Back to Blog
How to Level a Bad Concrete Floor
Concrete floors are very common in our homes or offices due to their durability. They are also quite slippery since they don’t absorb much water. If you notice that your floor has become uneven, it might be time to level it. Here’s how to do it successfully.
You should never try leveling concrete without professional assistance. You should hire professionals instead of attempting the job yourself for several reasons. For example, you won’t know exactly where the cracks are located, and it would take too long to fix them. Also, it would be dangerous to pour concrete over old concrete.
To level concrete, you’ll only need some tools and materials. First, you’ll want a power drill, a hammer, and a tape measure. Next, mix the cement according to the directions provided by the manufacturer. Then, apply the mixture to the area where you want to level the concrete. Finally, wait until the concrete sets before moving around the room.
What are the Types of Leveling Materials to use on Uneven Concrete Flooring
There are many different types of leveling materials available today. Some are made from natural products, while others are man-made. The most popular types of flooring materials include:
• Sand – This is one of the cheapest options. It can be used as a base layer when leveling concrete. However, sand will not work well if the concrete is already cracked.
• Cement – This is another option that works great with concrete that is already cracked. It comes in two forms: powder and liquid.
• Wood Chips – Wood flooring comes in various sizes and shapes. They are usually mixed with other ingredients such as sawdust and wood fibers.
• Stone Chips – These chips are similar to wood chips but have larger particles. They are often used to fill gaps between stones.
• Plastic Chips – These chips are made from recycled plastic bottles. They are commonly used to create a smooth surface.
• Rubber Chips – These chips are created using recycled tires. They are ideal for creating a smooth surface because they are flexible.
• Foam – This material is used to fill cracks and crevices. It is lightweight and easy to install.
• Polyurethane – This is an alternative to foam. It is more durable than foam.
• Epoxy – This is a strong adhesive that bonds concrete together. It is often used to repair cracks.
• Drywall Joint Compound – This compound is used to fill small holes and cracks. It is easily applied and dries quickly.
• Silicone Sealant – This sealant is used to protect concrete surfaces. It is highly resistant to moisture and heat.
• Waterproofing Material – This material is used for waterproofing purposes. It prevents water from seeping into the walls and causing damage.
• Fiberglass Reinforcement – This reinforcement is used to strengthen concrete. It is especially useful for repairing damaged areas.
• Asphalt – This asphalt is used to patch roads and parking lots. It is also used to make new pavement.
• Lime Mortar – This mortar is used to coat stone or brick. It helps prevent cracking, thus preventing a bad floor level.
• Gypsum Board – This board is used to cover finished floors after construction. It is also used as a sound barrier.
• Ceramic Tile – This tile is used to cover flooring. It is also used indoors and outdoors.
• Slate – This slate is used to cover floors and roofs. It is also used outdoors.
• Marble – This marble is used to cover floors. It is also used outside.
• Granite – This granite is used to cover floors, countertops, and sinks. It is also used outdoor.
• Travertine – This travertine is used to cover floors in bathrooms and kitchens. It is also used on pool decks.
• Limestone – This limestone is used to cover a floor space inside and out. It is also used around pools.
• Sandstone – This sandstone is used to cover floors indoors and out. It is used in landscaping.
• Wood – This wood is used to cover an entire surface both indoors and out. It can be stained and painted.
• Vinyl – This vinyl is used as floor coverings around swimming pools. It is also used inside and out.
How to Use a Self-Leveling Compound for Uneven Floors
Self-leveling compounds are available at most home improvement stores. They come in two types: liquid and powder. Both types work well for leveling uneven floors. The difference between them is how they are mixed. Liquid self-levelers are poured over the area where you want to level the concrete. Powder self-levelers are sprinkled onto the concrete and then tamped down with a roller. Once the mixture has dried, it will level itself. You may need to add more of the powder if you have wet concrete.
If you have an existing concrete slab that needs to be repaired, you should use a fiberglass mesh instead of a concrete leveler compound. A fiberglass mesh is made of glass fibers that are woven together. When placed under the concrete, these fibers help hold the entire floor in place while it dries.
If you have a large area of concrete that needs to be leveled, you might consider using a power sander. These machines are designed to smooth concrete surfaces. However, they cannot be used on porous concrete because the dust from the machine would cause damage.
Application of Layers of Leveling Cement to Uneven Concrete Subfloors
When applying layers of cement to uneven concrete subfloors, make sure to apply enough cement so that when the first layer sets, there is no gap between the cement's top surface and the concrete's bottom surface. If there is a gap due to loose debris, water could seep into the concrete. Water can weaken the concrete and cause it to crack.
The best way to apply cement to uneven concrete subfloors is to use a floatation mat. These mats are made of polyurethane foam. They allow the cement to set without sinking into the concrete and create a level surface.
Apply the cement as follows:
1. Remove any loose dirt or debris from the concrete.
2. Apply a thin coat of cement to the entire area where you plan to lay the new concrete.
3. Wait until the cement has completely hardened before moving on to the next step.
4. Using a rubber mallet, tap the cement flat against the floor. Continue tapping until all air bubbles disappear.
5. Let the cement dry overnight.
6. Apply another thin coat of cement to fill in any areas that were not covered by the previous coat.
7. Tap the cement flat again. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until the cement is applied evenly across the entire area.
8. Allow the cement to dry overnight.
9. Lay the concrete patch.
10. Smooth the edges with a putty knife.
11. Fill any holes with mortar.
12. Seal the concrete with a sealer.
13. Enjoy the tacky finish!
Bonus: Use Concrete Grinder for your Garage Floors
If you have garage floors that have been damaged by moisture, you can repair it by grinding away the old concrete and replacing it with fresh concrete. This process requires a concrete grinder.
A concrete grinder is a tool that uses a rotating drum to grind away concrete. It is similar to a rotary hammer drill but smaller. Some models also include a vibrating mechanism that helps break up the concrete.
Before you start, remove any nails or other objects that could get caught in the grinder. Also, wear safety goggles and gloves.
To begin, turn off the electricity to the garage. Then, attach a hose to the exhaust port of the grinder. Next, plug the grinder into an outlet. Turn it on and let it run for about 10 minutes.
After this time, stop the grinder and check the concrete. You will see small pieces of concrete scattered around the garage. The goal is to leave only clean concrete behind.
Next, spray some water onto the concrete. Use a garden hose if possible. If not, then use a bucket filled with water.
After the concrete has dried, repeat the process. Keep doing this until the concrete looks smooth.
Once the concrete is finished, finish the job by sealing it. For this, mix two parts sand to one part Portland cement. Mix the mixture well and spread it over the concrete using a trowel.
Allow the concrete to dry for at least 24 hours before driving on it.