The last issue we had in this room was the fact that we had some low joists. Ironically, at the other end of the room we have a few high joists. (The middle of the room was actually quite flat).
Now, we did know about the slope (before we knew about the low joists at the other end of the room) because we had already pulled up the carpet at this end of the room. We did this a good while ago in order to install the tail ends of our hard wood floor from the foyer. We also had an inkling that there might be an issue because the floor sloped toward this wall on the other side in the foyer as well – we could see this when we bought the house. What we didn’t know was that the floor essentially went from the wall, sloped upward to a few high joists, and then settled back down before it leveled off. (That is, until it hit those other two low joists near the windows.)
Like I said in our last post about jacking up the joists: here we are in the garage below the master bedroom.
But before we addressed the problems, we decided to do a little clean up and prep.
Back to addressing the high spot. Fixing a low joist is pretty straight forward: jack it up and sister join another joist to the original one. A high joist is a different conundrum.
What we found is that one technique is to pull up the subfloor and shave down the top of the joist. We considered it… but we just weren’t going to do that. I wasn’t even sure how we were going to evenly do that anyway. I also didn’t want to fall through the floor into the garage. What we decided to do was to rout down the plywood just enough to ease off the high point: so that it wasn’t so dramatic – but not compromising the plywood either.
We wouldn’t be shaving down the floor as much as we really needed, but again, we couldn’t remove too much of the 3/4 inch plywood. We used the jig that Spencer made for our live edge walnut desks and just skimmed the surface with the router. Oh, and he made sure the whole jig was level.
Here’s a wider shot of where we are in the space. And if you have it, it can’t hurt to use a professional Profoto tungsten air video light + soft box as your “work light”. 1000 watts is pretty nice.
After we decided to go ahead with routing down the high spots in the subfloor – because it seemed like the only option – we did see an episode of This Old House where they did this very thing near a doorway. We felt a little better about our solution after that.
The reason it was important to do this was because we will be installing a hardwood floor in this room. One, if we didn’t address this, you would be able to feel the differences in the floor under foot and two, variances like these are how gaps form between planks and it won’t lay down evenly or in straight rows.
This is one of those things that only takes a few minutes to actually work on, but is something that was discussed and researched quite a bit. We will still need to slowly help build up the difference in the slope (by the door) with layers of felt paper, but more on that later! We will see how everything ends up when we install our flooring!
In case you missed it, here’s the link to our other floor leveling adventures!