Floor severely sloped (3'). What are our options?

mudwormJune 26, 2011

We just purchased a self leveling line laser and were shocked to see how sloped our living room floor is. This will impose a great problem because we plan to put down laminate flooring in the living room, the wood room, and the kitchen (see the diagram below). The laminate floor installation instruction has this requirement on levelness: "Make sure the subfloor is flat. Any unevenness greater than 2mm (1/16") over the length of 1 meter (40") must be smoothed out.". Ours is 10/16" over 40"! Argh!

The rest of the house is not too bad though. I don't know what happened to the living room. Maybe it was built (as an addition to the old cabin) crooked. But if we could avoid it, we will not mess with the foundation. Now, how do we address this sloping floor in the living room (3" over 186" span) just for proper installations of flooring and cabinets?

In my very naive view, we lay plywood sheets across the room, with a gradual reduction in the number of layers from left side to the right. Use leveling compound to even out the step downs. This way, we achieve a level floor in the living room. We will make a 3" step down from the living room into the wood room and the kitchen (along the dotted blue line). What would you do?

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Are you confusing flat with level? What you need to be concerned with is unevenness, dips and rises from flat. Level is best but not necessary for a solid feeling floor.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 9:35AM
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A structural engineer will be able to pinpoint the reason why the floors slope to the middle of the structure. You may be able to determine that on your own by a simple examination of the support structure under the center of the building.

If the slope doesn't bother you, then there is little you'd have to do, except to address any uneveness, dips and rises, as woodfloorpro says. If the slope does bother you, then now would be the time to investigate a remedy.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 9:49AM
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Thanks woodfloorpro and glennsfc for your replies. After I posted, the realization did come to me that the laminate flooring mfr shouldn't care if the whole floor is sloped as long as it's even. As for the cause? It puzzles me. The rest of the house appears to be pretty flat, so if anything, I think the uphill side may just have risen. But I don't see big gaps. Don't know and will not lose sleep over it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 11:55AM
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