laying laminate over uneven floor


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Old 01-22-07, 09:56 PM
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laying laminate over uneven floor

My kitchen floor has peaks where the joists run, but is very solid. I'm thinking a solution might be to put down the laminated flooring parallel to the joists rather than perpendicular like the real hardwood floors in the rest of the house. When working perpendicular to the joists it was really hard to get the boards to snap together (a glueless floor - Kronotex Easy Lock II), but if I work parallel to the joists I should be going with the "waves" and should work better. Is this faulty logic? Altho the floor is decidedly unlevel, this does not detract cosmetically. Has been that way for better part of 40+ years, and was not noticed until I tried to lay the flooring. What would be the downside of just trying to work around the problem rather than fix it? I was shopping in Old Town Alexandria, Va., this weekend, and saw a shop with laminate floors on an unlevel floor -- owner said it had been down a few years and seemed fine.

Would appreciate insight from anyone with experience in this.

Thanks, LMG
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Old 01-22-07, 10:19 PM
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Unlevel and not flat are two different things. The existing floor needs to be flat or the joints will flex too much as the floor is walked on and can come apart. If you do as you have proposed, there will be an inordinate amount of stress on the joints where the pieces meet over the crown in the floor, causing the joint to break over time. Take a couple of scrap pieces, snap them together, and then bend them over something in a similar manner as what will be on the floor and observe what happens to the joint. Each time that joint is stepped on, it will be abnormally stressed and eventually fail.
 
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Old 01-22-07, 10:28 PM
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Floor not flat = laminate failure.
 
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Old 01-23-07, 08:19 PM
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The substrate flatness specifications are very strict, for hard surface flooring.

1/8" in 6' is the usual, although all manufacturers have there own variation.
 
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Old 01-28-07, 06:28 PM
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Seem to work

I put down almost half of the floor today running parallel to the joists, and it seems to be just fine. Levelled the floor a bit by putting an extra layer of padding on either side of the peaked joists to make the slope more gradual. Looks good and seems quite strong.
 
 

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