Uneven concrete slab under carpet??


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Old 03-25-06, 01:49 PM
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Uneven concrete slab under carpet??

I'm remodeling my house completely, and am planning on putting carpet in the bedrooms, hallways and living room. My subfloor is a concrete slab. Unfortunately, the workmanship on this slab was quite poor (house was built in 1957)...the slab seems to be roughly crowned in the middle, then slopes off to edges of the house, but there are intermediate dips and crowns here and there. There are no major disjointed cracks in the slab to indicate slab or footing instability..just quick and cheap construction, I'm pretty sure. What I'm wondering is if there is some industry criteria or general guideline that should be followed to determine whether it worth bothering trying to correct various slab defects when wall-to-wall carpeting is installed on top of the slab. For example, I have a 3' wide hallway that slopes down about 1/4" over this 3' width. I didn't notice this slope with the old carpet there, but it seems noticeable now that I pulled it off. I'm kind of the perfectionist type when it comes to things being level and plumb, but I'm trying to be realistc, and not turn this house remodel into a lifetime project. I'm assuming that carpet is more forgiving in this kind of situation than say a thin floor covering that closely hugs the floor, like vinyl, due to its being stretched from each end of the room, so maybe I don't have to be that picky.

Also, are there are "quick and dirty" ways to correct for slab waviness/slopiness without correcting the slab itself with leveling compound or a skim coat of some sort? Say, for example in my slopy hallway, putting a 1/4" shim under the tackstrip? Or would that create a "hollow" feel under the carpet? Would a thicker pile carpet help hide a slopy slab? Or maybe there's a preferred pad for this kind of situation? Any help at all would be much appreciated here. thanks!!
 
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Old 03-26-06, 03:42 PM
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If you did not notice the imperfections when the carpet covered the floor, you will likely not notice them with the new carpet. In areas where concrete is high, if in high traffic area, carpet may wear more quickly in high spots, especially with glue-down carpet installation.

You can grind the high spots and fill the low spots with self-leveling compound. That's a lot of work. Again, if you did not notice them before and depending on style of carpet you select, you will likely not notice them again. That goes for the 1/4" slope that you did not notice beforehand. Slope, however, can be corrected with self-leveling compound.
 
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Old 03-27-06, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for the response. I kinda thought that's what I would hear...if you didn't notice it before, you won't notice it later, and I agree with that. Still wondering, just out of curiousity, if there is some rule of thumb on acceptable slopiness. It would seem to be important for a brand new slab that's never been carpeted before, and you don't want to find out after laying the new carpet, that the slopiness is noticeable.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 06:54 AM
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If it is that bad, the concrete contractor is responsible to bring the surface flatness withing the concrete industries standards.

Carpet is the most forgiving flooring when substrates are involved.
 
 

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