How to Level a Concrete Floor?

Whether you’re dealing with uneven spots, slopes, or surface damage, understanding the methods and steps involved in concrete floor leveling can help you achieve a smooth, even surface. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of how to level a concrete floor, focusing on key methods, preparation, and application techniques.

Why Level a Concrete Floor?

A level floor is essential for several reasons. It prevents trip hazards, ensures that new flooring is installed correctly, and contributes to the overall safety and appearance of your home. 

Uneven concrete floors can lead to various problems, including poor flooring installation, structural issues, and even increased wear and tear on your flooring materials.

Methods for Leveling a Concrete Floor

There are several different methods of leveling a concrete floor, including:

Self-Leveling Underlayment

Self-leveling compounds are a popular choice for achieving a smooth surface. These compounds spread evenly and settle into low spots, creating a flat surface. They are easy to use and can be applied quickly, making them ideal for DIY projects. 

When choosing a self-leveling compound, consider the type of flooring you plan to install and the compound’s compatibility with it. 


For high spots, grinding is an effective method. Using a concrete grinder, you can smooth out uneven areas and create a level floor. Grinding requires specialized equipment and skills, so it may be best suited for professionals. 

However, if you decide to do it yourself, ensure you follow safety guidelines and use the appropriate grinding tools. A dust mask, ear protection, and safety goggles are essential when grinding concrete to protect yourself from dust and debris.


For minor repairs, patching compounds can fill in small cracks and holes, creating a more even surface. This method is suitable for localized issues and is often used in conjunction with other leveling methods. 

Patching compounds are available in various formulations, so choose one that matches the specific needs of your project. Some patching compounds are designed for quick drying, allowing you to proceed with further work sooner.

Preparation for Leveling Concrete Floor

Before you start leveling your concrete floor, proper preparation is essential. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Clean the Floor: Remove all debris, dust, and loose particles. A clean surface ensures better adhesion of the leveling compound. Use a vacuum or broom to thoroughly clean the area. For stubborn stains or grease, consider using a degreaser or concrete cleaner. Ensuring the floor is free from contaminants is crucial for the success of the leveling process.
  • Repairing Cracks: Fill any cracks or holes with a suitable patching compound. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding. This step is crucial to prevent the cracks from expanding and causing further issues. Larger cracks may require a different type of filler or multiple applications to ensure they are properly sealed.
  • Priming the Surface: Apply a concrete primer to enhance the bond between the floor and the leveling compound. Priming helps the compound adhere better and prevents it from absorbing moisture from the concrete, which can lead to cracking. Some primers are also designed to act as a moisture barrier, providing additional protection for your flooring.

How to Self-Level a Concrete Floor: Step-by-Step Guide

Mix the Compound

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the self-leveling compound. Use a mechanical mixer to ensure a smooth, lump-free mixture. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter. 

Avoid over-mixing, as it can introduce air bubbles into the compound. It’s important to mix only the amount you can apply within the working time of the compound.

Apply the Compound

Pour the self-leveling compound onto the floor, starting from the lowest point. Use a trowel or spreader to distribute the compound evenly. Work quickly to prevent the compound from setting before you have a chance to spread it. 

For large areas, consider dividing the floor into sections and working on one section at a time. This ensures that the compound remains workable and does not set prematurely.


Allow the compound to settle and self-level. Use a spike roller to remove air bubbles and ensure a smooth finish. Follow the recommended curing time before walking on the floor or proceeding with further work. 

Depending on the product, curing times can vary, so refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines. It’s important to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels during the curing process to ensure optimal results.

DIY vs. Professional Help

While leveling a concrete floor can be a DIY project, there are situations where professional help is recommended:

  • Large Areas: For large surfaces, professional equipment and expertise can ensure a better result. Professionals have access to high-quality tools and materials that may not be available to the average DIYer. They also have the experience to handle complex projects efficiently.
  • Severe Unevenness: If the floor has significant unevenness, a professional can assess the best approach and materials. They can also provide solutions for underlying issues that may be causing the unevenness. An expert can perform an initial assessment to determine the most cost-effective and durable solution for your specific situation.
  • Complex Situations: When dealing with complex floor layouts or underlying structural issues, professional advice can prevent costly mistakes. A professional can identify potential problems and address them before they become major issues. They can also ensure that the leveling process complies with local building codes and standards.

Final Thoughts

Leveling a concrete floor is a manageable task with the right preparation, tools, and techniques. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, achieving a smooth, even surface is essential for the safety and longevity of your flooring. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a successful concrete floor leveling project.

If you need expert assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us for help and top-quality service. Atlantic Concrete Design will help you level your concrete floor correctly, providing a stable foundation for any new flooring you plan to install, ensuring it looks great and lasts for years to come. 

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