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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My basement floor is quite unlevel. I purchased the house after it was built, and didn't notice the basement floor until after the walls were finished. I began seeing areas near the perimter walls (the outside walls) where the drywall was close to the ground, then moving out into the center of my room, the drywall was quite a bit above the floor. With a level, I noticed that everything slopes to the center of the basement like they meant it to be a 'bowl' shape with a drain. However, there is no drain. So, my floor starts off high at one side, then gradually slopes down until about the center of the room, they it begins sloping back up hill to the other side of the room.


My HT is carpeted and I didn't place Dricore or any other subfloor down. For the remainder of the basement, I was thinking about going with Tile, until I noticed this problem where the entire center section of the basement is lower than the edges around the room. I watched Holmes on Homes last night, and he used some rubber subfloor on top of concrete before placing the tiles. Is there a way to use something like this, and raise it in the center of the room? Even if I used Dricore to carpet the rest of the basement, my subfloor would be unlevel.


Any ideas on what I could do?
 

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There are pourable floor levelers available - epoxy based I think? - I think they can only be used effectively up to a certain depth, maybe a half inch or so, if your floor is more out of level than that, it might not work for you / might not be cost effective, unless the floor were built up prior to application. Don't know a lot about them other than what I learned searching online a few months ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From the highest point, to the lowest point, it's about a 1.5" difference


Does this sound crazy? I was thinking about buying the 12" x 12" Sticky Tiles to put down on the basement floor now, finish the ceiling, just so I can call it finished. In a few years, I thought about covering those sticky tiles with pad and carpet. If I had those sticky tiles down, would that be an OK barrier between the concrete floor and a pad/carpet?


I performed the water test by placing plastic wrap on several sections of my basement, sealing it with duct tape all around. I left it there for 3 days and didn't have any condensation on the outside of it, nor did I have any drops of water on the under side. So, it was pulling up no water from the concrete.


I would really like to have cermaic tile on the floor, but appears I may be out of luck due to how unlevel the floor is (again, shaped like a bowl).
 

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try to find the "center" of the "bowl" and tap lightly around to see if there is a hollow sound. there may be a floor drain there, it just didn't get uncovered from the concrete pour. if there is or is not a drain, either way you can use a floor leveler of some sort. lift in 1/2" increments until you get the results you want, letting dry completely between lifts. or there is commercial filler available through your local cement/concrete yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I saw somewhere of some sort of 'self' leveler where you pour it and you don't have to level it, it finds it's own level. Any knowledge of this or how well it works? Could that be use to level in 1/2 increments until the center is level with the rest of the floor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anybody know the ramifications (if any) of placing Sticky Tiles on the basement concrete floor, and then in the future, placing pad and carpet over those? Will this hurt anything?


Also, is there a Self Leveling compound that can be used to level my basement, or is it too far off and I'll need to consult a concrete specialist?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybradley /forum/post/0


I saw somewhere of some sort of 'self' leveler where you pour it and you don't have to level it, it finds it's own level. Any knowledge of this or how well it works? Could that be use to level in 1/2 increments until the center is level with the rest of the floor?

Yes, there are self leveling cement products available that can be poured up to 2 inches thick in one application. I've used such products, and although they say you just pour it and it finds its own level, you do still usually have to feather the edges. The two I've used were the consistency of pancake batter and had a pretty fast cure rate. You need to work quickly with this stuff. One product also required that I paint the unlevel cement surface with a special primer so that the leveling compound would make a good bond. I suggest you contact a local concrete supplier for such products as well as your local Home Depot or Lowes. There can be quite a difference in price from one product to another. I've used another product over wooden subfloors to prepare them for bamboo flooring and that one was pretty expensive. But I used it because it was more flexible when cured and didn't crack or chip when the bamboo was nailed down through it. In your case, over a cement base, you wouldn't need this expensive product. Read the labels closely to make sure it does what you need.


Craigo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Originally Posted by Craigo87 /forum/post/0


Yes, there are self leveling cement products available that can be poured up to 2 inches thick in one application. I've used such products, and although they say you just pour it and it finds its own level, you do still usually have to feather the edges. The two I've used were the consistency of pancake batter and had a pretty fast cure rate. You need to work quickly with this stuff. One product also required that I paint the unlevel cement surface with a special primer so that the leveling compound would make a good bond. I suggest you contact a local concrete supplier for such products as well as your local Home Depot or Lowes. There can be quite a difference in price from one product to another. I've used another product over wooden subfloors to prepare them for bamboo flooring and that one was pretty expensive. But I used it because it was more flexible when cured and didn't crack or chip when the bamboo was nailed down through it. In your case, over a cement base, you wouldn't need this expensive product. Read the labels closely to make sure it does what you need.


Craigo

THANKS!!! I will be stopping by Lowes this week. I'll see what they have.
 

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You may want to do a quick calculation of how much of that stuff you will need. It sounds like a lot. Then contact a local company who can do the job with a bulk load and compare prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC /forum/post/0


You may want to do a quick calculation of how much of that stuff you will need. It sounds like a lot. Then contact a local company who can do the job with a bulk load and compare prices.

My Father In Law knows some folks that do a lot of the local concrete work in our area (they did my patio and sidewalk around the house). I asked my Father In Law to check with them to see if this is something they could do.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC /forum/post/0


You may want to do a quick calculation of how much of that stuff you will need. It sounds like a lot. Then contact a local company who can do the job with a bulk load and compare prices.

This is a very good recommendation. If you do it yourself, you'll need to use a mixer to handle the amount that it sounds like you need. And buying it by the bag from Lowe's will probably be the most expensive option.


Craigo
 

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I've used a self leveling product from Home depot on both wood floors and unlevel concrete slab. Lowes doesen't carry anything in my area.


The stuff is in a red and gray bag in the concrete section, and is a little expensive. I won't quote any prices since it all varies on how thick of coverage you want and the sq. footage of the room. You can pour it pretty thick, even in two applications.


On the concrete slab, we poured it to level out the floor and repair some rough surfaces for tile after a remodel. It worked great, took a little long to dry, but did well. On the wood floor, I used gutter gaurd strips (expanded steel mesh) and stapled them like mad to the floor with a pneumatic stapler. Then poured it over that. The floor is super tight now, level, and quiet. In that case as well I used it to ensure the floor was level (nothing in my 1928 house is level except my bathroom!).


If the price is kinda high, you might consider flilling some areas with backerboard first. I'd use a cementious backerboard to try and raise up some areas. Make sure you attach it very well to the floor with some mortar between it and the slab. I've never tried this but it seems like it would work. Then, I'd staple steel mesh to the board to ensure the leverl sticks to it.


When I put the leverl on my wood floor, it was actually over a layer of backerboard and the mesh, seemed to work out well and the leveler seemed to adhere well to the board even in the areas that there was no mesh (like the edges. But I put down tile on it a few days later anyway so I haven't been able to examine the joint closely. The floor is very sold though, and no cracks in the the grout or tile after a year now.


Tboy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tboy555 /forum/post/0


I've used a self leveling product from Home depot on both wood floors and unlevel concrete slab. Lowes doesen't carry anything in my area.


The stuff is in a red and gray bag in the concrete section, and is a little expensive. I won't quote any prices since it all varies on how thick of coverage you want and the sq. footage of the room. You can pour it pretty thick, even in two applications.


On the concrete slab, we poured it to level out the floor and repair some rough surfaces for tile after a remodel. It worked great, took a little long to dry, but did well. On the wood floor, I used gutter gaurd strips (expanded steel mesh) and stapled them like mad to the floor with a pneumatic stapler. Then poured it over that. The floor is super tight now, level, and quiet. In that case as well I used it to ensure the floor was level (nothing in my 1928 house is level except my bathroom!).


If the price is kinda high, you might consider flilling some areas with backerboard first. I'd use a cementious backerboard to try and raise up some areas. Make sure you attach it very well to the floor with some mortar between it and the slab. I've never tried this but it seems like it would work. Then, I'd staple steel mesh to the board to ensure the leverl sticks to it.


When I put the leverl on my wood floor, it was actually over a layer of backerboard and the mesh, seemed to work out well and the leveler seemed to adhere well to the board even in the areas that there was no mesh (like the edges. But I put down tile on it a few days later anyway so I haven't been able to examine the joint closely. The floor is very sold though, and no cracks in the the grout or tile after a year now.


Tboy

Good Info. I have a call into some local concrete guys to see what they have and how much they'd charge. I do have quite a big area as my entire basement floor is shaped like a bowl, so would make more sense to go this route opposed to the single bags and mixing myself.
 

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Tony, Lowe's around here, carry's a self leveler from a company called Henry, it's about $25/bag, it's what I plan on using. They have a vinyl additive for doing feather edges, and as the other person mentioned an adhesive to make it stick better to the current floor.


Good luck

Chip
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good to hear from you Chip. How big of an area will you have to level? You can be my tester...LOL!!



Does anyone have any thoughts on placing nice Sticky Tiles down in my basement now, and then in the next few years, placing pad and carpet over that? I did the water test in my basement (duct tape sections of plastic wrap and left on the floor for around 72 hours...no water on the plastic, no water on the floor) in several areas. I know I can get away with carpet over the unlevel floor as I have it down in the HT room and in the Playroom. Just wasn't sure if there are some adverse affects of placing pad and carpet over those sticky tiles.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybradley /forum/post/0


Good to hear from you Chip. How big of an area will you have to level? You can be my tester...LOL!!

15' x 17'; 255 sq ft. 1/8"-1/4" lift plus or minus a bit. Bring your work boots, I'll show you first hand!
I've got drywall to put up next weekend too, just in case you need some additional training. I don't charge too much for classes, and beer and pizzia is included in the cost of the seminar.



I don't see any problem with the sticky tiles being a problem, but a full sheet of vinyl would be a better moisture barrier. I didn't have any moisture problems in my basement for 17 years (it was my Grandmother's house) then 4 years ago my battle began. I'm putting ceramic tile in my HT, just in case!



Good luck

Chip
 
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