Different floor heights

8 Feb 2022
Reaction score
United Kingdom

Looking to understand how practical it might be to lower a floor and what we need to consider.

The entrance hall, living room (with fireplace) playroom, WC and stairs to ground floor are at one floor height and then there is a step down to an open plan area with a kitchen, dining area and family space plus a utility room. The area at the lower floor level has a false ceiling to accommodate lit recesses. So the ceiling height between the two levels feels the same.

I would like to lower the floor at the front part of the house so that everything is at the same level.
How practical is this, and if we could do it would the ceiling height difference then be very noticeable?


  • 20220208_211745.jpg
    131.3 KB · Views: 60
  • 20220208_211732.jpg
    99.7 KB · Views: 59
Sponsored Links
Lowering the floor is not really a practical proposition in most cases - you'd need to remove the floor and sub floor, remove all the joists, from the age of the house the joists are probably pocketed into the masonry so all the pockets would need to be lowered (and levelled), the joists would need to be re-installed (and levelled), the sub-floor re-installed, and that's before you deal with dropping the door casings/linings, skirtings, etc and making good the plasterwork and gaps in the walls left above them, replacing the stairs (because the going is supposed to be the same all the way up the stairs - you can't have a bottom step which is more shallow or deeper than the rest of the flight), etc. TBH anyone wanting to do it would either have exceptionally deep pockets or be completely mad to go ahead with it (if not before they started, certainly afterwards!)

In reality the approach taken with floor levels is often to level through at the highest floor level, by building-up the floor levels on top of the existing floors where levels are lower (cross battening, packing and recladding with new sub-flooring), and where the door casings/linings in the altered area are lifted, but I realise that this may not be a practical proposition due to door head heights, ceiling levels at the back of the house, etc
Last edited:
Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I really dislike that step down but it sounds like I need to get comfortable with it as it's going to be too challenging to change it.
What about installing a ramp between levels? That's what we'd do in commercial or retail buildings these days (assuming that we weren't raising all the floors to the highest level - DDA and all that)
Last edited:
Sponsored Links
I would have considered it but you have to turn to get in to the back part of the house, and there is a cupboard door there too so can't really extend the step further in to the return without losing it.

I really hate this step but can't see any way around it.


  • 20220209_135457.jpg
    181.1 KB · Views: 45
I really hate this step but can't see any way around it.

As above, J&K knows his stuff! :)

But, there is always another way of looking at a problem!

You hate the step as it is, why not make a feature out of it?

Change the materials of the step and the small area below (I don't like the lack of contrast between the two areas - that's asking for slips and trips! :confused:).
Maybe add some recessed LED lighting around the perimeter of the step as well?

There could be some room to add a half-step between levels (perhaps curved).
Can the bottom door open inwards to give you some more options?

I hope that gives you some ideas! :)

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local