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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    3

    Question Level an old Wood Floor

    My foundation is crumbling and needs to be replaced, but we won't have the money do so for many years. Because of this the floors throughout the first floor are wavy, lots of valleys, walls are separating from built-in fixtures, etc.

    On the second floor the master bedroom is still old wide plank wood flooring, they did a piece on "fixing" gaps in this style of flooring by putting rope in the gaps.

    The hallway has newer flooring over it, there is about a 3/8" lip between it and the bedroom floor, so I think I can add material.

    The floor will actually sink in in certain spots when you step on it, and it appears to curve down towards one wall.

    We really need a solid level-ish floor in this room as we are converting it to an office, if you sit in a wheeled chair now, you roll towards the door. Do you have any suggestions for leveling this floor that could be removed later when the foundation is fixed?

    I tried to include pictures but it won't take them.

    I've heard of self leveling compound, then may put some type of finished plywood or laminate down? I'm not sure what would go on top of it, carpet would be nice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,441

    Default Re: Level an old Wood Floor

    Seems like you have a bunch of problems stemming out of your unleveled floor.

    But leveling the floor actually starts...below the floor.

    If you're on a slab, you can level the finished concrete with leveling cement.

    If you're on raised foundation, you need to take care of your floor joists: replace damaged joists and beef up the weak ones.

    Money is tight, but materials are not free. Anything you will do if you don't fix the floor is money down the drain. So use common sense in your remodeling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Level an old Wood Floor

    Yes it is a brick foundation, not a slab.

    I was hoping for a temporary solution that wouldn't cost too much as I knew it would be money down the drain, but it will be about 15-20 years until we can fix the foundation, but we would like to be able to use this room for this purpose, but it has to be more level plus the boards that are there now mark easily from the office chairs.

    I thought about large sections of plywood, but still same problem, can't really level it across a room.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia area
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Level an old Wood Floor

    When we bought our house, the so-called-builder we bought it from did the following to many rooms in the house that had the problem you describe. I would not do this but, here goes...

    He tapered the bottoms of two by four pieces of wood that ran the length of the room and then laid down plywood on top, then put carpeting down. It was effective at creating a level surface.

    This was not the worst of the problems in this old house. You should have seen how he replaced the main beam of the house with sistered 2x8's that, get this, were really two halves of the length of the beam, that met in the midddle of the floor, and supported, ie held up, by a 2x6 that was serving as the post! That's right people. We refer to this as a Richard Hart special, and there were many of these specials to replace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Level an old Wood Floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
    My foundation is crumbling and needs to be replaced, but we won't have the money do so for many years. Because of this the floors throughout the first floor are wavy, lots of valleys, walls are separating from built-in fixtures, etc.

    On the second floor the master bedroom is still old wide plank wood flooring, they did a piece on "fixing" gaps in this style of flooring by putting rope in the gaps.

    The hallway has newer flooring over it, there is about a 3/8" lip between it and the bedroom floor, so I think I can add material.

    The floor will actually sink in in certain spots when you step on it, and it appears to curve down towards one wall.

    We really need a solid level-ish floor in this room as we are converting it to an office, if you sit in a wheeled chair now, you roll towards the door. Do you have any suggestions for leveling this floor that could be removed later when the foundation is fixed?

    I tried to include pictures but it won't take them.

    I've heard of self leveling compound, then may put some type of finished plywood or laminate down? I'm not sure what would go on top of it, carpet would be nice!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
    Yes it is a brick foundation, not a slab.

    I was hoping for a temporary solution that wouldn't cost too much as I knew it would be money down the drain, but it will be about 15-20 years until we can fix the foundation, but we would like to be able to use this room for this purpose, but it has to be more level plus the boards that are there now mark easily from the office chairs.

    I thought about large sections of plywood, but still same problem, can't really level it across a room.
    You need to have a professional contractor ( at least ) or an engineer to evaluate things.
    Especially when you say ----
    The floor will actually sink in in certain spots when you step on it, and it appears to curve down towards one wall.
    --- this indicates there are major issues with the floor structure that needs to be addressed before thinking about leveling.

    Based on what's been posted you better get some onsite professional opinion as to what's what before you throw money in the wrong places. I doubt you have 15 - 20 years before some major catastrophe happens --- it's not a matter of *if* --- it's a matter of *when*.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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