How To Fix Uneven Floors In An Old House – 5 Options

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Uneven flooring could happen in an old house. It could be a source of stress while you’re walking around and the floors just don’t feel right under your feet. Then you notice the furniture don’t look straight or balanced. Once you identify that the problem is with uneven floors, it’s time you’ll want to know how to fix uneven floors in an old house.

There are several possible causes for sagging floors and sinking areas in the floor.Read on for a handy list for how to go about fixing crooked floors in an old house.

How To Fix Uneven Floors In An Old House

How To Fix Uneven Floors In An Old House

Method 1: Try a Self Leveling Underlayment

For this method, you’ll need the self leveling kit and the self leveling underlayment.

  1. Apply a bonding agent or a latex primer with a rolling paint mop. Use a paintbrush to detail the corners.
  2. Grab a mixing bucket that is a minimum size of 5 gallons.
  3. Measure the water and mix in the dry product.
  4. You can pour the mixed product onto the floor. This is the cool part because the cement-like slurry is going to level itself. You just have to pour enough for it to cover all the low points.

Determine the Cause Of Uneven Flooring

Floors may become uneven due to structural concerns, such as foundation issues, a broken floor joist, a defective sill plate (what the joists are set on), or delaminated subflooring.

If in doubt, get the advice of a building professional, such as a building inspector, for the cause of any damaged looking structures in an old house.

Identifying and Marking Uneven Areas

1. Identifying the problem spots on your floor is the first step in repairing uneven flooring.

2. Check the levelness of the floor with a laser leveler. If you don’t have a leveler, you can observe how a tennis ball rolls across the floor, paying attention to the dips and heaves that occur. The impacted areas can be marked with a china wax marker.

Getting to the bottom of why the floor is uneven is vital because cracks and difficulties with the foundation may also contribute to uneven flooring. Before you can begin leveling the floor, you need to figure out why it’s uneven.

Option 1: Shimming Small Problems of Sunken Areas

Wood shims can be an affordable solution for uneven flooring that doesn’t come with structural issues. The shim wedges must be fastened to the joints. Alternatively, you may also screw them in.

  1. Use a level around the areas you suspect the floor is uneven. Roll a tennis ball over the floor to take notice of how the ball moves to indicate problems.
  2. Uninstall the flooring, whether it is carpet, wood, tile or other type of flooring.
  3. Install shims into any areas that have sunken in.
  4. Use a power planer to level out areas that have elevated.

If you see damaged wood or concrete, you should contact a building professional to see if it is a structural issue and whether it needs to be replaced.

Option 2: Use a Power Planer for High Areas of Hardwood

One of the reasons to love hardwood flooring and concrete is you can remove a small amount of the top layer when needed. When using a power tool, follow the recommended safety procedures.

1. Before using the power planer, use a level to help inspect the floor.

2. You can use a power planer on small high spots of concrete floor or hardwood floor.

Option 3: Carpets are a Good Choice

Carpeting is easier to deal with when the floor is not completely smooth. As well, the carpets’ texture camouflage, lumpy, sloping, and uneven surfaces are more pleasantly under your feet.

1. To protect the carpet from bumps, you may apply carpet padding and add more in an uneven surface, particularly in the hollow or at the bottom.

2. Install carpet with a carpet stretcher. Pay attention to the transitions to tile or other types of flooring.

Option 4: Hiring a Building Expert

When it comes to concrete floors of old buildings, any height variances with visible cracks may be caused by foundation shifts. So, when inspecting floor and joists or beams, be sure to call in a building inspector or building professional if you see any of the following problems:

  • Cracks, decay, or deterioration to the cement or joists are evident.
  • Damage caused by a termite infestation.
  • The foundation’s walls have a crack or split.

What to Consider When Fixing Uneven Floors – Replacing the Flooring

If you are choosing the type of flooring for an uneven flooring in an old house, there are a few things to consider:


With flexible flooring like carpet, you can avoid the inconvenience of walking on uneven surfaces.

Floating floor planks

You can level the floor and install floating laminate planks. Floating flooring, like vinyl floating floor planks, is a good option that goes over small and superficial floor bumps.


You may put down a underlayment before installing the new flooring. One of the best methods to level uneven floor is to use self leveling underlayment, as discussed in Method 1 above.


There is nothing uncommon about floors in older houses being uneven. Historic houses can have saggy and sloping floors. If you are planning to renovate an old house with new flooring, you’ll want to know how to fix uneven floors in an old house.

Finding out what type of flooring problem you have would require a building inspector. They may identify the problem for you to decide if you can fix it yourself or call a professional for an estimate.

How to Level Furniture on Uneven Floor – 4 Easy Methods

How to Install Baseboard Molding on Uneven Floor – 7 Steps

How to Level a Floor for Laminate – 2 Easy Methods

How To Sister a Floor Joist


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