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Leveling a subfloor for hardwood installation

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Leveling a subfloor for hardwood installation

Old 02-13-2018, 12:52 PM
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Default Leveling a subfloor for hardwood installation

I am in the process of pulling out carpet and plan to install 2 1/4" X 3/4" T&G Red Oak strips over 3/4" plywood. Using my 6' level I have some spots that have more variation than 1/8" over 6'. I am seeing online to use either a leveling compound or shingles. My plan was to use #15 felt paper as the underlayment. This is the second story so no worries re: vapor barrier. What would use and why?

Last edited by proine17; 02-13-2018 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Added info
Old 02-13-2018, 12:54 PM
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I put down 2 1/4" X 3/4" T&G Red Oak in my last house which was built in 1924, to speak of unlevel supbloors was an understatement. is you are only seeing 1/8 inch over a 6-foot span I would just have a few shingles on hand. Its not that big of a deal.
Old 02-13-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lorne Greene View Post
I put down 2 1/4" X 3/4" T&G Red Oak in my last house which was built in 1924, to speak of unlevel supbloors was an understatement. is you are only seeing 1/8 inch over a 6-foot span I would just have a few shingles on hand. Its not that big of a deal.
I haven't measured but I am thinking variations up to 1/2" or 5/8".
Old 02-13-2018, 01:32 PM
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There are some self leveling products that are a powder and you mix with a white liquid. They are poured and troweled in place. It is like very light weight cement.

I bet the limit is 1/4" though. Read a little an see if it can be layered.
The name "level pro" sticks in my head.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-55...2165/100549588

Use the primer on the plywood as directed. I also mixed with the white milky stuff sold to make thinset stick better. It also keeps the product more flexible and less likely to crumble. Can't think of what it is called. It will make the level pro set up a bit faster so maybe try a small area before mixing a large batch.

Last edited by muskrattown; 02-13-2018 at 01:38 PM.
Old 02-13-2018, 01:35 PM
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Been there. In my opinion it’s not worth messing with the self leveling compound for that little variation. I used a rasp/sander for some joints in the subfloor that had a little lip and felt paper in a few others.
Old 02-13-2018, 02:21 PM
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Shim it from underneath. I have done this on some exsisting houses where there were no other real options.
Old 02-13-2018, 02:45 PM
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Mix up a bag or two of floor leveler like pea soup, lay your felt paper and go to town....you'll never have a squeak and the floor will be rock solid.
Old 02-13-2018, 03:00 PM
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If you go with a leveling compound, make sure it can be nailed through without cracking all to hell. If you have variances that big, you will need longer nails. Try and get by with layering shingles and heavy felt paper if you can.
Old 02-13-2018, 03:09 PM
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1/2-5/8" is pretty bad over 6'! You definitely have to address that before putting floor down. What is on the ceiling below?
Old 02-13-2018, 04:03 PM
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You may be able to just layer some extra felt paper in the low spots.
Old 02-13-2018, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by proine17 View Post
I am in the process of pulling out carpet and plan to install 2 1/4" X 3/4" T&G Red Oak strips over 3/4" plywood. Using my 6' level I have some spots that have more variation than 1/8" over 6'. I am seeing online to use either a leveling compound or shingles. My plan was to use #15 felt paper as the underlayment. This is the second story so no worries re: vapor barrier. What would use and why?
3/4" nail down floor?

I wouldn't use leveler, I would just roll with it. Doubt you'll notice it. Installed floors over worse.

if anything shim with some extra felt strips in low spots but really don't even need that
Old 02-13-2018, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by seabassassassin View Post
You may be able to just layer some extra felt paper in the low spots.
This. Works like a charm and stupid easy
Old 02-13-2018, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by proine17 View Post
I am in the process of pulling out carpet and plan to install 2 1/4" X 3/4" T&G Red Oak strips over 3/4" plywood. Using my 6' level I have some spots that have more variation than 1/8" over 6'. I am seeing online to use either a leveling compound or shingles. My plan was to use #15 felt paper as the underlayment. This is the second story so no worries re: vapor barrier. What would use and why?
An 1/8" is not gonna cause any problems, long as you dont have a joint over a subfloor joint. Make sure you run it perpendicular to joist
Old 02-14-2018, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for the info. I measured last night and the largest gap I have is 3/8". I plan to use 15# felt paper in most spots to level it up and leveling compound in one spot if I cannot correct it with felt paper.
Old 02-14-2018, 08:54 AM
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My last house was 1910, before I put any new flooring down I screwed down the subfloor to eliminate and current or future squeaks.
Old 02-14-2018, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rusty spoke View Post
My last house was 1910, before I put any new flooring down I screwed down the subfloor to eliminate and current or future squeaks.
I am definitely screwing down the subfloor! We only have a couple of spots that squeak, but I am going to make sure no more will develop.
Old 02-14-2018, 09:05 AM
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One of the problems you may have if you dont address it is the wood floor will sound hollow when you walk across the low spots. I have a couple places like that in my home (wood glued down over concrete)/
One way you could address it would be to use a glue for wood floors in the low spots. Trowles on and will take up the variance.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by proine17 View Post
I am definitely screwing down the subfloor! We only have a couple of spots that squeak, but I am going to make sure no more will develop.
I wouldn’t worry about leveling 3/8”. It’s real easy to make it worse rather than living with a little “character”.

Is your 3/4” subfloor existing or are you installing a new one?
Old 02-15-2018, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dropthatpuck View Post
I wouldn’t worry about leveling 3/8”. It’s real easy to make it worse rather than living with a little “character”.

Is your 3/4” subfloor existing or are you installing a new one?
The subfloor is the original one. It is about 13 years old. It is in pretty good shape with the exception of a few spots.

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