There are several reasons you might want to raise a floor. You can raise it to make it level with the floors in the rest of your home, or because you need to improve your home. Whatever reason you have for raising a floor, do you have the knowledge required for such a project? We researched the topic to provide you with the information below.
To give you more knowledge about raising a floor, we'll discuss the following:
- Different methods of raising a floor
- Factors to consider when raising a floor
- Benefits of raising a floor
- Cost of raising a floor
Raising a floor is not easy, but it is possible. Read on to understand the types of raised flooring. Also, learn the factors to consider when raising a floor. Included are the benefits and the costs of installation and the materials.
How Do You Raise A Floor?
As we mentioned above, you may want to raise a floor to make it level with the rest of the rooms in your home, or because you want to raise a sunken room like a living room or kitchen to solve mobility issues.
Another reason could be that you want to install a new type of flooring in your home, including a garage or bathroom.
Office floors are also raised to meet particular needs. For example, this is common in data centers where the cabling runs under the floor panels.
When you are raising a floor, you want to use the most affordable method possible. The following are some of the most affordable options for raising a floor:
Floor Leveling Compound
This is an excellent method for elevating a concrete floor. All you need is floor leveling compound like the one shown below, which you can purchase online or from a home improvement dealer.
This method requires you to:
- Mark out the height of the floor you want to raise.
- Clean the floor to remove debris, dust, and grease. By doing this, the compound will bond well to the subfloor.
- Read the instructions and check if you need to first apply a primer. If needed, apply the primer and let it dry.
- As per the instructions, mix the leveling compound with water, and use a paddle mixer to mix the compound.
- Start applying from one corner to another, all the while ensuring you apply up to the desired height. And, try your best to finish the whole floor in 10 to 20 minutes.
- Let the compound dry for around 24 hours, allowing it to set and cure.
- When dry, you can add flooring material of your choice such as laminate, tiles, etc.
Check out the videos (parts 1 and 2) below to learn more about how to raise a concrete floor using a floor leveling compound.
This is a good method if you plan to install tiles on the surface. Before you begin, ensure you have enough deck mud for the area you will be working on. You'll also need chicken wire.
To proceed, follow the steps below:
- Start by cleaning the floor. This is to ensure that you have a bare surface on which to add another floor.
- Lay chicken wire on the entire floor.
- Pour the mud on the floor.
- Begin from one end and move to the center. Do the same from the other end, also moving to the center.
- As you are filling the floor, use a compactor and level to ensure the surface is level.
- Keep adding mud until you reach the height you want. Then pour mud at the center.
- A floor that's properly installed should not have any gaps or dips. Instead, it should be level.
Check out the video below for details on how to raise the floor of a bathroom using deck mud.
Framed Wooden Sub-Floors
This is a great method for wooden floors. To raise the floor with another adjacent floor, measure the height difference between the two floors.
From this, you will know the height of the framework to construct. You should consider treating the wood you're working with against termites.
Also, ensure any insulation and electrical circuits are in their correct positions. When you are done, cover the base with ¾-inch thick plywood.
Below is a video that explains in detail how to use to raise a floor using this method:
Factors To Consider When Raising A Floor
Before raising a floor, there are some factors you need to consider to help you decide on the most appropriate application. Below are the main factors:
A standard raised floor can be at least 6 inches high, though it can be lower. However, raising a floor can sometimes go as high as 6 feet.
According to local building codes, the minimum ceiling height of the habitable rooms in a home is at least 7 feet. That is why you should have this in mind when raising a floor. Depending on the height of a room, you can gauge the type of flooring you need.
Load And Weight
You should consider the amount of load and weight a floor can support. You wouldn’t want to install a floor only for it to cave in because of too much weight.
Find out from your local building codes the minimum live load a floor should carry. Normally, floors in sleeping rooms should be able to hold a live load of 30 pounds per square foot.
On the other hand, a non-sleeping room should be able to support a load that is not less than 40 pounds per square foot.
Cabling And Piping
What do you need under the floor? If you will be installing electrical wiring, pipes, or anything else, then you need a suitable floor.
With that in mind, it is important to note that it is unsafe to install electrical wiring between the top flooring cover and the subfloor below.
Benefits Of A Raised Floor
There are several benefits of raising a floor inside your home, which include:
You can improve the décor of your home by raising a floor. For example, an uneven floor is not appealing because of the dents you are likely to see.
An uneven floor can create mobility issues, especially for the elderly. For example, you can raise a sunken living room to provide ease of entry into the room.
Tiles on a subfloor can be cold. But, if you raise it, the tiles will feel warm due to the thermal insulation underneath.
Ease Of Home Repairs
A raised floor can help access the area that requires repairs. It is also easier to reach any damaged wiring or piping to carry out repairs.
Lower Energy Costs
You can lower costs due to more effective usage of energy. This is largely due to the thermal insulation between the top floor and subfloor.
It is less expensive constructing a raised floor as opposed to building a floor on the original foundation of a home.
Cost Of Raising A Floor
To frame a subfloor will cost you between $12.70 and $24 per square foot. This cost can go higher depending on the size, complexity, and conditions of the job.
Flooring tiles cost between $3 and $65 per square foot, with ceramic tiles at $9 per square foot, and laminate from $3 to $10 per square foot.
Before raising a floor, you need to consider several factors about the project. That way, you can make a viable decision on the best method for your flooring needs.
Furthermore, raising a floor has several benefits that you can enjoy such as lowering energy costs, a warmer floor, and improved floor among others.
The costs vary depending on the materials used for raising a floor, and the expertise required, though the most common raised floors are generally affordable.
Below are some of our previous posts on floors that might interest you: