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Thread: Help - Uneven Flooring

  1. #1
    DIYFK member DailyLunatic's Avatar

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    Oct 2017
    Houston, Texas
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    Help - Uneven Flooring

    First, a few definitions. I want to make a clear distinction between ‘uneven’ and ‘not level’.

    Not Level = one end of floor under tank is sloped lower or higher than the other.
    Uneven = the floor under tank is wavy, has low and/or high spots, or is otherwise inconsistent. Not just sloped.

    I am renting, and thus cannot modify the flooring. Where I want to put the tank is uneven. Bumps and other irregularities of up to approx ¼” (I swear they laminated over rats). Because I'm renting I can't just modify with self leveling cement or the like. At this writing, the post previous to this is discussing the self leveling cement option.

    I’ve done a bit of Youtube and internet research and am frustrated as no matter what they call it, they always end up showing you how to correct for a floor that is not ‘level’.

    So my question: Is the fix for Uneven floors the same as a fix for a floor that is not level? Is that why they seem to start talking about uneven, and end up talking about level?

    The most common fix appears to be lots and lots of shims. I'm OK with that if it will not degrade over time.

    The tank I'm wanting is 65 gal and about 3' long. Will shims work in this situation (lots and lots of shims), or should I be looking at building one of the a fore mentioned self leveling dams, but over some sort of plastic sheeting to protect the flooring?

    Appreciate any help you can give.



  2. #2
    DIYFK member HillbillyHomer's Avatar

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    Sep 2012
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    if using a 2x4 wood thank stand i would build it and and place something like toothpaste (easy to clean)on the high spots. Put the stand in place. Remove stand and cut out wood where the toothpaste is. Repeat until the tank sits true.

  3. #3
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar

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    Oct 2013
    Planet Earth
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    Hillybilly's idea is fine for a DIY stand, where you can trim the legs...

    What I did in my moms old farmhouse as a kid (using a commercial steel tank stand) was cut a piece of 3/4" plywood just slighly larger than the size of the bottom of the stand place it on the floor and began to shim it (so it hovered above any humps) then placed the stand on the plywood... This was for a 55 and it was in place for about 10 years without a problem...

    Another more precise way to shim is to cover the existing floor with a plastic sheet, get a bag of Structo-lite (about $12 for a 50lb bag at Home Depot in the Drywall area) it's a real fluffy plaster, now mix up a batch to about whipcream consistency so it peaks but is easy to squish place blobs on the plastic covering the floor, then position the 3/4" piece of plywood over that, place down and level out... Let it dry overnight then lift it up, the blobs will be stuck to the plywood and tell you exactly how thick a shim needs to be there, take a putty knife cleave the Struto-lite off and replace it with a wood shims the same thickness in the same area (if your stand has legs there should be a wood shim at that location) repeat and when you are done replacing all the blobs with wood shims, test fit, if it fits well remove the plywood, again cover the floor with a new sheet of plastic, now mix up more Structo-lite and butter up the bottom of that sheet of plywood between all the wood shims (again whip cream like consistency) now you have a solid plywood/plaster laminate, place it back in the same spot on top of the plastic, step on it a bit so the shims seat and bottome out and any excess Structo-lite oozes out, check to make sure it's flat and level, and before it dries use a putty knife to clean up any excess Structo-lite that oozed out, when it dries the next day trim the sheet of plastic to tidy everything up (and if you want trim it out) and you should have a new slighly raise but flat and level floor that is fully supported for your tank but can also be removed leaving no trace... FIY this is how we used to level fiberglass shower floorpans and fliberglass tubs so that they didn't flex like a trampoline when you stepped in them like many do...

  4. #4
    DIYFK member johnnymax's Avatar

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    Jun 2019
    Buna, Texas
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    I have had a 75g aquarium that was given to me over a year ago. I wanted to set it up in place of my 20g tank, but I was worried about my floor being a little uneven.
    I saw where some recommend putting a sheet of foam under the tank. It is game on now.

    If it is uneven too much, you could shim the legs with solid hard wood and use a level to level the top.
    "I work so I can buy things, give things & do things"

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