So my dishwasher had a very small leak that destroyed my laminate, lock in place, wood floor. I took it all up. Turns out there was linoleum underneath that was in fair shape so I've been living with that but it's time to put my kitchen back together (removed all the molding to get the old flooring up).

My house is 200 years old. The kitchen is 12'x 22'with cabinets/breakfast bar/slide in range running throug the middle. The floor on either side of the breakfast bar has a 1-2" sag. The crawlspace underneath is completely incaccessible. I thought I could get under there, bought jack stands, cement blocks, etc...no go. Cutting a trapdoor won't work either.

I'm going to just put flooring over the existing laminate. There's too much cutting for me, I suck at it, to put linoleum down. I'm thinking of either vinyl, click together, planks, or peel and stick vinyl tiles.

Any suggestions/recommendations? Thanks! Rob

  • Planks or any hard type flooring don't do well if the floor is not flat(wavy). Peel and stick should work or any soft type floor that can bend a bit. There are levelling compounds to make a floor flat, but have not used them.
    – crip659
    Sep 20, 2023 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


I specialize in old houses. I also have bad news for you. There's no way to install a floor without a flat surface. At least not in a way that will look good, or take less time than doing it right.

If you are lucky and the floor is structurally sound, etc., you might be able to get away with using self-leveling compound. Depending on how much you need, this can get so expensive that it costs more than just replacing the subfloor, without the advantages of being able to upgrade what's below the subfloor (see below.)

The way you fix this floor is by working from the top, ripping out the many layers of finish: linoleum, pine boards, whatever is there,and then the subfloor boards. The subfloor is probably made of random length 1" boards. Then build a floor frame with joists fitted in-between whatever structure you have under there, probably hand-hewn 8x8s or whatever was available locally back when they built the house. This is a good time to upgrade any electrical, plumbing, insulation, vapor barrier, etc. issues. You then install a subfloor: 1" boards if you want to keep the original construction techniques, or 3/4" OSB. I'd use OSB. Then, on this perfectly flat and level subfloor, you can install any floor you want. Installing the floor will probably take 5% of the overall project time.

  • Thanks! I know that's best but I'm a 60 year old cancer survivor with a bad ticker so no way I can all that...LOL Also, on very small fixed income and can't hire anyone. The only thing I can do myself is the lock/click in cheap planks or peel and sticks onto the existing old linoleum.
    – Rob
    Sep 20, 2023 at 16:23
  • @Rob I think you answered your own question then. Other than that, maybe putting a plastic rug over the damaged area. Or just replacing individual linoleum tiles.
    – Cheery
    Sep 20, 2023 at 21:19

Best flooring type for a sagging/wavy floor?


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