Wood Floor Leveling Techniques

An uneven wooden floor can be dangerous to walk on and can damage other floor products if it's being used as a subfloor.

Imperfections

Holes in your wood floor are a trip hazard.Holes in your wood floor are a trip hazard.
If your wooden floor is suffering from minor imperfections, you can use a sander, self-leveling compound or a thick underlayment to level it.

Before you start leveling your floor, you'll need to eliminate surface imperfections. Use a claw hammer to remove nails or carpet tacks embedded in your boards. If you can't get any up, hammer them below the surface of your floor. Use warm water, detergent, and a scraper to remove old glue. When you're finished, vacuum and wipe over your floor with a mop.

Sanding

Rent a heavy-duty drum floor sander and an edging sander. You can level your floor by using these to iron out any peaks and troughs in your floor. Use a bubble level to monitor your progress and judge where additional work is needed. Start in one corner of your room and work your way along the length of your floorboards with the heavy-duty drum floor sander before attending to the perimeter of the room with the edging sander.

Self-Leveling Compound

You can buy self-leveling compound to fill in the troughs in your wood floor from hardware stores and online. Look for a product that matches the color of your planks if your boards aren't being used as a sub-floor for another flooring product. Most self-leveling compounds come premixed and can be poured into any dips in your floor. You’ll need a trowel and a bubble level to remove any excess compound and make sure the area you're working on is level.

Underlayment

If your wooden floor is being used as a subfloor, you can lay a thick underlayment product to absorb any imperfections before you lay your new flooring. This solution should only be used on subfloors that have slight imperfections and in line with any instructions from the manufacturer of your new floor.

About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.