LEVELING CONCRETE FLOORS
Deciding how to level a concrete floor depends on how level it needs to be and what it is that’s making it unlevel in the first place. Large cracks with heaving or settling may require major tear-out and repair, but for most applications, such as installing flooring, the process is less dramatic.
Forgiving floors like carpet or click-and-lock planks can tolerate a certain amount of variation in the floor surface because of the padding under it. Prominent ridges and high spots can be levelled with a concrete grinder and dips or depressions filled in with small amounts of concrete patching. But for glue-down flooring like tile and hardwood, you’re going to need the floor to be level and smooth.
To avoid ridges and dips, smaller tiles need to have a floor that has less than ¼” difference between the highest and lowest spot along a ten-foot span. Larger tiles and most solid wood flooring requires that difference to be ⅛” or less over ten feet. That’s where a leveling compound comes into play.
Before applying the leveling compound, any baseboards and trim should be removed. High spots should be ground down, otherwise it will take an excessive amount of compound to get a level surface. Any loose material like flaking paint, spalled or chipped concrete, or old adhesive needs to be removed along with any grease or oil stains, and most leveling compounds recommend a light shot-blasting of the surface to improve adhesion. Depending on the leveling product, a surface primer may also be needed. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them carefully for best results using their product.
Once the floor is properly prepped, mix the leveler according to instructions and pour it onto the surface, spreading it with a squeegee if needed. It’s a good idea to wear cleats in case you need to walk across the compound while it’s wet.
As with most jobs, planning and prep make the work easier and longer-lasting. Using the leveler is the easy part, and once it’s applied it dries remarkably fast and strong, often ready for flooring in just a few hours.
Using the right tools and techniques ensure a professional job and results you’ll be proud to show off. Whatever your concrete cutting, coring, and finishing requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results.