Remedy for Drastic Slopes in Hardwood Floors

Save

Drastic slopes in hardwood floors can result in bending, heaving and wood plank ends that do not remain nailed down. Besides being visually unappealing and uncomfortable to stand on, sloping floors present safety concerns. Most remedies for a drastically sloping hardwood floor involve the subfloor. A subfloor should not vary more than 3/16" over a ten-foot span. If not the subfloor, then the foundation and structure of the house is the probable cause.

Shims

  • A good way to level an uneven hardwood floor and provide support to the subfloor is to add wooden shims. Place the shim between the subfloor and the joist; check to ensure the subfloor is now level; then nail down through the subfloor and shim straight into the joist.

    It is also possible to install shims between the subfloor and hardwood floor. Stack asphalt roofing shingles to even out larger high and low spots and taper as necessary to achieve a level surface. Swing a six-foot-long straightedge in a 360-degree circle at various points on the floor to identify these spots. The shingles do not require nailing down, but tacking into place will keep them from shifting.

Self-Leveling Compounds

  • Self-leveling compounds are a good choice for leveling a severely sloping floor. The first step in applying a self-leveling compound is to apply a latex primer to the sub-floor. This will ensure a good bond between the self-leveling compound and the sub-floor. Fill in all low areas first, and then spread a thin coat over the remaining sub-floor.

Floor Joists

  • Floor joists need to remain stiff, solid and level to provide sufficient support for a subfloor. Uneven, or poor-quality floor joists can be a major cause of sloping in hardwood floors. It is possible for a 2x10 floor joist to be off by 3/8" or more. Check existing joists for depth, cracks and knots, bending and warping. Replace with high-quality wood joists of equal size.

    Another solution for supporting floor joists is to sister them. Installing a second joist next to the original is a good way to add strength and additional support to a weak or damaged joist.

Replace Subfloor

  • Examine the subfloor from underneath to determine its condition. Check for signs of warping, sagging and water damage, all signs the subfloor needs replacing. While replacing only damaged sections of a subfloor is possible, a drastically sloping hardwood floor may require total replacement. A good idea, especially if the hardwood floor is in a kitchen or bathroom, is to install a vapor barrier over the subfloor. Moisture can quickly and permanently damage and warp a new subfloor, leaving you once again with a drastically sloping hardwood floor. A common material used as a vapor barrier is 15-pound black felt paper.

Foundation

  • If the underlying reason for your sloping hardwood floor is due to foundation issues, no amount of inside work will solve the problem. Solving structural issues could require jacking up the whole house and installing new footers. When done right, this process takes a long time, so plan on several weeks if you want to avoid structural damage.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • How to Fix a Sloping Floor

    A sloping floor in your home indicates a structural issue with the support beams called the joists. Joists run the length of...

  • How to Level a Wood Floor

    Leveling the subfloor is a prerequisite for most floor covering installations, including hardwood, laminate and vinyl. Even slight humps and depressions in...

  • How to Fix Cracks and Chips in Wood Trim

    Wood trim is a beautiful accent in any home. Wood trim can be used around windows, doors, as base trim, chair rails...

  • How to Fix Gaps in Old Wood Flooring

    Gaps between boards are the number one complaint pertaining to hardwood flooring, according to the National Oak Flooring Association. Gaps that appear...

  • How to Slope a Floor for a Drain

    When installing a floor drain on most indoor floor surfaces, it is important to slope the floor slightly so that water will...

  • How to Level a Sloping Concrete Floor

    Sometimes a concrete floor will begin to slope or sag over time. Routine wear and tear, poor installation or even nature itself...

  • How to Fix Squeaky Floor Boards

    Squeaky floorboards make their presence known whenever you walk on them. You may need to walk, watch, and listen closely to find...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!