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Floor LEVELING 101

Old 01-12-2021, 04:07 PM
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Default Floor LEVELING 101

I bought a house that has a 2" drop in the living room slab. House is 40 years old and the large chimney looks like it acted as an anchor and pulled the slab down...but looks like it stabilized over the past 10 years. I'm getting jacks placed on each side of the chimney to prevent any further decline, but that leaves a 2" slope in the living room and I'm thinking about filling that area with some sort of leveler.

Anybody have any ideas of what to use? If I install carpet, the fix can be fairly rough, but if I go with tile, can i just lay dura rock down over the repairs and then do tile? The stick on the hearth is about 1.5" thick and it's extending under the fireplace insert, which shows the amount of sink in that area.

Last edited by bamaboy473; 01-12-2021 at 04:15 PM.
Old 01-12-2021, 04:20 PM
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Wouldn’t it be better to level the whole foundation? Most likely more expensive, but probably the right way to do it.
Old 01-12-2021, 04:26 PM
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If that were in Florida I would be worried about a sink hole. Not sure about Alabama, but you may want to check.
Old 01-12-2021, 04:36 PM
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Use NXT from laticrete its a good floor leveler . You could tile over it if you want to and its pretty easy to use ,its good up to 3" in one pour
good luck
Old 01-12-2021, 04:42 PM
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Here is a DIY video but it's done by pro's. If you have no experience with finishing concrete, I'd consider hiring it out.

Old 01-12-2021, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PXMAN View Post
If that were in Florida I would be worried about a sink hole. Not sure about Alabama, but you may want to check.
The soil here is sandy clay, no sinkholes allowed. The house sits on the downhill side of a slopiing street that must carry a ton of water down it when it rains, so my first job is to buffer the water and create a swale to flow the water away from the foundation. leveling the whole foundation isn't practical because we might as well demo the house because it's value is only $150K.
Old 01-12-2021, 04:46 PM
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soohos and Boataholic, THANKS
Old 01-12-2021, 04:47 PM
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We fix that problem when we finish someone's basement slab with a complete mud job on top of your existing slab. Just like doing a mud job in a bathroom or kitchen remodel where tile will be used. Carpet or vinyl flooring is more common up here for basement flooring choices and we haven't had a problem installing those on top of new slab. In the thin ares, sometimes we would fill in the lowest areas with mud and then switch over to a pourable self leveling product.
Old 01-12-2021, 05:03 PM
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Carpet and be done. No need to level it. You will be the only one that ever knows there is a drop
Old 01-12-2021, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post
Carpet and be done. No need to level it. You will be the only one that ever knows there is a drop
if it wouldn't show that much, I'd go with it, but windows on that wall are cock-eyed and I'm going to have to cut sheetrock and shim the ledgers, so while all that's getting done, leveling a 2" drop over a 10' span makes sense. I hate carpet in a LR for a rental, so if we can get it pretty level I can install snap-lock and call it good.
Old 01-12-2021, 05:46 PM
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No where near a 2" drop, but we did have some settling that was causing some issues with brick and doors closing. Not far from the "Alabama Gulf Coast" so, I would assume similar soil conditions. I didn't want to screw around with any "make do" fixes, so I contacted a couple company's that specialize in this type work and went with Alpha Foundations. Could not be happier with our decision. I am confident in the leveling and the system they use is state of the art. Not cheap, but not unreasonable either, and the fix is permanent.

Not sure what your intentions or longer term plans are for the property, but if it was for my own personal use/home, I wouldn't hesitate to give them a call.

My .02.
Old 01-12-2021, 06:56 PM
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Ardex K15 is what our design teams typically spec for floor leveling in high traffic areas, retail sales floor work.
Old 01-12-2021, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Retiredearly View Post
Wouldn’t it be better to level the whole foundation? Most likely more expensive, but probably the right way to do it.
Agree. Doing it right may be easier in the long run. Windows, doors, fireplace, trim will all be off. I’d guess you could feel it. I have no idea but can it be pump jacked?
Old 01-12-2021, 08:23 PM
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Daughters house had some joist rot and sinking. Contracted Tar Heel basement to repair and replace. Not cheap but it was done right. Worth it for us and her.
Old 01-12-2021, 08:27 PM
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The challenges are that the property is a $150K property, and will always be a rental until sold, so stabilizing and regenerating are a lot less money than leveling. Yes, it can be pump jacked (or grout/foam jacked), but moving the slab upwards could result in the chimney being breached, and that's a major no-no. Better to just get the floor more level and get the windows more square. I can make the trim and sheetrock fit the new level, but need to know how to go about it and there are 3 ideas already that I'll research tomorrow.
Old 01-12-2021, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
The challenges are that the property is a $150K property, and will always be a rental until sold, so stabilizing and regenerating are a lot less money than leveling. Yes, it can be pump jacked (or grout/foam jacked), but moving the slab upwards could result in the chimney being breached, and that's a major no-no. Better to just get the floor more level and get the windows more square. I can make the trim and sheetrock fit the new level, but need to know how to about it and there are 3 ideas already that I'll research tomorrow.
I will share more about the entire process of slab leveling.

I will provide some pictures of the process, but one thing that needs to be addressed is a "Static Leak Test" on the plumbing.

Our plumbing repairs cost a bit more than the slab repair/secure. Kind of a chicken/egg thing. Did the leaking plumbing cause the foundation issues or did the foundation sag mess up the plumbing?

Find the root cause before putting money into fixing the symptoms. Trust me, fix the root cause or you will have an endless chain of repairs.

Or... If it is just a flip, you can patch it up/disguise it and let the next owner deal with it.
Old 01-12-2021, 08:56 PM
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It’s a rental house and flat vs. level is something to consider. 2” is a whole lot, can u stop the decline, get it stable or heading in the direction of level and install something nice in the meantime. Can a 2” drop even be leveled in one jack up or is this a process that requires attention elsewhere and takes time.
Old 01-12-2021, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolerFull View Post
It’s a rental house and flat vs. level is something to consider. 2” is a whole lot, can u stop the decline, get it stable or heading in the direction of level and install something nice in the meantime. Can a 2” drop even be leveled in one jack up or is this a process that requires attention elsewhere and takes time.
I think our house in Texas has 19 jacks (12 inside and 7 outside). The sewer line repairs were deep and extensive.
I will dig up pictures of the process.
Old 01-12-2021, 09:17 PM
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"I'm thinking about filling that area with some sort of leveler. Anybody have any ideas of what to use?"

Funny you should ask. I just spent the last two days doing what you want to do but on a larger scale. Bsully24 has the right idea. Just find a real tile guy and have him mud the floor to where you want it. If it was your personal house it might be a different story but for a rental level it up and move on.







Old 01-12-2021, 09:35 PM
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Your photos show that a tile guy is who I need to contact. Should DuraRock or similar be placed across cracks so that any movement won't telegraph up through the new mud? It looks like the slab's sinking has stabilized, given that tile laid in an adjacent area hasn't moved or cracked in 10 years.


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