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Old 06-07-2005, 10:57 PM   #1
Splinter
Kitchen & Bath Remodeler Long Island
 
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Level or Flat?

Since I do most of my work in old houses, nothing is ever level... I hate it when some tile guys come in, tell the homeowners that the carpenters want a level floor to set cabinets on, and then pile up 4" of mud in a doorway. Im the carpenter, and I dont care if the floor is level.. Flat would be nice, however. I would rather shim some cabinets up, and trim others down if necessary than whap my head every morning on the top of the doorway as I start working. (Im 6'5" by the way)

I hear many tell the DIY'ers on the help forum that level isnt always necessary, just aim for flat. Is this advice just for DIY'ers, or do you guys use this rule as well?
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:40 PM   #2
maggiethelab
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I don't do tile for a living, but I do finish basements and install both tile and trim - just got done wiping off 120 feet of grout haze . I vote "Flat". Nothing is ever level, and anyone who assumes that floors are level should hang a few doors. Over a 2'8" span (2'6" door) I'm surprised if I don't see 1/8" difference that needs a little shimmin'. Over 8' of tile for a bathroom I'd go crazy trying to level everything out. The tile pro's may differ, but I can't imagine doing a hotel entry or shopping mall floor and trying to level it.

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Old 06-08-2005, 03:47 AM   #3
Jim Farrell Tiler
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I am tiling a ensuite floor tomorrow with 440x 440s it is 1.2m wide and 4.0m long with a 20mm fall towards one end there is also a 100mm skirting tile , there is no way i can follow the floor because if its not level it will stand out like dogs balls, but on the other hand with a bigger floor you have to go for flat or you may need a step ladder to get on to it.


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Old 06-08-2005, 05:15 AM   #4
Rd Tile
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Alex, 4" of mud?, nah.
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Old 06-08-2005, 06:05 AM   #5
Splinter
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Rich, no joke... Im doing cabinets in a kitchen next week, homeowners tile guy just did the mud bed yesterday... This one happens to be 3.5" thick because it sits 2 3/4" above the hardwood in the adjacent room. Customer called me last night to ask if it's normal... Thats what gave me the idea for this thread.... I think she has a 3/8" thick tile too...

My brother had a tile guy in at his brownstone in Brooklyn a few years back... The building is about 100 years old. The tile guy leveled out the 4th floor kitchen with a mud bed... 5/8ths thick at one end of the room, over 3 inches at the other. (with a doorway there) I hit my head so hard the first time I stepped up through that doorway, I fell over backwards. 100 years ago they didnt bother with subfloors either, just nailed the T&G to the joists. So you dont "lose" any mudbed height where it meets any other rooms.

Im dont want to be there when that 4th floor kitchen winds up on his 3rd floor... The floor joists are only 2x6... (a full 2x6 at least)
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Old 06-08-2005, 06:37 AM   #6
Dave Taylor
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"it will stand out like dogs balls"

Har Har Har.

I spose I heard that b4, jim, but I don't remember where or when.

Har Har
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Old 06-08-2005, 07:59 AM   #7
MHI
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Alex,

I level when I can, otherwise flat. If the floor pitches down toward the back wall of a room, I make it level. Toward the door, flat is the way to go. To screed a large area flat, you need to pull a long straight edge. level is easier, thats probably why most tile guys do it that way.

As for kitchens, most people want hardwood floors these days. Can't level those easily.
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Old 06-08-2005, 08:24 AM   #8
John Bridge
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I'm of the flat school. Level is a luxury on most remod floors. In the very few new houses I do I have recessed subfloors to begin with, and we can create a perfectly level mud floor in most instances.

Go for flat in most cases, and you'll do fine. People don't seem to mind walking up and down hill. It's the humps and valleys that get to you.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter
Since I do most of my work in old houses, nothing is ever level... I it when some tile guys come in, tell the homeowners that the carpenters want a level floor to set cabinets on, and then pile up 4" of mud in a doorway. Im the carpenter, and I dont care if the floor is level.. Flat would be nice, however. I would rather shim some cabinets up, and trim others down if necessary than whap my head every morning on the top of the doorway as I start working. (Im 6'5" by the way)

I hear many tell the DIY'ers on the help forum that level isnt always necessary, just aim for flat. Is this advice just for DIY'ers, or do you guys use this rule as well?
What do you do if the floor is 4" out of level and you are hanging cabinets? Do you just run them "flat" and have a kitchen that is 4" out of level or maybe you use 4" shims?
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