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Old 03-27-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
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leveling out a concrete floor


I am in the process of remodeling my basement bath. A few years back I had the basement foundation "waterproofed" which included them digging a trench all along the outside walls, filling with a drainage system, and cementing over it.

The end result is a dry basement, but a basement floor that slopes up around all the outside walls.

It is about 1.5 inches higher on the walls than in the middle.

We were thinking of putting in a sub-floor and leveling it by using 2x4's but this seems like a lot of work to cut them all perfectly to fit.

The other option is leveling it with cement. The problem here is that oome parts of the floor would need 1.5" to be level and other parts just a very thin layer.

Here's my question....what kind of cement product would we use? The self-leveling and cement finishing products seem to only be good for up to 5/8" and something like a mortar would just crumble, right?

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:32 PM   #2
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leveling out a concrete floor


The self-leveling concrete I've used was good for up to an inch, but would be way too expensive for an entire basement. If there's enough headroom, maybe you could have a thin slab poured on top of the existing floor? I don't know much about working with concrete, but that seems feasible.

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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leveling out a concrete floor


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I am in the process of remodeling my basement bath. A few years back I had the basement foundation "waterproofed" which included them digging a trench all along the outside walls, filling with a drainage system, and cementing over it.

The end result is a dry basement, but a basement floor that slopes up around all the outside walls.

It is about 1.5 inches higher on the walls than in the middle.

We were thinking of putting in a sub-floor and leveling it by using 2x4's but this seems like a lot of work to cut them all perfectly to fit.

The other option is leveling it with cement. The problem here is that oome parts of the floor would need 1.5" to be level and other parts just a very thin layer.

Here's my question....what kind of cement product would we use? The self-leveling and cement finishing products seem to only be good for up to 5/8" and something like a mortar would just crumble, right?
If you are going to poor 1.5", then you should probably just use regular concrete mix. You can paint the existing concrete with adhesive to insure you get a good bond. You can also make the mix a bit wet so it will level better, but that is a harder job than it sounds if you have never done it before. You have to keep working the concrete as it dries to get a smooth finish, like you would with plaster. If you were going to grind a terrazzo finish, then it matters less, but that is an even bigger job and needs special equipment. I think rough terrazzo is a nice finish for a basement but it sort of depends on the part of the country where you live. Mortar is pretty hard and I have used it in a few places to patch small holes, but the composite in it is pretty big and it is hard to get a smooth finishe with it. For small jobs, you are better off with a 1/2.5 mix of Portland cement and fine masonry sand.

2x4 and plywood would give you more options and I don't think that scribing the ends would be as hard as you think. At least I don't think it's harder then good masonry. With a wood subfloor you would need to check if you want a vapor barrier over the concrete or not. A heated sub floor can help allot with moisture issues. That would be moisture resistant strapping on the floor (at least 1.5"), moisture resistant plywood, an in- floor heating mat, and then something like tile over the top. That could cost you 3" in height, but would be a nice solution. This is also not such a simple job. You could also re-poor the floor and still do a heat mat and tile.

I would check what it would cost to have it pored by someone who has done it many times. Then at least you would be able to evaluate the cost/headache index.

LMHmedchem

Last edited by LMHmedchem; 03-27-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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leveling out a concrete floor


Thanks for the suggestions! The area won't be the entire basement (at this time) just the bath, which is only a 7x9' area. The "ceilings" are 8' but will be a drop ceiling, so will lose at least a foot there but still could afford to lose a few inches.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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leveling out a concrete floor


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Thanks for the suggestions! The area won't be the entire basement (at this time) just the bath, which is only a 7x9' area. The "ceilings" are 8' but will be a drop ceiling, so will lose at least a foot there but still could afford to lose a few inches.
If you are going to put tile over the concrete, then the finish matters somewhat less. You can always grind off high spots and such. You can also poor in sections that are small enough to do finish work without walking in wet concrete. That might not be to bad to do yourself, but you still might want to get a quote, especially if you are going to have the tile done by someone else. Just ask for a quote for the whole job including the leveling, and also for just the tile work.

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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leveling out a concrete floor


Yes, we will be finishing with tile, so I'm not *that* concerned about the cement finish, more the leveling. I have someone doing the project with/for me who has experience with this, I just was curious about the cement product to buy as I've gotten different answers on this.

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