If you have ever explored the possibility of replacing your existing flooring then you may have heard the term “levelling”. This is typically in reference to the existing subfloor. So, what is levelling, and why is it important when installing new floors? Note: sometimes it is not practical to make a subfloor truly level, especially if the foundation has sunk over the years. In most cases, flooring professionals are looking to make the subfloor as flat as possible. Levelling the subfloor is mainly done when installing a hard surface floor, like hardwood, laminate, or luxury vinyl. However, it is sometimes needed when installing carpet if the subfloor is very uneven.
Here are a few reasons why levelling your subfloor is an important step in the flooring installation process.
- Levelling the subfloor helps ensure that you get a level floor.
If your subfloor is uneven and not flat, then the floor being installed is likely going to reflect this and look uneven as well. The last thing you want is to have a finished product with low and/or high spots where the new floor does not lay flat. In some cases, if the subfloor is very uneven, it may not be possible to install the new floor properly at all without levelling.
- A level finished product is obviously more visually appealing.
As you can imagine, a nice flat finished floor will be much nicer to look at than a floor than has been installed over an uneven subfloor. This is especially true if you are planning on selling your home.
- A level floor is easier to install.
Whether you are going to install your new floor yourself as a DIY project, or you have an experienced flooring installer doing the work for you, a level subfloor makes installing the new floor much easier. The hardwood, laminate or luxury vinyl planks will connect much easier when the subfloor is nice and flat.
- Levelling the subfloor can actually save you money.
This may sound counterintuitive, but the upfront cost of properly levelling your subfloor can save you money in the long run. If you install your new floor over an uneven subfloor, you may realize too late that the finished product is not appealing, or is not going together very well. At that point, you will need to remove the newly installed flooring and then level the subfloor. This will cost not only money but time.
- A level subfloor helps keep your new floor’s warranty valid.
Most flooring manufacturers, if not all, have conditions in their factory warranties that specify that the floor must be installed correctly as per their guidelines to not void the warranty. If you ever have a possible warranty issue with your floor, the manufacturer will inspect the floor to make sure that it was installed properly to their guidelines. If the manufacturer determines that their floor was installed on an uneven subfloor, there is a good chance that the warranty will be considered void. (Please check with the manufacturer of your floor for specific details on their warranty conditions).
For this reason, most reputable flooring businesses will strongly recommend that the subfloor be levelled properly before installing the new floor.
At the end of the day, the goal is to have the finished flooring product look and perform as good as possible for as long as possible. Making sure that the subfloor is level is one important factor in this process.
Please let us know if you have any questions about levelling your subfloor, or about floors in general: firstname.lastname@example.org