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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default Carpeting on uneven plank flooring

    Apologies if a question like this has been asked and answered already, but I’ve searched in a few different DIY forums and haven’t found anything that specifically relates to my situation.

    I recently purchased an older home, and am looking to carpet the 2nd floor. I’ve got some adjustments to make before I can have someone come in and install the carpet (apparently Home Depot can for cheap when you buy more than $500 worth of carpet from them).

    Anyway, I’ve also got some decisions to make as I prep the area for the installers. Here’s the overall layout I got when HD came to do their estimate:

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b...106_191309.jpg


    I’ve got a rise of about 2.25” over the approximately 4’ of run directly to the left of the bathroom (labeled as “M/BTH”) in the diagram. Here’s some pics:

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-b...106_185912.jpg

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-D...106_185930.jpg


    As you can see, I’ve got a subfloor of ¾’ X 3” T&G planks throughout. As I found after I did a little demo, the area in that bathroom hallway area has sunk quite a bit, and started out (when I bought the place) as planks + what looks to be 1/8” plywood + ¾” plywood that was “shimmed” by some 2x4’s as the hallway sinks to keep it level + cork tile on top.

    The rest of the rooms themselves (labeled BED1, BED2 and BED3 in the diagram) are all fairly level, with all those same 3” planks, and what appears to be more of that 1/8” plywood covering all of “BED3”.

    So as I prep the floor for carpeting, I have 2 questions:

    -what’s the best solution for that section of hallway in front of the bath?
    -do I need to put down plywood over those planks before carpeting? From what I can tell, they’re screwed right to the joists, and were painted at one point. But I’ve read differing opinions about what’s necessary for subfloor when carpeting.

    Appreciate any advice you all can give me – just so long as it’s not “tear it all out and start over”

    Thanks in advance!
    jm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Carpeting on uneven plank flooring

    I'd first figure out why everything sank. Shimming is only a band aide. Look at the foundation. Did someone remove a load bearing wall?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Carpeting on uneven plank flooring

    Quote Originally Posted by josefismael View Post

    Appreciate any advice you all can give me – just so long as it’s not “tear it all out and start over”

    Thanks in advance!
    jm
    Don't ask for advice with conditions attached which will prevent the proper answer from being given
    You might not need to "tear it all out and start over" but to do this correctly and have the job last, you need to follow Houston's advice- find out what's wrong and fix that first. It seems that so far nobody did that- instead they applied a 'patch' which has left you having to deal with the problem that was supposedly fixed. So it's obvious that patching it doesn't work, leaving you with the only alternative: fixing it properly. Nobody wants to do more than they have to, but that is unconditionally what always happens when you 'patch' instead of 'fix'.

    Phil

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Carpeting on uneven plank flooring

    Appreciate the quick responses. (Mastercarpentry, I was mostly kidding with the "conditions" at the end )

    We have a half basement/half crawlspace situation, and right at that bathroom hallway is where the basement ends and the crawlspace begins. However, that by itself I don't think is causing this problem (but I'm by no means an expert). What I believe caused this is the drainage and gradation (or lack thereof) at the foundation. That will be resolved this spring with some landscaping and drain tile and will ideally prevent any further movement of the crawlspace area.

    As an IT guy by trade, I TOTALLY GET the default desire to fix the root cause - that was my initial instinct as well, and that's how I discovered all the fun stuff you see in those pictures

    You're both 100% correct - I'm likely not "fixing" the problem, but I'm also not looking to spend 10-30k on joist or foundation repair (unless it presents a genuine danger to the integrity of the house). All I'm really looking for is advice on subfloor requirements and creative solutions to the issue at hand.

    thanks again!
    jm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Carpeting on uneven plank flooring

    JM, since you'll be addressing the root cause of the problem soon, it shouldn't cost too much to jack up the low spots before doing the floor job now. They may settle some before you get around to dealing with the drainage issues but it will be a lot closer to 'right' than what you've got now. And it can be a relatively easy (if somewhat dirty) DIY project with application of some common sense in lifting things up and keeping them there. Plus you will have less of a floor problem to deal with if you straighten things out beforehand, making that and all future projects a lot easier.

    It's your call whether to patch or fix- we just don't want you to find your efforts and money wasted should the leveling ever become necessary later on.

    Phil

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