Basement Floor: How to Level
LESLIE: David in New York listens to The Money Pit on WABC. What can we do for you here at The Money Pit?
DAVID: Yes, my name is Dave. I live up in Brewster, New York and I have a house that was built in 1834 and I have a little problem that maybe you can help me with.
DAVID: Well, the house is built on a Fieldstone foundation. And it gets a little bit – a little bit damp. I’ve tried my best to keep it as dry I could. And I – it’s an unfinished concrete floor that was poured in different portions. It wasn’t something that a cement truck came and put a nice slab down. I think it was probably a dirt floor that eventually they added little pieces of concrete here and there.
What I’d like to know is what kind of a finish can I put on that floor? I tried one finish, like this lock. It’s called Water Lock and I put it down and it looked good for a while. But it started flaking off. I was just wondering if there’s anything I can use.
LESLIE: So, is your goal to have a floor that looks attractive or are you hoping to have a level floor and then make it attractive?
DAVID: Well, I’ll tell you. While I’d like to have a level floor – and I’m just looking for something that you don’t get dust from because what I noticed, I could sweep that floor like twice a week and still get a shovel full of grit from this – the old concrete.
TOM: You know, any type of a paint that you put on there is not going to reduce this problem because your issue here is a deteriorated concrete surface.
TOM: You have to use a concrete resurfacer first. There is a product …
LESLIE: What about coating the floor with AboCrete?
TOM: You beat me to it. (chuckling)
LESLIE: We did the same for our basement. We had a lot of moisture. The concrete subfloor was crumbling. We didn’t know about it because it was under carpeting. When we took it up, it was a mess. Well, four bags of AboCrete later and, you know, working on the floor, it’s basically a compound that adheres to the concrete. It’s leveling and it makes that surface even and durable. And then we went and put a laminate floor over it. But you, at that point then, could do an epoxy coating, which gives you a super-shiny, sealed-in, nice color that is durable and you won’t be sweeping up any dust from the concrete with that.
DAVID: So in other words – so in other words, like I would trowel on – trowel it on the spots where I want to level it off? But what would I do with the rest of the surface? Just put a skim coat on top of if?
TOM: You’re going to have to put a skim coat across the whole surface.
TOM: Yeah. The product is made by Abatron – A-b-a-t-r-o-n.
LESLIE: I love that name.
TOM: Go to Abatron.com and you can find a place to actually buy it online …
LESLIE: A retailer list.
TOM: … or find a retailer. Now, once you have the material down, you know, then you can use like an epoxy; a two-part epoxy garage floor paint or a basement floor paint. Like QUIKRETE makes one, for example. Or Rust-Oleum makes one. Those are all good. But if you have bad – if you have a deteriorated concrete surface, then the paint’s just going to come right up again. That’s why you have to restore this concrete surface first.
DAVID: Guys, thank you very much. You’ve got a great show. Keep up the great work.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.