Leveling Basement Floor


leveling basement floor 1

Leveling Basement Floor

Steps:1. Lay long, straight 2×4 rail across the concrete-slab floor, with one end positioned on the high point in room.2. Slip shims under the low end of the 2×4 rail until it’s perfectly level.3. Use a scribing tool to transfer the unevenness of the floor onto the rail.4. Cut the rail along the scribed line with a circular saw.5. Set the scribed 2×4 rail back into position on the floor and check it for level. If necessary, scribe and cut it again.6. Secure the scribed rail to the slab with construction adhesive.7. Bore pilot holes through the rail and into the concrete using a hammer-drill fitted with carbide-tipped masonry bit.8. Fasten the rail to the slab with masonry nails.9. Lay a second 2×4 rail across the floor, setting one end on top of the first rail.10. Shim the second rail level.11. Adjust the scribing tool to the height of the second rail, then draw a short reference line onto the second rail.12. Widen the legs of the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark.13. Guide the scribing tool along the floor to transfer its unevenness onto the second rail.14. Repeat Steps 4 through 8 to level, trim and install the second rail.15. Cut a third 2×4 rail to span across the two previously installed rails.16. Adjust the scribing tool to the height of the rail underneath one end of the third rail.17. Draw a short reference line onto the third rail, then adjust the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark.18. Follow the floor with the scribing tool to mark a cut line along the third rail.19. Cut and install the third rail, just as you did the previous two rails.20. Use a ½-inch drill fitted with a mixing paddle to mix a bucket of leveling compound.21. Slowly pour leveling compound inside the perimeter of the rails.22. Strike off the excess compound and level the surface using a screed made from a 6-inch-wide straight-edged board. Allow the leveling compound to cure overnight.23. If necessary, repeat this process to level the floor in other parts of the room.
leveling basement floor 1

Leveling Basement Floor

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to resurface an uneven concrete slab. Steps:1. Lay long, straight 2×4 rail across the concrete-slab floor, with one end positioned on the high point in room.2. Slip shims under the low end of the 2×4 rail until it’s perfectly level.3. Use a scribing tool to transfer the unevenness of the floor onto the rail.4. Cut the rail along the scribed line with a circular saw.5. Set the scribed 2×4 rail back into position on the floor and check it for level. If necessary, scribe and cut it again.6. Secure the scribed rail to the slab with construction adhesive.7. Bore pilot holes through the rail and into the concrete using a hammer-drill fitted with carbide-tipped masonry bit.8. Fasten the rail to the slab with masonry nails.9. Lay a second 2×4 rail across the floor, setting one end on top of the first rail.10. Shim the second rail level.11. Adjust the scribing tool to the height of the second rail, then draw a short reference line onto the second rail.12. Widen the legs of the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark.13. Guide the scribing tool along the floor to transfer its unevenness onto the second rail.14. Repeat Steps 4 through 8 to level, trim and install the second rail.15. Cut a third 2×4 rail to span across the two previously installed rails.16. Adjust the scribing tool to the height of the rail underneath one end of the third rail.17. Draw a short reference line onto the third rail, then adjust the scribing tool to span from the floor up to the reference mark.18. Follow the floor with the scribing tool to mark a cut line along the third rail.19. Cut and install the third rail, just as you did the previous two rails.20. Use a ½-inch drill fitted with a mixing paddle to mix a bucket of leveling compound.21. Slowly pour leveling compound inside the perimeter of the rails.22. Strike off the excess compound and level the surface using a screed made from a 6-inch-wide straight-edged board. Allow the leveling compound to cure overnight.23. If necessary, repeat this process to level the floor in other parts of the room.
leveling basement floor 2

Leveling Basement Floor

In many cases, self-leveling toppings serve a purely utilitarian purpose, such as correcting uneven or damaged floors or serving as an underlayment for tile, carpet, or other floor coverings. But you can also use self-leveling overlays for decorative purposes, by adding integral color to the self-leveling system or by enhancing the overlay using stains and dyes. The overlay can be left seamless (except at control joints) or used as a canvas for sawcut or engraved designs. Or you can incorporate decorative inlays, such as strips of wood or metal, by adhering them to the base concrete and then pouring the overlay to the level of the inlay.
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Leveling Basement Floor

An uneven basement floor can either prevent the completion of a basement upgrade, or it can undo your hard work when the tiles crack and water collects. Concrete basement floors settle easily because of their proximity to the foundation of the house and the natural tendency of the materials. Before you can add tile or carpeting to you basement floor, you must level the surface. This task is relatively easy and can be done with inexpensive materials. Follow these steps to level your basement floor.
leveling basement floor 4

Leveling Basement Floor

Spread a layer of bonding adhesive over the basement floor using a nap roller. Wait for the adhesive to dry to the point where it’s no longer wet, but retains the stickiness of the glue on the rear of self-stick paper notes. The adhesive helps to create a bond between the old concrete of the basement floor and the self-leveling compound that will create the new, level floor surface.
leveling basement floor 5

Leveling Basement Floor

6Spread a layer of bonding adhesive over the basement floor using a nap roller. Wait for the adhesive to dry to the point where it’s no longer wet, but retains the stickiness of the glue on the rear of self-stick paper notes. The adhesive helps to create a bond between the old concrete of the basement floor and the self-leveling compound that will create the new, level floor surface.
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Leveling Basement Floor

Clean the basement floor, using a pH-neutral cleanser. Mop the floor clean with the cleanser, and then rinse away cleanser residue with clean water. Allow the floor to completely dry before continuing with the leveling process.
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Leveling Basement Floor

3Clean the basement floor, using a pH-neutral cleanser. Mop the floor clean with the cleanser, and then rinse away cleanser residue with clean water. Allow the floor to completely dry before continuing with the leveling process.
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Self-leveling overlay systems for concrete floors offer numerous advantages. They can correct uneven floors, repair damaged concrete, and provide a smooth and durable new surface for decorative treatments. These flowable polymer-modified toppings have the ability to self level without troweling, making them a quick solution for smoothing and leveling worn or uneven concrete.
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When it comes to mixing and applying the self-leveling compound, closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions, because every product differs slightly. Generally speaking, though, no matter what compound you choose, you’ll need to take similar steps to prepare the basement beforehand. For one thing, it’s important to remove any flaking paint or loose adhesive from the floor to ensure that the compound can get a good grip on the concrete. Also, so you don’t need an excessive quantity of compound, it’s not a bad idea to grind down any spots on the floor that are especially high. And of course, if there’s a drain—and you mentioned that there is one—it must be capped and sealed around the seams of its cap. Word to the wise: Wear cleats in case you need to walk across the compound while it’s still wet.
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Once the self-leveling compound has set, you can proceed to install your chosen flooring. Alternatively, if you’ve had enough DIY for now, remember that you can eschew a finished floor, opting instead to stain, paint, or polish the compound that now forms the top layer of your concrete basement floor slab.
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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.
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Cover floor drains with a plastic pipe the same diameter of the drain, about ½-inch high. Pour the mixed self-leveling compound across the surface of the concrete. Spread the compound out evenly, using a squeegee. As the compound settles in place, it will fill any low areas in the concrete and level itself. Use only a ¼-inch layer of the compound to level the floor, and allow it to dry for the length of time specified by the compound manufacturer. Usually, drying times will be less than 48 hours before you can move items back into the basement.

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