Buckled subfloor What are my options ?


  #1  
Old 05-19-16, 06:03 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Buckled subfloor What are my options ?

First time installing a solid wood floor, and in my prep work, after pulling all the carpet, i've noticed there are quite a lot of variances across the first room.

Is this normal and part and parcel of installing in a home that was only built in 2009 ?

I'm really not entirely sure what to do to fix. Perhaps spend a lot of time with a nail set, then renting a sander of some kind ? My level in places is rocking between 1/2" to 3/4" of an inch.

 
  #2  
Old 05-19-16, 06:15 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Maybe you could use different size underlayments. I wouldn't try to sand it. I take it that there is no cellar or floor below.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-16, 06:17 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
this is a two story home, this is upstairs. The 1st floor is all concrete, the 2nd floor is all plywood.
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-16, 06:46 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Do you think that the house settled? Do you see similar effects, in other places? What does the ceiling look like in the room below?

As I said, I would try to level it with underlayments.
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-16, 08:14 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
No house is otherwise perfect.. I've always felt a bump around that area, when it was under carpet, but being in the bedroom, and with underlay and carpet it never bothered me enough to complain to the builder. I was expecting there to be just some doubled up underlayment truth be told, when i went to pull up the carpet. Knowing that something was uneven under there.

Sloppy workmanship at the time of construction ?

I have the Aquabar B underlayment, as i was doing a nail down.. Aquarbar B isn't very thick, and this raises a good 3/4" inch if not more... If it was a dip, i think i'd be better off. This is more of a tent effect.
 
  #6  
Old 05-20-16, 03:46 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Sloppy workmanship at the time of construction ?
That's hard to say with out being able to see the joists. I don't see how you will be able to lower the high side. You have to raise the low side.
 
  #7  
Old 05-20-16, 05:15 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 8,161
Received 77 Upvotes on 70 Posts
First I would find out if a high spot or a dp on the right side in picture. Get a long straight edge and lay across floor to see what you have . Straight edge can be a long straight board set on edge.
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-16, 06:03 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
hard to see in the picture, but the high spots seem to come from where all four corners meet. So what i'm thinking is perhaps pull the subfloor at those corners and planer down the joists. My guess is that its high cos the joists were never planed at the time of construction. At least thats what it seems like to me.

Is there anyway to get those boards up without significant damage so they can be re-used? or am just going to have to get some new boards cut to measured. Starting to get out of my depth here. I'm no carpenter, but i'll have a go !
 
  #9  
Old 05-20-16, 06:24 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
You will kill yourself if you try to plane the joists 1/2 to 3/4". Why wouldn't you shim the low side?
 
  #10  
Old 05-20-16, 06:25 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,023
Received 1,900 Upvotes on 1,706 Posts
It appears from the subfloor layout that your joists run the same direction that the level lays. It would be odd for the floor to have such a dramatic hump in it. Does it get better when the level in your picture is farther back... or closer to us? (In relation to your photo?) If so, how far must you move it in order for it to improve?
 
  #11  
Old 05-20-16, 06:45 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,541
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
It's OSB, possible swelling from too much rain when the house was being built. I've seen it and had to replace a whole room's subfloor prior to nail down hardwood. That is the ohly explanation I can see given the strength orientation as X stated that the joists should run perpendicular to this hump.
 
  #12  
Old 05-20-16, 09:50 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I had my builders warranty guy over today, for a different issue, and asked him about this and see if it was anything warranty related. He seemed to think it was normal for any sub-floor to be a little buckled like this, and all i needed to do was buy some compound from a flooring supply and a long level and level it out. Not so that its perfect, as that'll never happen, but just enough to get it within spec to allow the wood floor to be stapled.

I then asked Lumber Liquidators, showing a pic of my level, and they said yep they sell what i need and not to worry as it won't crack with age, causing a crunching sound later on down the road.

The warranty guy isn't some pass the buck guy not my problem anymore type of guy, in that he's decent, and has always helped me out for things that are out of warranty, in other words pretty honest. But he's obviously not a flooring expert but knows our homes and all its sister communities very well.

What do the pro's think. Surely they must see this all the time?

He also advised against removing the plyboard and trying to plane down the joist, as i'd be opening up a can of worms later down the road with creaking and cracking.
 
  #13  
Old 05-20-16, 10:36 AM
sam floor's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: May 2010
Location: floor installer
Posts: 1,010
Received 37 Upvotes on 31 Posts
I would be wary of anything that LL says. Many pros will not even install their stuff. It is of poor quality. And no, it is not normal for that floor to be that uneven in a 7 year old house. The builder screwed up, plain and simple. I would go check any warranty you have with the builder. You could have a major structural problem.
 
  #14  
Old 05-20-16, 02:53 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,023
Received 1,900 Upvotes on 1,706 Posts
Normal??? Hahaha! Would really help if you would move the level to several different joists to tell us if its just one spot or what.

You could also find a joist, drill a small hole through the subfloor and see if you can feel a "space" when you drill through the subfloor and before the drill bit hits the joist.

I wouldn't think twice about cutting this out and fixing it right. That is an ENORMOUS hump.
 
  #15  
Old 05-20-16, 04:38 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
That is an ENORMOUS hump.
So is the decent/honest guy who told him that it was normal.
 
  #16  
Old 05-20-16, 07:54 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I went to Harbor Freight today and picked up a belt sander, I smacked in those nails as far as i could with a hammer and went about sanding down the hump . TBH I'm pretty impressed with the outcome. Its not perfect, but with a 6ft level, its not rocking like a rocking horse anymore ! I spoke to a pro floor installer today, and he said its common with today's new homes. Cheap labor and what not ! There's still a bit of sag, in one part of the room, but i think if i put three rows of 15lb felt, it'll work out. The pro installer also suggested this as a remedy. I'm going to start the install tomorrow AM and will let you know how it goes. But i'm going to sleep better tonight, than last night
 
  #17  
Old 05-21-16, 03:45 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 6,541
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
Personally, I would screw the subfloor down before beginning the install of the hardwood. If you had to pound nails down, I suspect that they were not ring shanked and may cause squeaks later on. Use deck screws not drywall screws.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: