Self-Leveling Concrete Help - Will this work? (**Pictures**)

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jamminsport16, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. jamminsport16

    jamminsport16 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Florida
    Hello,

    I'm new to this forum and I would appreciate any help I can get. I'm closing on a fixer-upper house next Wednesday and I need your help. I had a house inspection already, and the foundation seems fine. But, the slab in the back two rooms are not level. The inspector (he's done over 6,000 inspections so I trust what he says, also was a referral from my Realtor) believes the slab was actually poured 1 inch too low in the back two rooms when the house was built in 1982. There are no cracks in the windowsill, or on the exterior or interior walls. Just one very thin hairline crack in the middle of the room.

    The back two rooms are actually level in half of the room. About in the middle is where the back half of the room starts dipping, and at the end wall it dips to just over 1 inch.

    I'm really tight on my budget right now and I don't think I can actually lay laminate down because of the 1 inch gap. The gap starts out small halfway in the middle of each 10x12 room. It slopes 1 inch in just 6 feet.

    What I'm thinking about doing is using some self-leveling concrete underlayment. Such as the one at Home Depot here:

    Custom Building Products LevelQuik RS 50 lb. Rapid-Setting Self-Leveling Underlayment - LQ50 at The Home Depot

    I've heard great reviews about this. Will this product work in my case? If so, how many bags do you think it will take? Any suggestions/help I can get on how to use this product would be greatly appreciated. Or, do you have any other ideas for a quick cheap leveling fix on my two bedrooms?

    [​IMG]

    (You can see the baseboards are straight across, but are up 1 inch from the floor in this picture).


    [​IMG]

    Thank you so much! Any response is appreciated.

    -James
  2. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I don't see that its needed, so the floor slopes a bit 1 inch over how many feet, for older houses that would no be unusual.
    As for the laminate flooring it is generally a floating floor, so no issues there as long as there are no moisture problems.

    Just use a larger baseboard to cover the gap around the floor.

    I've used the self leveling cement product with great results in the past. One was a remodle on a Victorian the framer screwed up and had the floor joist off by an inch across 5 feet.

    cost about $25 per bag used 4 bags in a small bathroom, so you are looking at 10 to 20 bags of material $250 to $500 in material cost, and two to three people for about 4 hours labor. For that much material I would use a trash can to mix it in larg batches,

    Michael
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Dont trust a realtor to give advice on structural issues , or HIS inspector.

    I would like to find out if this area involves an addition of some sort. To me, it is highly unlikely that the slab was poured that way, and the large gap at the wall plate would seem to confirm that something has sunk!

    I would get a second opinion from a good general contractor. ( Mike Holmes would "make it right" !!)
    Do that BEFORE investing a lot of money in leveling it out. It may well be that everything is stable, leveling will be just fine. But you want to find out FIRST that there is not an underlying issue that needs to be fixed if it might get worse.
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The low spot was put there to provide a place for the water to run. The inspector did tell you that the house was built over a swamp, right?

    <grin>
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    With that slope, the addition may have been built on a patio, and if so, there may be a limited footing under it.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,993
    Location:
    New England
    I know your concern...especially if you want to install laminate which generally requires 1/8" in 10' or so flat (doesn't care about level). You have way too much to do it in laminate, although a sheet vinal would work. I responded to you in another thread...you don't want to use the rapid set stuff, especially if it is your first time. They do make an extended set stuff that can give you up to 30-minutes to deal with it rather than the 5-7 minutes for the rapid set stuff...it really does start to set in that timeframe. Not as fast as hydraulic cement, but unlike any other cement product you may have used.
  7. jamminsport16

    jamminsport16 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Florida
    SacCity, you think installing laminate wood flooring would be fine if I didn't use SLC to level the slab? In just 6 feet it slopes down just over an inch at the end of the room.

    Any suggestions on where to find a good extended-setting slc product?
  8. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Using SLC for such a huge area is going to be expensive and tricky to get it all nice and level...you don't just pour the stuff in such a large area and voila it's done! Using the SLC would be the best solution, but you can certainly do this by using a thicker pad and using a transition in the doorways if necessary. A laminate floor cares more about being installed on a flat surface than on a level one.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    when you say it slopes 1" in 6', I have two comments:

    >very unlikely it started out life sloped that bad
    > that is too much of a dip to 'bend' any kind of laminate flooring over, in my opinion. You could get an 'estimate' from laminate flooring contractor, like HD or Lowes. They might send an estimator out for little or no cost. He should tell you if they can install flooring on what you have.
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