Leveling a Concrete Basement Floor
LESLIE: We’ve got Jan in South Dakota on the line who needs some help with leveling a basement floor. Not a terribly difficult project but a big one. How can we help you?
JAN: We’re planning to remodel the lower level of a townhouse. And what we’d like to do is retile the traffic areas, which is the hallway and also a bathroom and utility room. But there’s a bedroom with a closet on an outside wall and a utility room in the – in sort of the center of the rooms that has an unlevel floor.
So my question is: is there a way to relevel the concrete floor before we resurface it?
TOM: Yeah. I mean there’s a product called a “leveling compound” – a “floor-leveling compound” – that, essentially, you can mix up and pour on the floor and trowel out and use it to level floors. And so that’s really your only option. But how out of level is this floor? Is it really visually bothersome? Because I would suspect that it’s a big project for you to level it and it might be easier just to sort of adjust things around it.
JAN: OK. Like relevel the appliances and …?
TOM: Yeah, exactly. It’s just a – it’s kind of a pain in the neck to level the entire floor.
JAN: Is it expensive?
TOM: To have it professionally done, I would say yes. Evening out or leveling a floor yourself isn’t terribly expensive, but then again, it’s not the kind of thing that you could just pick up and do. It does require some skills to get it done right.
JAN: You would just get a long board to use as a trowel?
TOM: There are products that are self-leveling products and they’re usually good for more minor leveling jobs, say, up to being 1 inch out of level. So if you choose a floor-leveling compound that’s designed for self-leveling, essentially, what you do is you mix it up, say, like in a 5-gallon bucket and then you pour it out and it will seek its own level. But you have to keep going back, mixing more, pouring it, mixing more, pouring it. And then you can kind of trowel it out as it starts to level out. And then, at one point, it will meet the original floor.
So, that’s an option for you is to use a self-leveling compound.
JAN: That sounds great.