue as that step is variable.

An easy (but expensive) solution would be to use self-leveling compound, at just under 1" at its thickest point, feathering into the bottom of the diagram. To transition to the hardwoods in the upper right, I'm thinking of grading from the top left edge of the island to the hardwoods, which would be a 1" change over 4'. It would hide the transition in that area of the kitchen, but with a perceived rise.

Another solution would be to make a more gradual rise from 0" to 1" from the top of the diagram to the bottom. I'm not sure how to get such a gradual rise over that span. Would I use wood guides to screed over? What kind of substrate material would I use? I hear deck mud isn't to be used for less than 3/4", and thinset isn't good over 1/4".
Which is the better solution in your opinion? Or am I making a gigantic mistake that I'll regret by not fixing the underlying foundation slope?

Thanks for your ideas! :)


See less See more
1 - 3 of 6 Posts
5/8" plywood over 1x6 diagonal boards.
The joists run top to bottom. As far as pier placement, they're on an even grid every 6' or so around the right and bottom perimeter and in the field. The joists appear to be in solid contact with the piers.

So, I don't think the sloping is caused by one pier specifically, but by the relaxation of the soil over the past 50 years because it's Texas gumbo clay. The change of 1" over 18' is 0.3 degrees of slope, which I think is acceptable for a 50 year old house, if it was even built level to begin with ;)

Given such a slight slope, I think keeping the slope and making things flatter along it would be the most practical solution for me. To do this, would I just grind down the local humps in the subfloor as much as possible, and then screed a layer of thinset over everything?
1 - 3 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.