Laminate is a floating floor that is not fastened to the subfloor. Its installation is easy, and it is necessary to level its subfloor before installing the laminate. Do you need to know how to level a floor for laminate?
Your laminate floor is sagging from any point; this means it is out of level. It does not fix by refinishing or changing the plank from the point where it is uneven. You might be thinking of finding ways to fix it yourself to save money.
Read the article to get all the necessary information to level a subfloor. Learn two effective methods to fix this issue.
2 Cheap Ways for Leveling Floor for Laminate
Let us look at the methods to level wood subfloor and concrete subfloor for laminate.
Tools and Materials Required
- Belt sander or floor edger
- Wood leveling compound
- A standard level
- Foam sealer
- Grinder or self-leveling compound
- Straight edge
Steps to follow for Leveling Wood Subfloor
Step 1. Setting Loose Boards
If the wooden floor is used too much and heavy furniture is pulled repeatedly, its boards will get loose over time. So, first, you have to find all the loose boards for wood floor leveling.
The loosened boards give an uneven look to your floor and cause the laminate floor to be out of level. To fix this issue, the first step is to carefully examine the floor. Use screws to nail down these boards firmly, so they do not move from their place before installing laminate.
Step 2. Sand the Rough Spaces
Besides loose boards, rough areas on the wooden floor might make it out of level. These rough spots must be removed to make a uniform and smooth look of the floor.
So, sand these high and rough areas with a belt sander or floor edger. You can rent these tools if you can’t afford them.
Use these tools carefully so that they do not hurt you. Clean the floor thoroughly because sanding makes plenty of dust and debris.
Step 3. Filling Gaps with Leveling Compound
The main step of leveling an uneven floor is using a wood leveling compound. As the high spots of the subfloor are the reason for an uneven floor, the same way cracks also make it uneven.
All the cracks and holes must be filled with the wood leveling compound. This is specifically made for wooden subfloors, best for filling the small holes and cracks.
Pour the compound in all the gaps and let it dry. Before going to the next step, it should be dry completely. If you do not give it enough time to dry, it causes fungus and mold to grow.
Step 4. Laminate Installation
You are ready for laminate installation if you have sanded all the rough spaces and filled the gaps with the leveling compound. When the leveling compound dries well, re-inspect the unevenness of the floor.
If you have checked thoroughly that the subfloor is smooth and dry, you can start installing the laminate.
Steps to follow for Leveling Concrete Subfloor
Step 1. Check the Unevenness by a level
Examine the high and low areas of the concrete floor by using a standard level. Mark all the uneven surface places; this will help you level it.
Step 2. Preparation
Before starting your work, use a foam sealer to fill all the gaps and cracks. Cover the surface areas with tape that require protection from dust and debris.
Use a concrete grinder to remove all the high areas of the surface. It will make the surface even and smooth. It is used to level a floor without leveling compound. Use a vacuum to clean all the dirt and dust. You can use a self-leveling compound if you can’t afford a grinder.
This will level the floor and will provide a smooth and uneven surface.
Step 3. Applying Primer
Thoroughly clean the floor before applying the primer. Primer is used before the Self-leveling compound to provide an adhesive base. The compound will not stick to the floor without it.
To apply the primer, mix it with water according to the instructions given on the label. Use a roller to put it on the floor.
Step 4. Applying Leveling Compound
After drying the primer completely, you can apply the leveling compound. Follow the instructions given on the product label to make the compound and pour it on the floor. Use a straight edge to spread it evenly.
While pouring the compound, spread it quickly to achieve a thin surface and to avoid splashing. Leave it overnight to get a completely dry surface. If the floor looks uneven, you can repeat the primer and leveling compound application.
Filling the gaps and holes with leveling compound is the most important step because it provides the smooth surface of the concrete subfloor.
Step 5. Underlayment for Laminate Flooring on Concrete
After drying the compound, use underlayment before installing laminate. Underlayments are available in the form of roll-able sheets. They are very important because installing the wooden planks of laminate becomes easy and provides a smooth, soft, and quiet surface.
Some modern laminates come with already attached underlayment. You can buy them if you don’t want to install them separately.
After adding the underlayment, you can install laminate floors.
Cost to Level a Floor
How much money you will spend on leveling the floor depends on the type of subfloor. Its estimated cost is $2 – $30 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor. Firstly, prices are different because leveling concrete and wooden subfloor requires different materials and tools.
Secondly, the size of the area depends on the cost, and thirdly which method you are following to level the floor. The self-leveling compound gives precise and reliable results, but it’s costly.
Spacers attached to the trimmers are cheap, but making them even is an unsatisfying and difficult task. The estimated cost for a concrete surface is nearly $700 for 100 square feet.
A wooden floor becomes more costly when the trimmers need to be replaced while fixing. Its expected cost is $100 – $300 per trimmer. If the trimmers are in good condition, then the price to replace the subfloor is $1000 – $1500.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Possible to Install Laminate Flooring on an Uneven Floor?
Installing laminate flooring on the uneven floor is possible, but it is not recommended. If the subfloor is uneven, the laminate flooring will also be out of level.
How Much Leveling of a Laminate Floor is Perfect?
According to many manufacturers, the floors should be smooth to 3/16” in a ten-foot radius. These measurements are the same for many types of floor coverings.
What is the Easiest Way to Level a Floor?
Using a self-leveling compound is the best way to level a floor because all the dips of the subfloor are made uniform by gravity. Other methods to level a floor are more difficult.
What Are the Steps to Level a Wooden Floor for Laminate Planks?
- Setting loose boards
- Sand the rough spaces
- Filling gaps with leveling compound
- Laminate Installation
What is the Procedure to Level an Uneven Floor Before Laminate?
Check the uneven areas of the floor. Sand all the high spots and fill the cracks and gaps with leveling compound. After all these steps, you are ready to install the laminate floor when you get a smooth and flat surface.
In this article, you have learned two methods to level a floor for laminate. Completely dry the wooden surface from moisture because it causes fungus and mold.
Laminate flooring can hide the minor imperfections of the subfloors, and it does not cause the laminate to get out of level. Slight unevenness of the subfloor can be removed by laying a thick underlayment under the laminate.
A self-leveling compound must fix the surface completely out of level; otherwise, the laminate will break or bend.