Flooring Materials

How To Level A Floor: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Level a Floor

Are you planning to renovate your home or install new flooring as part of a larger project? If so, you may have come across the terms ‘screeding’ or ‘levelling. Levelling is a crucial process in flooring installation, ensuring a smooth, level surface for your new floor covering. In this step-by-step guide, we'll walk you through the process of levelling a floor to help you achieve professional-looking results.

Before You Begin: Gather Your Materials

Before you start, it's essential to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here's what you'll need:

All of our floor screeding/self-leveling tools can be found here.

What Brands Of Floor Levelling Compound Do Flooring Materials Stock?

We stock floor levelling compounds from the following industry-leading brands:

Our floor levelling compounds offer optimal strength and flexibility, ensuring a smooth, flat finish to make the subsequent flooring installation seamless. Moreover, they are easy to mix and apply, reducing the time and effort involved.

How Do You Prepare A Floor For Levelling?

Floor preparation is always important with any project. The first step to levelling or screeding a floor is to roughen the surface of the concrete, to maximise adhesive potential. This can be done using an abrasive trowel, an angle grinder with abrasive disc, or floor scabbler. The aim is to expose the aggregate in the concrete, as this is what will bond with the screed or leveller.

Do I Need To Prime Floors Before Levelling?

Most subfloors will benefit from the application of a floor primer to reduce the risk of surface imperfections, such as pinholing, and to aid with the flow of the screed. Pinholes are tiny holes that appear on the surface of a self-levelling compound, particularly when applied to absorbent substrates, such as sand and cement screeds as these can draw the moisture from the screed very quickly if not primed prior.

10 Steps On How To Level A Floor

Learning to level or screed a floor to a high standard is a crucial skill. To keep the process clear and simple, we have broken down said process into a 10-part step-by-step:

Step 1: Prepare the Substrate

Before you start screeding, ensure that the substrate (the existing floor or surface) is clean, dry, and free from any debris. Remove any loose material and repair any cracks or holes using a resin repair kit.

Step 2: Install Edge Formwork

Next, you'll need to install edge formwork around the perimeter of the area you plan to level. This acts as a guide for the screed mix and helps contain it within the desired area. Use wooden battens for this purpose securing them firmly in place. Expanding foam can be used around the perimeter of the room to avoid the screed leaking into other rooms and damaging existing coverings. It is worth noting, that this wouldn’t be necessary if you were to use a feather edge leveller, which does down to a working depth of 0mm. Our Feather Edge Floor Leveller collection includes a variety of brands to choose from, ensuring you have access to the best products available. We stock feather finish floor levellers from leading brands such as Tilemaster, Ardex, and Ultra Floor, who are known for their exceptional performance, workability, and reliability.

Step 3: Mix the Leveller

In a bucket, combine the leveller mix with water following the manufacturer's instructions on the recommended ratio, or simply add the bag and bottle if you are using a two-part latex self-levelling compound. Mix thoroughly until you achieve a smooth, lump-free, workable consistency.

Step 4: Begin

Start by pouring the mixed leveller into the area you want to cover. It is also helpful to pour into easily workable amounts. Use a flooring trowel or pin leveller to distribute it evenly across the surface between the edge formwork.

Step 5: Level the Floor

With the leveller spread out, use the trowel and/or pin leveller to help level the surface. After, the use of a spiked roller will help to release any trapped air which can cause air bubbles in the screed. If a spiked roller is not used then the air bubbles can cause pinholes on the surface and ruin the finish of the smooth leveller.

Step 6: Fill Low Spots

Inspect the levelled area for any low spots or depressions. If you find any, fill them with additional mix and level them with the trowel or straightedge.

Step 8: Curing and Drying

Allow it to cure for the recommended time as per your chosen screeds instructions. This can range from as little as 30 minutes for rapid setting or up to 24 hours for a standard set, depending on temperatures at the time of application. After this initial curing period, you can remove any edge formwork you have used.

Step 9: Final Checks

After the leveller has fully cured, inspect the surface for any imperfections and apply further leveller if required following the previous instructions.

Step 10: Install Your Flooring

Once your floor is completely dry and level, you're ready to install your chosen flooring material. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific flooring type.

Levelling a floor may seem like a daunting task, but with the right materials, tools, and a methodical approach, it's a DIY project that can be tackled successfully. A properly levelled floor provides a stable and level base for your flooring, ensuring a beautiful and long-lasting finish.

At Flooring Materials, we understand the importance of offering quality products and we are committed to supplying only the best. We stock the most reputable, industry-leading brands, offering Floor Adhesive, Self Levelling Compound, Floor Screeds, and Self Levelling Tools from top names such as Tilemaster, Kerakoll, Ardex, Larsen, Mapei, and Ultra Floor.

We also offer Floor Beading and Trims from Schluter, Dural, Genesis, and Premtool as well as popular such as Hardie Backer Board, Premtool Backer Board Jackoboard. We offer screeds for internal/external use, in domestic, commercial, and industrial applications, as well as in areas subject to thermal shock and freezing, and underfloor heating systems.

Going the extra mile for our customers is second nature to us. So, if you can't find what you're looking for on the website please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team on 0330 3201223 or email your queries to [email protected].