I am redoing my basement (see my other posts :) ), and I am
considering flooring. We have a cement floor, which is not perfectly
level (it goes up a bit near the walls for example, and I think
there's some dips and valleys in the middle, which aren't all that
visible right now, but I bet would be if I put laminate down.
I'm putting some sort of subflooring down, but I don't know of any
that would help with this. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas
There is a difference between flat and level. What you describe is a
floor that isn't flat :)
Semantics aside, how severe are these irregularities in your floor?
With a traditional subfloor (sleepers + plywood/OSB), you can shim the
sleepers to be level. Grind down any high spots in the concrete.
In my basement, we used pre-made 2'x2' OSB panels with a layer of XPS
insulation. They are only 1.25" thick, which saves some headroom.
You can buy little plastic shims to level the subfloor while
installing. It is a floating floor which somewhat limits floor
covering options (laminate is ok). For your situation, you could trim
the insulation to allow the panels to fit around the uneven
perimeter. The product (OVRX Barricade) may not be available in your
Alternately, you could just put some heavy/industrial carpet down.
That would at least be able to conform to undulations in the floor.
There are a number of self leveling compounds you can use that are
cement based. They are designed for cement floors.
Laminate clicks together, if the floor is hilly it will be hard to get
them to snap together (the previous row will be bowed). Take a
straight edge and get a feel for how uneven the floor is. 1/4" over 3'
should be OK.
I would think the subfloor would take care of everything, and give you
chance to insulate under.
I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas
Have you priced a terrazzo floor? Definitely unusual, but considering
the longevity, appearance, and being absolutely level, it might be
worth it to you. With construction in the doldrums these days,
terrazzo firms in some areas might be worth looking at.
How much height do you have to work with? I've got just enough in mine to
lay 2x4" joists and shim them out to make things level, with 3/4" ply
over the top of that. I'll probably run joists on 12" centers and shim
every 2' or so to minimize flex. I think I'll end up with about 7' 6" of
height (once I've got some covering down and 1/4" ply on the ceiling),
which is workable given that it'll still be utility space, playroom for
the kids etc.
On that kind of spacing you could, possibly, even turn the 2x4"s on their
sides - they'd be bendy as all hell, but with 12" spacing and lots of
shims maybe it wouldn't matter.
My basement floor gets pretty cold, so the 2x4"s give enough height to
put some insulation in too (although I keep wondering about under-floor
heating, but I'm not sure how much benefit it'd be to the main living
areas on the floors above, and it's possibly a waste to directly heat
space that isn't used that often)
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