We have a tiled dining room that transitions to carpet (carpet and pad on cement foundation slab). We'd like to tear out the carpet and level the concrete slab up to the tile flooring, about 3/4 - 1" difference.. and then stain and seal the new concrete 'overlay'. We plan to prime the existing concrete 'sub floor' that is under the carpet so the new overlay bonds well.

So. The 64k question: What do we use? A self-leveling cement? Do we need to do any special prep? Anything to watch out for with such a shallow pour? Any specific or special cement type needed??

Our living room is approx. 310 sq ft. - if that helps. We'd like to do our master (which is off the living room right now and would make for a seamless transition).. looking forward to your suggestions and experience.

  • A fine aggregate will be needed with a thin floor. To have an exposed or stained overlay this thin will be very tough. Finishing work to give the proper look is tough for a pro in a confined space. Thin overlays tend to crack. I have used a epoxy paint 1 month after the pour and that filled the cracks well and left the surface quite nice, painted a checker board 8' square that the grand kids love in my man land.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 13, 2016 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


Level it... with more tile?

I've done my share of concrete work, but there's no way I'd trust myself to float a finished floor and I wouldn't personally guarantee any work I did less than four inches thick. I'd tile it just like the rest, if I were set (haha) on doing concrete, I'd hire that out to a stone flooring specialist.

I doubt you own a commercial floor buffer and a 20amp grinder. Having only seen it done, I can't go into great detail. I just know that I don't want to grind on a floor for two days straight. IMO, tile is your best and cheapest answer: anyone can tile well enough and your labor is free.

Note: "Self-Leveling" is a name, not an adjective. Call it whatever you want: it doesn't. You still need to know how to float concrete and you'll still need a floor buffer to correct any mistakes.

Patching a slab so that you can tile over it is DiY. Installing a Stonhard floor is best left up to a professional company (of the same name, with which I've no affiliation but I did know some people that worked for them, who said the job sucked, but the dust completely coating the interior of their car told me that).

  • Or a hardwood floor--that would bring to the right height.
    – M.Mat
    Feb 19, 2017 at 5:22

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