Today we’re going over some Easy tips for fixing uneven floors. From the material we used to the underlayment.
This past weekend we started the one project I’ve been wanting to do ever since we bought the house. We finally ripped up the old, stained, and smelly carpets and prepared our floors to install the vinyl planks. Once we removed the carpets we were able to assess the height difference between the living room and kitchen. There was a noticeable heigh difference of about an inch or so.
We knew before we started that we would have to level the floors in the living room, to match the height of the kitchen. It should have been relatively straightforward, and for the most part, it was. But there are always problems when renovating.
So before we get into a few issues causing the delay in our floors, I want to walk you through the steps to fixing uneven floors. Around here we like to share our problems with you all in hopes you can learn from our mistakes.
How to Level Uneven Floors
tools and materials you will need:
- We used Mahogany Plywood and I am so happy with it.
- Ringed Underlay Flooring Nails
- Circular Saw
- Measuring Tape
STEPS TO FIXING UNEVEN FLOORS
- The first step is to remove your flooring to expose the subfloor. You want to have a clean area, which involves removing any leftover nails, screws, or staples.
- Figure out how uneven the floors are. The best way to do this is by taking a level or large straight piece of metal to see if there are noticeable dips on the subfloor. Ensure you scan the entire room, and mark any high or low spots.
- To fix a high spot (like we have and I’m sharing more on that below). There are several ways you can do it, but the easiest is by sanding the high spot if it’s on plywood. If it’s on a concrete subfloor you can use a concrete grinder, with this bit.
- If you need to fix a low spot you can do what we did, and add an underlayment over top of the plywood subfloor. It will cover any small height differences and imperfections. To fix a low spot on the concrete subfloor, you’ll want to use floor-levelers (which are essentially cement specifically made for these types of issues). Plus floor patches can be another solution to most sub-floor issues especially if your floors are low in only a few areas.
- Lastly, make sure you do a final clean of the floors from any debris or dirt. You want to remove any nails or screws that are sticking up (or nail/screw down so they are flush). Any bit of dirt or uneven floors will make installing your new vinyl flooring impossible to fit together properly.
Our Biggest Issue with our Floors
Now that you know how to fix uneven floors and prepare them for installing new flooring. I wanted to share some things I recently learned about the process. That it’s not always as easy as it seems.
For the most part, this is a simple job, but sometimes you get a house that has a bit more problems than others. For example, our home had carpet that was installed really, really good (a little too good if you ask me). There were hundreds if not thousands of staples and took two of us to pull the carpet from the subfloors. Just imagine how long we had to sit there picking out every single staple and scraping the subfloors clean of the glue.
But that wasn’t the worst part. It was when we got to the front door, pulled up the vinyl sheet, and found particleboard. It’s been glued down with carpenter glue (which is impossible to get off) and reinforced with a ton of staples. The only way to get it up and make the floors even is by chipping away at it piece by piece.
Needless to say, it’s put us behind schedule, and every single day I’ve been working on it. We’re hoping we can lay the final vinyl planks by the weekend! I can’t wait to start on the fun part, and put together the design of our new living room (coming to the blog soon).
The lesson here is that nothing is ever as easy as it seems, especially when it comes to renovating. This is why I would love to know what lesson have you learned about renovating or DIY? I’d love to know in the comments below.