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How to avoid peaks/humps in flooring?

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  • Aug 4th, 2021 12:57 pm
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[OP]
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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Tarrana & The Ri…

How to avoid peaks/humps in flooring?

As I understand it, the floor is comprised of floor joists and the subfloor is glued and screwed into the hoists thrn the hardwood is added. My question is how does one make sure the floor is completely flat? Is there some sort of leveling that goes on or is your floor at the mercy of a warped joist?

I have a pretty noticeable hump in an area and trying to figure out what the cause is. I feel that it’s a warped joist. But was this avoidable? And how does one avoid this?
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Oct 19, 2008
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Joists can be installed with blocking to straighten them up. I doubt the issue is caused by a warped joist. What is far more common is sub floor isn't secured to the joist, looking from below there would be a line of nails running parallel to the joist. That might allow the sub floor to rise giving floor a hump.
A good hardwood floor install begins with ensuring the subfloor is sound with no creaks. Making sure the subfloor is securely fastened to the joists is critical, there are often areas where the original installer missed a joist when nailing down the ply/osb. I don't do hardwood installs for a living but have laid hardwood in my own homes and always screw down sub floor to joists first.....often when sinking screws on same line as existing nails I find the original installer missed the joist.
Looking up when basement ceiling is unfinished will show those misses, a line of nails beside the joist.
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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floors are never perfectly flat and even if they are, they *WILL* warp and twist over time, even small amounts. What you want is not Level but Trueness. trueness is where it looks plumb and square even if its not and can have minimal peaks and humps. when you install ceramic tiles you put some orange Material over the sub floor to "minimize* the peaks and humps, but for hard wood you dont really need it cus wood has more play in it than ceramic tiles, if u dont put the orange stuff under your tiles they will crack when the floor joists and sub floor twist and peak/hump. for carpet floors you dont need anything except some foam maybe underneath, thats it
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Sr. Member
Dec 21, 2020
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The only way to really fix it is to remove the subfloor (OSB/plywood) and plane down the joist (if it's raised) or shim the joist (if it's dipped). If you have a dip you could theoretically use self leveling cement to fill it BUT that's assuming the floor is level (so it doesn't run off to one side).

This is a really good video on how to prep the subfloor and deal with these issues before putting down the final flooring.

[OP]
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19086 posts
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Tarrana & The Ri…
RCLapCar wrote: The only way to really fix it is to remove the subfloor (OSB/plywood) and plane down the joist (if it's raised) or shim the joist (if it's dipped). If you have a dip you could theoretically use self leveling cement to fill it BUT that's assuming the floor is level (so it doesn't run off to one side).

This is a really good video on how to prep the subfloor and deal with these issues before putting down the final flooring.

Is this something that should be avoided by a builder? I can’t imagine just slapping hardwood down without making sure that the floor is flat.
Sr. Member
Dec 21, 2020
560 posts
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JayLove06 wrote: Is this something that should be avoided by a builder? I can’t imagine just slapping hardwood down without making sure that the floor is flat.
You would think that. But they will just do the minimum required to get the money and run.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19086 posts
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Tarrana & The Ri…
RCLapCar wrote: You would think that. But they will just do the minimum required to get the money and run.
Always

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