Leveling the floors is an important activity, especially if you are thinking to change your flooring. If the floor is not leveled, it becomes a hindrance in the replacement procedure of the floor. Although leveling the floor is not a very daunting task. It is not required to construct the entire building again. If the floor is uneven or not leveled it would not allow the new flooring to stick and it will cause the flooring to detach frequently, thus, increasing the repair costs. Following a series of steps could help you level the floor and reduce the hindrances that an uneven floor could cause.
Complexity Level: Moderate
Time required: 12 – 18 hours
Estimated cost: $100 – $ 150
- Sheets of hardboard
- Panel pins
- Try square
- Saw or utility knife
- Nail punch
- Straight edge
1. Clean the floor: First, the floor should be cleaned to remove any greasy substance from the floor, because if the floor is greasy the tiles will not bond with the floor.
2. Check the surface: With the help of a straight edge we can identify the level of the flooring. Place the straight edge on the floor and you can clearly see the high and low areas on the floor.
3. Mark, grind, fill: After checking the level of the floor, mark the highs and the lows; grind the highs and fill up the low spots on the floor.
4. Check the ventilation: There should be a plenty of ventilation under the floorboards. Install an airbrick opening for ventilation. If there is no ventilation get it installed. Before fitting the hardboard check that there are no damp spots on the floorboard.
5. Repair the old boards: If you are planning to lay the new flooring under the skirting boards, you need to take the boards off. Then with the help of a hammer, punch in the protruding nails heads below the surface. Using a power plane level the boards, which are uneven. If there are loose boards or boards which make that creaking sound, bolt them down.
6. Acclimatize the new boards: In order to get the boards adjusted to the existing room humidity, take the hardboard into the room and brush around one litre of water over the rough side of each panel and keep the board in this state for 24 hours.
7. Mark out pipes and wiring: Take a couple of the old floorboards and note the positions of any wiring or pipes. Using a felt tip pen, mark the wire and pipes on the hardboard’s surface. You must fit the narrow strips of the hardboard along these lines as it would be easier to remove if it has to undergo any repairs in future.
8. Lay and fix the boards: With the help of a knife or a saw, cut the boards to size (use a straight edge as a guide). Then lay the rough side of sheets up, across the floorboards. Sway the joints and fix it with diamond-headed panel pins at every 100 mm around the edge, and at every 150 mm apart, in the middle. Ensure the nail heads are flush with the hardboard surface.
These steps will help you to level the floor neatly and you can replace the existing flooring without causing any damage to the floor.
Frequently asked questions:
Is it necessary to clean the floor before starting the leveling process?
Yes. It is very much necessary as the greasy materials that exist on the floor could cause a problem in bonding.
Check that the timber or particle-board floor is level, and fix any squeaks or loose boards.
Things to watch out for:
- It is always advisable that you leave a gap of at least 10 mm around the edge of the room.
- Checking for gas lines in and around the structure is vital as any error could lead to accidents causing serious injuries or even death.