Over time your garage’s concrete floor can shift, making it an unlevel surface that is unpleasant to work on. You don’t need to hire a professional, with self-leveling concrete you can do it yourself.
Below you’ll find out how much it costs, what to do and what to watch out for.
Let’s get started.
How Much Does It Cost To Level A Garage Floor?
If the floor only needs a couple of touch-ups, then you can use self-leveling concrete. The price will vary significantly between $1.50 to $5 per square foot, but the average would be on the lower end about $2. This would work out to about $800 for a 20’x20′ garage.
If the floor has sunk a fair bit and you want to use a “jacking method”, the cost will be significantly higher. It can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000, with a very rough average being $1000.
If you decide to remove the entire slab, the cost can be significantly higher than the cost of pouring self-leveling concrete or jacking the slab. This is because you have to pay the cost of removal and disposal, along with the cost of installing a new concrete slab.
A very rough range would be between $6 and $15 per square foot which could end up between $2000 and $6000.
Using Leveling Compound
If you only need a thin layer to level out your floor, then you can choose to use a leveling compound. The steps you need to take are as follows:
1) Clean the Floor
This is probably the most important part of the whole project and includes removing any old debris and dust, as well as any grease or other contaminants. After you remove the grime, it’s a good idea to pressure wash the slab with water.
2) Apply A Primer
A primer is important because it ensures a good bond between the existing concrete slab and the self-leveling concrete.
3) Mix The Self Leveling Concrete and Pour
Ensure that the self-leveling concrete is thoroughly mixed. Once it is mixed, pour the concrete.
4) Squeegee or Trowel The Floor
After pouring the concrete use a squeegee to ensure you cover the whole area. Even though the concrete is “self-leveling”, it is still a good idea to push it around to ensure a perfectly level surface. Another good reason to push around the concrete is to get a more uniform-looking finish.
5) Let The Concrete Dry
Depending on what the manufacturer recommends, you may need to add some curing compounds or take other steps to ensure it cures properly.
Once you have completed these steps, you will find yourself with a nice, level, concrete floor.
Using Slab Jacking
Slab jacking is when a material is placed under the existing concrete slab to raise the height of the slab. The most common way to slab jack is to drill holes in the existing concrete slab and insert a special foam in these holes. The foam will go under the existing concrete slab and push up the slab to the required height.
To slab jack, you need to do the following:
1) Drill holes
These holes must be strategically placed for the slab to rise evenly.
2) Insert the foam
Using a special spray gun, blow the foam through the holes so it goes beneath the slab. The foam will lift the slab. You will need to insert the foam in the various holes to get the slab to rise everywhere.
3) Take measurements to ensure you achieve the correct height
Use a level or a pre-drawn chalk line to determine if you reach the correct height. You may need to add more foam just to top raise the slab to the exact height. Depending on the job, you may draw lines indicating the final height before inserting the foam.
How To Level A Garage Floor That Slopes
In some situations, you need to ensure your floor has a little slope. One of the reasons for this could be proper drainage. When working with this kind of situation, you cannot use self-leveling concrete.
To level (flatten) a floor that requires a slope, you must do the following:
1) Set up your perimeter
This involved using pieces of wood and creating a “mold”. You need to ensure the height of the form matches the exact height of your final product.
2) Pour the Concrete
Pour the concrete between the formwork which makes up your mold. You cannot use self-leveling concrete since you wish to have a slope once you finish.
3) Remove top layer of concrete
Using a straight edge or a “screed” you need to remove any concrete which is higher than the formwork. By running the straight edge along with the wood forms, you will achieve a surface that slopes exactly as you planned.
Should I level my own garage floor?
Deciding whether you want to level your own garage floor or use a professional is a difficult decision. The major risk is making a mistake and having to tear out the entire slab.
If you have some patches and can use self-leveling concrete to level it out, you can probably do it yourself. It is important to perform all the steps including cleaning the existing surface if you want your new slab to last.
If you have major issues and need to do more than top-up a couple of sections, it could be worthwhile to hire a professional. Although many people can do the project themselves, there are many risks if you are inexperienced, and the costs to repair any mistakes could be significantly higher than the cost of hiring a professional.
The other problem for those who do it themselves is they need special equipment to perform the task. In some situations, you can rent the equipment, but in other situations, it doesn’t make sense to buy equipment if you are only going to use it once.
Learn more: Can you pour concrete over existing concrete?
Also, check out the best drain for a garage floor.