Every flooring project takes its own challenges; preparation, planning and selecting the right products are key in the process, and doing this in the right way is what makes the difference between good flooring installations from the great ones. When installing flooring, there might be a part of the trade where you have to deal with uneven floors and at this point you need an optimal subfloor to start up with. Due to different flooring issues in houses, it is frequent that many structures need leveling; uneven floors show distinctive signs of damage or sagging, this issue can cause trouble with slab foundations, including posing a danger to people with physical disabilities, or individuals who are elderly or very young. Uneven floors have to do with house’s foundation, and this is very important because it will present flooring from sloping, in FinishBuild we consider that fixing your house foundation as the first flooring stage is the best way to avoid high cost in the long term. As you can read, having the flooring of your dreams requires very important considerations; it is not only about choosing a stylish and beautiful surface material.
Common issues that turn out into uneven floors
Support system problems
There is a system of columns which supports the entire weight of your house; between this support system, stretch floor joists that also support your floors. So if too much space spans between the columns, the floor joists will not have the right support and therefore your floors will sag. Moreover, with sagging floor joists it will only take a short time before your floors are sagging noticeable; two clues that will show you that your floors are sagging will be the gaps at the point where walls and floors meet, or if your floors squeak.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, over time it is common for all houses to do some settling, especially as houses become older. The plot of ground that holds your house can not be able to efficiently support the weight of it; this is why common symptoms of foundation problems include: uneven floors, cracks in the drywall as well as cracks in the bricks or foundation of your house’s exterior.
When it comes to wooden planks, dished our deformities in floorboards are commonly caused by poor sanding techniques, or by heavy wear in spring wood. By spring wood we mean that the part of the tree that grows early in the season, has the least dense cell structure of any part of the tree; so this wood is softer and less durable than slower late season growth. Irregular floorboards can also be created by poorly maintained drum sanders or incorrect sanding. Fortunately there is always a way to fix such a uneven floor so in case you are wondering what’s the solution? The floor needs to be flattened by using a triplanetary sander (the one that has three orbiting heads) with a quality drum sander orientated at a slight angle to the boards, after this repairing the floor will need to be refinished.
Problems due to moisture
This is a very common problem that causes structural house damage; as moisture covers surfaces in your basement, mold will develop and this will not only cause health issues but it will also damage to the wood support structure of your house. Therefore, wood grows soft and it may decay and sag, this will not allow it to supporting your house effectively.
3 alternatives to repair your uneven floorHaving irregular subfloors results into surfaces that fail in time, repairing them will be costly and will need a great investment in materials and labor. The following are some alternative we have chosen for your uneven floor repair.
Floor leveling compound
Self- leveling compound is similar to concrete and it mostly comes in large bags in powder form, it is mixed with water until it creates a thick paste; self- leveling can be used to even out floors, this compound seeks out the low areas on a floor and fill them in. Then, it can be spread on the floor specifically in the affected area and in this way level out the subfloor; it is required to let self- leveling dry before doing anything else with the floor. In case you have a large height difference in the floor, you will probably need to apply multiple layers of this compound.
Installing plywood on the old subfloor’s top is another option you have; you can effectively create a new excellent smooth surface thanks to this material and install your flooring on. It is a really easy method and it can also be dome on top of concrete if need be. Regarding plywood installation, make sure you use nails that are thick enough to go through the plywood as well as all the way down until the floor below; additionally, if you are installing plywood on top of concrete, you will have to use bolts that are made to go through the concrete surface.
Fortunately mosaic tiles can be installed over uneven surfaces with little problem, due to the fact that each individual tile measures 2 inches or less in size, so the tiles are able to move with an irregular surface, going up or down as the surface demands. On the other hand, if they are large format tiles, it may be more difficult to install over uneven surface since they have no way to bend over a hump or valley.
FinishBuild hopes these tips or suggestions we have prepared for you will help you ensure that your installation looks great and most important, stands the test of time. For us it is very relevant that you are aware of the uneven floors you may have and in this way you keep away unnecessary problems, or in case they already showed up you can resolve them as soon as possible avoiding high charges for repairs.
Make sure to fix your uneven surfaces before starting any flooring project, do it right from the beginning…you start, we Finish!