To keep water from pooling, and to prepare concrete floors for installing flooring, you may at times find it necessary to apply a floor leveler. Even for the inexperienced handyman or homeowner, applying these floor levelers is no more difficult than painting the floor. With the right instructions and a list of needed materials, you will find this project to be quite simple.
Step 1 – Cleaning your Floor
Avoid the frustration of applying a floor leveler on a floor that is dirty, dusty, or has debris scattered on it. Before applying your leveler, start with a clean floor. Sweep it to remove dirt and debris, and damp mop it to remove dust that can prevent the leveler from adhering properly to the concrete floor.
Step 2 – Mixing and Applying Your Primer
Before purchasing your primer, check the concrete surface on which you plan to apply your primer. If this surface is more porous, as it often is with older floors, you will need enough primer for 2 coats. If you are in doubt about the floor's porosity, apply a small amount of water to the floor's surface. A porous surface will take longer to dry. To mix your primer, remove the primer can lid and stir with a paint stir stick until the primer color in the can is even. Pour onto the concrete floor an amount of primer small enough for you to work with it. Spread the primer with a paint roller, being sure to cover the entire surface before moving on to the next area. Allow the primer to dry. If, after it has dried, you see areas that seem dryer, apply a second coat.
Step 3 – Mixing the Leveler
In a 5 gallon bucket add a third of a bag of powdered concrete leveler. Add water, and use a variable speed drill with an attached stirring paddle to mix the leveler and water to a consistency of pea soup. Mix only enough of the leveler that you can apply and spread it before it has hardened. If necessary mix more batches, then apply them.
Step 4 – Applying the Leveler
As you begin applying the leveler to the concrete surface, keep in mind you will have only about 10 minutes working time, after the leveler is mixed. Work small areas. You'll need to complete your application before this time has run out. Pour some of the leveler on the concrete surface that you're planning to fill. Use a soft bristle broom to spread the leveler. To avoid having to sand the edges down, be sure to feather them as you spread the leveler. Apply in small rows, finishing each row before beginning the next. Allow the leveler to flow to its own level, evenly covering the edges between rows. When finished applying your mixed leveler compound to all depresses areas of your concrete floor, check to be sure one application will be enough. Then, allow it to completely dry.