Many floors are either made of concrete or have concrete underneath due to the durability that concrete provides. But whether you want to leave your concrete floor as-is or refinish it in some way, the floor being uneven can really throw a wrench in your plans. That’s why we’ve done the research for you so that you can learn how to level an uneven concrete floor yourself.
Leveling a concrete floor isn’t that difficult as long as you use the right tools and products and follow the correct steps. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to level your concrete floor:
- Prepare the room.
- Fill in any cracks.
- Apply leveling primer.
- Mix and apply concrete leveler.
As you can see, there aren’t too many steps that you need to take to level your concrete floor. However, there are a lot of tools involved and it’s important that you do these steps properly, especially if you’re adding flooring on top of the concrete. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the details you need. Continue reading to learn more.
- 1 Tools And Materials
- 2 How To Level An Uneven Concrete Floor
- 3 What Is The Cheapest Way To Level A Concrete Floor?
- 4 Can I Use Regular Concrete To Level A Floor?
- 5 How Do You Level An Uneven Concrete Base?
- 6 How To Level Low Spots On A Concrete Patio
- 7 Can You Pour Self-Leveling Concrete Over Existing Concrete?
- 8 How Much Does It Cost To Level An Uneven Concrete Floor?
- 9 In Closing
Tools And Materials
First things first, before you can level your concrete floor, it is important that you have the proper tools and materials. Here is a list of everything you’ll need in the order that you’ll need it:
- Scraper or putty knife
- Broom or shop vac
- Concrete filler
- Hand trowel
- Concrete grinder
- Leveling primer
- Paint tray
- Long-handle paint roller
- Concrete leveler
- 5-gallon bucket
- Drill with mixing paddle
- Long-handle squeegee
How To Level An Uneven Concrete Floor
Now that you’ve gathered all of the materials, it’s time to start leveling the floor. As long as you do it carefully and correctly, you can complete this project in as little as a weekend. Follow these steps.
1. Prepare The Room
The first thing you need to do is prepare the room by removing any obstacles and giving the floor a good cleaning. Remove any furniture and anything else on the floor out of the way and into a separate room.
If the room has a baseboard around the walls, you will need to use a scraper or putty knife to gently pry it off the wall. This is necessary to give you the most accurate view of how uneven the floor is so that you can level it properly.
If you removed any old flooring such as tiles or carpeting, make sure that none remains on the floor. If the concrete is chipping in any areas, use a scraper to remove any loose pieces. Then, sweep the floor to remove any dust and dirt. If you have one, you can use a shop vacuum instead.
The last thing you need to do to prepare the room is to slide a piece of wood underneath any doors or nail it to the door frame. This is to keep any of the products that you’re using from getting underneath the doorway and onto the floor in another room.
2. Fill In Any Cracks
Next, you will need to fill in any cracks or dents with concrete filler. Squeeze the concrete filler into the cracks until they are filled. Then, use a hand trowel to spread out the filler and press it to compact it. You will need to let the concrete filler completely dry before moving forward.
As the concrete filler dries, you can make your way around the room with your level and chalk, marking areas that are noticeably higher or lower than the floor around it. For mounds that are higher, you can save leveling product by grinding the mounds down with a concrete grinder.
Unless you already have one, there’s no need to go out and buy one. You should be able to rent a concrete grinder at your local home improvement store.
3. Apply Leveling Primer
After the concrete filler has dried, it’s time to apply the leveling primer. This step shouldn’t be skipped, as it will ensure that the concrete leveler adheres properly. Primer will also act as a sealer to the cracks that you filled in, as well as prevent air bubbles and water loss.
The square footage of your room will determine how much primer you need. In general, a quart of primer can cover up to 100 square feet while a gallon of primer is usually enough for areas up to 400 square feet.
The easiest way to apply the primer is to pour it into a paint tray and use a long-handled paint roller to apply it. But if the room is larger, you can pour the primer onto the floor and use a push broom to spread it out.
Spread the primer out as evenly as possible. Then allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Let the primer dry for at least three hours. It is best to let it dry overnight. Just don’t allow more than 24 hours between applying the primer and leveler.
4. Mix And Apply Concrete Leveler
After the primer has dried, you can apply the concrete leveler. But first, you have to mix the leveling compound with water to properly prepare it. Most concrete leveling compound comes in a 50-pound bag. To do this, mix the contents of the bag with five quarts of water in your five-gallon bucket.
Use an electric drill with a mixing paddle attachment to thoroughly mix the compound and water until it has a smooth consistency. After mixing, you will need to work quickly because the concrete leveler will start to harden after about 30 minutes.
Pour the concrete leveler onto the floor and use a long-handled squeegee to spread it out so that it coats the entire floor, including the edges and corners. At this point, gravity will be on your side as it will help create a level surface.
The material will start to harden and will be dry enough to walk on in about 4-6 hours. If you’re planning on installing new hard flooring on top of the concrete, such as wood or tile, you can do so after this time period. For carpet, you should wait until 16-24 hours have passed.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Level A Concrete Floor?
The cheapest way to level a concrete floor is the method that was mentioned in this article. None of the equipment needed costs very much unless you purchase a concrete grinder. It is important that you don’t skip out on any of the steps, as they will give you the most desirable results.
Can I Use Regular Concrete To Level A Floor?
It is better to use leveling concrete as opposed to regular concrete when leveling a floor. The reason is that regular concrete requires a lot more water in order to bring it to a consistency that can be easily poured. Using leveling concrete over regular concrete takes some of the time and expense out of leveling the floor.
How Do You Level An Uneven Concrete Base?
The steps for repairing an uneven concrete base are not much different than the steps for repairing a concrete floor. The only difference is that instead of applying the leveler to the entire base, you can just apply it to the areas that are lower.
To do this, lay a 2x4 piece of wood onto the concrete base. Mix the concrete leveler the same way to did before, and apply it only to the lower areas. Use a trowel to smooth out the leveler. The leveler will start to harden after about 30 minutes, but you should wait about 4 hours before walking on it.
How To Level Low Spots On A Concrete Patio
You can level low spots on a concrete patio by following the same instructions listed for the concrete base. It is not necessary to level the whole patio, just the low spots. Just remember to sweep and clean the area thoroughly first, repair any cracks, and then wait a full 24 hours before placing furniture or anything heavy onto the patio.
Can You Pour Self-Leveling Concrete Over Existing Concrete?
Yes, you can. But when you do, it is important to clean the area thoroughly by sweeping at the very least. If the concrete is outside, you may want to go as far as to pressure wash it. Then, you will still want to fill in any cracks and prime the area before pouring self-leveling concrete.
How Much Does It Cost To Level An Uneven Concrete Floor?
The cost of having a concrete floor leveled by a professional varies depending on where you live and what you want to be done. Most places will charge depending on square feet, and it can cost anywhere from $1 to $50 per square foot. You can usually do the work a lot cheaper yourself, especially if you already have the tools, for around or less than $200.
You can level your uneven concrete floor in the span of a weekend. Simply follow the steps we laid out above and your floor should be level! Best of luck to you.