Kitchen floor slopes??

I need some help with a kitchen floor that sloped toward the front of the home. It was a 36yr old Bi-Level that had the kitchen located in the middle of the home. The Dining room floor which was in front of the kitchen(front of home) was fine and the 1st floor(finished basement) looked fine as well. I could see most of the structure from the utility room under kitchen and nothing looked out of place. They reciently had a french drain system intalled, water under home could have caused settlement, but is there any other issues I should be looking for? The chimney chase was located in the one interior wall of the kitchen(leaking chimney chase), however the floor sloped across the entire kitchen. Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated.


From what you say, the existence of the French drain along with the sloping floor would indicate that there was a problem in the past. It takes a pretty good redo job to cover up ALL signs of past water intrusion. It sounds as if there was significant movement, and perhaps the front portion was raised back to or near to level? Did this slope continue to the roof line? No signs of stress cracks? What about the top corners of the opposite side of the kitchen? It would seem that perhaps a wall would have to be out of plumb, or the ceiling out of level, if the structure had moved enough to cause a noticeable slope in the floor. Is it possible that what is in front of the kitchen is an add on? Any signs of foundation work? I know that’s a lot of questions, but they are indicative of the ones I would be asking myself in your shoes. I’d have to find out, just for my own satisfaction. I ran across a home recently that had an add-on den, and a second loft story added above that den and over the kitchen. The added dead load was too much for the foundation wall along the original rear (at the kitchen), and both the kitchen floor and add on were sinking along the foundation wall. Scary. Owner was a carpenter, or so he claimed, and this was done in a county where no permits had to be taken out, so he just built it without considering the stresses he would add.

Good Morning Jimmy and thanks for the Imput… There was no foundation work that I could see in the un-finished area’s of the basement. There was a hairline crack where the bearing wall ended and extened to the front of the home. Very common for Bi-level/Split levels. I see this all the time. There was no indications of wall or ceiling movement, although it could have been covered up? There was no signs in the front basement bedroom either. The hard part is the whole lower lever is mostly finished. This is the way the home was built. I am thinking of visiting the neighborhood to see if I can check on other home like this style to see if water intrusion has been the casue of sinking foundations.


Do the math: Assume a two-story house 28 feet deep.
Roof load 14’ x 40 PSF = 560 PLF
Attic floor 7’ x 30 PSF = 210 PLF
Seciónd Fl 7’ x 40 PSF = 280 PLF
First Floor 7’ x 50 PSF = 350 PLF
Foundation weight = 320 PLF
That’s the weight on a footing. Assume a 10" thick x 20" wide footing.
That works out to about 1030 pounds per square foot on the soil,
So, you can see that one could almost add a second full two-story house to the same footing and not exceed an assumed soil bearing value of 2000 pounds per square foot.

Therefore, given a normal footing and normal conservatively-rated soil capacity, settlement of the foundation is highly unlikely. Of course, the foundation could have been built with a smaller footing or no footing, and the soil could be organnic silt, but given normal every-day procedures and conditions, I would look elsewhere for the cause of the problem of a sloping floor in only one room. Problem is, I don’t know where.

Just observe and report. Don’t worry about causes or solutions. Some HI’s use an upper limit of 1" in 20’ (or 1/2" in 10’) as an upper limit for sloping floors, although that is pretty significant movement in my book. Also look for other signs of movement such as sticking doors, cracked drywall, recent repairs, etc. If it looks serious enough call for further evaluation.


It could have been built crooked, don’t laugh.:mrgreen:but there is a good chance most of the clues are hidden under the drywall downstairs. Ask how long the drywall downstairs has been up and check for cracks and patches around corners and doorways. You didn’t say if the floor directly under the kitchen was also sloping, which would tell you a lot about how or where the slope originates.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :smiley: