How to Laser Level a Floor


Nobody ever forgets their first rodeo with installing flooring. Something always goes wrong, always. One of the most common things that goes wrong is you get done laying your flooring, check for flatness, and find out that it… Isn’t flat. Let’s just get your mistake out of the way right now. You checked the finished installation if it was level when you should have checked to see if the subfloor was level before you laid the flooring. If you use a laser level, not only is checking the final product quick, but checking the subfloor is both fast and precise.

Why Level the Subfloor?

Does it really matter if a surface you can’t see is level? Yes, because as anyone who has ever done flooring will tell you, if the subfloor is level, the actual surface flooring will be level. However, if your subfloor isn’t level or has imperfections then that will wreck havoc for years to come.

Some people might think an uneven floor isn’t the end of the work, but you know when the subflooring isn’t level or has warped because it will manifest on the surface. For tile, you will start to see tiles crack, and in wood floors, your wood will begin to squeak. If you ever notice these little details in the flooring in a house, it is likely because the subfloor has warped or wasn’t properly level in the first place.

How to Laser Level a Floor

By placing your rotary laser level on the floor, it can help you identify highs and lows in the subfloor. For this job, ideally you want a surface laser level, but even a single line laser level can be used, it just means more work.

With a surface laser level, you simply need to set it at the benchmark high spot you are trying to recreate throughout the floor. Where you see one laser line, it means that the area is the same elevation as the benchmark, but if you see two lines, then the floor is lower or higher. From there, you need to rotate a few degrees marking out high or low spots until you reach the full 360 degree circle. It is moments like this where a rotary laser comes in handy, especially one with a remote so you can do it without constantly having to walk back and forth, an act that can get exhausting in larger rooms.

After you have found the high or low spots, it is important that you work with a strong filler, one that won’t bend or break down over time. This means you won’t be right back where you started in just a few years when the low or high spots begin to warp enough that it affects the actual surface of the flooring.

Of course, after doing all that, you do still want to use your laser level to do a final surface check. It is better to discover if any mistakes were made early so you can redo them quickly.

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Howze it? I'm Raf. Been living and working construction in Hawaii for about 10 years. Just recently started doing some handy man work around my neighborhood and then got the itch to review equipment that makes my life easier and hopefully yours too.


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