Concrete floors, especially those at the foundation level, can shift over time, creating an uneven surface and destroying the aesthetics of a finished room.
To repair this problem, you will want to look at basement flooring options over uneven concrete.
Step 1: Prepare the Concrete Floor
To begin the process of repairing your uneven concrete flooring, remove all furniture, baseboards, rugs, padding, and any other items covering the surface of the concrete itself. This will enable you to assess the areas of your basement floor that are uneven.
Then sweep clean the area to remove any debris or dust. Fill in cracks with caulk made for concrete.
Beware of Moisture Problems
Moisture appears naturally with many building products, or can be created from leaky pipes or flooding. Knowing how this moisture will impact your project will save many future headaches, such as floating floor problems. Remedies may include selecting the right products, allowing proper curing times, or accounting for climate.
Once you determine the severity of the uneven concrete and have prepared the surface, you have two basement flooring options: covering it up and fixing it.
Uneven Floors Fix-It Option #1: Cover it Up
Perhaps you’re looking for a temporary solution to an uneven basement concrete floor. In that case, you might just want to merely cover it up. Here are some options to covering the floor:
- If the concrete floor is not too bad, you can lay down a flooring such as laminate, vinyl tile or carpet over top of it.
- For more severe unevenness, lay a carpet pad over the uneven concrete to create an underlayer beneath added flooring or carpeting. If the unevenness is minimal, the padding may add just enough layering that the unevenness will be undetectable. Over time, however, the padding will wear away in higher areas.
- Create a sub-floor layer using a harder material like plywood over the concrete. For higher discrepancy in evenness levels, use thicker plywood. Install carpeting on top of the plywood sub-floor.
- Note that if a hardwood floor is to be added above the concrete, a lightweight concrete subfloor is not acceptable since it is more prone to cracking than a heavier-weight concrete and may void the hardwood manufacturer’s warranty.
Uneven Floors Fix-It Option #2: Repair It
To fix a basement concrete floor right, look at repairing and leveling the entire floor. Here are two options to consider
1. Self-Leveling Compound
Prepare the floor as noted above. Then, tape the seam of the basement walls with expansion tape to create a seal. This will retain the compound you will be using.
Use a self-leveling compound (SLC) to cover areas that are lower and even out any uneven areas. Mix this material with water and spread or rake it onto the floor; when it dries it will create a more level surface. SLC is a heavy substance designed to work with gravity to enable it to sink into lower areas and come to a level position.
Since this option requires skill to create evenness, and you must work quickly as it dries fast, you may want to engage a professional to help. Once complete, allow the concrete floor to remain undisturbed for three days to cure.
Grind down uneven concrete floors with a power grinder. This method works well for large humps or bumpy floors.
Contact Bittersweet Contracting
If you need the help of a professional flooring company to provide basement flooring options over uneven concrete, contact Bittersweet Contracting. We can recommend the right options and flooring materials, or serve as your flooring contractor for repair, refinishing or new flooring.
Need to talk with us about your wood flooring ideas for your kitchen? Need help with your home improvement project? We serve homeowners in the Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire area.
Contact Bittersweet Contracting today!
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