How to Level a Concrete Floor | 7 Steps to Level a Concrete Floor
You must have concrete floors in your homes, and you might notice that despite their excellent looks, your concrete floors may seem uneven and rough due to moisture and cracks, and you need to solve the issue. If your concrete floors are uneven, you don’t need to be impatient, and there is a solution known as floor leveling. Having the industrial concrete floor installation is the best solution to the problem. So in this article, we will discover how to level a concrete floor for the best results.
Causes of Rough Concrete Floors
- Floors can become uneven over time because of two reasons, like moisture and cracks.
- You have to replace your existing floors whether you want to refinish an uneven and rough footing.
- With the proper preparation techniques, the right equipment, and self-leveling compounds, and self-leveling concrete mix, you can easily do the task by yourself.
With the pencil or piece of chalk, mark the high and low spots, dips, and concrete bumps on the floor. To reveal the depressions in the concrete for sweeping over the floor, you should better level it. Self-leveling concrete can help fill gaps but is not suitable for the surfaces having an incline of 0.5% as this is under-determined the way the substance dispersion.
Types of Self-Leveling Concrete Cement
The self-leveling cement is also known as self-leveling concrete, self-leveling underlayment, or self–leveling resurfacing. When you have uneven and rough surfaces on your floors, you should pay special attention to the products you use to balance your feet.
There are two types of cement to level the floors.
Quick-dry self-level cement
- It is a great option to opt for when you want to walk on floors within 5 to 6 hours, but it has a disadvantage that you have very little time to work with.
- It is a more expensive option as compared to regular cement.
- Item Weight: 12.5 lb
- Country of Origin: United States
- Brand name: Henry, W.W. Co.
Regular drying self-leveling cement
- While working with this cement, you have enough time in between the putting of buckets of cement.
- As it is not a quick-drying material, it will take 15 minutes for drying.
Materials you will need
- Self-leveling cement.
- A cement mixing paddle.
- A strong drill.
- A 5-gallon bucket.
- Filler or sealer.
How to Level a Concrete Floor: Process
Clean the floor
- Start the preparation of the floor by removing baseboards, appliances, and furniture items.
- With the help of a utility knife, scrape the baseboards from the walls.
- Start from one side and move along the whole length to do this step until the entire board gets loose from the wall.
- Clean the surface entirely by sweeping and using a vacuum cleaner so that all the dust is removed.
- Now apply the primer on the cleaned surface.
Remove loose debris from the floor
- With the help of a scraper, remove all the loose debris, like tile, old linoleum, from the floor.
- Shop-vacuum is an excellent option regarding vacuum because regular vacuum may damage during removal of debris with the sucking of too much heavy waste and cement.
- Powerful Suction: The upgrade version provides 120-watt powerful suction to meet every cleaning demands, picks up debris and dusts, crumbs and pet hairs in minute.
- 4 Stages High Efficiency Filtration System: Complete sealing design and high-density HEPA filter which captures 99.99% of the microscopic dust.
- Lightweight & Versatile: 2.84lbs lightweight main body enable you easily clean up from floor to high places, and upgraded floor head applied to all surface like hardwood, carpet, tile, vinyl etc.
Filling of cracks in the floor
- Fill the cracks in the floor with the filler or sealer.
- You can do this task very quickly with the help of a bottle having a nozzle in it, squeezing the filler into the cracks of the concrete floor.
- Alternatively, you can fill the cracks by pressing filler with the help of a trowel.
- Before going to the further step, it is essential to let the sealer or filler be dried.
- It would be better if you filled the gaps before applying the primer to the floor and pouring the self-leveling compound on it.
Use a concrete grinder to grind high spots
- Wear the eye mask and protective glasses to start with the grinder.
- Now lay down the disc against the spot that you are planning to grind down.
- Grind down all the marked spots with the concrete grinder, and vacuum the dust from the surface of the floor.
- If you do not have a grinder of your own, you can easily rent a grinder from any hardware store.
- When you work in the basement of any building, you have to place the grinder up and down the stairs.
Application of primer
- When the floor is prepped thoroughly, it is the best time to apply primer with the help of a soft–bristle push broom.
- You can also fill the surface with the paint tray with the help of a paint roller with having long brush handle.
- Spread the primer on the surface evenly, and exert downward pressure to fill the pores in the concrete.
- Now left the floor for 24 hours to get the complete smooth finish after the application of primer.
Mixing of compound
- To get the correct consistency, mix the compound with the mixing paddle in the bucket.
- At this level, it is good to mix the needed number of screed lines.
- The time is crucial for mixing, as 15 to 30 minutes is the proper time during which the compound is spreadable and pourable.
- Two persons should assist each other because one person pours the material and will level it.
Let the concrete leveler dry
- The professional installers suggest that when the concrete leveler is applied on the floor, it should be dried thoroughly.
- Most concrete leveler compounds take less time to dry, and after this, you can apply other types of flooring after this step.
- The essential factor in the drying process is temperature and humidity, making sure the type of floor leveling compound you are opting for.
Benefits of Concrete Leveling
- The self-leveling concrete provides smooth, even flat surfaces in addition to compressive strengths.
- It can be easily installed on ceramic floors, plywood, wooden and at the top of the list are concrete floors.
- It is the best option chosen by commercial and residential installers.
- They are quick and easy to install and also hypoallergenic.
Therefore the benefits of concrete floors are many because there is a significant reduction in costs and repair costs. You can save money by purchasing the opened bags, unattractive bags, or ripped cement according to your need.
How to Level a Concrete Floor: FAQs
What is the cheapest way to level a concrete floor?
The cheapest way to level a concrete floor is to opt for regular drying self-leveling cement, which is available in the market in the form of unattractive and ripped bags.
Can you pour self-leveling concrete over existing concrete?
You can level an existing uneven concrete floor with a layer of new concrete material, but you must prepare the old concrete floor first. Ignoring to prepare the old surface will prevent the new concrete from adhering correctly, resulting in a week bond between the two layers.
How thick can you pour self-leveling concrete?
It depends on the specific product used. But standard thicknesses are between 1/8 inch and I inch. However, it’s possible to get options that pour as thin as 1/25 and as thick as 5 inches.
How much does it cost to level a concrete floor?
The cost of leveling a slab usually averages around $500 to 1500$, but it depends on the size of the area to level, the materials used, and the labor involved. For example, foam leveling will likely cost around $2,000-2,500 for a 100 square foot slab.
How much does it cost to level a floor?
Leveling floor costs up to $2 to 30$ per square foot, depending on the process. For example, some areas with minor low spots might need only a few pounds of self-leveler for $0.50 to $1.50 per pound.
Why is self-leveling concrete so expensive?
The self-leveling floor is a fortified off-the-shelf product that you can pour paper thin with no problems. That’s what it was made for. It is designed for that purpose. It is because the premixed stuff is extraordinarily costly.
Does self-leveling concrete work?
Self-leveling floor works incredibly well with radiant heating installations because it quickly flows around the tubing. Unfortunately, the thicker floor-leveling compounds that must be trowelled to achieve a good finish can’t do this.
How do you hide an uneven floor?
If this requires raising trim off the floor, creating a gap, make a base block to hide it. If your floor has a horrible condition, consider carpet or flooring. Then you can build up a floor by laying short wooden sleepers as needed, covering them with the plywood subfloor.
Does self–leveling concrete crack?
A DIY self-leveling cement job might look good for few months, maybe even a couple of years. But if it’s not done correctly, eventually, it will start to crack. If your floors move or bounce, that cement can break too.
It is evident from the above article information that concrete flooring solutions are best to use for the wide variety of flooring options you have in your residential and commercial purposes. So if you are worried about your floors’ bad conditions and want to improve the structural ability and provide durability, you are free to call our installers and get sincere advice and services.