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Best flooring for a slightly crooked house?


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  • Best flooring for a slightly crooked house?

    I recently had a contractor come in and straighten out the living room floor of my little old house in upstate NY, where the piers often move up and down when the ground gets cold in winter. We talked a bit about putting new flooring on the now-straight floor, and what material to use. I was thinking of large ceramic or stone tiles because the area is a high-traffic one. The contractor suggested maybe using laminate instead because of the possibility of the piers moving around again in winter/spring.

    My question is: Would this moving around affect tiles that much? Would laminate be that much better? How about hardwood? The floor has gotten crooked enough in past years that it's impossible to lock the door once it's closed. The shift can be seen as a gap of about half an inch between door bottom and frame on one side and no gap on the other, if that's any help. Thanks--
    Last edited by tudor; 07-30-2008, 07:50 PM.

  • #2
    because the floor supports shift so much, using a stone or tile floor isn't gonna hack it. the tiles are set in a quickset mortar which is concrete and it flexes a little it isn't gonna flex with the frost heaves. it'll just crack. a floating laminate floor may be your answer.


    • #3
      Yeah, I'm kind of warming to that idea now. Guess I'll go read up on laminates. Thanks much.


      • #4

        You can also do wood, but you'll need to leave room for expansion at the edges of the room (which you should do anyway) and you may see bigger cracks, then small cracks. Good luck!


        • #5
          The best solution would be to correct the bad piers. The movement of the piers isn't only effecting the floor, more importantly it effects the walls and as you can see the doors etc... Leaving the piers as they are will only add to your problems down the track.
          When piers/footings "heave" during winter they might heave up 1" (for example) but they will seldom go back down the full 1" and each time they do this they end up a little more uneven across the effected piers, that's why you see varying degrees of problems from one end of a room to the other.
          Laminate like Hayzee suggested is going to be your most "forgiving" flooring, but don't be fooled it too will show signs of what the sub floor is doing, with "hollow" sounding areas and parting board areas.
          If it were me I'd be looking at the core problem and solving that issue before investing the money on the nice stuff.
          Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
          Every day is a learning day.


          • #6
            Originally posted by pushkins View Post
            The best solution would be to correct the bad piers.
            Thanks, yes, I know this is the real solution. Maybe we've gotten there with the last straightening job, but I kind of doubt it. We are slightly downhill from a small artificial lake, and ground water just naturally flows in our direction into the clay soil in the yard. What we probably should do is add a few tons of sandy dirt to the yard but it's really hard to get motivated about re-doing all of that.


            • #7
              yeah, I know about the "getting motivated" part. But there's an old adagio, pay me now or pay me later.