Hardwood - problem that floors are uneven?

mamattorneyOctober 31, 2012

We have hardwood everywhere on the 1st floor except for the Living Room and Dining Room. It's time to replace the carpet in those rooms and I am going to get a quote for hardwood. One thing we found out doing other improvements to the house is that at some point the floor rises approximately two inches from the middle of the house to the end. We don't notice it with the carpet, but I'm wondering how this is dealt with when you have hardwood. Is it a common issue or is it a pricey fix?

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" floor rises approximately two inches from the middle of the house to the end."

Over what distance?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:10PM
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The important thing is that the floor is flat. It can be unlevel (i.e., the bubble in the level is not centered) as long as it's on an even angle across the whole length (i.e., not "wavy").

So if it's flat, you can install hardwood without doing something to the subfloor. If it's not flat, you have to remedy it, but how and how much depends on the nature of the "waviness."

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 10:02PM
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I was worried about this because we wanted to put hardwood in a 50-year-old house. So I bought unfinished hardwood. The installer was able to sand the surface down to disguise any irregularities in the subfloor. Turned out great.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:10PM
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brickeyee - That's a hard question to answer. I think the answer is the change happens somewhere over about 21-22 feet. But, the tricky part is I don't know if it is an even gradient. My thought is probably not, but that it is masked by the change in flooring type. For example at the thresh hold from the kitchen to the dining room you can see the change in elevation.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Get a laser level and set it up about 4 feet above the floor.

Now walk around with a metal ruler and map out the dips and rises in the floor.

you cam even sue chalk to write numbers on the floor at various spots.

You can them go back with tape measure and see how far apart the dips and bumps are.

Smaller changes (say 1/8 inch) over a decent distance (8 feet) should not be a problem.

Even 3/4 inch t&g floor has some flex.

You may have to use more than the minimum nailing schedule.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:05PM
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