So, one of the surprises I discovered when we took possession of the condo was a kitchen floor that was not level AT ALL. It was like a roller coaster. Perhaps I should have noticed this prior to purchasing, but I didn't. Because we are going to do tile in the kitchen, it is important that we have a solid and level subfloor so that the tiles won't pop off the floor.
When I pulled up the parquet flooring it became pretty apparent that at some point, the hot water heater had blown and leaked all over the kitchen. Underneath the parquet floor were two layers of subfloor, both of which were fairly water damaged and very spongy to walk on. So two problems with the kitchen floor, not level and spongy and squeaky to walk on.
Now, how to fix it. This project has taken a bit of time and a lot of effort for the past few days. We determined that the subfloor needed to come out so that we could determine why the floor was not level. Turns out that the joists were all sitting at a different height, probably due to the building settling over time. So, we now knew that we needed to level out the floor joists. But wait, we're not there yet. Pulling up the layers of sub floor was a BIG job.
My dad came over on Saturday to help us out, and we would have been dead without his help. I spent most of Friday pulling up the top layer of subfloor and cutting it to a size that we could get out of the condo. Then on Saturday we started ripping up the bottom layer. This was significantly harder because unlike the first layer, the bottom layer of subfloor had all the walls built on top of it. First we set the skill saw to cut just barely deeper than the subfloor thickness and cut around the perimeter of the kitchen. Then, using a big crowbar and a lot of brute force we pulled up the floor boards. Rusted nails can make this job a lot harder.
(Rock star father)
Once we had pulled up the floor boards, and demolished part of a wall in order to make room for a future washer-dryer, we had to use a reciprocal saw or sawzall, to cut the floor right up against the wall, since we couldn't get as close as needed with the skill saw.
Now we can move on to leveling the joists out. After consulting with a builder, we came up with a method that will provide a level and secure floor. First we had to pull strings across the exposed joists to determine what level was.
Then we got to work leveling the joists. We are not yet done with this part of the job. We went until about 9:00 PM on Saturday evening and after the nail gun jammed for the umpteenth time, we determined it was time to quit while were ahead. Before we left though, we laid a piece of the OSB subfloor we bought down on the joists we had leveled out to see if it worked. It was a huge relief to see the bubble on the level sit very nicely in the middle, indicating a level floor.
Now, all I have to do is finish leveling the rest of the joists, and cross brace them and then screw the new subfloor down, and then we will be ready to really get at the rest of the remodeling, with a sturdy and strong floor in the kitchen.