How Uneven Can a Floor Be for Laminate? Simple Advice

Over an uneven floor, laminate flooring cannot be installed. This issue brings up an important point about how uneven a floor can be for laminate that is unsuitable or needs to be fixed before installing laminate flooring over it.

If you have an uneven floor and want to install laminate flooring, you’ll probably want to know the answer.

What will help you install laminate flooring over an uneven floor? This article will give the facts and explain them to you, so you can get help with that.

How Uneven Can a Floor Be for Laminate?

Uneven flooring is defined as having deep plunges and bumps with a depth of more than 3/16 inches in any direction. And laminate flooring cannot be installed over such a floor because the tolerance level of laminate flooring on a floor is 3/16 inches over a 10-foot span.

It doesn’t matter if the floor is made of concrete or wood. If it has big gaps and drops more than 3/16 inches in either direction, it’s not good for laminate flooring.

Because laminate flooring can withstand a subfloor with up to 3/16-inch-deep voids, plunges, or bumps within a 10-foot span,

There are some hills and valleys in the floor that need to be fixed before someone can lay laminate flooring on it.

How flat must the floor be for laminate?

The floor must be flat within 3/16 inches for a 10-foot radius for laminate flooring to be installed over it. This measurement is only applicable to floors with minor bumps and gaps.

To put it another way, if a floor is slightly bumpy and has gaps, but the depth of the lumps and gaps is less than or equal to 3/16 inches within a 10-foot radius, the floor can be considered a flat floor for laminate.

Most manufacturers and professional laminate floor installers recommend this measurement.

This measurement is also consistent and applicable to most types of flooring.

Is it possible to install laminate flooring over uneven floors?

Over uneven floors, laminate flooring can be installed. However, before you install the planks on the floor, you must first lay down interlocking sheets.

These interlocking sheets are referred to as subfloors, and they are not connected to the ground. These sheets, on the other hand, make it easier for laminate flooring to be put down on top of.

Installing laminate flooring over an uneven floor, on the other hand, is never advised.

What Happens If Laminate Is Installed on An Uneven Floor?

When you install laminate flooring on an uneven floor, clasping between the planks and loosening of the bars occurs as the floor settles into the new installation.

Furthermore, an uneven laminate floor produces creaking and squeaking noises. Because the surface is uneven, there are voids filled with air. When someone steps on the floor, the upper floor gets pressurized and bumps into the air pockets below, making a popping sound.

How Do You Prepare and Level an Uneven Floor for Laminate?

Because laminate flooring is installed over two types of floors, one wooden and one concrete, steps for preparing both types of floors are provided here.

wooden flooring

Check for loose or squeaky floorboards.

Begin by searching for squeaky or loosening-up boards.

Fix the floorboards

If you find any squeaky or loose boards, secure them by nailing or screwing them to the joist’s underneath with 1-3/4-inch nails or screws. Then, if you find any stray nails, simply pull them up or tap them back into place with a hammer.

Determine which areas are higher or lower.

Place a long level on the floor to determine whether there are any high or low areas.

Sand down the higher points.

Then, using a hand sander, sand down the high areas until they are even with the surrounding surface.

Make the floor shiny.

After that, thoroughly clean the floor.

Fill in any gaps or dips in low-lying areas.

Fill in any gaps in low areas with leveling compound, and feather the edges of patched areas as well. Allow the floor to dry.

concrete ground floor

Remove gunk with a scraper.

First, scrape away any existing mortars or gunk.

Determine which areas are higher or lower.

Place your long level across the floor to identify any high or low areas, plunges or dips, or bumps.

High points should be ground.

Then, using a concrete grinder, grind down the high areas and remove bumps until the surface is even with the surrounding surface.

Make the floor shiny.

After that, vacuum the floor to thoroughly clean it.

Fill In Any Gaps or Low Areas

Fill in the low areas and gaps/plunges with leveling compound. Also, feather the edges. Allow the compound to dry.

How Do You Install Laminate Flooring on An Uneven Floor?

Step-by-step instructions are provided below for your convenience. As a result, you can lay laminate flooring on an uneven floor on your own.

Locate the loose boards or adhesives.

If you have a wooden floor, start by locating any loose or squeaky floorboards. And if you have a concrete floor, you should first locate all of the spots with existing adhesives, cement, or concrete.

Scrape Away the Adhesives and Secure the Loose Boards

Now that you’ve located the loosening boards or boards that make a squeaky sound, secure them to the joists beneath with 1-3/4-inch nails or screws. If you find any stray nails, simply pull them out or hammer them back into place with a hammer.

Concrete floor owners must scrape the existing adhesives from their floors.

Find the highest and lowest points.

Use a carpenter’s level to locate the areas that are higher or lower than the surrounding surface. This step applies to both the concrete and wooden floors.

Even With the High Points

For a wooden floor, use a hand sander to sand down all of the higher spots you’ve discovered. Sand until the surface is level with the rest of the surface.

For the concrete floor, use a hand grinder to grind down all of the higher areas. Also, smooth out any bumps or lumps. Make the floor level so that the bumps are flush with the rest of the floor.

Make the floor shiny.

This step should be repeated for both types of floors. You must thoroughly vacuum the floor, leaving no dust or debris behind.

Fill in the lower areas

This step applies to both types of floors. Fill any gaps or plunges in the floor with a floor leveling compound. Use a leveling compound to feather the edges as well. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Allow the flooring planks to acclimate.

Keep the flooring planks in the room where they will be installed for 48 hours to allow them to acclimate to the temperature.

Layout the Laminate Planks:

Place the planks perpendicular to the walls from the doorway to the back of the room, keeping the required expansion gap in mind. That is how the first row is installed against the corner wall.

Make sure the planks’ tongues are facing the wall and the grooves are facing out. Snap the tongues of the second row of planks into the grooves of the first row of planks.

Continue to stagger the boards as you add more planks. The joints should be no more than 12 inches apart. and resize the boards by cutting the edges.

Continue to place rows of laminate until the room is completely covered.

In general, laminate flooring necessitates the use of underlayment beneath the flooring planks, especially when installed over an uneven floor.

So, if the laminate flooring planks you’ve chosen don’t already have underlayment installed, you’ll need to lay down underlayment sheets. Lay an underlayment after preparing and drying your uneven floor.

How Do You Repair an Uneven Subfloor Before Installing Laminate Flooring?

Two types of subfloors are commonly seen: wooden subfloors and concrete subfloors. As a result, the fixing process for both types have been summarized below.

If you have a wooden subfloor, begin by identifying the higher and lower points. Depending on the circumstances, you may sand down the higher points or place shims beneath the subfloor. Fill in the lower areas with leveling compound as well. In addition, make the subfloor even.

Scrape the adhesives out of the concrete subfloor first, then grind the floor’s higher spots flat. And use leveling compounds to even out the low spots. The concrete compound can be used to smooth out the subfloor. And you’ll be finished fixing it as well.

Is Underlayment Beneficial for Uneven Floors?

Underlayment is one of the most important things to think about when you’re installing new flooring over an old floor, especially if it’s uneven.

Underlayment over an uneven floor creates a flat and even surface for the flooring planks that are about to be installed. Underlayment protects the floor planks by supporting them and preventing them from being damaged early on, so they last longer.

What Is the Best Laminate Underlayment for a Slanted Floor?

Because of its weight, Super Velvet is thought to be the best laminate underlay for a floor that isn’t level.

As a result of its heavy-weight construction, the underlayment will sit properly on uneven flooring. and will not allow any bumps, gaps, or plunges to be felt by the laminate planks. It will smooth out the surface for the floating planks.

Which Laminate Flooring Is Best for Uneven Floors?

The best laminate flooring for uneven floors is 4 ft long, 3 inches wide, and 7 mm–12 mm thick laminate planks. Thicker laminate flooring planks aid in covering up uneven floors. For uneven floors, Pergo Timber Craft + Wet Protect Laminate Flooring is the best option.

When the dips/bumps in your floor are more than 3/16 deep with a radius of 10 feet, consider it an uneven laminate floor. As a result, before installing laminate flooring, always ensure that it is level.