Home Improvement--General/Kitchen floor isn't level


Our old house was built in 1917 (or 1922, depending on which document you look at) and has, of course, settled and the floor slopes at a rate of almost 2" across 10 1/2 feet. This went relatively un-noticed until we had an addition built four years ago, which added about 5 feet on to the kitchen. We had the contractor finish up to the drywall installation with the intent that we'd finish the rest of the work later. Later has arrived.

The contractor and I talked about how to get the old kitchen floor leveled with the new floor, and a plan was hatched whereby he built the new floor about 3/4" below the highest point of the old floor and about 3/4" above the lowest point. The idea was to remove all the 3/4" thick hardwood flooring, build up the lowest parts of the old floor with OSB and then pour self-leveling cement over everything, bringing the level of the new floor up an additional 3/4" and putting everything on the same level.

I did this and tried pouring the cement yesterday and the result was an unmitigated DISASTER. I had put down tar paper so that the cement wouldn't bond to the OSB and it bubbled up under the cement. I think I didn't add enough water to the cement, and it didn't spread out very well at all. We used a product called "Level Quick", a self-leveling underlayment.

The contractor also tried jacking up the floor from below, but didn't want to cause cracks in the walls, so he didn't jack it up much at all, and then he tied the new structure into the old, so jacking from below is out of the question.

My question is this: what else should I do? Or what did I do wrong?


I know how you feel; "later" catches up to me all the time.

If you can get the leveling compound back out, that would be good.
When you poured it over the felt paper, the felt soaked up the moisture in the compound and bubbled. Try it without the felt.
You need to put down some lath, "wire screen" and staple that to the osb, then mix your leveling compound just to where you think it's right, then add more water and mix it a little thinner.
it should literally be just like a thin pancake mix. Pour it over the lath and it should level itself, you can use a squeegee to move it around, but, you want it to come out of the bucket very loose.

I just did a large bathroom like this and it worked out very well.

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Bill Hutson


Founder and President of Table Talk Foundation for Better Living Inc. a non-profit organization aimed at making free home repairs for the elderly, the disabled and the disadvantaged. I have extensive expertise pertaining to cost effective rehabilitation and repair in older homes as well as all phases of newer residential construction.


Remodel and rehab contractor from 1979 to 1993 specializing in restaurant remodel and home restoration. Jobsite troubleshooter assisting residential contractors through KA Components, Mid America Truss, and Kerkhoff Associates from 1993 until 2002. Contractors' consultant 1990 to present. Used as a construction expert in the local court system. Registered contractor with The Fedral Government, FEMA and several insurance companies. Master Carpenter at Table Talk Ministries a non-profit organization aimed at making free home repairs for those who could not ohterwise afford to have them done.

Table Talk Foundation for Better Living Inc. www.tabletalkministries.org Founder/President.

Features have been published in Fleet Owner's Magazine, Trucker's News Magazine, The Daily Clintonian Newspaper, The Hoosier Topics Newspaper, and The Banner Graphic Newspaper several times. We have also done features on WKJK and WREB radio stations. WXIN 59 Indianapolis, WTHI 10 Terre Haute

Northwestern State University

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"Make a Difference Award" from WTHI channel 10 in Terre Haute Indiana. We have recently received the Fueling Good prize from Citgo where we won free gas for a year, that will help us in our efforts to make homes warm, safe and dry for our elderly and disabled neighbors. We were recently featured on WXIN 59 in Indianapolis on their "Paying it Forward" segment, mainly because I pay for 90% of the repairs that Table Talk makes from my own pocket.

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We focus our attention to the elderly, the disabled and the disadvantaged. We are receiving clients from 1 Federal and 5 State Agencies, 9 different public and private organizations plus multiple churches and hospitals.

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