I have begun ripping up the carpet in my apartment in preparation for the eventual installation of some type of flooring. Even a moron like me can remove carpet. I’m using a utility knife to cut into the carpet into manageable strips or pieces. I then remove the carpet padding underneath.
I was warned this might be the case and sadly this is true for me, the concrete underneath my carpet was not poured and finished in a completely level manner. I can tell there are a few high spots but the majority of the inconsistencies are depressions or dips in the concrete. With the padding and then the carpet over top, imperfections in the concrete are hidden away but now with all that gone, you can really see how crappy of a job they did with the concrete.
It’s highly inadvisable to install flooring over an uneven surface. The planks of whatever you’re going to install will just try to follow the contour of uneven concrete. At best, the floor will look warped and uneven, at worst, the unevenness will cause the planks to break out of their grooves and pop out.
The solution is to even out the concrete surface. Now I haven’t removed all my carpet so I don’t know how bad the problem is. One solution involves just using tools to remove the high parts and then using a floor leveling compound to fill in the dips and holes. Depending on how bad the irregularities are, this might work but if the whole floor is just an undulating mess, it will be difficult to get everything level.
The best solution but is the most time consuming and involved, requires you to pour a thin layer of concrete over the existing floor. This new layer covers the entire floor area so you’re guaranteed it will fill it any low spots and if you layer is thick enough, it will cover all the high spots as well. As you might imagine, this is a huge endeavour. The entire floor must be cleaned and prepared for another layer of concrete. Anything on that floor before must be removed and store elsewhere for several days. This process is time consuming, expensive, and a logistical pain in the ass.
I don’t know which option is the best for me. Once I get all the carpet out of my place, I’ll need to get a flooring expert in my home and get their opinion.