Uneven floors are unsightly and may become a hazard to you, your family and guests in your home. Floors warp and twist for various reasons. The most serious of these reasons is substandard or damaged structural framing. This must be repaired by replacing the entire structure under the floor. More commonly, the problem is substandard installation, or warping due to water damage, of the subfloor. This can be repaired by demolishing the old flooring and flattening the subfloor with self-leveling mortar.
Things You'll Need
- Nail puller
- Razor knife
- Floor scraper
- Mop bucket of clean water
- Self-leveling mortar
- 5-gallon bucket
- Drill with paddle bit
- Work gloves
- Safety glasses
- Dust mask
Remove any old flooring with the proper tools. Pry hardwood floor boards loose with a hammer and nail puller, and remove the nails from each one. Tile floors can be busted up with a hammer and removed with a shovel. Vinyl flooring can be cut with a razor knife and scraped with a floor scraper.
Clean the floor with a mop and clean water after you have used the floor scraper to remove any remaining mortar or adhesive.
Mix dry self-leveling mortar and water in a bucket with the paddle bit on your drill. Use the ratio of water to mortar that is called for on the bag. This information is located in the manufacturer's instructions.
Keep the head of the paddle bit completely submerged during the mixing process to prevent splattering the mortar on yourself and the walls. Always wear a dust mask when handling dry mortar to keep the fine particles of dust out of your airways.
Slowly pour the mortar out onto the floor. Focus on filling in any obvious low spots first. Scrape the bucket clean with your trowel, then take the bucket outside and wash out the rest of the mortar.
Continue mixing and pouring mortar by the bucket full until you have a 1/2-inch coat of self-leveling mortar covering the old, warped floor. Let the mortar cure for 48 hours so that it will be completely dry.
Tips & Warnings
- Start by applying a test patch to ensure compatibility between your existing subfloor and the self leveling mortar you have chosen.
- Any type of flooring can be installed over your new level floor.
- Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand and power tools.
- A dust mask is required in addition to your gloves and glasses when working with dry mortar mix.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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