I had a plumber move a toilet drain on cement slab. The new concrete he poured is about 1/8" higher than the rest of the floor. I need the floor to be level for tile installation. The new concrete is only about 5% of the bathroom sqft, so I need way to grind it down somehow. What's the best way to accomplish this?

  • So the tiler ended up using thinset to smooth it out instead of grinding, which he said he'd do. I wasn't too happy about this but too late to do anything. Since the tile we used is mosaic, it is very tolerant of variances in the floor. The toilet required shimming but it's not so bad and no one can tell it's not level. – Andrew Jan 12 '14 at 16:21

Grinding concrete is a very dirty job. If I had to do it I would use a 9 or 4 1/2 inch grinder with a concrete grinding wheel. At least an N95 dust mask, goggles, preferably like motorcycle riders use with the foam around the edges to keep dust out. I would put one or two shop vacuum cleaners hoses in the exhaust vent to create an air flow through the bathroom. You will need to mark where the toilet base hits and remove the toilet then grind away free hand. Leave the outside edges till last so you can put a straight edge across to measure progress. Leave the area where the toilet sits high, it wont be noticible when the tiles are in. Can you get the plumber to fix it, he screwed it up. For the vacuum cleaner's you could remove the door and make a plastic door then you could just run the hoses under the plastic and let air be pulled in from the vent, try and have a slightly negative pressure to keep the dust in the bathroom.

  • The plumber has no interest in grinding it down so looks like it's off to home depot for a concrete grinder. At least some models have a dust vacuum built in. Fortunately it's a small area. – Andrew Apr 28 '12 at 20:55

A good tile installer should be able to use floor leveler before installation to deal with any inconsistencies in the floor. This is common. 1/8" is not too bad. I have seen this product used with good results. But plenty of other products exist for this purpose. A little more prep work for the tile guy but possibly better than jacking up the concrete.

  • The new concrete is only about 5% of the bathroom sqft, so I need to bring it down, vs bringing up the other 95% of the floor – Andrew Apr 23 '12 at 23:38
  • Understood. I loathe the idea of grinding but I believe @Dave has the best approach. Get a bunch of plastic, seal off the bathroom, create a negative air chamber and get to grinding. You can rent a floor grinder at your local big box or if it is a really small area use an angle grinder. I would absolutely call out the plumber though. He should take responsibility. – hurricaneMitch Apr 24 '12 at 2:22

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