Leveling an uneven floor

Answered by Brett ~ February 28, 2012 ~ No Comments

I need to build up my home's subfloor 1 1/2-inches in the bedrooms so that its level will match the level of the hallway. What is an economical solution to this problem?

Robert Villanueva ~ Albuquerque NM

Brett Kulina

Robert, the answer to your question depends on the type of existing sub-floor in your house, as well as the type of finished flooring that you will eventually install. One possible way to increase the height of your home's sub-floor by 1 1/2-inches might be to install two layers of 3/4-inch T&G plywood. This type of plywood is commonly used for sub-floors and could be a good choice for you, especially if your house has an existing wood sub-floor or if you want to install hardwood flooring, carpet, or vinyl on top of it. I would screw and glue the new layers of plywood to the existing sub-floor, which would help eliminate squeaky floors later on down the line. If you wanted to reduce the amount of plywood needed for your project, then you could install a single layer of 3/4-inch plywood on top of some 3/4-inch sleeper boards.

If your home has a concrete slab for a sub-floor, then you may need to install a layer of treated plywood, or a waterproof membrane, directly against the concrete to prevent moisture in the concrete from damaging the plywood. Another option when increasing the height of a cement sub-floor would be to install some self leveling gypcrete, or other light-weight concrete, on top of the existing slab. Installing gypcrete can be difficult, so it is a job usually left for the pros. Of course, the need for the additional help may make this the costlier option.

Whichever option is best suited for your specific project, just make sure that ultimately all the finished floors in your house are at the same level!

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