Friday, March 19, 2010

The Leveler

In 1891 somebody decided to build a house.  Their intentions aside, gravity, a generation or two of children, many, many children as I am lead to believe, & a fire have all modified the old house on Wyoming Street.  One of the more obvious side effects of these or other mysterious factors is that the floor has sagged from the West side of the house to the support beam in the basement.  Stabilized by steel jacks, the dip, sag, or depressed area, has made for unlevel floors throughout the house.

The most unavoidable examples is smack dab in the middle of our bathroom renovation.  Consulting a contractor, the solution included shifting the whole house, or filling in the gap.  After years of head scratching, we opted for laying a self leveling underlay.  The effect, 14 bags later, are pictured.  Mary & I are hardwired to avoid the use of any sort of patch.  Formally trained as an artist, I have a reverence for materials and the believe strongly that all problems must be addressed at their core.  But who wants to lift a house?

After moving walls, heating vents, pipes and wiring, many cracks and holes remained and were filled in with spray foam.  Over the floor, a layer of tar paper was laid to help contain the soupy mix to come.  Unfortunately unseen holes were discovered the hard way.  As the underlay poured over these pesky openings, as much as a half a bag made it's way dripping down to the basement.  The compound is relatively fast setting and will fill in the smallest holes, but for a few larger hole, duct tape was utilized to control the escaping product.  Self leveling underlay runs about $30 a bag, so there's no reason waste it.

The image above shows the chalk line indicating where the underlay would come up to before the floor was level.  Below, an image shows the underlay covered most of the floor before reaching it's pentacle.

Over the self leveling underlay cement board provides a base for a new ceramic floor.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos! Great looking prep work! I envy your patience (and your bank account, at least before you bought all that Durock)!