Anne
Lv 5
Anne asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 1 decade ago

What happens if you install wood floors over wavy/lumpy subfloors?

Will it even out at all or get worse? Right now I have carpeting and the rooms are all bubbled up in the middle and droop down at the walls.

If I install wood over these crappy sub floors, will be be change anything? What can I do to even them out ? Is there something relatively simple?

Thanks.

Update:

The house was just built 10 months ago. It was crooked the day they finished building it. I have been complaining to the builder to fix it since day one, and the jerk keeps telling me that it will settle and even out.

10 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your builder is responsible for structural issues for a minimum of three years. I would suggest that you contact the local building and planning dept. They will instruct you on how to take the proper steps in forcing the contractor resolve the problem.

  • 1 decade ago

    Organic (wood, cork, bamboo, etc) flooring materials will adapt to gentle undulations, and a more lumpy surface can be evened out by laying plywood first. The rougher the surface, the thicker the plywood needs to be, so this can cause issues with the bottoms of doors and etc.

    A quick solution (even on 'suspended' floorplates) is to get a layer of 'self-levelling' concrete or sand & cement 'screed' laid over the top; this will automatically settle out (within hours) to a perfect level. However, this can also cause issues if the doors, skirtings etc. have been fitted slightly out-of-level.

    A new-build house always comes with a guarantee, usually overseen by the National House Building Council. Most speculative housebuilders belong to this organisation (like a trade association, rather than an authority), and if you are not satisfied with the results when you complain to your builder, you can take your complaint to the NHBC.

    If your housebuilder does not belong to the NHBC, they are still obliged (like any trader) to supply a 'fit for purpose' product. Reasonably level floors (argument might arise about exactly what is reasonable) are a requirement of the Building Regulations, and a house built without these is not legal, and may be uninsurable. You can involve the Local Authority's 'building control' department, and their Trading Standards office, if there are questions as to whether a new home complies with the building regulations.

    If you are in the USA, then the official bodies involved will be slightly different, but it would be surprising if your state does not operate a similar system. Your housebuilder will probably (sometimes MUST) belong to an association that oversees quality issues, and the state government will have an authority who can prosecute sloppy (potentially dangerous) builders.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You will have to level out the floor with a liquid floor leveler. This is a great deal of work and you have to know what you are doing. The liquid can harden before you are done and then you will have a really big job. You most likely will have to put down new sub flooring over the existing floor (which is what material?) If it is all lumpy and bubbled then I'm thinking that the sub floor is particle board or OSB and has gotten wet many times which results in uneven swelling. Possible fish tank leak or pets urinating on the carpet can do in a cheap floor.

    I would tear off the old sub floor and put down a new one, Then put down the wood floor. Anything less than that is throwing money away.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the house was just built, don't touch it. This will void any warantees or guarantees you might have. It sounds to me that you have structure issues. Installing wood floors will not make it look any better, in fact worse. You will not be able to line up tounge and groove flooring. Take the bum to court and report him to any agency involved. Have an arctitect or another contractor look at the floor and structure, to determine the exact problem.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You will have wavy lumpy wood floors that will always creak. Most annoying when sneaking to the refrigerator at night.

  • 1 decade ago

    Did the inspector even look at it? This floor will never straighten out and anything you cosmetically do to it is still a bandaid. Unfortuneatly, if you absolutely cannot get the original builder to do it, you will have to have it redone or you will never be pleased. Sorry, not the answer you wanted.

    Been there. Some of those guys are great & others well. . . .

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The wood will buckle. Depending on what your sub-floor is, and how much of a dip you have, will make a difference on how you level it. Your best bet is to have a professional come in. Get at least 3 estimates, and ideas. Good luck!!

  • 1 decade ago

    The builder probably didnt sand the sub-floor in areas where there was going to be carpet. Sub - floor always swells at the joints unless it didnt take any rain or snow until it got dried in. you can rent a floor sander and try to sand it. I am sure it will get saw dust everywhere. Maybe put visquine up to block the sawdust from getting to other areas of the house. Take a lot of breaks and wear a mask to keep from inhaling to much sawdust. I am a carpenter and we always sand all of our joints after the houses get dried in. Theres alot of buildes that don't do it though. good luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can`t make a uneven floor even by just covering it up. Sounds like your house has a few issue's.I would recommend you have somebody make sure your house is safe and that the foundation is not sinking.

  • chin
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    wavy/ lumpy /noise /squeaky top floor

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