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Re: [Shop-talk] Flooring for uneven basement?

Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Flooring for uneven basement?
From: Pat Horne <>
Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2010 15:42:44 -0600

The normal method is to add what are called sleepers under the new 
floor. Sleepers are treated 2x? material that sits on edge on the floor 
with the top level and the bottom scribed to match the floor. How 
accurately you scribe the sleepers depends on what the area is going to 
be used for. Living area, they need to be close, while storage can be 
pretty unlevel. The sleepers go down on either 16" or 2' increments, 
depending on how thick the flooring is going to be and how much load you 
intend. The trick is to set the floor based on the highest spot in the 
floor, which with a bunch of "stuff" in there may be hard to find. You 
don't need to clean out the whole space, but eh more you do clean, the 
easier it will be to work. I'd recommend at least 6' along one of the 
longest walls to start with. Start with a sleeper along the wall at the 
correct height, then come out parallel to that one and add more until 
you reach 4'. Cover with plywood, screwed and glued to all sleepers 
leaving half of the 2x? at the free edge half exposed for the next row 
of sheets. Move the next 4' of "Stuff" onto this new floor and repeat 
for the next 4'. Start each row with alternating half or full sheets so 
that the seams don't line up. Repeat as many times as necessary until 
the "stuff is all on the new floor and the floor is completed. Since 
this is a basement, I would recommend painting the cut edge of the 
sleepers with whatever stuff the lumber is treated with, using tar paper 
or at least heavy plastic on top of the old slab, use treated plywood 
also, and  seal the floor once it is down. It's a bunch of work, but it 
needs to be a good job or you may be doing it again too soon.

I saw a really poor man's raised floor in a lumber yard, but I don't 
think I would even try it. They had loads of left over pallets, so they 
just put down pallets, sort of leveled them, then covered the whole 
thing with plywood. Worked well enough for their use!


Thusly spake Jim Franklin, On 12/6/2010 11:47 AM:
> I'm renovating a basement and need to put down a finish floor. The concrete is
> 90 years old and very uneven. Other than 1000 gallons of self-levelling goop,
> I'm at a loss as to how to accomplish this other than making a 2 sq ft grid
> and shimming each joint. 2 problems with this- I can't lose more than 3" of
> height, and the entire basement would need to be cleared to do this, and
> there's many cubic yards of stuff down there that has nowhere to go.
> thanks,

Pat Horne, Owner, Horne Systems
(512) 797-7501 Voice            5026 FM 2001  Lockhart, TX 78644-4443
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