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Old 03-05-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
advertguy2
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Self Levelling Compound below Hardwood Floors?

Hi,

I've got a subfloor that is all wavy and want to get it flat for hardwood installation. Is there a self levelling compound that can be used below hardwood floors? I would imagine a cement based one wouldn't hold up to the 100's of nails from the hardwood very well.

Any product recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks alot,

Dan
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:00 PM   #2
jadnashua
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Had you considered an engineered hardwood floor? Glue down or floating? Those can easily go down over SLC. I'm partial to www.kahrs.com stuff. They've been making only wood flooring since 1857...they know how to make it, and make it well. I used it on my entire first floor, and will be doing the bedrooms later this year (after I retire and actually have some time!).
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
advertguy2
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I've already purchased the hardwood for the entire house and I',m doing 1 room at a time. The framing for this room was awful. No time to go into details. Is there a product out there that can be used? Any help would be appreciated.

dan
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
dhagin
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Self levelers aren't meant to be nailed thru. I use floor sanders to prep for hardwood with the most coarse belt / disk I can get.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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Subfloor needn't be any more level for a nail-down wood installation than for a tile installation, Dan. And that's not level at all, eh?

Need to be relatively flat, of course, but there's wiggle room there, too.

Maybe if you give the folks some idea what you've got they can give you some better help, eh?

But I agree with Dana, ain't no SLC known to me that wants to be under a nailed floor covering.

Heard this hardwood site mentioned a time or two on here. Maybe they'd have somethin' for ya?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:14 AM   #6
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Ok, I'll try to explain my situation. Second floor of my house. There is a steel beam which supports the brick veneer on one part of my house framing into another beam which posts down to the basement. Well, the genius framers notched the joists that frame into these beams and sat them on the bottom flange. They're about 1/4" low. For 25 years or so, the previous owners just lived with the huge hump in the floor. There are all sorts of problems like this in this particular room. The room is only about 80 square feet of so. Current subfloor is 5/8" OSB. As I'm doing with the rest of my house, I'm adding 3/4" ply on top of the 5/8" OSB for a stiffer floor and to make hardwood to tile transitions even. All these humps i the floor will make for a difficult 2nd subfloor layer install. My original plan (before I thought of the self leveling) was to sand and or plane the floor flat (not necessarily level). Now what I plan on possibly doing if I can't find a self leveller is starting with 3/4" ply at the door and decreasing the thickness as I go into the room (or where needed). Going to be some fun times. I'm sure there will be a lot of sanding and planing as well.

Anybody want to come and help? I'll provide the belts for your belt sander?
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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I can't see your project, of course, but it seems with 80sf I might be taking subfloor up and fixing it at the framing. Less than 3 sheets of OSB....

Might sound intimidating, but it's a small room and seems like it might be lots easier & way faster...... maybe.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #8
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I only a DIY'er, not a professional. So take this advice at your own risk. I'm installing some hardwood flooring by Bellawood. The following quote is from their installation instructions. See mainly the underlined part.

Level wood subfloors
The final surface must be flat to within 3/16" in a 6' radius, or within in 10. Subfloor must be securely nailed or screwed down to joists to prevent movement or squeaks. Install over 16 center-to-center joist sub-structure. Thoroughly inspect and replace existing floor or subfloor that shows evidence of water damage or structural weakness. Check for and repair any sagging or loose sections of a wood subfloor. Squeaky or loose boards should be re-nailed. An uneven or cupped wood subfloor is an indication of excess moisture, identify and correct. High spots may be planed or sanded down. Low spots should be cut out and repaired or may be filled with old pieces of firm vinyl or build up with 30 lb. black roofing paper. Do not fill low areas with cement patches as these will break down over time.

I plan on using the 30 pound roofing felt trick to level out some low spots. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
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Shimming does work, however, it can also bite you in the @ss if you nail or pound on a flooring board end over a void between layers as described. Limit shimming to areas that absolutely can not be brought within plane for some reason and to lower traffic areas.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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We had a similar "hump" at the transition between the original house and an addition in our old house (we were already replacing the hardwood flooring). We removed the subfloor completely within several feet of the hump, screwed 2x4s to the sides of neighboring joists at an acceptable height to raise the low spots, and took some height off the top of the offending (too high) joist (it was completely supported by wall beneath, so strength was not an issue). Then, new subflooring in the patched area. It was a bit of a pain, but definitely worth it.

Remember, level is not important ... most important is to approximate flat and smooth out transistions to existing.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #11
advertguy2
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I think I'm just going to tough it out and sand/plane.

Taking up the subfloor and levelling at the joist level won't make a difference. In fact, I had the floor up 2 years ago for some other reason. And, I'm pretty sure I put a good bead of PL Premium on the joists before putting some OSB back down . So, looks like I'm stocking up on belts...
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #12
dhagin
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It goes pretty fast with really coarse belts/disks, like 20 or so. Get the big walk behind belt sander and little disk edger. The edger is good for getting close to finish surfaces, walls, etc... It'll get dusty so stick a fan blowing out in a window in the room and put some plastic up over the door.

edit; pound down any nails / screws to reduce ripping up belts, or if glued real good, remove & replace.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:22 PM   #13
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Will do on the fan. Great idea about removing the screws. Thanks a lot Dana! I'm not renting any equipment for this. Just me and my belt sander.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:08 PM   #14
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Just to follow up. Ended up putting down new subfloor throughout the room ranging from 3/4" thick to none in some spots. Quickly found out that the 36 grit belts would take forever so I took out my trusty power planer. 4 garbage bags full of woodchips and dust later, I'm done . Took a couple of days. Sure am glad it's done.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #15
dhagin
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Wow, I'll drink a beer in your honor tonight.


...and cough up some sawdust.....
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