Options for Leveling a Sloping Floor
By Mark J. Donovan
||Whether you plan to install a new floor in your old house and want it level, or you simply just want to have a level floor in your home again, you basically have three solutions available to you to on how to level a sloping floor.
Self Leveling Compounds to Fix a Sloping Floor
You can apply a self leveling compound, shim the floor, or raise the home off of its foundation and repair the foundation.
The use of self leveling compounds is one solution for fixing a slightly sloped floor, however they should not be used for slopes that are in excess of 1/8 inch per foot. They are easy to apply. Simply mix and apply to the sloped floor per the manufacturers instructions.
Shimming to Level a Sloping Floor
Fixing a sloping floor by shimming it works if the slope is relatively minor, e.g. 1 inch over a 12 foot span. Shimming a floor over a greater slope, however, will present other visual and physical problems, such as the ceiling height being markedly different from one side of the room to the other. Likewise, windows may look crooked when viewing from the shimmed floor upwards.
At the far opposite end of the room a shim should not be required, assuming it represents the final desired floor height.
To determine how thick of a maximum shim will be required, find the highest floor height in the room, and then using string, nails and a level, run this max height to the opposite end of the room with the sloping floor.
With the level string attached to the side walls you should then be able to determine the necessary 2×4 shims required along the length of the sloped floor. Make sure to attach the 2×4 shims directly over floor joists.
The home’s sill plates are often damaged by water or insect infestation and if left unchecked the home could at some point come right off of its foundation walls.
Likewise if the foundation walls have settled or crumbled, such as may be the case if the foundation was made out of stones, the home could also come off of its foundation.
If you decide that repairing the sill plates or foundation walls is your best alternative for fixing your sloped floor issue find a contractor who has expertise in doing this type of work. The home will need to be jacked up and temporarily supported while the sills and/or foundation walls are repaired. It takes precision and solid engineering to do this correctly, and to prevent wall cracks and other structural problems in the home.
For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.
Related Information on How to Level a Sloping Floor
- Home Flooring Options
- How to Insulate a Concrete Slab Floor
- Solid Wood Flooring versus Laminate Flooring
- Leveling Floors in Old House
Additional Flooring Resources from Amazon.com
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