Whoever installed the existing washing machine in the basement was unable to extend one of the legs long enough to adjust for the slope in the concrete floor.

So they took a piece of wood and stuck it under that corner. The washing machine is level all right, but 1- it's very ugly, and, more importantly 2- the piece of wood could slide out during some spin cycle and then the machine would fall and then wobble like crazy.

The old washing machine is about to go, and a new one is coming in. I'd like to avoid the hack and make the adjustment needed to level the washing machine minimal.

To do that I'm thinking of applying a bit of concrete floor leveling compound. The idea is this: First position some (old/disposable) planks of wood around the area of the washing machine. Keep the planks in place with some tape. Apply the compound to the sealed area (that's the footprint of the washing machine). After the compound sets, remove the planks of wood. Now the new washing machine has a nice little square to sit on that's reasonably level.

  1. Is this a reasonable solution?
  2. Can you think of a better way?
  • You will need more than tape to hold the wood, some wood blocks nailed into the wall would be better.
    – diceless
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 5:03
  • 2
    True, the wood will readily move with tape holding it. Fastening it to the wall would do nicely or add some weight to the wood to hold it down. The weight may get in the way for pouring. If the form moves you will surely have a mess to contend with. If you plan to use a self leveling concrete, you will also need to seal the 2X to the floor with caulk or something like that. The cement is loose enough to seep under the wood form. 1/16" gap may be ok, an 1/8" gap it will flow under enough to make a mess
    – Jack
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 6:57
  • Is it out of level because of a floor drain? If so you'll want to be careful to ensure that the area still drains in the right direction.
    – Comintern
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 23:39

3 Answers 3


Instead of temporary forms, make permanent ones. Cut a 2x4 in to a wedge shape, apply a thick bead of silicone down the middle of the underside, and screw them down with masonry screws. Once the silicone sets, fill your forms with cement. Now you have a nice level permanent pad for your machines.

  • By wedge shape I'm guessing that you mean the two 2x4s should be cut so that their bottom lies on the sloping floor and their tops are level (horizontal); is that right? That sound like a decent idea, but how do you cut a 2x4 in such a way? I could shave from one side until the top is level, but I can't guarantee the bottom would be straight/flush with the floor. Thoughts welcome. Also, does this constitute a nice enough final finish or should the 2x4s be painted, or at least sealed?
    – Calaf
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 11:59
  • Cut a 2x4 to the right length. Then put it on the floor where you want it. Put a level on top and lift the back end until it's level. Then you can use a compass or dividers to scribe a line on the 2x4 parallel to the floor. Cut it with a bandsaw or a jigsaw. You don't need to paint the 2x4s unless you're going for beauty. Technically, you sound probably be using pressure treated 2x4s, but I think they will probably hold up fine for years unless your basement is a swamp.
    – longneck
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 12:31
  • 1
    Also, the cut doesn't have to be perfect. The silicone caulk will fill the gap.
    – longneck
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 12:31

Several items in my basement are on 4 bricks. With a reasonably stiff mortar, it's not hard to get the 4 bricks level (and you only HAVE to get them close enough for the feet to compensate.) Indeed, with a relatively stiff mortar you don't even need the brick, perhaps (I do to keep things above the waterline when things get out of hand inflow-wise.) Perhaps a quarry tile on the high side and a brick on the low side would work for you, or you can mortar a stack of quarry tiles.

If you'd rather have a full pad, you can use a stiff mix without forms (and a tapered outer edge), or you can use forms. You could even make "forms" with a stiff mix around the edge, then infill that. I'd probably NOT use "self-levelling" for this job as it does raise the stakes on form tightness, and again, you only really need to get close enough for the feet to work, not "perfect."

  • I agree that bricks and/tiles are sufficient, and that mortaring them would provide more than sufficient strength. But since sooner or later I'll move on from this property, I am concerned about presentability. Would future folks visiting the property think that a machine elevated on other than a platform is unseemly?
    – Calaf
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 14:12

Use a milk carton as a forms, tape them to the floor and fill with concrete or patch, starting with the lowest corner and level each of them. They do not need to be very thick, but now you ave four sturdy, level pads for the washer feet to rest. You could put a plywood platform on top, but you really just need the 4 pads.

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