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Renovation Wiki

Introduction to the Ultimate Inspection Tool: Spirit Level

This is the go-to tool for experts like Inspector! Want to gauge the quality of craftsmanship? The spirit level has got you covered!

The spirit level features two small glass tubes filled with colored alcohol. Inside is an air bubble. The middle of each tube is slightly raised with two parallel lines marked on either side. Simply place the level against the surface you want to measure; if the bubble rests perfectly between the two lines, it indicates the surface is horizontally or vertically level.

Testing Wall Surfaces:

You can position the spirit level vertically against a wall to check its trueness. While perfection is rare, deviations in flatness and verticality within a 4mm range are considered acceptable. Additionally, if you lightly knock on the wall and hear a hollow sound, it indicates a void between the wall's finish and its structural layer. Such hollow areas usually protrude slightly and are often accompanied by cracks. In severe cases, pressing with a finger can feel the void.

Measuring Floor Levels:

Simply place the spirit level on the floor to check if it's level. Every 1.2 meters of flooring can tolerate up to a 4mm slant. There's no fixed standard for gaps in tiles. Generally, wall tiles should have gaps around 1-1.5mm, and floor tiles around 1.5-2mm, but never less than 1mm. Smaller isn't always better! Loose tiles or those that produce sound indicate poor craftsmanship. If neglected, such issues can worsen over time.

Inspecting Stone Window Sills:

The slope tolerance for window sills is 1mm. Like flooring, if a sill is made of more than one piece of stone, the height difference should not exceed 0.5mm.

Cabinet Inspection:

A common issue with assembled cabinets is doors not fitting perfectly. The spirit level can help here too! A general acceptable range is around 3mm. For the cabinet's vertical sway, it should not exceed 20mm, and horizontally, 15mm. When inspecting, be gentle and avoid pulling the cabinet out forcefully. If the cabinet is not stably installed, you might end up damaging it.


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