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Hi everyone: This is great info from a well-known colleague of mine that is just too good not to share: I will return next week. 




In the context of flooring and construction, "flat" and "level" are two distinct terms that refer to different aspects of a surface. While they are related, they have different meanings and implications. 



1. Flat: 

   - "Flat" refers to the evenness of a surface in terms of its smoothness and lack of bumps or depressions. A flat surface is one that is visually smooth and does not have any noticeable irregularities. It describes the absence of variations in height or deviations from a perfectly horizontal plane. A flat surface can still have variations in height within acceptable tolerances. 


2. Level: 

   - "Level" refers to the horizontal alignment or slope of a surface. A level surface is one that is parallel to the horizon or a reference point, with no significant slopes or inclines. It ensures that the surface is uniformly horizontal and maintains a consistent elevation throughout. A level surface is important for proper functionality and aesthetics, especially in flooring installations. 



- Flatness refers to the absence of bumps or depressions on a surface, ensuring a visually smooth and even appearance. 

- Levelness refers to the horizontal alignment of a surface, ensuring that it maintains a consistent elevation without noticeable slopes or inclines. 


While a surface can be flat without being level (having variations in height within acceptable tolerances), a level surface is generally considered to be flat. Achieving both flatness and levelness is crucial in flooring installations to ensure a visually appealing and properly functioning floor. 


Jason Ramsay is a California licensed tile and flooring contractor, (CSLB #776558) flooring inspector (CFIU, IFCII) and certified concrete slab moisture testing technician (CCSMT)with ICRI. Certified by Ardex, Bostik and NAFCT for the preparation of substrate and subfloors.  


Jason Ramsay, CCSMT, NAFCT, CSLB 




- "Flooring Handbook: The Complete Guide to Choosing and Installing Floors" by Dennis Jeffries  

- Construction and flooring industry standards and guidelines for flatness and levelness tolerances. 



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