Though concrete floors are durable, you might notice cracks on your floor due to moisture over time.
However, to level the concrete floor, you will need to replace or add new flooring to the existing uneven floor.
The aim of repairing your floor is to relevel it; to achieve this; you will need concrete floor leveling.
If you are on a tight budget, you will need a cheaper option for your repairs.
A specialized sand mix is the cheapest method to level your concrete floor. The sand mix contains concrete and spreads evenly across the floor. To use a specialized sand mix, spread the sand mix over the area you intend to apply it. Next, spray water on the sand mix and let it dry.
Three Cheapest Ways to Level Concrete Floor
Among the various kinds of concrete floor leveling, the sand mix is the cheapest level of concrete for your uneven floor.
It is easy to use though it might take some time to dry. A specialized sand mix is convenient if you are on a tight budget.
Though sand mix is cheaper, it will be time-consuming to use on a large flooring area.
Below are three of the cheapest ways to level a concrete floor:
#1. Specialized Sand Mix
This sand mix concrete is cost-effective if you want the cheapest leveling concrete. It is efficient, and you can use it over a large area.
It is similar to concrete mortar though a bit cheaper. Sand mix has a good consistency and is durable for leveling a concrete floor.
To apply the sand mix on your uneven floor:
- Purchase the necessary tools and materials like the Specialized sand mix, a hand trowel, and a bristled brush to level the concrete floor.
- Prepare the floor for leveling by removing dirt and obstacles on the surface area.
- Spread the sand mix on the area you want to level. Then, use the hand trowel to level and spread the sand mix evenly across the floor.
- Ensure to cover all the uneven spots. Cover bubble gaps with a bit of specialized sand mix if you notice any after spreading it over the surface.
- Once you have covered all uneven areas, the next step is to soak the areas with water. Do not use a pressure water source like a sprinkler or pressure washer to soak the sand mix. The water pressure will disorganize the sand mix particles and leave the floor uneven.
- Sprinkle the water manually or with a tiny nozzle water spray. Spray the water generously till the area is moist.
- Allow the concrete floor to dry after spreading the water. Check for moist patches at intervals to ensure the floor is thoroughly dry.
- After the concrete floor dries up, you may have sand particles on the surface. Use a bristled brush or broom to sweep any sand particles from the floor’s surface.
#2. Applying Self-Leveling Concrete
The self-leveling concrete compound is relatively cheap for leveling your concrete floor.
However, before using the self-leveling concrete, you must calculate the uneven flooring level so you do not waste money on more than enough self-leveling concrete.
You can only use the concrete leveling compound if the application area is less than 5mm out of level. There are two ways to apply the concrete leveling compound.
The materials you will need for applying concrete floors include:
- A broom
- Five-gallon bucket
- Long-handled squeegee
- Clean water
- Metal putty
- Paint roller
- Electric drill with mixing hook
- Carpenter’s level
- Paint tray
Before applying the leveling on the concrete floor, prepare the area. Here are some tips on preparing the area for leveling:
- First, remove any furniture or equipment that might obstruct your workspace.
- Carefully remove the baseboard on the walls with metal putty since you increase the floor height as you level the concrete floor.
- Remove any concrete chippings or tiles on the work area.
- Sweep the debris and dirt from the area. You can also vacuum the room to make it dust-free.
The two methods of applying leveling concrete include:
#1. Applying Primer and Filling the Holes
First, use a concrete filler to cover the holes in the floor. Next, fix the filler nozzle on the cracks and fill the cracks thoroughly.
Finally, use a hand trowel to push and compact the filler, then leave it to dry. This process is necessary, especially for tile installation.
Identify the high and low-level areas of the floor to help you mark where you need to fill the floor.
Use the concrete grinder to level the high or inconsistent areas into a single even level. Mix the concrete leveling compound till it is a consistent and thin paste.
Carefully lay the leveling primer smoothly on the floor with a soft broom. Alternatively, place the leveling paste in the paint tray and apply the primer coating with a paint roller on the area surface.
Allow the primer to dry for not less than 24 hours. One gallon of the leveling compound can level about 400 square feet of a floor surface.
#2. Applying Concrete Leveler
This method of applying concrete leveling floor is convenient for excessively uneven areas.
You will need a concrete leveler, a five-gallon capacity bucket, and a drill and hook to mix the leveler.
Pour the concrete into the bucket and mix it thoroughly with the drill and hook until the mixture is even.
Mix one bag at a time to avoid wasting the leveling compound. If you mix too much at a time, it could dry up during the application process.
You can ask for assistance from a friend or family member to help with the mixing process as you apply the leveling concrete.
Next, use the squeegee to spread the leveling concrete evenly on the floor. Finally, allow the concrete to dry thoroughly.
#3. Difference Between Self-Leveling Concrete and Specialized Sand Mix
|Specialized Sand Mix||Self Leveling Concrete|
|More solid aggregate and less liquid components||It consists of more liquids and less aggregate|
|Application is time-consuming||Easy to apply|
|Suitable for patching larger voids||Convenient for filling small cracks and holes|
|Applied with hand trowel and shovel||Applied with gauge rake or squeegee|
|You must mix it properly before usage||It does not require much mixing|
|It is cost-effective||It might be expensive as the area of usage increases.|
How Much Does It Cost To Have a Concrete Floor Leveled?
The cost of leveling concrete is usually about $500 to $2500. The cost also depends on the material you need, the size of the floor space, and the labor you will use for the concrete leveling application.
There are also different leveling options, but your choice depends on your budget and how you want to level your concrete floor.
Some of the leveling options include:
- Self Leveling
- Foam jacking
Self-Leveling is mostly for small surface area applications. It is one of the cheapest leveling concrete with a price range of $400 to $500.
The mud jacking method requires you to inject concrete under the floor.
The concrete leveling cost is between $800 to $1000. Foam jacking, on the other hand, costs about $2000 to $2500.
Can You Level Concrete by Yourself?
You can level your concrete floor yourself, especially if you use self-leveling concrete.
Though the concrete floor is highly durable, it can develop cracks over time. These cracks can become dips or large voids if you do not manage them on time.
Before applying the leveling concrete on the floor, you must eliminate debris and obstacles in your work area.
Then, you can scrub the floor with water, a mild cleaning agent, and a soft-bristle broom. Cover any pits or deep cracks with the sand mix to improve the effectiveness of the concrete leveler.
Place a piece of metal or nail wood to keep the concrete from flowing out of the work area. Brush concrete primer over the surface to help the concrete leveler adhere to the existing floor.
Mix the leveling concrete with water in a five-gallon bucket. Pour the concrete mix into the bucket of water to get a better leveling concrete consistency.
You can also use a mixing hook and drill to mix the leveling concrete. Mix the batch one at a time to prevent the leveling concrete from drying up while applying it.
However, it is better to spread the concrete at once to give you an even surface result.
For this to work, you might need assistance mixing the concrete. Allow the surface to dry for at least two days before using the floor.
What Is an Affordable Way To Fix an Uneven Concrete Subfloor?
A specialized sand mix is the most affordable way to fix an uneven concrete subfloor for your laminate or tile flooring.
Concrete leveling is also an affordable concrete floor leveling cost of $3 to $5 per square foot.
However, factors like the size of the floor and the materials you need determine the affordability of concrete floor leveling.
Using a specialized sand mix and concrete leveler to level your concrete floor is the cheapest way to level your concrete floor.
Though the sand mix is more affordable than the self-leveling concrete, it is more time-consuming to apply.
However, it would be best to consider other factors before deciding which is more affordable.