Leveling a wood floor is one of the many home maintenance tasks you might find yourself needing to tackle. Living with floors that have unwanted sags or slopes isn’t really an option. Doing so would only lead to more damage. Aside from this, an unmaintained wood floor could always drag down your home’s aesthetic appeal. It might be tempting to install a new floor on top of the present subfloor. However, you should make sure the surface that would eventually go underneath is at the level and even. To help you in the matter, here are some steps to wood floor leveling.
Step 1 - Clean the Floor Area
Use a clean rag and broom to clean the entire wood area before venturing on the next steps. Debris can interfere with wood leveling procedures. Sand the areas that need to be repaired. Examine the floor and mark the damages with colored chalk.
Step 2 - Attach the Wood Sheathing
Prepare to attach the wood sheathing. Position it on the top edge of your floor’s joists. Fasten it securely. Solid wood joists may have differences in height and width depending on the way your previous contractor chose them. As such, it is better to measure them prior to shopping materials.
Step 3 - Drive in Nails and Screws as Necessary
Strengthen the floor by driving down corkscrew nails in areas that get heavy foot traffic. As wood tends to contract or expand, the nails get loose. As such, screws will help prevent the floor from squeaking. Also, note that screws must be long enough to go down the floor joists by at least 1 ¼ inches deep.
Step 4 - Identify the Highest Level of the Floor
Using a level and 2x4 straight edge, check the highest level of your floor. Put the straight edge so you could swing it to a full 360 degree. This would let you locate the highest point. Use a sander to trim it down.
Step 5 - Apply Leveling Compound
As you have previously damaged areas, inspect them to see if there are any dips. Apply a leveling compound to make the areas even.
Step 6 - Get a New Plywood Subfloor
Even out the existing subfloor by installing a new ¾ inch plywood subfloor. Make sure the wooden joists could still accommodate the new subfloor on top of the hardwood flooring. Adjust the thickness of the plywood as necessary. You can choose to use thinner plywood.
Step 7 - Inspect for Loose Screws and Nails
Check to see if there are loose nails or screws. Sand the area again and varnish or paint as desired.