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Leveling sub-floor when installing laminate

Ithinkican's picture

I will do my best to explain my situation.

My house was built in the (50's). and in the 80's someone had attached a garage and bumped the house out about 4'. I now want to install laminate in the bedroom. My problem is that the old exterior wall of the original house, now falls on a wall that devides a walk-in closet and the master bedoorm. I have about a 1/2 drop from that foundation wall and 4' back into the bedroom. It appears that the house has slowly settled and when I lay my level down, it sets flush with the floor, it's just very un-level in a short deistance. There is no pocket or anything, it seems that it has settled evenly away from the original foundation wall.

I have read some other reviews where people say, it's not "level" that matters, its that the floor is running flat.

So I guess my question here is.....if the room is not level from one end to the other......I should be ok right??

Am I correct in thinking that as long as there aren't pockets for the flooring to flex into, then the flooring should install flat against the subfloor and be supported, therefor it will not crack.  

Just an FYI, I am still considering using the self leving compound for the sake of not feeling the rise in the floor as I walk over to the closet, but the way I see it, I would have to use the leveling compound in the entire room and then taper it off when I get within 4' of the old exterior wall. (I don't think I can plane or sand the raised section by a 1/2")

Has anyone had experience with a similiar situation, any other ideas??

Youcandoit..... (post #210343, reply #1 of 5)

You heard right-flat is where it's at.

you don't want a bow up, nor a valley down.

nor a peak up and back down.

If you want level, you can certainly do that.

How bad is this out of level anyway?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Thanks for the respone... I (post #210343, reply #2 of 5)

Thanks for the respone...

I am not positive how off level it is from the wall (or the furthest point, which is about 14' away.) But when I set my 4' level on the highest point, and hold it the end of my 4' level it's about 1/2" low.....

It seems like a lot to me......

Look at it this way... (post #210343, reply #4 of 5)

If you want level, make it happen.  Caution that self leveling compound is not easy and if you don't dam it and seal all the holes, it's liable to go where it wants to go, not maybe where you want....


an eighth in a foot is quite a bit, I can feel it walking, and the choice is yours.


Does that continue or is there a way to bring that up and be pretty close to flat with the rest. 


Too bad we can't come over, way easier to answer and figure the best, most reasonable move.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


ok, thanks for the (post #210343, reply #5 of 5)

ok, thanks for the info......

Just an update, I did spend a little more time going around with my level and I am getting a better picture now.

It does appear that the 3/4" (I actually measure now, guessing it was about 1/2") low spot is just the most noticable. I have gone around and it appears that it is a low pocket, once it gets to that 3/4" low spot, it slowly comes back up as I contiue away from the wall. 

So I am planning to fill that low spot, I guess the real question now, is....I had put down 1/4" underlayment on the wood subfloors. ( 1/4 sureply by patriot timbers) I stapeled it down....and I used a TON of staples, I think I was supposed to be every 4" O.C.

Now I am a little concerned becasue the self leveling compund I find says use with exterior plywood or OSB. I have also seen concerns about the metal staples or nails.....

The underlayment I am looking at is TEC EZ Level.....customer service tells me that I have to use a "exterior grade plywood" underneath the EZ level so that the EZ level doesn't pull the moisture out of the wood and warp it.....

My thought is I put a TON of staples in the 1/4" underlayment and according to patriot timers, they use exterior glue (although it is not rated for exposed exterior applications) 

Any thoughts on if this self leveling compound will cause problems with my plywood underlayment?? I can't imagine most applications of this self leveling compund on an old wood floor are on OSB or "exterior rated plywood"