So.. I have made a big mistake.

2 years ago we put down lvp and we did not ensure the concrete slab was flat. Over the past 2 years the floors in my kitchen and dining room have cracked and split.

So today I have tore it back up to flatten it and put down new flooring. I thought I knew what to do but it failed.

I found the unlevel spots and poorer concrete leveler. I did not pour the whole floor but only patches. It did not level and is way too high. The edges are not feathered.

Even the patches themselves are not level.

At this point I am not sure what to do.

I could rent a floor orbital sander I could chisel it out. Or I could pour more.

I would prefer the sander but I have never used one and am not sure what to expect. How much dust and how much time will it take. How do I make sure we are getting it flat now?

Any advice is appreciated. I feel pretty stupid right now and not sure what to do

  • The floor does not need to be level, it does have to be flat. Leveling compound should lay flat. You really should have poured the entire flood with leveling compound. As an aside, I have been installing LVP for about 5 years and never had a plank or tile crack or split from normal use. What was the total thickness of the LVP? If less than 5.5 mm the product is too thin and not good except for perfectly flat floors.
    – RMDman
    Commented Mar 28 at 1:50
  • Need a close reason for I thought it was going to do what it says on the bag. "I could rent a floor orbital sander. I could chisel it out. Or I could pour more." - correct. Or combinations of all of the above, but ideally not pour more of that garbage. "How much dust and how much time will it take." : yes :( - For about $1k you can rent a real floor grinder and the dust collector the EPA requires you take with you, which will reduce both considerably. Especially if you just do it wet, and don't use, and then have to clean, the collector.
    – Mazura
    Commented Mar 29 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


"Self-leveling" is a very deceptive and enticing descriptor, as you've learned. While it does settle to level (slowly), it doesn't self-feather--it leaves a bead at the edge. I almost never recommend the product for novices, for the reason you've discovered and because the result itself is often best not level--flat is the goal, but sometimes a room has a slight tilt that must be maintained or you're trying to bridge between different levels.

At this point you have two options: Chisel it all away or grind it flat. Which makes more sense depends on the product. In my experience, SLC tends to be soft and chalky, so judicious use of a plate, drum, or belt sander with a coarse grit might make quick work of it. They can be rented for a reasonable fee and aren't difficult to use. If you used a heavily fortified product, though, it may be much harder. Popping it completely off may be easier. Give it a scratch with a tool to assess.

Once you've done one of those things, repair any remaining flaws in the floor with a feathering compound. Use wide, smooth, arcing strokes with a large trowel and apply thin layers. When it's dry, check your work with a long straightedge. Lay your eye down near the floor to get a good sense of flatness. Add more if needed. It's easy to put it on. It's hard to take it off.

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