How to Pour Self Levelling Cement

First things first. I ate a whole can of Pringles today. They were Salt & Vinegar and now my tongue feels like I ate a ball of sandpaper.

Second things second. Why would you ever want to pour self levelling cement? Well, I’m not sure actually. I don’t know you that well.

But … you might want to level out a wonky basement floor. Or garage. Or kitchen. Or like me, you may need to encase radiant floor heating and create a super-smooth surface to lay commercial VCT tile onto.

update:  I installed my radiant floors in 2013 and at the time of this update in 2016 they’re still working great and I HUGELY recommend you put them in if you’re redoing a floor.  Easy to install, inexpensive to run and … gives you an excuse to pour self levelling cement, lol.

Whatever the reason, you don’t need to be afraid. I say that because I was afraid. Really afraid. Letter from the tax department afraid.

So I did all the research I could, tested out the product in a small area of the house where it wouldn’t matter if I screwed it up and declared it a success.

And it wasn’t hard at all. I was probably right to be afraid because it made me very thorough in my research, but having done it myself now there are a few things I discovered that weren’t mentioned on the Internet at all.

I’ll mention those things in this tutorial because I am nice. I am a nice girl who pours cement sometimes.


Update:  This photo of me with bare feet in cement has caused fits in people. Yes, cement is caustic.  So don’t stand in cement for hours on end.  I wasn’t in cement for more than 2 minutes or so at a time and went outside and immediately washed my feet.  


Scrape up any loose debris from the floor. Like old tile.


Vacuum the surface before pouring the cement.

DSC 0157


Self levelling cement is liquidy.  Very liquidy. You need to build dams out of thin wood or stiff cardboard to stop it  from running into areas you don’t want it to go.

I just attached it with duct tape which worked fine.  Once the cement has hardened just give a tug upwards and the cardboard or wood will come loose.

Behind the dam I’ve built you can see I’ve also repaired holes. I used Durabond 90 for this (a drywall type compound that is very hard and fast drying).

The reason you need to fill holes and cracks in the floor is because the cement is so thin it will just run down those small cracks and you’ll never get your cementing done.  You’ll have to keep adding more and more cement and you might even go crazy.  I’m not sure. Again, I don’t know you that well or your coping capabilities.

DSC 0171


Your materials.



Self levelling cement, a cement mixing paddle, a strong drill, a 5 gallon bucket, a trowel and filler (Durabond 90).

Self levelling cement may also be called self levelling concrete, self levelling floor resurfacer or self levelling underlayment.

You need to pay special attention to the self levelling cement you buy.  Home Depot, Rona, Lowes etc. all of carry different brands of cement.

The brand doesn’t matter so much as the type of self levelling cement.

There are 2 types.  Quick drying and regular.

Quick drying self levelling cement is great when the room you’re doing NEEDS to be dry enough to walk on within 5 or 6 hours. BUT, this advantage comes with disadvantages.  You only have a small amount of time to work with the product before it starts to set up.  Like 5 minutes or so.  This means if you’re new to the process or are working by yourself you run the risk of screwing things up royally.

Even though I was pouring cement into our only bathroom and kitchen I did not use Quick Drying self levelling cement.  Firstly it was much more expensive than the regular drying stuff AND I knew I needed as much working time with it as possible.

Regular drying self levelling cement gives you much more time in between pouring buckets of it.  It starts to set up fairly quickly, within 15 minutes or so but not nearly as quickly as the quick drying stuff.  Those extra 10 minutes make a huge difference when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

Primer All of the self levelling cements require that you buy bottles of primer as well to coat your floor with prior to pouring the concrete.  It is a rule.  You are told you absolutely have to do it no matter what.  You risk ruining everything if you don’t use it. Strangely I couldn’t find any real reason as to why.  No one explained what the primer actually did.  Did it seal?  Don’t know.  Did it make the concrete stick better?  Don’t know.  But you HAD to use it.

I didn’t use it.

My house did not fall into the abyss but I could feel Mike Holmes scowling from somewhere.

The reason I didn’t use it is because I bought my self levelling cement from a store mainly used by contractors, NOT a big box store.  When I asked them where the primer for the self leveller was they looked at my quizzically.  They didn’t carry it.  They had never carried it, and in all the years they’d been selling self levelling cement no one had asked to buy the primer.  The professionals just didn’t use it.

Good enough reason for me.

Besides.  It was more money saved.  I took a risk here but it was fine and nothing went wrong. I can’t guarantee nothing will go wrong for you.  Why am I so worried about the cheaper materials and saving money?  Because self levelling cement is expensive.  I got away with spending $200 on my cement.  If I had bought it at a big box store and used the primer it would have cost me $500.

How else can you save money?  Ask to buy the open bags.  Most stores have opened, ripped, unattractive bags for sale for half the price or even less. I bought a lot of open bags and saved about $120.


The  cement mixing paddle is NOT the same as a paint mixing paddle so if you have one of those, leave it in the basement and buy a cement mixer.  They’re between $10 and $15.

Add the required amount of water to the bucket FIRST.

(the bag will tell you how much water to cement mix to use)


DSC 0191

Add about 1/4 – 1/3rd of the bag of cement. Mix with drill.

Continue mixing in the remainder of the bag bit by bit until it’s all incorporated.  Mix for prescribed amount of time as detailed on the bag.

 Now here’s a good tip…


For one bucket of concrete a strong cordless drill will do the job, but if you have any more than 1 bucket to do you’re in trouble.  The battery will die after 1 or 2 buckets.  Then you’ll go for your corded drill, which will burn out and will get thrown in the garbage.

So save your anger, save your sanity, save your relationship and RENT AN INDUSTRIAL DRILL.  After one day of trying to do this without one I went out and rented a drill for $20 for half a day.  It sped things up by about 10 fold.

Pour your cement.

The cement will be quite thin.  Like runny pudding.  Self levelling is a bit of a misconception.  It will find its own “level”, but it needs some help getting there.



Using a trowel push and pull the cement where it needs to go.  Push it into corners and pull it towards you.  Excuse my hair.  It appears I was having a Paul Weller moment.

This mudroom is around 30 square feet and one bag of cement just barely covered it at about 1/4″ thickness.

Clean up the Drips

You’re gonna drip.  Drip and spray and splash.  Just wipe up what you can and then don’t worry about it.  It’ll wash off easily later.



The room was dry enough to walk on about 24 hours later and dry enough to put the freezer and other stuff back in there in 3 days.  It couldn’t have gone better.

The kitchen and bathroom were a bit of a different story.  The mudroom was the test room. It went perfectly.  The kitchen and bathroom were bigger … badder. A bigger room means you have to pour the buckets of concrete, run back to the mixer and mix up another batch (which needs to be mixed a longgg time), run through the house with a 50 pound bucket of cement and pour it where you left off.  And repeat.

I thought I bought plenty of cement but it turns out I didn’t.  By 10 o’clock at night we realized between the cordless drills, the diminishing cement and the crankiness it was time to stop.

After the first go round the Warmly Yours pads were still showing and it obviously wasn’t looking very good.

Here’s how I installed my heated floors.

Before we continue on here …. how long is it you’ve wanted to pour self levelling cement?

Do you keep putting it off?  Or is it some other project you’ve been putting off for months?

Join The Summer of Doing Stuff and finally get that project done.

You know.  THAT project.  The one you’re always putting off.


Plus in July I help you create a Backyard Relaxation Station and in August you’ll delete, ditch and declutter 4 rooms in 4 weeks. 

O.K., where were we?  Right.

So the next day I rented a drill, bought more cement and got to it.  I abandoned my rubber boots and went barefoot like the cement  pouring hippy that I am.  I recommend you go barefoot as well.  You can walk right through the cement, no problem, and as you walk away the cement just fills in your footprints. Magic.

For these bigger rooms I bought a squeegee on a long handle to push and pull the cement.  It worked great but it was a bit difficult to manipulate in the small bathroom.



You’ll find bits of unmixed lumps of cement.  Just mush them with your fingertips.



As it’s drying the floor will look discoloured and uneven. It’s all an optical illusion.



Once it’s dry you’ll be able to feel that those bits that look like ridges are actually smooth.



Even after re-levelling the floor I had issues with dips and bumps.  It was easy to correct them with a bit of Durabond 90.



My floor was now ready to lay the VCT tiles.  I’m not necessarily saying I’m ready.  But the floor is.

p.s.  I’m out of chips.

(update:  The floor has been laid so you can read the post on how to lay VCT tiles here, or you can watch a quick video of me doing it!)


  1. Pam'a says:

    Wow, Karen. I can’t believe you could pour cement with your hair looking subpar.


    Serious now: I bow to your fearless, inspirational ambition and energy. It appears things came together in a magnificent way. Brava! 🙂

  2. Susan Preston says:

    Hard, huh? I mixed, my friend tried smoothing the stuff out all over my bake shop floor. Bags and bags and bags of that runny stuff. We’d come in the next day expecting a smooth surface and find another hollow! And start all over again. I mixed by hand till my shoulders felt like they were going to fall off! But the floor looks like it was worth all the work! Even if it did hold up the opening date by at least 2 weeks! And depleted my pocketbook even more! Yours is looking great! Oh by the way I wouldn’t walk in it in my bare feet either. Yuck! And I have chips if you need some more! I’ll send them over via Glynnis my chicken!

    • Karen says:

      Glynnis? Is she new? I don’t think I’ve heard of Glynnis! ~ karen

      • Susan Preston says:

        Glynnis is my Ameracuna. She’s an old girl but new to me! A “rescue” chicken so to speak. I have got two blue eggs from her. One last Aug. 25th…my oldest daughters birthday and one this last Saturday.. My youngest daughter’s birthday! Can’t wait to see the finished product! Keep working girl! The heat’s acoming!

      • Tasos says:

        Hi good job,
        i wanted to share my experince if priming or not, yes if you primer the plywood you will get a better bond and also if you going over tile, if you dont use the primer eventually it crack and peels off.

  3. Auntiepatch says:

    I’ll say it again; you’re my hero!

  4. Lori says:

    Nice job!! wish I had the gumption to do that ! Please keep up the good work cause you are very inspiring! Maybe I’ll get the gumption to do this in the near future.

  5. stephbo93 says:

    I’m a little creeped out by the photo where the vacuum seems to be moving all by itself but overall, I’m really impressed. Thanks for showing us how to use this stuff! And I totally feel your pain on those chips. I love them, but my mouth always feels like one giant pucker afterwards.

  6. Judy Bickford says:

    You forgot one thing. Do not let your husband ( or fella) help. Had to level two bathrooms last week due to moving a few walls around. We mixed 2 bags and poured. No problem, but needed another bag for the first bathroom. Since I was mixing, I kept telling him to stop adding more water, but, of course, he did. When we poured that third bag, the consistency was thinner and it dammed up against the first pour. Then, he tried to smooth it around but because it was thinner, it just kept getting worse. Butterscotch ripple without the butterscotch. Thankfully, our friend does ceramic and rescued the floor. Otherwise, we’d have to pour more cement and our toilet would be teetering on top of extensions on extensions. Second floor went much better.

    • Stephanie says:

      Boys will be boys…mine decided to suck up CARPET PADDING CHUNKS with the vacuum cleaner. “Don’t do that” I said. “You’ll burn out the motor” I said. *sigh*

    • Suzie says:

      How, exactly, did your ceramic friend rescue the butterscotch problem?

  7. Sebrah says:

    You make it look so easy! I feel ready to tackle anything now.
    I mean yesterday I even weeded a whole massive patch in the garden. I don’t weed. In fact I don’t garden and people like you Karen make me actually kind of want to do this stuff!
    Loving the progress, great work 🙂

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks for letting me know Sebrah. That’s the point of this whole site. 🙂 But you don’t have to do everything I do. Just do what you like. 🙂 Mind you … nobody likes weeding and that needs to get done so … do what you like .. .plus the few things that *have* to be done. ~ karen!

  8. Laura Bee says:

    I’m hoping I can get away without this step before I put down my tiles. But if I do, I’m doing it barefoot!

  9. KimS says:

    I have SO done that Pringles thing with salt and vinegar chips! I’ve never done the concrete thing and hope I never have to, but I’m sure I’ll do the Pringles thing again…for some reason I can’t stop until it’s too late! Love your posts!!!

  10. Terry says:


    Is that cement actually thick enough so that it will not crack if the floor deflects when something heavy goes over it. Or you jump up and down when the muffins turn out perfectly. Just curious. But you did a great job. Looks amazing. Did it ruin the nail polish on your toes??

    • Karen says:

      Terry – The self levelling cement is made to be poured from a consistency of 1/8th an inch to over an inch. It’s not the same as concrete, it’s a different mix. So yes .. it’ll be fine when I jump up and down. But it would never be for muffins. I might jump up and down for the perfect pizza. ~ karen!

  11. Reg says:

    Holy smokes. Job well done. Did you have enough time to get the cement washed off your feet before it dried? I have visions of you not being able to tilt because you’ve been self levelled. 😉

  12. Maureen Locke says:

    You’re so brave !!!

  13. Ana the Hated (@ParrotTalkBack) says:

    An incredibly daunting project completed with aplomb. Makes me feel shitty I’ve put off hanging the curtains for so long…

  14. Colleen says:

    You are brave! Thanks for sharing, Karen!

  15. Ruth says:

    Wow! Just….. wow. *awestruck*

  16. Nicole2 says:

    Oh wow, I’m so impressed! Is there nothing you can’t do?? I don’t think I know anybody else who can eat an entire can of Pringles!!! Way to go!

  17. Kim says:

    Damn…gravatar didn’t work. So bummed. Took FOREVER to find that post *lol*

  18. Meagan says:

    Impressive! I will never tackle something like this myself but I really enjoy learning about it. It makes me more knowledgable for when I talk to contractors I hire to do this stuff 🙂 I’m curious as to what the reddish flooring is that you are putting the cement over in the mudroom? Did it contain asbestos…is that why it was left intact?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meagan – It’s just old vinyl sheet flooring. It’s glued down to plywood underneath and there just wasn’t any reason to go to the effort of removing it. ~ karen!

      • Mary Allison says:

        I poured over asbestos tile and the leveler cracked. I used Henrys Pro. I dont like the way it worked. Is Quickrete any better for the asbestos tiles. I know what you mean about being afraid! Yikes I looked at the floor and looked at every youtube for weeks but took the plunge. It looked great until the next day when I saw the bubbles and cracks. I am looking for a new product to try it again.


        • Karen says:

          Hi mary Allison. Well firstly I’m definitely not a self levelling concrete expert. I’m someone who did it once and it worked. 🙂 Having said that if you had curing problems I’d say my guess would be the room either had a drastic change up and down in temperature while it was drying, or more likely is the room was too room. The same thing happens when paint dries too quickly because of heat. So it’s possible it’s not the product, but the conditions that it dried under instead. Do you think this could be possible? ~ karen!

        • Scott Brown says:

          Asbestos has to be seal or nothing will stick thats what the primer will help with then use mapie nova plan plus you shouldnt have any issues but yesthe primer is very important its primer l make sure itis completly transparent berfore you do on anything

          • Jane says:

            Asbestos, huh? Interesting. I actually wondered about that sticking thing. If you’re filling in an area that you intend to cover with another flooring…what does it really matter if it sticks or not?

  19. says:

    that’s all I have to say

  20. Kat says:

    Way to go Karen!!! Great tip on the “rent a drill” I would never have thought of that one. Also, except for the durabond patches in the last picture the concrete looks kinda cool and I would have been tempted just to stop there and put on a sealer.

  21. JebberA says:

    You are my heroine. I respect you as a role model *and* i’m addicted to your website :o)

    Sorry about your mouth. I’ve had a simliar injuriy after eating Captain Crunch.

  22. Call Me Patty says:


  23. Tina says:

    Karen, is there a reason why you didn’t remove the baseboards? I’m assuming they act as a dam. But does it not make it difficult (impossible?) to replace the baseboards later?

    On a different note… You remind me of my mom. She was always fearless at tackling any sort of task. Build a 12 foot tall retaining wall out of railroad ties? Done. Train a horse wild off the range — best horse ever btw? Done. Raise a zoo of animals for her “tribe of monkeys.” Done. She’s a great role model, as are you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tina – It’s hard to see in the pictures, but for the most part, the baseboards are raised up from where I removed the flooring beneath them. So the cement actually went *under* the baseboards. The are a couple of small spots (only 5″ runs or so where baseboards go along solid cabints) where that isn’t the case, but if the time ever comes to replace the baseboards, they’ll be easy enough to remove with a crowbar and a whack of a hammer. ~ karen!

      • torri says:

        So when you ran out did you star over again or pick up where you left off? Ive just self leveled and have a low point still. I was wondering if I should get an extra bag or two and just self level the low point or do the entire floor all over again? Also, if you let the self level go under the baseboard wont that make it hard for the tile to fit underneath it when you finish? Just want some advice, I covered my baseboard with a tape dam but now feel like that edge tile that goes under the baseboard will be uneven. HELP!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Torri. You should be able to just add more self levelling cement on top but you need to do it within a day or so of pouring the other cement in order for it to stick. otherwise the new layer will just sit on top of the first layer and over time it will crack and break. If you have trouble with not having enough room under your baseboard it’s not a huge problem, you can just carefully chip away the cement. (it’s hard for me to give advice not seeing exactly what you’re talking about) Hope that helps! ~ karen!

  24. Jeannie B says:

    A project like this just “blows my mind” Karen. This is something I could only do inside a nightmare. I’d be afraid of permanently bonding the friidge or the stove to the floor and having to hire simeone to jackhammer them out. Or, the back door getting stuck and never being able to get it to open again. Or, standing in one place a little too long in my bare feet and getting stuck. You really are amazing! And yet, you make it all look so easy.

  25. Sally says:

    Thanks for this. We’ve been putting off doing a bathroom because it is going to need leveling. You are just the thing to encourage us to move ahead on it. I love everything that you do.

  26. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I never doubted you..not for one minute..In my next life..I want to come back as you..

  27. Linda S says:

    I must say…I’m impressed with you, and impressed with the project. Great job, and I will be listing it in my notebook full of projects I never want to tackle!

  28. Katie C says:

    Well, Karen. Awestruck. Just awestruck! In fact, we have a kitchen floor that is strangely not level–where the eating area meets the workspace, the linoleum sort of slopes sharply down, oh, 2 inches or so. Sort of a sunken kitchen. But not in a good way! Your stunning post is making me think that maybe, just maybe….this is a project that is fixable and not something that means we’ll have to live here for the rest of our lives because no one else in the world would ever buy a house with this odd affliction… (why did we??) You have made me realize we might be able to move somewhere else, sometime in this lifetime! I thank you for that, Karen.

    And btw, did you just leave the mudroom floor as cement, sans tile? Kind of cool, if so. Thanks for your awesomeness.

  29. Susan says:

    Thank goodness the place I’m looking at doing this is small. It looks great so far, and the self-leveling stuff looks like something you managed well in large quantity and I could manage in small quantity. Do you need the self-leveling concrete only if you’re using “soft” tiles, or do you also need it if you are using ceramic tiles? I’m as certain that you’ve mentioned the answer to this already, as I am that I’ve forgotten it already. I can’t wait to see the finished project. You truly are an inspiration to us all.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan – The self levelling concrete is only needed if you’re laying heated floors and will be laying VCT tiles over top. If you’re laying heated floors with ceramic over top you would not use self levelling cement, but regular tile cement like you normally would with laying ceramic tile. ~ karen!

  30. Julia says:

    My husband has just caught me reading this post and is now slightly perturbed that I may be thinking of self-levelling something.
    I suppose he is right to be worried – we didn’t have chickens until I discovered ‘The Art of Doing Stuff’!

  31. Susan says:

    Thank you, Karen, I’ve saved this page to my bathroom flooring notebook, along with the others in this series. Thank you, also, for the link to figure out how much it might cost for the electricity. For our bathroom, where we live, it would be about $50 a year to have the flooring on 20 hours a day through the months we’d need it, so it looks like this is a real possibility for redoing our bath floor!

  32. maude says:

    Thank you for posting this tutorian and sharing your experience with this cement. I’ve always been kind of spooked by the idea of putting down cement myself….it’s just so

  33. AnnW says:

    You rock, as usual. Someone should write a graphic novel about you! But then it would be non-fiction, because it’s true. Ann

  34. Ali says:

    I am so excited to see the vinyl flooring, I really wanted this in our new house.

    Also Karen could a person possible finish self leveling concrete to make a cool industrial modern floor? I asked my hubby about this option a while ago and he said it was prone to cracking easily.

    • Karen says:

      Ali – I’m not sure about cracking but it is difficult to get a nice finish on it. You have bubbles and speckles and tiny raised bumps to deal with if you don’t pour it perfectly. Depends on how industrial looking you want the floor to be. ;)~ karen!

  35. Jasmine says:

    Well thanks very much Karen. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself making some slipcovers for my outdoor chairs. Now after reading this….I may need to go and overdose on S&V chips. Awesome job-very impressed!

  36. Marti says:

    That self-leveling cement… you think I can make some planters, using a 5 gallon bucket and some old margarine tubs with that stuff? I love those cement planters… don’t want to pay the money and definitely want to be able to brag that I “made them myself.” Will that stuff work for that project?

    • Cussot says:

      Have you ever heard of hypertufa, Marti? It’s a mixture of cement, peat moss and perlite. The finished product looks like concrete when you use the kind of mold you describe, but the result doesn’t weigh as much.

      • Marti says:

        No, I actually haven’t heard of that, Cussot, so much thanks. Is it waterproof, as well? I’m sure I can do the research, now that you’ve steered me that direction. 🙂

  37. Rktrix says:

    Wow! Very impressive! This is going to be a kick arse warn floor!

    Another factor is weather and humidity. Self leveling compounds are very wet and as it dries the moisture becomes vapor. If your windows aren’t open or your heavy duty fan going at high speed, and if the weather is very humid, it’s gonna be very unpleasant. Mold. Eww.

  38. Susan says:

    I have actually tackled a few jobs like this one and have felt wonderful after having done so. There is nothing more rewarding than accomplishing something you feared, but also accomplishing something that no one thought you were capable of. The feeling is one of perfect fulfillment. Well, maybe not as good as…well you know what I am talking about. But it is a great feeling, nonetheless.
    Thanks for sharing your joy with us. Susan

  39. Good job Karen. I love that product. It can fix anything!!

  40. Patti says:

    You are such a bad-ass mofo! I don’t know many guys who would’ve tackled this project. Can’t wait to see it all done up pretty!

  41. Kamaila says:

    Nice job, I am very impressed. I cant wait to see the finished product.

  42. Annie says:

    Nice job but I must say, as a former commercial carpenter, NEVER go barefoot in any type of cement product. In fact, you should limit your skin’s exposure to it at any chance. If you have a small cut or scratch and it absorbs the cement you can be looking at some serious blood poisoning. I worked with a fellow carpenter many years ago that had to undergo several skin grafting surgeries to repair his hands after mixing grout with his bare hands. Really not a good idea to do this. Some people are also allergic to the portland and exposure can result in extreme dermatitis and infection.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie – Thanks! I actually looked up the MSDS for self levelling cement and the worst the MSDS states it can cause is skin irritation. I agree infections and blood poisoning can occur with a small cut or scratch. My sister was in the hospital for a week recently after washing her car with a small scratch on her finger. ~ karen

  43. wow, self-leveling cement. who knew? good for you!

  44. Sera says:

    Karen! Where have I been? This is amazing! I admit, I love reading about your adventures in things I will likely never try to accomplish myself. You’re amazing!
    Also, last week I got a letter from the IRS. As scary as it is, I’m pretty sure I’d be more scared to pour my own cement floor.

  45. Linda says:

    Fabulous tutorial and worth a ton of money! Oh how I wish we would have seen this before we used that self leveling cement. I won’t go into our nightmare but let’s just say it wasn’t as neat and pretty as yours. We were in too big of a rush and a lot of other problems happened one being the cat got out of the house and she isn’t an outside cat! I want a do over, how do you get it up? Oh shoot I just remembered that I forgot to tell my husband that the there is water leakage under the new tile on top of the stupid self leveling cement!

  46. Tommy D says:

    Hi Karen, do you have a video link to the self leveling cement project?

  47. carpemark says:

    This article is fantastic! Bought a house that is 30 years old and the floor had low points and high points. I ended up destroying a sander (and my shoulders) taking down 2 high points but was researching on how to lay self leveling cement as a contractor gave a quote with him doing it or me. Guess which one was cheaper 🙂
    After examining your article, better by far than even the silly product web pages, I and a friend decided to do it ourselves. It was really easy, hard work but worth it.WARNING! Read the mixing instructions! You will find some manufacturers are more expensive as their bags cover less flooring, or square footage per bag! Or their instructions are based on Quarts of water and weight of the mortar…. right …… not buying the product then. either way all done and looking good!
    Thanks again!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carpe Mark – I”m glad my post was able to help you. That’s the point of all this. To prove to every that it ain’t that hard. Except math as I’m mentioned numerous times. Math is really, really hard. 🙂 ~ karen

  48. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Karen. A Google search for self-leveling cement brought me here. Great site BTW. After reading your post, I got 25% off an open bag AND when I pressed the guy at Home Depot a bit, he told me I didn’t need the primer. So thanks for saving me a few bucks. I’ll use it to pick up a couple extra sleeves of Pringles and email them to you!

  49. Lynda says:

    Hi Karen,
    Great site. Which I had stumbled on it BEFORE I attempted to pour my self leveling stuff. Because it was my first attempt at this, I decided to do only half a bag at a time. The first half seemed ok to me but as it started to set water rose to the surface – I obviously used too much water. What should I do about this? Will it just take longer to dry? Second half seemed to work better. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynda – I seem to remember something similar happening to me. It’s has to do with the mixing, I think. If I remember correctly, I dried the wet spots by putting a cloth or paper towel on top for a second to let the water soak in. Then I let it dry normally. I did another thin layer of cement over top to smooth it out. (you have to do the second coat while the first coat is still a bit wet otherwise it won’t adhere properly). Good luck! ~ karen

  50. Kirk says:

    Wow. Smashing job and so well written too. You’ve given me the confidence to take on this job myself! Thank you. I apologize in advance as I will probably curse you a few times for making it look so easy before the job is done but all will be forgiven in the end. 🙂

  51. freezerbear says:

    Hi Karen, There once was a time when I thought Paul Weller was the coolest thing on the planet, now I know it’s you!! I have been planning on doing this for months in an 8m x 6m shed in the back yard. Question to you…… deep can you apply this stuff and is there an optimum ambient temp for application.
    A Setting Son.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Freezerbear – Each product will very slightly in terms of how deep you can pour them etc. Just read the bag once you buy it. It can often be poured up to 1″. Anything where the outdoor temperature is below 50 (10 celsius ) will slow the curing process significantly. Aim for a nice warm day with low humidity. ~ karen!

  52. Katherine says:

    Where did you rent your industrial drill? I’ve called a few big box stores and they said they don’t rent out.

    • Karen says:

      I got mine from a tool rental supply place near my house. That’s all they do … rent tools! This particular place is called “Stephenson’s Rental Service”, but there may be another business in your area that does the same thing. ~ karen!

  53. Vida says:

    What brand of self leveler did you use and from what contractor store did you buy it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vida – I’m afraid I can’t remember the brand. If look at my post you might be able to make it out from the bag. ~ karen!

  54. tonya says:

    great job.. very informative – easy to understand. our living room floor is an old old concrete floor – the deed says our house was built in the 1920’s and I suspect the living room may have once been the porch!! anyways — we are doing away with carpet – have a 13 yr old dog- so lots of messes. he just can’t help it at times.. and this is one of the options we are researching.. your tip about damming off the area was great.. we had not even thought about that… thanks.. you saved us a future headache.. today we patched the cracks with a flexible concrete patch mix.. and we thought the next step would be the primer.. but after reading your post and online research we decided to skip it.. so again thanks.. thanks for the great tips..

  55. Anna says:

    So I am loving the idea of this I want to do it in my basement where there are obvious pits and left over black adhesive but I defiantly need the basement to still slope in the same way it currently is. It should work in my head so long as I am using the squeegee. Right? I just want to get rid of the current way it looks and create a surface that can be flat for future flooring or possibly sealed, painted, epoxied. You opinion? Does the floor need to be warm for it to dry well?

  56. Alicia says:

    I came across this post while I was doing research on line about how to use self-leveling cement. So, I am very happy that I came across your page. Anyway, I am here typing at 4:23 in the morning and I think I’ve been up for about an hour. Okay, the reason is that I am remodeling my bathroom and came across a big problem. I removed some tiles to get to the bottom floor where it was sinking due to water damage. I fixed the damage area but by then I had removed two layers of tiles. But now that the hole is patched up I am left with an uneven floor and yes I did notice other areas that were not even and that is why I need to do the cement trick..So, once again I am glad that I came across this page. I am going to do this tomorrow.

  57. andy polishak says:

    After reading and watcing several videos i was still quite nervous. You saved me alot of stress. Thank you very much. If you ever need realtime electrical advice feel free to drop me a line!

    • Karen says:

      Glad to have helped Andy. And I will keep the electrical advice in mind, LOL. I *often* need electrical advice. 🙂 ~ karen!

  58. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for the very informative post!!! Wow, that really helps! We are thinking of using self-leveling compound AS flooring in our family room space, hoping for the look of concrete without actually being concrete. It is a mail floor area with plywood subfloor. In your opinion, would it work? Is it sturdy enough to stand up as a floor?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelly – It’s a bit trickier if you want this stuff to work as actual flooring. The problem is, you can have problems with discolouration and tiny bubbles in the surface of the concrete. Pouring self levelling concrete is easy … pouring a *perfect* looking self levelling concrete is not. 🙂 ~ karen!

  59. Suzy says:

    Wow! I just stumbled on this post.. it’s giving me ideas. We live in an old house that has 3 cellar sections: the house cellar, the man room under the garage and the tunnel that connects the two. All those floors could use a fresh coat of cement. I never even thought I could try it myself! Very cool!

  60. Neicy says:

    Girl, you kick butt! I have been looking for a great tutorial which I found in yours. My floor has minimal damage but I want to pour the whole floor. You have built my confidence and given me the info I needed. You rock, Thanks!!!!

  61. elisa says:

    Hi , i too feel inspired and brave enough now to level a floor in my daycare after reading your tips. Thank you for the tips and inspiration Karen. One question do you have to use the wired lath before you pour the mix if you are leveling a wood sub-floor?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisa – No ma’am. The only thing you have to be sure of is there aren’t any cracks in the wood floor where the concrete can seep down into. ~ karen

  62. Paul says:

    Please do another project. I’ll send chips.

    • Karen says:

      I’m always doing a project, but I think that’s it for the cement projects. Not even chips could change that. Unless … I mean … well to be honest with you, you weren’t really very specific about what kind of chips or how many. So … ~ karen!

  63. Betty Messbarger says:

    I’m too old to read the sides on the sack of floor levelor. I wanted to find out how much water to add. I get from your site that it needs to be thin. You made it sound possible that I won’t ruin my floor. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments. Thank you.

  64. Colleen says:

    Love the humor. Definitely a must when doing insane projects that we some how enjoy after completion and seemed like a good idea before we started. I am currently work on my bathroom remodel. I took the stinking (and I do mean stinking carpet) out and put in ceramic tile flooring. Then I decided to take a wack at the walk in tile shower. There was pieces of tile missing and grout cracked. After examine a few areas and removing a few tiles realized there was tons of mold behind on wall. Crap I have to gut the whole thing. So away I started gutting thing out. Got it down to studs and decided I REALLY want a whirlpool tub instead of tub. New problem we have to move the drain. Ok so hubby talks to plumber who tells him if he breaks down into the cement about 4 inches he can come and redo the drain. Well it turns out to be more like 2 feet. But after renting a jack hammer we were able to get it done. Plumber came in and moved drain. Now have huge hole to fill in plus have to level whole area to surrounding cement lip. I finally got it cemented in this week. Yay I am that much closer to my tub. However before plumber comes out to help install tub I thought I should use some self leveling cement to well make it more even. (Not that it is bad but the annal retentive part of me wants it to look nice so I don’t get comments like your wife did this oh I can tell (in that male tone lol) . So to prove that I really can do it I was researching self leveling cement and was rewarded with some humor and advice at your site. Ps it seems after tub is in and I get surround up I am going to move to drywall. Had a leak in the roof from rain and it was dripping down over my sink. I cleared out the waterlogged and mold drywall. My husband found someone who would repair it but he wants 600 dollars which seems a bit pricy to me unless he is doing the WHOLE kitchen ceiling. I am pretty sure I could do that small area for under 100. Told him get another quote or I am doing it. Lol

  65. Bill says:

    after i put down regular leveler how long do i have to wait to install ceramic tile

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bill – I laid VCT tile, so it’s a bit different. For that I had to wait a few days for the cement to cure, and then another few days before I could put heavy appliances back on it. ~ karen

  66. Joan says:

    Karen! You must be my long-list sister. My husband and I are howling reading this post. He has to have salt-and-vinegar chips, too! Out of necessity, we did our concrete floor work ourselves. The contractors don’t want to bother with small residential jobs. So first, remove the old 9×9 asphalt tiles. No, don’t worry about asbestos. The EPA doesn’t worry about it for these tiles because it is encapsulated. Our county allows them to be thrown into the regular curbside trash. But do worry about the asbestos in the “cutback” – the old adhesive. We got seriously lucky here. We had it tested and there was no asbestos. So then removal of the adhesive. Well, lots of research led us to a great product called Diamabrush mastic removal tool and supposedly we could rent it at Home Depot. Nope. They stopped renting them. But we bought one online for $290 (and later sold it on ebay for $150). You put this thing into a (rented) Clarke Sander floor maintainer and with lots of water and mess, together with husband’s muscle (it is not an easy machine to control), the mastic comes up and you have bare concrete. You need a small angle grinder and the 4.5 inch diamabrush mastic removal tool to get the corners and edges clean. This took two fairly long days. Then you test for moisture content. Ours was too high for the product we are putting down so the next step was to shot blast the floor to ICI Profile 3 (again, lots of research). We were able to rent a small walk-behind shot blaster. It took a day. No dust, because the shot blaster has a super strong vaccuum attached to it. Then a two-stage expoxy. We used MC Plus. Pretty easy to mix, took a bit of effort to spread it properly and I’m sure pros could have done it faster. It had quite a smell but I read the MSDS and no problem if you are just using it once. I wouldn’t want to breathe it on a regular basis. We kept the windows cracked and by day two it was gone.

    All along, people told us we couldn’t do this ourselves. WRONG. And we saved a bundle. The one guy who did give us an estimate wanted $3500 for just the mastic removal and the concrete profiling. We spent just under $3,000 for the whole shebang, including all the tool rental, the expoxy ($1300), and special tools and gear. So I think we saved about $2,000.

    And last but definitely not least, if I could have done it barefoot, I would have!

    Our flooring contractor will be here any minute to start installing the new flooring. They will do the self-leveling compound. Yes, we could have done it ourselves, but we are EXHAUSTED.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Don’t worry Joan, I wasn’t going to chastise you for not doing the self-levelling concrete yourself. I know all about getting to the point you just want to a) buy something instead of make it or b) hire someone to do it. Good job. I’m not sure even I would have tackled what you did. ~ karen!

  67. stevie says:

    Love the instructions – I only have repairs to a screed to do before tiling and this makes me feel better about it. But how could you cover up those lovely red tiles? I just had my 100- year old tiles taken up an relaid on a new concrete floor – I’ve been waiting for years to get a house with a kitchen with an old tiled floor. Oh and you really shouldn’t let concrete products come into contact with skin like that – little splashes that can be wiped off are ok but walking in it!?! Have you any skin left on your feet?!?

    • Karen says:

      Yup. Feet are fine. ~ karen

      • Bobboau says:

        You might want to make a small addendum where you talk about walking through the cement barefoot. Obviously you cleaned up well and quickly, but people who have larger jobs might have problems if they walk around in wet cement for a few hours. google “cement burn”. I had this happen to me when I splashed some cement on a foot at the beginning of a project and didn’t think about it until I was done. The next day I realized that some of the cement had burned it’s way INTO my skin and I had to scrub the already rather sore area with lemon juice (cement is very alkaline, acids like vinegar or lemon juice neutralize and dissolve it). It’s not a pleasant experience. Feet have lots of places where extremely runny cement can hide and burn it’s way into over a few hours. just make sure to mention that you need to make sure you clean up very thoroughly as soon as possible because cement will eat through you if you leave it too long. Cleaning this muddy mess off you might seem obvious but someone who doesn’t know might put it off because they are exhausted or they might miss a spot and find two days later an inch deep hole somewhere on their body that they normally don’t look at.

        Chemical burns suck.

  68. Josée says:

    Wow – are you ever fun and impressive. You’ve effectively shown that when a woman does a ‘man’ish job’, you get fantastic details. xo I especially like how you cover parts that could lead to worry (dips, uneven patches). Merci!!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Josée! It really was one of the more satisfying jobs I’ve done lately along with being one of the scariest. I have to say I LOVE the heated floors I installed! (which is why I had to do the self levelling cement. ~ karen!

  69. Elizabeth Fletcher says:

    Age 62, F, have done lots of construction work. Leveling floor. Pay attention to everything Karen says but just fasten plastic bags over your shoes instead of barefooting it, and wear gloves. Sent white-collar helper-husband to borrow corded 1/2″ drill from neighbor. Brought back battery-powered with 4 batteries. Lost the argument. Mixed 1/2 bucket when batt 1 died. Switched to Batt 2, 3 & 4 and moved on to bucket 2 when smoke came out of drill [1st Law of electronics: NEVER let the smoke out! Once the smoke leaks out, you need a new one]. Must mix!!! Must be continuous pour! Switched to 3/8″ corded drill and second bucket mixed before smoke came out of that drill. That part of floor completed. 56-mile round trip to buy 1/2′, 6 amp corded drill (50′ 16 gage extension cord in use which is fine for 6 amp tool). Smoke began seriously pouring out of new drill before 1st bucket for 2nd pour complete. Accepted the fire or fusing risk, which is VERY high, and completed mixing the bucket as the smoke leak increased. Leveler requires slow rotation rate as compared to drilling a hole. Drill instructions caution that running the drill slow for long periods will overheat it and it needs to be run with no load until it cools. 1. How do you know it is overheating BEFORE the smoke indicates the wire insulation is burning? 2. How much smoke is ok? 3. How do you know it is sufficiently cooled? So, did not work; new drill pouring enough smoke within 4 min of first use to convince me it was NOT, as my hubby proclaimed, just the grease burning out of a new item that is hot for the first time [burning grease smells like burnt grease; burning wire insulation smells like burnt insulation and they don’t smell the same]. Poured this bucket of leveler thin so I could easily add another layer AFTER I rent an industrial drill and buy my neighbor a new drill [leveler does not level well when the depth is very thin — gave myself about 1/2 inch]. Will need to use primer between layers because can’t get to it before it dries and the the manufacturer says to use primer for this. The construction guys call primer moose milk so haven’t a clue what primer is. The majority of construction guys make money from their labor. Some, the good ones who are always too busy to work for YOU, also use their brains and do what the manufacturer says you should do with their product so as to increase the odds that a tempermental product like self-leveling cement will actually work. As for other leveling projects, bear in mind how much weight this product adds to a floor. On old concrete floor supported by dirt/gravel, you are OK. A thick pour on a wood floor is iffy. Can the floor take it? Can the structure holding up the pour take it? Bag + water weight; not much water evaporates out. A thin pour on wood is iffy because wood floors often flex under your feet as you walk. Good luck with your project. Me, I’m chilling today. A 2 hour job has taken 2 days and needs another day…..

  70. Gary says:

    You know Karen I have looked all over the net, looked at a dozen Youtube videos produced by so called professionals….. and then stumbled upon your instructions. Loved the humour, loved the no pretense of knowing it all. You answered questions I had been searching all over for and here its a woman doing it all. Bravo!! One question- is that linoleum or tile you poured over. If it is lino then what do you think about a small amount of residue from glue I have on my concrete floors. I don’t want to start scraping as I thinks there is asbestos in the tiles. Should the residue be a concern.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Gary. Thanks! Well, we’ve already established I do not know it all, but … I wouldn’t think the residue should be any concern. However, if you’re pouring over concrete I think it would be worth your while to seal the floor. It isn’t necessary with a floor that doesn’t absorb anything (i.e. the self levelling cement) but with concrete you could have issues if you don’t seal it before pouring new cement. But the residue? Not a problem. ~ karen!

  71. Scott says:

    I wanted to comment here. First, the primer/sealer is required if the surface you are pouring onto is porous, such as plywood. Without the primer/sealer, the porous material absorbs the water from the self-leveling underlayment (SLU). This causes the SLU to setup too quickly, not allowing enough “working” time. We know this by trial-by-fire. We poured a 3′ x 3′ area for a fiberglass shower pan. The SLU within 2 – 3 minutes became thick. We ended up chiseling it out which since it sat a week, took 8 hours to do! Round 2 we used primer/sealer, a cordless 18 volt drill on low-speed to mix the SLU. We used water that sat outside all night in 34 degrees. We ended up with lots of air bubbles in the mix. Not sure why? Maybe too high of drill RPM? Anyway, we poured it and used a trowel to help it along. It looked perfect. After it dried, We took a level and although the surface was fairly flat, it was not level. It was over 1/8″ off from level in just the 3 foot span and high in the center. So another 4 – 5 hours to chip it out. We are ready to attempt round 3. We found the slower setting product this time. Not sure what the trick is to get it perfectly level? At least we should have extended working time.

  72. joe says:

    Always wanted to use a self-leveler but now, thankfully, will not have to. I’ve had the experience vicariously! Thanks so much for sharing!

  73. Rosr says:

    Wow….I’m seriously impressed, your floor looks great!! What kind of subfloor did you lay the concrete over? I’ve been lusting after those gorgeous acid stained concrete floors and am wondering if I could just lay this self leveling stuff over my wood subfloors? Any thoughts?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rosr – Well, I wouldn’t say I’m a cement floor expert at this point, lol. But what I can tell you is it’s difficult to get a perfectly smooth surface yourself with self levelling concrete. There are bound to be little bubbles that form at the top and that sort of thing. I ripped up a few layers of ceramic tile and vinyl until I was down to a smooth smooth sheet flooring. I poured the concrete over that. Because it was non porous I didn’t have to worry about using the sealer. If you’re going over wood you should probably use the sealer and make sure you patch up any holes that the concrete might seep through. ~ karen!

  74. Glenda K says:

    Thanks for all the good info and pictures! I’m still wanting to understand the workability of the product. It seems that you used the squeegee to move the cement so that it was approximately even. Did you then have to smooth it with a trowel? Smooth with the squeegee? or does it self-level and smooth itself?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Glenda K – The squeegee is really just to push the cement where you want it to go. You just use it to move the cement around, not to actually level or smooth it. Once it’s pushed into the corners and such, you just leave it. So yes, it levels and smooths itself. ~ karen!

  75. Rose* says:

    I read an article somewhere that if you stir the cement at a lower speed then bubbles are much less likely to form? Any thoughts?? How smooth was your floor after it dried? 90-95% smooth or what would you guess??

    • Karen says:

      The low speed thing makes sense but I’m not entirely sure the professional drill had a speed setting. I think the only option was “on”. I can’t remember and couldn’t guess how many bubbles I had, but maybe 80% smooth? Total guess. ~ karen!

  76. Dionne says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for all the info. Do you think this can be done over a sturdy ceramic floor? I want to use it as flooring. I’ll accept the bubbles etc. Anything will be better than the current dated ceramic.

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  78. Liz Madeley says:

    A quick note about going barefoot. Cement is very caustic. If you get any (dust or liquid) in your eyes, wash them out, it can blind you. I’d recommend impervious gloves and footwear, myself. I know a fellow who got 3rd degree chemical burns from cement he didn’t wash off. Stay safe.

  79. Jackie says:

    I have a question about the color. Does it stay that dark? Is there a lighter color available? I would like to just stain and seal it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jackie – The self levelling cement lightens up a bit, but a word of caution for using it to stain and seal. It’s very difficult to pour so you have a beautiful, bubble free surface. And although the cement lightens up it will always be mottled looking. I’m sure a professional might be able to a better job on both counts, but it’s something you should know about if you’re thinking of doing it yourself. Good luck! ~ karen

      • Jackie says:

        Thanks Karen! Mottled is the effect I’d prefer anyhow! If it’s too perfect, all the dog hair shows…LOL

  80. Mango says:

    As someone who is just about to pour a self-leveling underlayment, this article is by far the finest one I’ve read on the topic. If we ever meet, I will buy you some chips.

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  83. Taras says:

    Hi there,
    WOW !!!!
    I no longer am afraid.
    You’re step by step directions on how to pour a levelling compound is brilliant.
    I’ve renovated many houses, however have never required the use of such a compound therefore I was scared…….I was very scared.
    Following your step by steps did the trick for me.
    You should write more How to…..for the very scared.

    • Karen says:

      Glad it worked for you Taras! And this whole website is pretty much dedicated to How to for the very scared. 🙂 ~ karen!

  84. Ben says:

    You can also use soccer cleats if you don’t want to leave footprints in the cement

  85. Ben says:

    Also if you’re trying to level out a floor that is out by a significant amount, a chalk line will work for small areas like a bathroom. If the area is significantly larger, a laser level and these will help. We use a rotary laser level and go around the floor using a measuring tape to establish where the highest point of the room is. Then you form a grid with the level pegs and set your heights accordingly. Makes it easier to know where to push the material and ensure you are leveling the floor properly as the material is not 100 percent self leveling.

  86. don says:

    This article is full of bad information, How NOT to pour SLU

  87. Desiree says:

    Karen, I’m renovating my bathroom and the floor was so unlevel the toilet wouldn’t sit straight– this self leveling article was so helpful — I was so intimidated but I read this, and went right into it. I’m waiting for it to dry as I type this!

    Thanks so much!

  88. don says:

    Your house may not have fallen into an abyss, but chances are good the underlayment will fail over time. Primer is completely necessary along with a properly profiled clean sound substrate. Spending a little extra to do it right the first time will end up saving you money in the future.

    …. and please do not walk around barefoot in this stuff, you obviously have no idea the amount of corrosive chemicals in this cement that may permanently damage your skin and cause all sort of other problems with your body. If you ever meet a concrete finisher, look at there legs, alot of them are missing hair and have chemical burns throughout the body.

  89. Colleen says:

    Thanks for the helpful tutorial. I’m feeling empowered to tackle the basement floor in our flip house.

  90. Robert says:

    Karen, You helped me make up my mind about pouring self leveling cement, You also made me realize that I need to trade my wife in on you or one like you.

  91. Sandy says:

    After ‘leveling’ my floor and then installing a floating wood floor, I notice there is a bit of a dip or give in the flooring as I enter the room, meaning I did not get this 100% level. The flooring is simple enough to remove, but the question is can I simply add more SLU and taper to minimze the slope, or do I have to chisel out the high side?

  92. anna says:

    I am remodeling my bathroom and after pulling up old carpet and it’s residue I’m left with a lot of uneven places….plus the general slant of a 100 year old house. I will use the self-leveling cement as in your pictures. I purchased the groutable vinyl self-stick tiles because I didn’t want to mess with ceramic and they were also thinner. The guy at lowes said I had to install them over a wood sub-floor and sold me a smooth luan-type material. Do you know if these vinyl self-stick tiles would stick to the self-leveling compound? I did buy the primer to put on before the self-stick tiles. I haven’t bought the self-leveler since I don’t know what is available yet and I definitely don’t want the quick-drying kind. Thanks

  93. I love the fact that you have made it clear in your post that it is expensive and takes time to do it right. I do a lot of jobs for people but had never done an indoor leveling job. My partner told a customer we could do it and bid the job way too low, so I ended up losing money on the job. We were hired to do multiple jobs and he
    told them we could complete them all in 5 days. When I hired a helper to work with me on the cement work
    he said I had to pay the helper out of my share. No big deal right .. The floor was 23×13 and when I checked
    with a level the difference between the highest point and lowest was 3 inches. The original use for the floor was
    as a garage and it was cracked and had sunk in… The customer was unhappy that I took so much time to do it
    and fired me… I will never let my partner put me in that position again…

  94. Raymond from Germany says:

    Hi Karen,

    What is to be said – has already been said by many of your fans.

    I admire your Courage to do such work, (youl never find a European gird doing this) and the instructions and tips are first class. Thanks for the enjoyable reading, Raymond

  95. Dallas says:

    Can you use this self leveling concrete as the actual flooring? I’m trying to fix the pocketed floor in a retail space that had multiple floorings (tile, hardwoods, linoleum) down as display. It has been removed but the concrete is uneven.

    We are a poor nonprofit and I have to keep our expenses down on this new volunteer storage and work space. My goal is to make the floor smooth enough for volunteers not to trip but without having to spend any extra to make the floor pretty.

    But, I do like pretty so – if we could use it as flooring, any chance we could stamp or paint it? Volunteers deserve a pretty place to work.

    Thanks for any advice.

  96. Moe says:

    Your too kool…. I’m gonna show this to my real tough friend and tell him, yes, we can do this…………Thanks for the vid…later and good luck kool karen…….

  97. Kate says:

    Like so many others here, I found your site and love it. I do have a question I saw above and sorry if I missed your answer. I saw (too late) that you need to put the second layer on while the first is still wet. I didn’t do that. I am leveling a floor for glue down engineered hardwood. Am I in big trouble??

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate. Well .. I’m not sure how much trouble you’re in, lol. The reason for applying when wet is because it melds the two layers together. Now what you have is a top layer and a bottom layer. It’s possible it won’t adhere to the first surface, could crack or it could be just fine. For your purposes (of putting it under laminate) I think you should be fine. But that’s pretty much just a guess. ~ karen!

      • Kate says:

        Wow! Great info AND a prompt response. I am now hooked on your site! btw, it looks like our last pour leveled it enough that we only need to add a little to the sides. thanks again!!

  98. James says:

    That was awesome! I have to do this myself for 1000 sqft!

  99. Red says:

    While Don’s comments are a bit strident I concur on the need for primer/sealer on the underlayment.

    It’s possible you get lucky and don’t need it but you won’t know that until it’s too late. Then the $$$ you saved will be lost several times over if you have to go back and re-do the job. Also remember to consider disclosure when you sell. If you put it in you can’t claim you weren’t aware.

    Also be careful going off the advice of folks at “the store.” I’ve been led astray many times by advice from well intentioned folks in hardware / paint stores.

    The internet is a great tool for acquiring the basic facts, and then building from there. It’s not always 100% accurate but it will give you a general consensus from which to build upon.

    And I hate to say it but I’ve also heard it’s best to keep bare skin out of cement. It’s possible in recent years some of the worst ingredients have been lessened or removed. I don’t want to make a bigger deal of it. You do it a couple times in your life I’m sure you’ll be fine. It’s different for people who do it for a living and have continuous exposure.

    But overall great post, you have a wonderful, funny and off hand writing style. Keep it up, it’s something you have a talent for.

    And if you make an occasional mistake that’s OK. The pro’s do too, and as I like to say – you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Red -Thanks for the comment. The truth is, because my floor underneath was linoleum I absolutely did not need the primer. The primer is to seal a surface that is porous that the self leveller might seep into or get absorbed by. Like a former concrete floor. And you’re right i wouldn’t take the advice all the time of the people in a regular hardware or big box store but I am more inclined to take the advice of a store used by professionals (which this was). And yes, I was fine after walking in cement for a day and a half, lol. I’ve worked with hydrated lime. Now THAT’s something I’m careful with. 😉 ~ karen!

  100. KR says:

    You are HOT Karen

  101. Vlad says:

    I love your tutorial (and your writing style). Gave me courage to try this in my new sunroom (14’x17′). Unfortunately, there are no longer photos in your post (can you bring them back?), but it looks like you did not do your leveling all at once or in a very brief period (what with needing to buy more cement next day, etc.). Was this OK? In all the tutorials I have seen it seems you have to do it quickly and pretty much all at once. Alas, it is only me, so I don’t believe I can be that quick, with mixing, pouring, and smoothing. Your advice will be much appreciated.
    Best, Vlad

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vlad! I’m sorry but there’s a problem with my photos right now. I’m working on fixing it. I had help but still ended up having to do mine over the course of 2 days. As long as you pour your second layer (or section) while the first section is still wet and hasn’t fully cured you’re fine. If you don’t do it until the first layer has already cured they won’t fuse together properly. Good luck! ~ karen

  102. Clancy Smith says:

    Hi Karen, I loved your post!! you are very funny 🙂 I was going to do my one car garage, do you thing I need to do any major prep on the floor? and can I pour on top of each batch ? like maybe 2 inches. thank you very much.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Clancy – Thanks! For the record, I’m no expert in pouring self levelling cement. However, I can tell you if you’re pouring over an existing concrete floor you do need to use the sealer. Check your cement bag. It will tell you to what depth the product will work (1″, 2″ etc.) You can pour a second coat but you have to make sure you do it before the first coat is dry otherwise they won’t bond. Good luck! ~ karen

  103. thomas russell says:

    Karen would you like to fly to Edmonton Alberta Canada and do this in my basement?
    I need to strip the existing floor out and would love to put in hyrdonic heated floor. we could cover it with about two inches of this concrete then cover with tiles.
    email me at ; lets talk about a contract. I am 68 years old. so some of this work is a little much for me

  104. thomas russell says:

    Karen would you like to fly to Edmonton Alberta to do a job like this in my basement?
    I am 68 had cancer lost my total left side and more emergencies operations so am a little weaker than I used to be. Would be nice to put hyrdonic heat tubes then cover with about 2 inches of this concrete. / would you like a working trip?
    email me at

    many thanks

  105. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I was really afraid to try this until I read your post. Now, it looks easy.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the well written and illustrated tutorial. I am in the middle of leveling a concrete pad outside and cannot find a self-leveling cement/concrete mix locally. The best I found was concrete resurfacer, non self-leveling. I was researching to make my own with portland and fine sand and stumbled on this blog. I just wanted to add that the primer they usually refer to is an adhesion bonding primer. There are different types like latex, epoxy, and masonry. Its job is to act as a rough suface for the new material to cling on to while holding to the underlaying material and acting as a moisture barrier. Tiling is slippery and non-porous resulting in minimal bond. Using something like “Valspar Bonding Primer” would gurantee bond to the self-leveling cement. Then in theory you would need “BEHR PREMIUM® Concrete & Masonry Bonding Primer” for the tile to cement layer. Most of the time you don’t need it. There isn’t enough environmental change to weaken the materials and introduce moisture. Most wood floors stretch 1/16th between seasons. I would only use primer on outdoor projects where there are increased elements resulting in excessive expansion and shrinkage. The primer will assist in strength. Without primer you’ll only get 30 years instead of 50 🙂

  107. print art techniques says:

    Ridiculous story there. What happened after?

  108. Cher says:

    Thank you sooooooo much!!! I will be doing my kitchen floor soon as I will have a little grandson walking around within a couple of months. I am so thankful to have found this information. May you be blessed.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Cher! If you go to the trouble of putting down the self levelling cement I highly recommend installing the heated floors if you can (and if you’re in a cold climate, lol). They’re GREAT!. ~ karen

  109. Judy says:

    Hello, I am wanting to self level the back screened in patio. It has a very rough sub concrete floor already. Do you think it would need to use a primer before using the self leveling flooring. It has indoor-outdoor carpet now and it is so bad in areas that it is green stuff growing on top of carpet!! I WANT IT GONE!!!!! What do you suggest for prepping before using the self leveling flooring? Thanks on advance!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy! If you’re pouring self levelling cement onto concrete you will need to use the primer. It’ll seal your current concrete and stop the new stuff from seeping in. I didn’t need to because I was pouring onto linoleum. I’m not what you’d call a self levelling cement expert, lol, but to prep it I would *think* all you need to do is vacuum/clean the floor and apply the primer. If there are other instructions or requirements the bottle of primer should say so in the instructions. Other than that, the instructions I use throughout this post should get you through it. Good luck. ~ karen!

  110. Judy says:

    Also do I need to clean, bleach etc. the concrete floor that is there now. It is part of the foundation of the house when built back in the 70’s.

  111. Scott Evans says:

    Thanks for posting, I’ve been staring at the bags of “self leveling” for a week – I’m ready to try!

  112. Dr. Berry says:

    What was the name of the store that sold the self leveling compound cheaper than the big box stores? i have no luck finding anyone under $30 a bag for 50 pounds. My end cost is $27 with military discount, but I need around 15+ bags to do a 396 sq ft area that is over 1.5″s off over the area. Im considering trying to split the job into two parts, but no idea how hard it will be to match the two parts in the end.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dr. Berry. The store I used was a local chain in Canada (Turkstra Lumber), but if you can find a lumber yard or something like that, that’s geared to contractors instead of the general public, chances are that’s where you’ll find the cheaper bags. ~ karen!

  113. Wilson Keenan says:

    Thanks so much for this. Very helpful.

  114. Tasch says:

    As others wrote, the primer can be necessary if you are applying on a raw concrete slab or another porous surface. But a cheap alternative to the manufacturer’s primer is a mixture of 1part PVA with 5 parts water. Just brush it liberally on the prepared surface and allow to dry fully before you start your pour.

  115. Roger says:

    I have a rather large kitchen close to 900 sq feet. The house is old and we are going to be putting it on the market in a few months. The kitchen floor is uneven and has some cracks in the tile, can you pour the self leveling concrete on top of tile that is already there and then retile over it so the new tile does not crack before I get the house sold?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Roger! I always preface these answers with “I’m not a self levelling expert. Just someone who has done it successfully.” Having said that, yes you should be able to level over your existing floor as long as it’s non porous and you follow the instructions I’ve given. However, if the floor is only slightly uneven you can also level it with a regular levelling cement, then tile over everything. ~ karen!

  116. Oliver says:

    I have been debating to use or not to to level under the spa I an installing. The sealer was the thing that was throwing me. Sounds like a mission so am happy not to use it now.

    I don’t really catre about the surface I just want something to run in like a runny grout.

    • Karen says:

      Just make sure you aren’t pouring onto concrete Oliver. If you’re pouring onto concrete (or any other porous surface) you’ll need the sealer. Although if you check in the recent comments someone gives a less expensive solution to the sealer. Have fun! ~ karen!

  117. George Hausner says:

    I think I am looking for a different product. I want to make the floor smooth for tile application. Our house is old and not level. It has been remodeled more than once. The carpet has hidden several flaws. The area where I want to use vinyl tile is actually several connected rooms with a stairway and stone fireplace in the center.

    I am thinking of using something like filled polyester resin (Bondo) that can be troweled in place to make transitions gradual. Can you suggest another product or where I can purchase bulk Bondo?

    • Karen says:

      Hi George. I’m not exactly a flooring expert, just someone who figures out how to do things when the need arises. I can however say fairly confidently that Bondo isn’t the best method for levelling your floor. You should probably just use regular flooring cement. ~ karen!

  118. Paul Drabek says:

    We are needing to use some self leveling compound on our old kitchen floors. We are removing the layers of linoleum/tarpaper and tile and will have a slat wood floor. It is ok to put plastic down to seal up the floor and make it so the self leveling compound does not just run into the crawlspace with a sheet of plastic?

  119. Eva says:

    Bless you Karen. I missed this post when it was new but luckily it came up in the google search as I was beginning my research on self leveler. I was just realizing how much time I had ahead of me reading through tutorial after tutorial to glean the helpful bits from each when I saw yours and knew I was saved!

  120. AK says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article! I wonder of Mike Holmes is still upset. lol 🙂

  121. Mark Steele says:

    I give you credit, but next time read the MSDS before you go standing barefoot in something.
    “Excessive exposure to skin and eyes especially when mixed with water can cause caustic burns as severe as third degree.”

    That stuff is made with portland cement.

  122. Pinky says:

    Hi Karen-

    Firstly, I love seeing industrious women tackling such huge projects! Second, I’m considering using self-levelling cement to level an outdoor pad that’s about 20′ x 16′. The ultimate goal is to use the pad for a quick-set pool. I had one last year and determined the pad was sloped when the pool kept creeping towards the fence.

  123. Dave says:

    The reason you don’t do concrete without protective equipment is that it’s caustic. You may not see it on a couple of projects but if you work with concrete without gloves, or shoes, you’ll see your skin start pealing off in thin layers and be dry and brittle. To solve your problem with the boots they make a boot sole that straps to your boot with lots of tiny spikes. Keeps your feet protected and does not imprint a large enough area to need to be re troweled. And after you walk through self leveler it simply fills in the tiny holes. Not all self levelers require primer. It also depends on what your trying to self level over. If it’s concrete the previous concrete needs a bonding agent. That’s generally what the primer is for. As your project is going to be covered by tile it shouldn’t make a difference. All in all, you did a good job in my opinion.
    Something my father taught me is that if one man can do something so can another. Don’t fear the projects and take pride in the results.

  124. Dennis says:

    thanks for the confidence boost, and the primer advice. Good job by the way.

  125. Wow, Karen – I JUST found your blog and I love it!! Googled self-levelling cement and this post popped up. Super! Really informative but also really well written and funny! I’m sorry about the chips….. 😉 Off to level out my garage for my soon-to-be music studio! Thanks!

  126. Jody Cruzan says:

    You are fairly awesome. Do you have an older sister or aunt with your temperament?
    LOL. Keep up the good work. I don’t see many cement pouring, hippie chicks.

  127. Pingback: Self Leveling a Concrete Floor - Step by Step Video Guide

  128. Adele says:

    Love it! I’m working a basement floor that is a 1959 pour and much displaced post ‘longwall mining’. You may have just saved me a shxxload of time, money and effort! In your opinion, for a very large room, should I work it in sections or enlist help and pour, baby, pour. Also – the tile you covered is very much like the tile my laundry and bath rooms. Did you just pour over it to make a smooth underlayment for your vinyl? I’m told I don’t need to do that by the big box guys but I really only want to do this once!!!!!

  129. Christine says:

    TRU® Self-Leveling Training Video: Does anybody know where you can get that cool spiky-riley brush on a stick thing that alleges to deliver a mirror finish by getting all the bubbles out? Karen, thank you so much! I’ve also seen people use a room width 2 by 4 to level and plumbers putty to create a dam where you’re wanting to put in the toilet. This video also shows about use of color. Brand is immaterial to stress so much as training was interesting. Obviously, each situation is individual.I wish you many many potato chips!:)

  130. Christine says:

    DustRam® System Floor Leveling: Ultra-Clean & Fl…:
    So okay, for any of you doubters, this is how smart Karen is. Just because you hire a contractor does NOT ladies mean they will do any better than we can. This is showing how one contractor had to come in and fix what one did not do correctly. They use a particular system, obviously, but there are things that support what Karen says and did, plus could be helpful instructionally for any boo boos and avoiding them. Mike is not disproving Karen (except if you hurt your feet)! He would hate whoever did this floor tho… but it good to learn from!:) For me, only, I’m sure I’m the only one this would happen to…(sigh:)…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christine! I only watched the first few minutes of the video but that floor was a mess! Looked like their product might have been mixed too thick and it also looks like they probably used quick drying, which gives you almost no working time. Also … they were probably idiots, lol. ~ karen!

  131. robert says:

    hello Karen – Great work . regarding the primer – we are importers of compounds from Germany and we know little about these products . Primer is not to seal porous floor . on the contrary – if you have porous floor you don’t need a primer . primer is to adhesive the cement to the floor in cases where the floor is with no porous like granite or porcelain floors. in that case the compound can’t penetrate the small porous and the cement can lift up. it’s like painting on wall – when the wall is porous the paint will hold and you will not see chips falling . if you , on the other hand , try to paint on glazed ceramics – wait few months and the paint will start peeling off . if you use primer on the glazed ceramics – the paint will last much longer .

    I hope I helped – great work you did there .

    by the way – on PVC you don’t need primer .

  132. Mel Andrews says:

    Hi there, stumbled across this on a random Google, do you happen to have a photo of the mud room dry? 🙂 please ta thank you

  133. Matt says:

    Thanks for this. I’ve been psyching myself out about doing this for a week, but I’m going for it in the morning.

  134. mamakats says:

    THANK YOU! My bathroom floor came out perfectly! Ready to reintroduce 1950’s tile back into my 1950’s home!

    • Karen says:

      Oh! That’s fantastic! Thanks so much for coming back to the post and letting me know! I’m really happy my post helped give you the guts to do it. 🙂 ~ karen!

  135. Lola says:

    Came across this whilst searching “how to’s” for self leveling cement. I want wood-vinyl floors & I’ve always wondered how I could have them in my existing unlevel floored house!! How awesome to see you doin’ it- gives me hope that I can 🙂

  136. Deborah says:

    Awesome. Entertaining. And Inspiring. Thank you@!

  137. Kevin says:

    It looks great. The laser level can do the same trick. But, it takes more efforts. With self leveling cement, it sort of works by itself. The end result is just awesome.

  138. AllModCons says:

    I’m ready to embark on the same project this weekend and really appreciate all your tips. As a side note, I can’t believe you referenced, Paul Weller, one of my all time favorite musicians! Best wishes.

    • Karen says:

      Well it’s hard not to reference him when for some bizarre reason my hair looked exactly like his for a moment, lol. ~ karen!

      • ALLMODCONS says:

        Oh yes, you were most accurate in your description. The combination of cut, length and side burn is very Weller! I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. I love your tips and writing style. Best wishes, Karen!

  139. Tina says:

    I’m coming late to the party (like, a couple of years!), but we’re going to be tackling our kitchen next year and I’m so far unable to find anyone willing to level it for me. I’ve been working on my confidence in DIY’ing and the fact that you are a woman doing it is really helping me to think I can do it. Thank you for posting this step-by-step. The videos on youtube don’t even talk to you, they just show random guys pouring the leveler. Not very useful.

  140. Stephen Saunders says:

    The most hilarious and informative DIY posting I have ever read! You absolutely rock! Thanks!!!

    Ps.. Salt and vinegar are my favourite too. 😉

  141. Jenny says:

    Thank you for the article! I’m getting ready to rip out some of my flooring. I am going to have to use self leveler in many places, but the toughest job will be my foyer. What I hadn’t been able to find is an example of how to keep it from going where you don’t want it to. I’ve got a little more confidence about blocking off the area I don’t want leveler on. My foyer needs to come up about 3/8″ so the new flooring will be closer to the height of the wood flooring, and it connects to a carpeted hallway I don’t want to touch (yet)!
    Will heed the concerns of other commenters and cover my feet!

    • Karen says:

      You’re welcome Jenny! Don’t be afraid. Like most things, thinking about it is wayyy scarier than actually just doing it. Good luck! 🙂 ~ karen!

  142. ns says:

    thank you for posting this. It is people like you who do a great service to newbies. Thanks again and keep going.

  143. Mike says:

    Karen, Excellent tutorial. I’m having the same “fear factor” reaction going thru the prep as what you talked about. I have 3-4 small areas about 5×5 to fill in. I only need about an additional 1/8″ across the entire plywood area. Do you think there will be any problem with the thickness being too thin? Also, I’m trying to bring an area up to match another area. Do you have a suggestion how to make sure you don’t pour too much and get it too thick? I’m laying down LVT and I can’t afford to have a “bump.”

  144. Robin Craft-Jones says:

    Hi, I’ve taken many notes from you post. I think we will pour a self-level floor over primed T&G plywood. You poured over electric heat. We are looking to use water heat…

    Do you have advice for pouring over hydroponic (water) pex heat tubes? We are thinking to 1. primer plywood/fill cracks. 2. have the HVAC guy install water tubing all over floor surface. Then 3. we will pour self-level product 1″ thick over tubing. After cured, 4. hire “someone” (any ideas?) to install ceramic “thin” tile slabs (“Stiles” 6 mm thick, 9ftx5 ft) using Thin-set adhesive. Should a membrane be used between the Self-leveler & the Thin-set? Is 1″ enough self-level product over the 1/2″ tubing? Can you direct us to anyone with knowledge about this process we are contemplating? Or direct us to what trade would have knowledge of this kind? Especially anyone who could install ceramic “stile” slabs near/surrounding Jackson county in Michigan? Thank you so much for responding and giving us any enlightenment at all!

  145. UndercoverNerd says:

    What happened to your feet afterwards? Did the cement come off easily?

    • Karen says:

      Yes it was fine. As soon as I walked through the cement I went straight outside and rinsed them off. And repeat. I didn’t walk around with caustic cement on my feet all day long. ~ karen!

  146. Zovesta says:

    Just wanted to drop in and say that I used your post for inspiration and advice and just finished levelling my 122 sq ft room. =) Thanks, Karen!!

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! Thanks so much for letting me know. How’d it go? ~ karen!

      • Zovesta says:

        Really well, so far! It looks beautiful and is so smooth. It’s drying right now, then I can pop down my plywood flooring tomorrow or the next day. =D Thanks again, Karen!

  147. Johanna says:

    Having had everyone tell me I couldn’t lay a level floor in my kitchen myself – an L shape 18 foot by 14 foot this site has both reassured me and made me laugh out loud. I will of course be doing my research etc but now feel able to do this job (with the proper tools and crisps purchased first to avoid frustration) in a fortnights time for that very reason. Fingers crossed x

    • Karen says:

      Ha! You’ll do fine. I had the same problem when I was looking into levelling my own kitchen floor, Johanna. NO information was out there on how to do it yourself yet I knew it couldn’t be that hard. I mean it’s basically like pouring pudding onto your floor, lol. That’s why I did those post on it. To show people that yes, you absolutely can do it. 🙂 Let me know how it goes! ~ karen

  148. Johanna says:

    To anyone wary of using self -leveling concrete – don’t be. Yes it costs significantly more but it’s soo worth it for the time and effort saved.

    I had areas to fill that were 20 mm deep and other areas that were only 5 mm deep. Ended up putting the floor down in 2 applications as 1st one didn’t quite fill the deepest areas but did have a raised edge across middle of kitchen as my next batch wasn’t ready in time – we’d had a bit of a chat and a break in production and last batch had been too much concrete for the depth required.

    I now have a lovely even floor just waiting for me to decide whether to paint it or put down vinyl/lino.

    As with every other DIY job the time and effort’s in the preparation – get that right and the concrete flows no bother (just make sure the person mixing up the next batch gets on it right away as it starts to set quite quickly).

    Thanks for you inspiration Karen – saved me over £300 by doing it myself instead of ‘getting a man in’ to do it for me (and the crisps were an absolute essential) x

    • Karen says:

      That’s great Johanna! I’m so glad you came back to let me know how it went. And yes. Crisps (chips) pretty much make everything go more easily. 🙂 ~ karen!

  149. Matthew Fitzgerald says:

    One small quibble. Concrete can do tremendous damage to your skin, because it sucks the moisture out. You might get away with working barefoot for one day, but I’ve seen people unable to walk after tromping through concrete. (Breathing concrete dust is also very nasty, so it is smart to wear a respirator when mixing, or chopping concrete or mortar)

  150. Stefanie says:

    Thank you for your awesome blog. It served as my tutorial. First time laying self-leveling cement and I did it all by myself successfully thanks to your advice.

  151. Linda G says:

    Karen, you are hilarious…love reading your writing…you have found your calling.

  152. G says:

    Hi Karen,

    ‘ know it’s been a few years since you did this, but any idea about how much self-leveling you had to pour to cover the radiant floor mats? Like 1/4″ or 1/2″?

    Excellent post, thanks for doing it. 😀

  153. Riley says:

    Did you pour it over vinyl flooring or was that ceramic tile? Also, how has it held up?

    I have a horrible project that includes ateas of osb, vinyl and worn out glued down engineered wood floor. And the floor is so very far from flat.

  154. Erin Parker says:

    I just found this via Pinterest – thank you! Your hair having a “Paul Weller moment” made my freaking day.

    • Karen says:

      Funny, ’cause when I saw the photo of myself it mainly just appalled me as opposed to making my day, lol. Go Jam. 🙂 ~ karen!

  155. Dom says:

    Can I pour it over ceramic tiles some are cracked?
    Just trying to not have to break all the tiles down to the veneers…



  156. Shawna says:

    Hahah cracking up here! Found this post of yours from awhile back while searching for tips on laying self leveling compound, while currently scraping my sons concrete floor to prep it AND Jamming to old STYLE COUNCIL!!! Love it! And Paul Weller!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  157. Elizabeth says:

    can you just paint or glaze the cement? And not add tile?

    • Karen says:

      To be honest Elizabeth I’m not sure if self levelling cement is right for that or not. I *believe* so but as an amateur (you and I) it’s difficult to get a nice enough finish on it. ~ karen!

      • freya says:

        Lots of amazing cement stains and dyes available now! And you can buy a glaze that creates a shine to go over the top! Spenr many an hour looking at them..

    • Barns says:

      Not really … best way is to rent a polisher, and grind down the original finish so it’s level. You can then paint this or dye it. The leveller doesn’t really paint well.

  158. Sheenaah says:

    I need to level the front of my living room where it was an extension and the foundation has settled separately then the house. There is a slight slant but I also have my front door there. How did you make sure you didn’t seal the door shut?

  159. freya says:

    As is my style, I come to things super late, and have just read your rather marvellously funny blog here! Brilliance.. I’ve been debating doing the floor in the ‘gym’ (I say gym.. it’s a barn.. a small one.. ok it’s a shed.. made of breezeblocks.. but it’s got some lovely cladding on the outside. And it has ‘potential’!!).. Quoted huge amounts by builders and it’s just Not My Style do do it that way. Your posts here have pushed me over the edge into the ‘I CAN do it’ mindset.. And the bare feet bit really swung it! Always work barefoot.. have broken my toes more times than is healthy as a result.. ah well.. Shall now read your site with glee!

  160. Nika says:

    I am impressed by your courage.. good job girl

  161. Lori says:

    I need to do this to a hallway and bathroom that have the old wood flooring. So there are small gaps or cracks between some if the boards. What would you recommend for filling those in do that the concrete does not run through them?

  162. Barns says:

    Amazing job and I LOVE that you walked in it!

    Just a quick note about the primer for your other readers… It’s needed where you’re levelling bare concrete, and is somewhat important. It’s basically PVA (which is cheap) mixed 50-50 with water, which will create a very thin waterproof barrier, and stops the concrete sucking the moisture out of the floor levelling compound. Looks like you were pouring on tiles, so this would have been fine, no primer needed 🙂 On concrete it will still work fine, but the final finish won’t be as strong if it dries out too fast.

    Happy diy-ing!

  163. Carol says:

    Okay….I give up. What is a store that contractors use? Aka not the big box stores. No clue.

  164. Elona says:

    Wanted you to know that you have continued to impress and encourage. I poured my own self leveling concrete today after reading your article.
    Malo aupito.

  165. Mike says:

    Funny and entertaining project story!

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