How to level out or grind down concrete basement floor?

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Builders use concrete as a building material for housing foundations because of its strength and durability. Once placed, a concrete slab will last the lifetime of your home, providing the solid basis for the entire structure. Unfortunately, even the best-poured concrete slab may retain high and low points across its surface. These high and low points can prove problematic when the time comes to improve your basement, making it difficult to lay tiles, carpeting or floorboards. Leveling the floor can fix the problem, removing the uneven area and leaving you with a smooth, level surface that’s suitable for any floor covering material you may desire to install.

Remove any trim on the bottom of the walls surrounding the perimeter of the basement floor, using the prybar to push the flat end of the prybar beneath the trim at points where the nails secure the trim to the walls. Apply pressure to the prybar, pulling the trim away from the wall. Proceed down the length of the trim,...

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Remove all of the furniture and appliances from the room. If there are baseboards, you should consider removing them until the floor is leveled.

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Use a piece of chalk to mark all obvious high spots on the floor with an "x" and any dips with an "o."

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Working in small sections, sweep a carpenter's level over the entire floor, marking high spots and dips with the chalk.

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Mix a batch of concrete repair mix according to the manufacturer's directions, and fill in any cracks or low spots deeper than...

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Photo: shutterstock.com

I’d like some advice on how to level a concrete floor. We plan to finish the basement in my house, and there are going to be a couple of sump pumps, so we no longer need the old drain in the middle of the floor. Thanks!

There is no one way to level a concrete floor. Of all the methods available to do-it-yourselfers, which should you employ? That largely depends on how level you want to make the concrete. And that question, in turn, hinges on a related but different question: What type of flooring do you plan to install in your basement?

If you envision carpeting or another type of floor that forgives minor variations in subfloor grade, such as engineered wood or click-and-lock vinyl, then you can probably opt for the least labor-intensive method. Here, a concrete grinder would do the bulk of the work. (You can rent this tool from your local home center.) You’d use it to grind down the most prominent ridges in the floor. To finish the...

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Ensuring that concrete flooring is level is critical when you wish to apply floor coverings such as carpet, wood planking, and tile over it. Follow these guidelines to level a slab of concrete flooring inside a room of an existing building, prior to laying a new interior floor.

Step 1: Empty and Clean the Concrete Floor Area

Remove all furniture, vehicles, boxes, rugs and other items from the entire area of the concrete floor to be leveled. Sweep the floor area with a heavy-duty broom, picking up dust, hair, and other debris. Vacuum the area well with a heavy-duty shop-vac style vacuum cleaner. Go over the entire floor with a polisher with coarse grit sandpaper attached to the rotating heads, and then vacuum once more to remove the concrete dust.

Step 2: Find the High and Low Spots in the Concrete Floor

Use a carpenter's framing square and 2 long pieces of wood planking that you have checked are straight to examine the...

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First and foremost, see if you need to level any part of the floor AT ALL.

Take a handful (or 2 or 3) of small marbles and drop them all over the floor.

a. If they distribute fairly evenly, all you need to do is seal the crack.
b. If they gather in concentrated areas, these are the low points of the floor, and you need now to determine how low. Take a level and a measuring tape. Level off from the highest point around the gathered marbles that you find and measure down to the lowest point visible. This way, you will know both what, and how much, material to buy to correct.
c. If the measurement is greater than 1/2 inch, you need to put a skim coat of bond-able concrete over it. If it is less than 1/2, a self leveling compound should be used.
d. Basement floors crack. Go to your hardware store and purchase a tube of Silicon filler, made for concrete, and apply. It is inexpensive and easy to apply.
e. Wait an extra day, from the recommended day at...

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Leveling a concrete floor takes lots of prep work and if not done right can be incredibly expensive to repair.

If your finished product is either tile or the concrete floor itself, the concrete will have to be more or less perfectly even and smooth. When installing compact tiles, the rule of thumb is...

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Foundations can settle, concrete can expand or contract and faulty previous workmanship can create a host of problems with a basement floor. Uneven floors make it difficult to lay carpet, tile or other floor covering and they also affect the aesthetics of a finished basement. The main problem with a basement floor being uneven is that it's generally made from concrete, which is a hard, unyielding material. In order to level a floor that won't bend, you have to add material to the low spots which will balance out the high spots.

To begin, you must remove any covering from the concrete itself and any furniture, baseboards or other items on the floor. Remember, your floor might wind up being higher than when you started because the high point could have risen above the original plane of the basement.

Self-leveling compound

The material you will use in order to raise the low spots up to be level with the higher spots is called Self-leveling Compound, or SLC. It's...

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More often than not, while indulging in a construction project for the basement, you are confronted by a hurdle that you never thought of; uneven flooring. If you want to tile your basement or even carpet it, it is important that the flooring of the basement be completely leveled and have absolutely no inconsistencies. Having a level floor also ensures that there will be no problems of having water collect in your basement. Leveling the flooring is a weekend project that you can do yourself.

Instructions

Having an uneven flooring can be an eyesore and even in the scenario that you intend to leave your basement flooring as it is, there are chances that you would want to level it, just to make it look more appealing.

The things that you will need for the project include a broom, a dustpan, pry bar, hammer, caulking gun, concrete caulk, expansion tape, trowel, leveling compound, bucket, wheelbarrow (optional), stirrer, water, and a rake. The process of leveling a...

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Sounds like a big dusty, sweaty job. I have four options, still not sure which one to pick.

1. Have the tiles laid with a gradual slope down toward the room with the wood floor; the floor won't be level, spilled water in the kitchen will head straight toward the wood floor, kitchen island will need to be shimmed to make it level.

2. or hire someone to grind down the slab region that is higher; big expensive messy job.

3. or tear out all of the wood floor and bring the other slab higher; very expensive re-flooring of almost the whole house.

4. or create a floor transition between tile and wood that has a step-down to the lower wood floor.

The divide between the tile and wood floor is an opening between two rooms that has an arch (like an entire wall that is open, with just an arch at the...

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An unfinished basement used for storage and exercise

A former

Stasi

basement hallway

Cellars are often used in

pubs

to keep beer barrels connected to the bar at ground level.

A basement or cellar is one or more floors of a building that are either completely or partially below the ground floor. [1] are generally used as a utility space for a building where such items as the boiler, water heater, breaker panel or fuse box, car park, and air-conditioning system are located; so also are amenities such as the electrical distribution system, and cable television distribution point. However, in cities with high property prices such as London, basements are often fitted out to a high standard and used as living space.

In British English, the word basement is used for underground floors of, for example, department stores, but the word is only used with houses when the space below their ground floor is habitable, with windows and (usually) its...

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By Mark J. Donovan

To minimize dust, which can be horrific when grinding concrete, make sure the grinder includes a vacuum or dust collector if dry grinding. Also make sure you buy the right pads and discs. Keep in mind that a series of disks are required in the process of grinding and polishing a concrete floor.

Concrete Floor Leveling with Self Leveling Compounds

Self leveling compounds can be tricky to work with when leveling a concrete floor. Make sure to carefully read the instructions prior to applying the leveling compound over the concrete. Typically high spots should be ground down first and any horizontal cracks in the slab should be filled with crack filler prior to applying the self leveling compound.

If you have plans of directly attaching a wood floor or tile product with an adhesive backing to the concrete slab, make sure to apply a waterproof cement product prior to applying the self leveling compound. Otherwise the moisture that...

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Basement flooring does not play by the normal rules of flooring.

Even when the weather is dry, basement flooring can leach residual moisture in the form of vapor due to its close proximity to the ground. In deluges, basements can be the scene of up-to-your-ankles flooding that we all fear and which keeps the insurance companies in business.

So your primary thought with basement flooring is always moisture: how to avoid it and how to wring the flooring dry in the event you cannot avoid it.

Understand... Below Grade vs. Above Grade

"Below grade" flooring does not refer to cheap, sub-standard flooring.

"Grade" is what a contractor, architect, or designer may say instead of "ground-level."

Everything above grade is safe from water vapor migration. It is safe, too, from most normal instances of flooding.

Everything at or below grade is at risk of water vapor damage and even mild flooding.

Below-grade, then, usually means the...

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They Create Customized Stained Concrete, Polished Concrete, Stamped Concrete, Concrete Countertops And More (superb How To Stain Concrete Basement Floor #1)

How To Stain Concrete Basement Floor was posted on December 17, 2016 at 8:36 pm. This post is published on the Floor category. How To Stain Concrete Basement Floor is tagged with How To Stain Concrete Basement Floor, How, To, Stain, Concrete, Basement, Floor..

How

how1 (hou),USA pronunciation adv. in what way or manner;
by what means?: How did the accident happen? to what extent, degree, etc.?: How damaged is the car? in what state or condition?: How are you? for what reason;
why?: How can you talk such nonsense? to what effect;
with what meaning?: How is one to interpret his action? what?: How do you mean? If they don't have vanilla, how about chocolate? (used as an intensifier): How seldom I go there! by what title or name?: How does one address the president? at what...
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DIYer here, not an expert. This sounds like a job for self leveler—except that stuff sucks.

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The idea is that you poor it out and it will seek it's own level like water to raise the floor to the level of the hump, rather than trying to ground down the hump.

1. It doesn't level as glass smooth as the marketing suggests, at least not for larger areas. If it is a small bathroom or similar, it may work well for you, but I would use it as a last resort.

2. One bag will yield one large bucket full and cover around 50 sf. depending on how high the hump is. If you have to mix more than one bucket, you have to mix the second bucket long enough to mix properly. That amount of time makes it difficult to poor the second batch quick enough. The first poor may begin to thicken fast enough that the second (or more) poor may not blend smoothly and you may get a ridge where the two separate bucket fulls meet.

3. It is very hard to get a...

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Repairing cracks in a basement concrete floor

A DIY Guide for the homeowner who wants to repair a cracked concrete floor.

Most cracks in basement floors can be repaired by yourself with a do it yourself epoxy concrete crack repair kit.

Basement floors crack for a many reasons:

1. Newly poured concrete shrinks when it dries. If no expansion joints are cut into the concrete floor then shrinkage cracks will likely appear. These are quite common.

2. The sub-base wasn't properly compacted and the concrete settled in one area causing the basement floor to sink and crack.

3. While under construction, the basement floor isn't heated in the winter and the dirt under the concrete freezes, causing it to expand. The sub-base heaves and lifts the basement floor, causing it to crack.

There are some other reasons like, the concrete was poured too wet, or too much calcium chloride was added to the mix and it dried too fast, or the concrete was improperly...

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How To Level a Floor TIPS

DEAR TIM: It's time for me to install some ceramic tile and hardwood flooring. I read on your website that it's really important for the subfloor to be flat and level if at all possible. Since I don't want the tile to crack and the hardwood to squeak, what are some great ways to achieve a nice, flat level floor? Are there special methods or tools one can use? Craig V., Evanston, IL

DEAR CRAIG: I found out the hard way what happens when you don't take the time to get a subfloor flat and level prior to covering it with either tile or hardwood.

Cracked Tile

Many years ago I was installing tile on a commercial restaurant job, and when the heavy cooking vessel was placed in the kitchen, the tile beneath each foot cracked. There were small low spots under these tiles, and the weight of the fixture pushed the tiles down causing them to crack. It was a nightmare to repair.

More Than Flat

Before we get started on your...

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[This article was originally published in 2008. I have aggregated all of the articles from our Self Leveling project into a new, more complete article with links to each of the individual articles, including the one below. Complete article: How to Pour Self Leveler Over a Large Area]

Our basement radiant heated flooring install required us to pour a self-leveling underlayment (aka self-leveling mortar or self-leveling cement) over our ThermoTile radiant heating wire to achieve a level surface for tiling. I’ll say up front, our results were not perfect, but I don’t think it is the fault of the product. Read further for details.

Our Choice: LevelQuik ES

We chose Custom’s LevelQuik ES for the job. LevelQuik ES is an extended-setting SLU that provides 15 minutes of “free flow” time and allows another 15 minutes of “working” time if you rough the surface of the pour. It can be poured up to 2” thick and feather-edged to less than 1/16”, making it ideal for smoothing...

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Self levelling seems a bit overkill, bringing up the entire rest of the area to deal with a 3x3 bump. You might want to consider renting a jackhammer and completely removing the 3x3 area, then re-filling with new cement. This would be the easiest method to make it level, but may take more time.

A grinder would be the simplest. It doesn't matter if you grind it perfectly level as it will be covered with the laminate and underlay. Just get a grinder (you can buy one for less than $40, no need to rent) and whatever the recommended concrete blade is.

It will be messy, but so are most rennovations. Block off the room from other areas of the house during the grinding, wear a good dust mask and goggles, and wipe the whole place down once you are...

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A garage floor sealer sounds simple enough when you want to seal the concrete in your garage, but did you know that they come in two categories? Topical sealers, such as epoxy coatings, polyurethanes, polyaspartics, and acrylics, are an example. Penetrating sealers is another. So which do you choose? What are you trying to accomplish? Which is best for your application? Getting bewildered yet? Don’t worry, it’s not as confusing as it might seem at first.

Sealing the concrete in the garage is one of many garage flooring options available today. Many times you are working on the premise of protecting the bare gray concrete for a nice clean look at the most economical cost.

However, the many colored epoxy and paint coatings available on the market today are technically sealers as well. We will look at the different type of garage floor sealers available, discuss their properties, and learn how they will work on your garage floor.

Topical Garage Floor...

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ArmorGarage Instant Crack Repair Epoxy is an amazing 2 part (1:1 mix ratio) epoxy putty that you mix together to permanently and instantly repair all types of cracks, chips and divots and then immediately be able to paint over the repairs. Extra thick so it even works on vertical surfaces! Can fill cracks up to 3/8" wide without the use of aggregate. For larger/deeper cracks, see our Joint & Crack Compound. Cures to a super rock hard surface that will not crack or chip out ever. Apply after cleaning and etching of the garage floor. Can be painted over with any of our garage epoxies IMMEDIATELY, no need to wait for the compound to harden! You can also let it cure for 48 hrs and grind down smooth if necessary.

Coverage is 500 lineal feet of 1/8" x 1/8" size cracks for the qt size kit, 2000 lineal feet for the 2 gal kit. Less coverage for larger cracks. Gray color only.

Note:

If filling in expansion joints(joints with flexible materials in them) that incur slab...

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By Todd Fratzel on Basements, Framing, Insulation

Basement Insulation – Walls

Basement insulation is far more complicated than insulating regular wood framed walls. In fact, improperly insulated basement walls are one of the biggest reasons for mold in homes. If you don’t do this correctly you’ll be exposing your family to dangerous mold exposure. In this article I’ll show you How To Insulate Basement Walls properly.

It’s All About Water Vapor

Basement Insulation is difficult to understand because of water vapor issues. While this is a topic best left to another article entirely, it’s important to realize that there are two sources of significant water vapor in a basement. Just like in the rooms above the basement, water vapor from inside the room wants to escape to the outside.

In addition, and likely more serious, is water vapor escaping from the concrete wall and trying to escape to inside the finished room. Concrete looks just like a...

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