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How out-of-level or out-of-plane does a floor need to be before it is noticeable?

Many of the houses I've lived in have floors that are out-of-level, visible to the naked eye. At what point does that happen?

(I realize that rigid flooring materials like tile need a floor that is in-plane, but that's not my concern here.)

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I measured my posts to within 1/8" of a reference post, and then shimmed to level as I installed joists. Glad I did, but the flooring I installed was not flat, so it's ... rustic. I love it, though. –  Jay Bazuzi Jun 23 '11 at 5:10
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The larger the room, it easier it is to visually pick up on a level problem. I tend to be a bit of a fuss budget, but I can usually pick up on a 10 foot span that is much more than 1/4 to 3/8 inch off level. This is a pretty objective observation that would be more pronounced to a trained eye than a casual observer.

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