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I have a concrete floor, which needs work to make it really level (i just poured it). Once I have it level enough I would like to install vinyl sheets for the finished flooring. Is it reasonably easy to make the concrete level enough, and can anyone advise me about what products to use to do this? And then, should I seal the concrete? What is the best sealer to use? I have been told that the glue used for the vinyl will not stick if the concrete is too moist, which is why I assume I need to seal it. Thanks!

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    Making a concrete slab "really level" is done during the initial pour. Proper form work, screeding, and finish-floating the pour can give you a near-perfect level and smooth surface. If you "just poured it" but it is too late to properly level and finish, you will likely need float a floor leveler on top. If you do/did not have the skill/experience/knowledge/tools to create a level slab initially, I would argue that you will have the same problems with floor-leveling material. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 10 '16 at 15:08
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Before you decide on the flooring you'll want to do a moisture test. Vinyl floor will not allow any water vapor to escape the slab, so as moisture wicks up through the slab it will become wet below the vinyl. This can lead to mold issues and a breakdown of glues and patching compounds. There are plenty of effective ways to deal with a moisture in a slab, but without a test you won't know which to choose.

Now to the question of leveling the concrete, first step is to map out the slab to determine high and low spots. The easiest way to do this is to set up a rotating laser in the middle of the room, be sure it's sitting level and turn it on projecting a level line around the room (the height you set it at doesn't matter). Next take a straight stick, pole, broom handle, whatever as long as its straight, set it next to the laser and place a mark on it where the laser hits it. Then make your way around the room taking note where the laser is hitting the stick in relation to the first mark. Plot several points around the room (the more the better). Marks above the control line means the floor is low, below means high.

High spot are best ground down, low spots are best filled. Most jobs I've done require both grinding and filling. If you find more low spots than high the more leveler you need, more high then low the less you need. Remember to respect all control and expansion joints, and follow the manufacturer's instructions to the tee to insure a proper job.

  • Hello, again. This answer is great, and has lots of good information; even better, it answers an old, unanswered question. But again, the formatting makes it difficult for people to read and understand it. I'll clean it up, but a bit of work by you would let more people benefit from your experience. – Daniel Griscom Feb 10 '18 at 15:05
  • There; I've cleaned it up. You can click the "edited" link above my name to see what changes I made. – Daniel Griscom Feb 10 '18 at 15:11
  • Please: keep contributing! We need people with your expertise and willingness to share. (And, you may want to choose another display name; it's hard to keep track of all the userXXXXXs, and it's nice to recognize returning contributors.) – Daniel Griscom Feb 13 '18 at 1:38

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