ArticlesBlog

How to Self Level Bathroom Floors Part 1…Prep Concrete Basement Floor — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Self Level Bathroom Floors Part 1…Prep Concrete Basement Floor — by Home Repair Tutor


So here’s today’s question: How do you
self-level a bathroom floor, specifically a basement bathroom that has a concrete floor?
Well, in this part 1 video, we’re going to show you how to prep the concrete floor.
And then in part 2, we’ll show you how to self-level it. Many videos may leave out some
of the small tips that are really important for this type of bathroom remodel. So basement
bathrooms, a lot of people have them. But if you do it the wrong way, it can lead to
a lot of big problems. So let’s show you this first video on how we prep the floor.
And then in the next video, we’ll show you how we self-leveled it.
Okay, so this is a basement bathroom. This is kind of a typical situation where the floor
is completely unlevel. They obviously designed this original concrete floor to drain towards
the drain in the middle of the floor. So like a lot of basements, they’re just completely
uneven. So to be able to set a tub in this scenario, you have to level everything. I’m
typically saying if it’s more than a ¼ inch, then you want to address the levelness.
Anything more than a ¼ inch is going to make it very difficult to set your tub and do all
the tile work and get everything level. Anything less than that is not a real big deal; you’re
able to shim things up or when you set your tub in mortar, you can play around with that.
But anything more than that, it becomes pretty difficult.
So to show you this scenario, this scenario’s pretty bad. And say this 4-foot span here,
we’re about an inch out of level, this being the high side. So we’re going to floor level
the entire bathroom floor. And the first thing you want to do is establish where the high
point of the bathroom is. We know that this side is higher than the right side here. So
let’s see which side of this side of the room… So it looks like our high side is
all the way in the corner over here. And then let’s just see what… and this is sloping
down pretty bad as well. It’s almost an inch and ¼ there.
So in this corner, what we do is use some Tap Con screws. Now, you can use other types
of screws, but these are easy to sink into the concrete. But what we’re going to do
with this is place these so that these tops of these heads are level, basically giving
you a marker for where to pour the floor to. Floor leveler is great. If you just want to
make something smooth, you can just pour it out and just feather it out. But if you want
to make something level, you can’t just pour it and trust that it’s going to sit
level. You’re going to have to have some indicator to make sure that that leveler fills
the whole area that you need. So we’re going to go ahead and put these Tap Cons into several
different places so that when we pour the leveler, we can fill them up to the top of
them. So on this back side, I’m just going to actually just get this screw all the way
tight to the floor, and then we’ll be basically filling like a ¼ inch on this top part.
You need a hammer drill and a concrete masonry bit to drill through the concrete floor. Now
sometimes these bits come with a Tap Con kit. So we’ll just have the floor level go to
that height, and that’s what we’re going to indicate everything off of to make things
level. So from here… And you only need probably like six different
places in the bathroom to ensure that you’re level. So we put something over here. So just
going off the top of that level part. Actually, I’m going to go up over here. That’s pretty
bad. I’m going to get a longer screw. So that’s the top of our thing here. That’s
about an inch and a half. So that’s quite a bit of floor leveler. If you just poured
this without having this indicator, there’s no way that you probably fill it this much.
So this is going to be our indicator. So as long as you get that floor leveler to the
top of this, you’d be good. So we just continue to move around the room,
drilling holes into the concrete floor and adding our Tap Con screws. So again, you just
want to check with the level that your Tap Con screws are at the right height. You may
have to adjust the height of them and check that they’re at the appropriate height with
your level. So we’re just working our way around drilling all those holes into this
bathroom floor. Okay. Go back and to this front corner.
It is important to get these Tap Con screws at the right height, so take your time during
this process. It may take a little bit longer than you expect, but that’s okay.
Okay, so that’s level. So for this bathroom, we just worked our way
around the room in a counter-clockwise fashion, adding all those Tap Con screws and ensuring
that they’re at the right height. Looks good. Okay.
The next step is to Shop-Vac the entire room. You don’t want any dust or debris on the
concrete floor because we’re going to have to prime the floor. In this case, we’re
using the Prime-N-Bond by Laticrete because we’re going to use Laticrete self-leveler.
So I recommend the night before kind of preparing this, you have to use a primer that goes over
the entire floor associated with the product that you’re using. So we’re using Laticrete
floor leveler. So you want to use their primer the night before or, you know, a couple of
hours before. I’m just going to see what… it says 2 to 5 hours before. So 2 to 5 hours
before, apply this primer. It’s going to be easier just to do it the night before.
And then in the morning we’ll go ahead and pour the floor leveler.
But to prepare for the leveler, I recommend using a latex caulk. As you can see here,
I built a little trough area to keep the floor leveler going into our drain area. You kind
of want to protect any area this is going to flow. Any area that water can flow into
something you want to be able to seal and keep that floor leveler from seeping out.
So we’re going to just use some latex caulk around this little box that I created here,
and this should keep any floor leveler from sinking into my cavity. I also recommend going
around the entire floor area and filling this in. And again, this is just preventing that
floor leveler from seeping underneath this wall.
It’s not a bad idea to tulle the sealant with your finger to make sure that it’s
completely compressed up against the wood. Okay, so then wipe down your whole surface
here just with a little bit of water and get all the dust and stuff off the floor before
applying the primer. So this is just a pink foam that is for a
sill plate. You put this down, like say you’re framing this wall over concrete, you want
to put this down underneath the framing. But I’m going to use this as a spacer, basically
giving us an eighth inch gap around the edge of the room, so when the floor leveler fills
up to this, then we’re going to have a little bit of expansion and contraction area between
the walls. You wouldn’t want to just pour all the leveler straight to your framing.
You want to give some kind of space for expansion and contraction. So we’re just going to
staple this on. This is like a 5 ½ inch piece. But once all the leveler’s done, we’ll
just cut the excess out afterwards. I’ll just tack it up around the edge.
We’re just tacking the foam to the studs using a stapler. You can actually tack it
directly to the drywall if you already have drywall installed. It’s not a big deal because,
like Steve said, we’re just going to cut this foam out from the wall once we’re done
with the self-leveler. But this is a critical step because it provides that important 1/8
inch expansion and contraction joint between the self-leveler and the wall.
So again, we’re using the Prime-N-Bond by Laticrete. This is the Laticrete primer for
their self-leveler. We’re just using a 3/8 inch nap roller to roll it onto the concrete
floor. You’re going to want to get every inch of floor covered in the primer because
that way your leveler will stick to the floor. If you don’t use a primer, you run the risk
of the leveler not sticking to the concrete, and that will be a huge headache. So whatever
leveler you’re using, use the accompanying primer that is made by the same company. So
if you’re using Laticrete self-leveler, use their primer.
The next video’s going to show you how to self-level this basement bathroom floor. When
we’re done with that, we’ll put it right here for you to watch. But here’s the deal,
and this is really cool: we’re going to be building an online course that’ll show
you how to build this basement bathroom step-by-step. So in this particular bathroom, we had to
install a bathtub, we waterproofed the walls, and we tiled the walls using stacked subway
tile. It’s going to be an awesome course. If you’re interested in that, click right
here to join our email list. We’ll notify you when the course is available, and we’ll
also give you a guide in the meantime that’ll share seven tips on how we built the basement
bathroom. So click right here to be notified when the course is ready and to get that free
guide. Thanks for watching today’s video. If you
have any questions, ask them down in the comments, and we’d be happy to help you out. Take
care.

Comments (13)

  1. Wouldn't the leveler seep right under the pink foam since it wasn't caulked, thus defeating the whole purpose of the foam?

  2. I’ve always wanted to know how this is done, so this video is answering a lot of my questions. Great video series. I like that lighted level that Steve is using.

  3. Where can I get the part 2?

  4. How would you guys handle a slab that's cracked?

  5. I was a little surprised by the latex caulk recommendation. I would have thought it would be a silicone caulk. A+ on content, demo, tips, and video production and editing. Mercifully, no background music.

  6. Great video. Never seen screws used before with self leveling compound. Shouldn't the compound level itself?
    Waiting for next video.
    Also please show diyers how to quickly check their level for accuracy.
    So many take it for granted that their level is dead on.

  7. Love the lighted vial level ,my eyes are bad ,empire search in progress

  8. All your videos are Awesome! Great Channel!

  9. I'm planning on removing my tub and my in closed shower and making a double shower. Any ideas on a large pan or a floor idea?

  10. Hello Folks!I have an Acrylic Shower Pan that is trashed and I need help on building a Tile Shower Base/Pan 32"X60" Left Drain.Id Appreciate Your Help!Thanks Sincerely; Ernie

  11. What did you do with the screws? Did you leave them in there?

  12. How much work time do you get with the self leveler? Enough to keep mixing additional batches as you go? I'm unsure about estimating how much I'll need.

  13. So much thank you !

Comment here