Make your floors safer, and better to look at.

Installing polished concrete or epoxy on your clients’ floor provides a sleek finish and durability at the same time. While polished concrete and epoxy are relatively simple to install, there are essential steps in the process that, if ignored, can ruin all your hard work. Sometimes it’s the uneven ground that the concrete is sitting on top of, sometimes there’s issues during installation. Either way, uneven concrete is one of the most common ways that concrete flooring can go wrong. Concrete leveling is an essential skill to learn in any flooring business dealing with concrete.

Learning how to level concrete is a relatively easy fix for an incredibly frustrating problem. Uneven concrete can impair foot and vehicle traffic, and it affects the cosmetic quality of the finished concrete surface. As a result, it lowers the efficiency of whatever work needs to be done on your clients’ floor and can impact your, and your clients’, business.

Why You Need to Learn How to Level Concrete

An image showing a finished & level polished concrete floor finish.

There are several reasons why a flooring contractor would want to level concrete as a first step on site. Probably the most important is that installing any system, whether its epoxy or polished concrete, on top of uneven concrete is a recipe for the failure of the system. Working on uneven concrete ensures that the installed system will also be uneven.

There are also safety and efficiency issues that arise with concrete that isn’t level. Protecting your technicians from possible safety hazards is incredibly important when working in flooring. An uneven floor finish will also impede future foot and vehicle traffic. On top of all these practical concerns, it’s also unsightly and will affect the final look of the finished floor.

Recommended Concrete Leveling Equipment

  • Angle or large floor grinder. Our concrete polishing equipment packages blog can help you find what grinder works best for your job site needs.
  • Self-leveling compound.
    • When you’re installing epoxy, we recommend using an underlayment like Rapid-Set TRU, or the Ardex Feather Finish line.
    • When you’re installing a polished concrete system, we recommend using an overlayment like the Ardex K 250 or the Ardex SD-M concrete topping solutions.
    • You also have the option of using urethane cement in your installation. The SPARTACOTE Urethane Cement Floor Coating kit is a great deal that balances all your needs: a sleek, seamless finish that lasts you a long time.
  • Application tools & accessories (squeegee, trowel, etc). We sell a variety of top-of-the-line accessories at our store on EpoxyETC.
  • Level

If you want to get into the polished concrete flooring business, then it’s important that you learn how to level concrete. With the proper equipment and a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to create polished concrete floors that look great and are durable.

Step-by-Step Guide: Concrete Leveling

Whether your client wants epoxy or polished concrete, you need to learn how to level concrete before installation. Help save your business money & labor time by getting it right the first time. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to level concrete:

Step One: Identify the Low Spots

The first step in leveling concrete is identifying where the low spots are. Take a look at your concrete floor and identify any areas that are lower than the rest. These areas will need to be filled in with a self-leveling compound.

You can identify it either by eye, if the low area is large and noticeable enough, or using a large level to be thorough. When you identify the low areas, it also helps you understand what solution your floor will need.

Step Two: Apply the Concrete Leveling Compound

Once you’ve identified the low spots, it’s time to apply the self-leveling compound. This compound can be applied with a trowel or squeegee. Simply apply the compound to the low spots and then smooth it out.

Step Three: Leave it to Dry

After you’ve applied the self-leveling compound, all you need to do is wait for it to dry, just as any other system installation. This usually takes around 24 hours. Once it’s dry, the compound will slowly spread out and fill in any low spots on the floor.

Step Four: Finish with a Grinder (optional)

If your concrete floor is still uneven after applying the self-leveling compound, then you may need to use a grinder. The grinder will remove any high spots on the floor and leave behind a smooth surface.

Step Five: Seal the Floor / Install Epoxy

Once the floor is level, it’s time to seal it with a concrete sealant. This will protect the polished concrete from water and dirt damage and will keep it looking its best for years to come. You can also install epoxy onto your newly leveled concrete floor.

Develop Your Concrete Leveling Skills

An image showing an operator grinding over a floor using our Concrete Genie.

We want you to provide your clients with the best concrete finish possible. This guide is a helpful resource for understanding the process better. If you want to better develop skills like concrete leveling, as well as understand how to grow your flooring business, we have a 5 day course available at our Polished Concrete University.

We will help you learn how to use concrete grinders, installing polished concrete, how to level concrete and other on the job skills. We also help you with personal marketing support, job pricing guidance and many other business skills.

Conclusion

Fixing & leveling concrete before starting any installation work on it is incredibly important. By not cutting corners and using the information from this guide, you will save your business money and labor time in the future. With any kind of floor installation, whether polished concrete or epoxy, getting it right the first time is incredibly important.

If you have any additional questions about how to level concrete or otherwise fixing uneven concrete floors, contact our trusted specialists at (954) 228-8856. Many of the tools, solutions and other resources you’ll need to level concrete on a job can be found at our Xtreme Polishing Systems store.

1 thought on “Concrete Leveling: Why and How You Do It”

  1. Thank you for mentioning how uneven surfaces are really hard to work with. Since we’re trying to work on our garage and turn it into a man-cave and game area, I better make sure this is done well before we install anything. I’ll work with a concrete leveling expert so I know what to do to start the process.

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