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Sub-Floor Leveling & Repair

One of the most important steps of the installation process of any floating wood or vinyl flooring is ensuring that the sub-floor is level. Levelling is often a step that is not considered when budgeting or planning for a new floor but ensuring perfect level is integral to ensuring the quality of your installation and longevity of your floor.

Sub-Floor Basics

Floating floors such as tongue-and groove engineered hardwood, nail and glue down hardwoods, laminate, and vinyl tile and plank click products, all require a level sub-surface so that the structural integrity of the joints stands up to traffic. The sub-floor must be level to 1/8” over ten feet, or peaks and valleys in the floor can result in weakened or broken joints. Uneven sub-floors can result in “trampolining,” cracking, squeaking and over all damage to the floor. More pliable flooring such as carpet or lino can bend and fold slightly as needed, and because of their flexible nature do not require such precise level.

Some flexible products, including glue down vinyl plank and sheet vinyl goods, require that the sub-floor be near level but more importantly must be made perfectly smooth. Special compounds are used to feather out leveling lines and imperfections to create a glass like surface. The smooth surface is required primarily because it creates an even surface for the material to bond to, as well it drastically reduces the chance of bubbles forming in the finished products. Softer materials are also more prone to show sub-floor imperfections. Little bumps can show through like little mole hills if the surface is not perfectly smooth.

There are two types of sub-floor, wood and concrete. Even though they are different we level them in the same way. Some contractors choose to use an approach called “floating” your floor, which is where they choose the highest point in the room and pour the compounds to bring the rest of the room up to that highest point. While this is the easiest way to ensure level, it can end up being costly to the customer.

At C&L Flooring we generally use an alternative process called “spot levelling” where we grind the concrete down with a diamond blade or shave the wood with a planer, to bring any high points down. This process can be a bit trickier but generally works out to be much more cost effective due to the decreased amount of levelling compound required.

To ensure the integrity of your floor for years to come, C&L Flooring will only install on a sub-floor that we deem to be within the Flooring Association standard of level. We cannot install on an un-level floor because there is a good chance that a future floor failure will occur.

In order to help our clients feel confident about the levelling and installation of their new floor our team guarantee’s that we will walk you through the entire process and provide information updates as we have them, so you know exactly where your money is going and why. No surprises.

Please contact our friendly staff if you would like more information on leveling or to arrange site visit to assess the current sub-floor.

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