How to Smooth an Uneven or Damaged Concrete Floor
Concrete floors are common fixtures inside of the garage, but with modern home designs becoming more and more appealing, they're slowly make their way inside. While you might not care what your garage floor looks like, it's likely that you will want a smoother, unblemished surface for your indoors. Fortunately, you don't have to deal with dips, holes, and cracks. The work may be challenging, but you can turn an uneven, damaged concrete floor into a smooth, level surface without the cost of a pro.
Step 1 - Move Furniture
Start by removing everything from the room that covers floor space, including furniture and area rugs, and place it all in an adjacent room.
Step 2 - Evaluate
Next, measure the surface with your tape measure and jot these numbers down on a piece of paper. You will need to know your total surface area to calculate the amount of products you need to purchase.
Then, determine the overall condition of the concrete. Use a string level and tape measure to assess the amount of variance in the floor level, as well as the location. Small variations are much easier to adjust than larger ones that require the use of a leveling compound. Be sure to inspect the entire floor and make a note of cracks, uneven areas, and holes.
Step 3 - Remove Coatings or Sealer
If your flooring has a sealer on it, this will need to come off before you can make any adjustments; otherwise, the new material may not bond properly. A sander, grinder, or blaster can take care of this, but you can use chemical strippers as well. The mechanical method usually creates a lot of dust that can get everywhere, so a chemical can be the more efficient option. Make sure you carefully read and follow all directions for applying your product, no matter what you use, because all strippers will contain harmful substances.
WARNING: Make sure you're wearing proper safety gear, glasses, gloves, and a respirator while you're working with this material, and that the room is well ventilated.
Step 4 - Clean the Floor
Now that the sealer or coating has been removed, you'll need to clean the surface thoroughly. Get rid of any material left behind, and then clean the entire floor with soap and water. Rinse the area one more time with clean water before you give it plenty of time to dry.
Step 5 - Determine the Solution
If you have a mostly level surface with just a few minor holes and cracks, use an epoxy coating you can apply just like paint. On the other hand, if your cement floor is extremely uneven or has large holes or cracks, you will need a leveling compound to smooth it. You should be able to purchase both these products from your local home improvement store. Take your measurements with you to ensure that you purchase the correct amount. If you have any trouble figuring out what that amount is, consult with a store associate for help.
Step 6 - Apply
Follow the instructions on your product to apply it to the floor. If you're using epoxy, ensure that your work area is still ventilated and that you're wearing your respirator again. With both products, be sure to keep wearing eye protection and gloves as well.
Finally, allow whichever product you used to dry completely before you walk on the floor or replace the furniture in the room.
This is the easiest way to smooth out your concrete floor. Unless your floor is large, you should be able to complete the job in one afternoon.