How to Level a Basement Floor

Lead Image
  • 6-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $50-150
What You'll Need
Self-leveling compound
Concrete trowel or rake
Concrete caulk and caulking gun with trowel
Bucket or wheelbarrow and stirring rod
Broom and dustpan
Expansion tape

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. It also makes it harder to install flooring in the first place. 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 your 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.

Step 1 - Clean the Floor

Remove all boxes, furniture, and other objects from the floor of your basement. Having done that, sweep all debris out of the area and collect it in a dustpan for removal.

Step 2 - Fill Holes

A basement rec room.

If your concrete floor has cracks or chips, use a caulking gun with concrete caulk to repair any abnormalities. Follow the instructions according to the caulk manufacturer for the application. Be careful to properly trowel any excess caulk that protrudes from the surface of the concrete. Allow the caulk to dry.

Step 3 - Seal the Perimeter With Expansion Tape

Use expansion tape to lay a perimeter around the basement floor. The tape should lie at the edges of the concrete floor where the ground meets the wall at a right angle. This tape is helpful both at leveling the compound in the next step and at strengthening the new surface of the floor.

Step 4 - Mix and Pour the Self-Leveling Material

A finished basement.

Using a wheelbarrow or large bucket, mix the self-leveling material according to the instructions. Manufacturers generally advise mixing the material with water and stirring it carefully. Having mixed the compound to the appropriate consistency, carefully pour it as evenly as possible in straight lines along the entire surface of the concrete floor.

Step 5 - Trowel and Dry

Use a concrete trowel or rake to spread the self-leveling material and clear any inconsistencies. As the name suggests, this material will create a level surface with the help of gravity. Allow several days for the compound to dry completely. Ensure that no pets or children have access to the basement during this time.

By following these steps, you will have a level basement floor in no time. Now, you can move on to creating the recreation space, laundry room, or home gym of your dream.