The second floor of my house is not to level. The walls are, everything is straight but the floor has a slight pitch.

I'm about to remove the current glued vinyl tiles and replace it with a regular vinyl flooring and I want to know if I can correct this.

  • 8
    Do you know what might be causing the pitch? For example: Warping boards? Deteriorating joists? Water damage? Construction error? It might be good to find the root cause before pursuing remediation steps. That way, you can prevent it from deteriorating more later.
    – Mike B
    Oct 13, 2010 at 16:53
  • 2
    I might add another cause to look for - a foundation that has settled. Has this happened recently? Or is this now a stable thing where the floors have been like this for decades? Are there cracks in the walls? Do your doors and windows stick? I would consult an expert, who will know where to look for the cause. Identify the reason for this problem, BEFORE you just try to level the floor.
    – user558
    Oct 13, 2010 at 18:09
  • What's the floor made of? Joists + floorboards, concrete slabs?
    – ChrisF
    Oct 13, 2010 at 18:57
  • This is a joist+floorboard construction. Now that you mention it, that are small cracks in the plaster in a few places and in the foundation that need to be repaired too. But thank you for the advice, I will consult an expert.
    – Danny T.
    Oct 14, 2010 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


Depending on how un-level, and the sub-floor material/condition, one option would be to use self-leveling compound. You pour it over the entire floor, it "finds" level (it has a viscosity that allows it to flow until it begins to harden) and let it set up. And Voila! level subfloor.

  • Once I know that my house is stable, I'll use self-leveling compound. Thanks!
    – Danny T.
    Oct 15, 2010 at 15:27
  • 2
    Let me give a warning about self-leveling compound. I hate the stuff, it's awful. The main problem is that by design, it sets INCREDIBLY fast. Like, it starts setting within one minute. I found it incredibly difficult to keep a wet edge on one pour while I mixed and prepared the second pour. My advice would be to only use self-leveling compound if you can pour the ENTIRE area simultaneously. Having to pour multiple times for an area is a recipe for disaster. At least, it was for me.
    – Jay P.
    Mar 6, 2011 at 14:54
  • @MarkD Can this compound be used like an upstairs floor where I pull the carpet up, pull the baseboards up, expose the subfloor, and pour directly on the wood subfloor? Or, would I need to treat the subfloor with a brushed on polyurethane to seal most of the gaps first?
    – Volomike
    Oct 2, 2012 at 18:48

If it's grossly out of level, you may want to remove the subfloor and attach "sister joists" to the unlevel joists with carriage bolts, then build your new level subfloor atop the sisters, then the new floor on the subfloor. I've done it, it works, and it's a lot of work. Long levels, lasers, and string all help. Hope your floor isn't this far out of level - but if it is, this is an effective solution.

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