Before installing wooden or tiled flooring in your home, leveling the bathroom floor properly is essential. This is important to ensure that the tile or flooring material fits perfectly and lasts for a long time. But how to level a bathroom floor without causing damage to the surface?
When I was working on the bathroom flooring, I was stunned by the amount of money contractors ask for when it comes to leveling a floor. Hence, I decided to take the work upon myself and level the foundation of my bathroom.
Leveling a bathroom floor is quite simple and does not put much pressure on the pocket. Therefore, continue reading to know the steps of leveling a bathroom floor and several other relevant factors.
What Do You Use to Level A Floor?
This is the main focus before you start the job of the level floor of the bathroom. The first and obvious thing to use is an underlayment, floor leveler, or patch product.
You can choose any thin layer of material to make a sandwich between the two. It works as a sealer, helps to absorb sound, and serves as a vapor barrier.
6 Steps To Level A Bathroom Floor Without Damaging
Leveling a bathroom floor is relatively easy and does not require much time or money. However, you will have to ensure that the flooring does not endure any damage. Let’s look at some ways to level a floor without damage.
Step 1: Check The Flatness Of The Flooring
The first step in leveling out a bathroom floor is to ensure the surface is flat. There are often instances when there are high or low spots on the surface, which will significantly affect the quality of your flooring. You can check whether the surface is flat by placing a straight edge or rule over the surface.
If the object sits on the floor properly, the flooring is flat. In case the things wobble or continue to move after they are placed on the surface, this refers to a high or peak spot.
On the other hand, if you notice a gap or space under the object, it refers to a low place, also known as a valley. Bathroom floor unevenness also leaches the way to finish the work properly.
But fortunately, you can now easily concentrate on how to fix the uneven bathroom floor from here. Because this is the primary stage by which one should start the work and has a high chance of excelling.
Step 2: Level The High Spots Properly
The second concern of this job is finding out the cause of why your bathroom floor is not level. It could be for uneven spots, excess moisture, or sometimes it happens for water damage. Supply line pipe leakage is also responsible for the wooden beams and sub-flooring of the bathroom floor.
Once you have identified all the high spots on the surface, it is time to level these peaks properly. To do so, you will have to sand the high spots to match the flatness of the flooring. An angle grinder works best in this scenario, but you can also use sandpaper if you are working in a small area. You can call the sistering floor joists to the level floor.
Step 3: Fill The Low Spots
The next step is to fill the low spots correctly to match the bathroom’s flooring. In that case, you can use any bathroom floor leveling compound to seal the unevenness. To fix the uneven floor low spots, you can use a cement-based mixture.
Mix the substance with water to make a porous solution. Pour it in the low spots to match the flooring and let it dry completely before moving on. Check twice that the uneven subfloor is now fixed and set up independently. If you want to do that, then take the overall form below.
How Do You Check Floor Level?
There are three initial ways of checking the floor level. You can use the first technique of the bubble level. Take a long 4-8ft carpenter’s level and put it over the floor horizontally.
- Bubble level: First, pick up a spot and lay down the levelers on the floors. Try to make the leveler so long because it will ensure that it’s better to look at. Check out the bubble to ensure the floor is leveled properly.238
- Laser Level: Second thing you can do is use the laser level method. Take a long piece of wood (around 5.1 cm). Put the laser level in the middle of the floor. Press the laser level’s ON button, and set it at least 6″ inches lower than the height of the wood.
Marking the piece of wood using a pencil for a straight mark. Now, observe the height and the floor. If they remain straight or equal to the height of the floor, they are fully leveled. Otherwise, you need to level it.
- Round Object: Third thing, you’ve to observe the round objects. Use any golf ball, marble, or metal bearing. The objects must be round enough so you perfectly roll them over the floor. Now, set it down in the middle of the floor, and check if it rolls.
Keep an eye on its movement path to determine where it is moving forward and where it is not. Make sure it has a sloping affair as well. Identify where it slops and where it does not. You will be able to identify which floors need to be flattened and which don’t.
Step 4: Clean The Flooring
Once you have correctly fixed the surface’s high and low spots, it is time to clean the flooring before moving forward with the leveling. This step is crucial as the leveling material or the mixture will not be able to bond if there is dust or other particles on the surface. Meanwhile, if you’re leveling the floor near the toilet, ensure there is no large gap between the toilet and the floor.
In the next step, take water and a small amount of dish soap to clean the entire surface properly and remove all dirt, debris, and so on from the floor. Rinse the bottom once all the dirt is gone, and let the surface air dry completely.
Step 5: Prepare The Leveling Material
After cleaning the floor correctly, you must prepare the material required to level the bathroom floor. Choose the best type of bathroom floor leveler for attaining the expected results. Before preparing the leveling material, consider the floor area and purchase ingredients accordingly.
Pour all the leveling compounds or components into a bucket and mix properly to create a proper mixture. At this moment, check out leveling floors frequently to ensure consistency.
Step 6: Pour The Leveling Material Over The Surface
Once the mixture is ready, pour it over the surface in small amounts and a flat trowel to smooth it out. It is essential to ensure that the material is spread smoothly over the surface to ensure that the tiles or flooring material fits perfectly. Make sure that you do not miss any spots on the bathroom floor.
Let the initial layer dry completely before applying a second coating. If it’s not possible for you, try out underlayment techniques. Because underlayment helps with uneven floors mostly to solve the issues instantly.
However, do not go for a second coating if the first coating has successfully leveled the bathroom floor. Check the flatness again to ensure no high or low spots are left behind.
4 Things You Should Know Before Leveling A Bathroom Floor
Leveling a bathroom floor to install the flooring materials is highly important. However, there are a few things that you must be aware of before you move forward to level a bathroom floor. Here, we will discuss the factors you should know before leveling the foundation of your bathroom.
1. Type Of Flooring:
Before you start working to level your bathroom floor, you must decide the type of flooring you are planning on installing. This is because the leveling method is slightly different and affects every flooring material. Certain types of flooring do not require a proper flattening or fixing of the surface before leveling the wood floor.
To make things more clear, I can give you an example. A vinyl tile floor or planks usually get planked and move here and there. What’s the reason behind it, do you know? The vinyl tiles are susceptible to change in different temperatures that cause them to expand.
Also, floor expansion on vinyl floors often contracts with normal hot and cold fluctuations. This means it moves up and down if you have a vinyl floor and face problems like vinyl plank flooring. Then it is totally fine and absolute.
Similarly, be conscious when you’re leveling the subfloor for laminate. Laminate floors also require similar things to be concentrated to be leveled evenly. However, flooring materials such as wooden boards and tiles need a completely flat and properly balanced bathroom floor; otherwise, the material will not be set correctly.
2. High and Low Spots:
High and low spots on the floor will significantly affect the quality and performance of your flooring. It is essential to identify every high and quiet spot and fix them properly before moving forward with the leveling floors in the old house.
Check the entire spot and sand all the high spots to match the floor’s flatness. Fill in the low spots and let them dry to match the bathroom floor.
3. Identify The Problem:
We often have to get rid of the old flooring and level the surface to install a new floor. This often happens when there is an issue beneath the flooring. Before you level the surface to install new flooring, make sure that you identify and solve all the underlying problems. It’s because once you level the floor, changing the entire flooring scenario is not possible. And the cost to level a floor is too high.
Foundation or structural issues and plumbing issues are the primary reasons that cause a floor to be uneven. So, be concerned about it, and you can follow the subfloor leveling techniques.
Furthermore, damaged joists are also a common cause of uneven flooring. However, ensure that you find a permanent solution to these issues and then level the bathroom floor.
4. Condition Of The Joists:
Before you level the bathroom floor, make sure to check the condition of the joists. There are often instances when the joists bow upwards and cause the floor to become uneven. You will have to fix these joists properly and flatten the surface.
However, fixing these joists is simple and does not require much time. You have to sand down the joists properly to match the surface. You can rely on an angle grinder or sandpaper for the task.
5 Tips To Level The Uneven Floors Hassle-free: Beginners Guide
So far, we have talked about the steps and things you should know about leveling a bathroom floor. But there are a few tips and tricks that will help you balance the bathroom floor properly and efficiently. So, let us look at the tips to level the uneven floor for beginners.
1. Do Not Pour The Leveling Material All At Once
When leveling the bathroom floor, do not pour all the leveling material at once. Pour the material in small amounts and spread it evenly to make sure that it is not uneven. This will also help you to use the right amount of leveling compound.
2. Mark The High And Low Spots
While checking the floor’s flatness, we identify high and low spots and fix them later to ensure that the surface is even. Marking the high and low spots while placing them makes it easier for you to go back and fix them accordingly. This will ensure that you do not miss any spots or have to conduct the check once again.
3. Place A Doorway Barrier
The leveling material is a porous solution and can easily move to the other room. Building a doorway barrier at the bathroom door while leveling the bathroom floor will ensure that the mixture does not flow out of the area. This will also ensure that the other rooms’ flooring is not affected in any way.
4. Cover Vents and Drains
Bathroom floors have vents and drain; the leveling material can get into them and create a blockage. Cover the vents and drains before pouring the solution to avoid this trouble. You can use cardboard or any hard material to stop the mixture from getting into these spaces.
5. Start From The Corner Farthest From The Door
Before pouring the leveling mixture to level your bathroom floor, make sure you start doing so from the corner that is the farthest from the door. Pour and spread the mixture all over the room before reaching the door.
This is because the pouring mixture will have to dry completely before you step on it or touch it. If you pour the door area at the beginning, you must step on the leveling material to leave the room.
Apart from this, keep an eye on the material you choose. In Particular, avoid buying cheap floor leveling compounds. Otherwise, it won’t bring you the results you expected.
How Do You Level An Uneven Bathroom Floor?
The process of leveling an uneven bathroom floor is straightforward, and all you have to do is follow a few steps. Start by checking the floor’s flatness and identifying the surface’s peaks and valley space. Sand the mountains and fill the valleys to ensure an even surface.
Clean the entire surface properly and let it dry completely. Mix the leveling material and pour it over the floor in small amounts. Spread the mixture evenly and allow it to dry before you start working with the flooring material.
Can You Level A Plywood Bathroom Floor?
Leveling a floor with plywood is easy and relatively cost-effective. This will save you from the cost of the leveling mixture. It will also reduce the hassle and save time as you do not have to work on leveling the surface before placing the flooring material.
Check the flatness of the floor and take plywood of various thicknesses. Install the plywood on the foundation according to the surface’s difference in height or evenness. Ensure that the measurement is correct and that the floor is completely level.
What Is The Best Way To Level A Bathroom Floor?
The best way of leveling a bathroom floor is to rely on a self-leveling compound. Ensure that the entire surface is flat and equal in all places, and flatten the high spots. Do not forget to fill the low spots and let them dry completely.
Once the entire floor is flat, clean it properly with water and soap to eliminate all the dust, dirt, etc. Mix and pour the self-leveling compound over the floor and spread it evenly. Allow the leveling to dry properly before you install the flooring materials.
Can You Pour Self Leveling On Plywood?
If you have uneven plywood flooring, you do not have to remove the plywood. The scenario is the same if you switch from plywood flooring to another type or style. Pour the self-leveling over the plywood and cover it completely.
Let the self-leveling dry completely over the plywood before you advance with your work. Once dried, you can work on the flooring as you want. You can either cover the self-leveling with carpets and rugs or install tiles to make your floor look elegant.
How Do You Level A Wooden Bathroom Floor?
Leveling a wooden bathroom floor is simple and does not require much time or money. Fill all the gaps in the wooden floor with additives or sealant appropriately and wait for it to dry. Onceadhesivealant has dried, clean and prime the surface with a primer evenly and allows it to dry.
Place doorway barriers and prepare the mixture of the leveling material. Start pouring the mixture from the area farthest from the doorway and evenly spread the leveling compound. Wait for it to dry and install your preferred flooring material.
How to Level a Floor Without Leveling Compound?
Self-leveling compounds often exceed our budgets when we go forward to level the uneven flooring of our homes. However, you can rely on a specialized sand mix available in the market instead of the self-leveling compound. This sand mix also includes a decent percentage of concrete and performs similarly.
Using this specialized sand mix in leveling the floor is very simple. You must spread the mixture evenly over the surface and spray it with water properly. Wait for the mixture to dry and install the flooring material.
Can You Use Plaster To Level The Floor?
Plaster is an excellent alternative to the self-leveling compound or the specialized sand mix when it comes to leveling a surface. It is not only a cost-effective process but also easy and hassle-free. Prepare the plaster in a big bucket and create a thick paste.
Ensure that the surface is flat and clean the floor properly. Pour the plaster all over the floor in small portions and spread it evenly. However, preparing the plaster is not an easy task, and you will need a mixing drill to prepare the mixture.
How Much Does It Cost To Level Uneven Bathroom Floors?
The cost of leveling an uneven bathroom floor varies significantly depending on several factors. The price ranges from $5 to $30 per square foot if the work is done professionally, depending on the floor condition, leveling compounds, etc. However, the pricing rises significantly, reaching $300 to $500 per square foot if the foundation or structural issues need work.
On the other hand, if you level the bathroom floor as a DIY project. This results in $2 to $5 per square foot. However, if there are structural issues, hiring professionals is the best decision.
How to Level a Bathroom Floor In An Old House? 501
You can easily level the bathroom floor in an old house following 3–4 ways. The first step is to level the bathroom floor, digging about 11/2″ inches with self-leveling underlayment. All you need to collect more materials, including 2 by 6s or 2 by 8s for the sistering floor joists, bolts, nuts, and washers.
Afterward, place new footers and pour the self-leveling underlayment. And your second process is to sister the two boards together. It means mating up two boards with bolts, nuts, and a washer. Next, propping up the joists and laying down the new hardwood floors.
How to Level a Bathroom Floor Before Tiling?
Your bathroom floor should be leveled, which is the major part of installing tiles. After that, your first step is digging holes inside the floor and filling them with sealers. Tiling is very difficult, and one must be aware of floor leveling.
And your next task is to sand the floors with heavy metals. Buy some caulk to fill the unevenness seen through your bare eyes. Make sure that surface flatness is within ⅛” in 10″. It is the standard measurement to settle the tiles wholly.
How to Self-Level a Bathroom Floor?
Along with some common materials, it is possible to self-level your bathroom floor. Most people love to do their projects using self-leveling compounds. Self-leveling is a common material that can be picked up from most DIY warehouses/builders merchants.
Different self-leveling compounds can be used on surfaces: concrete, screed, existing tiles, and other timbers. Choose anyone that suits you best and fill the gaps and cracks with them. For more shortcut ways, you can choose a grinding wheel to level the floor more intensively.
Can You Use Underlayment to Level the Floor?
Underlayment is the primary part of leveling the floor. It is typically obvious to use in a residential environment. For instance, suppose you have a new wood or laminate floor. You need them both to level the substrate. In that case, try to conduct the residues on it to fix the uneven subsurface.
Underlayment flooring is a must to fill the holes if you have an uneven sub-surface. It is part and parcel of every joint to prevent early damage. It can also cause boards to sink and shift or eventually crack those wooden particles.
Is It Normal for Old Houses to Have Uneven Floors?
Uneven floor for any old home is normal; in most cases, you can fix them on your own. However, your old house’s unevenness can happen due to structural damage. Sometimes the floor becomes cracked or has holes here and there regarding unexpected incidents.
You must have followed some thumb rules to fix the damage in that situation. Especially when it comes to the bathroom floor in an old house, uneven floor damage is common. Cracked pipes and sudden water damage can cause such incidents by creating a gap between the floor and the tiles.
Now that we are at the end of the guide, you know how to easily level a bathroom floor. Follow the steps and instructions properly to ensure your bathroom floor is leveled without any damage.
Make sure to spread the leveling compound evenly, and do not forget to fix the high and low spots first. Rely on the tips mentioned above to make the entire bathroom floor leveling process faster and easier.