Installing a Concrete Floor

Laying an interior concrete floor is usually a renovation project that takes place in your basement. Learn how to remove an old wood floor, prepare a base and pour a concrete floor, using insulation as a guide.

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Remove the Baseboards

Remove the baseboards by prying them away from the wall using a pry bar.

Remove the Floorboards

Use a pry bar to remove the floorboards one by one. Once the floor is out, mark the required height of the floor with a chalk line.

Excavate

Excavate to the required depth. Snap chalk lines to indicate infill layer levels.

Infill With Crushed Stone

Fill to the height of the appropriate marked-off level with crushed stone. Compact with a rammer.

Add Sand

Cover the stone with sand, up to the height of the next guide line. Move the back of a shovel in a circular motion to smooth the sand.

Lay a Vapor Barrier

Lay 6 mil sheet plastic on the sand. Take it up the wall above the finished floor level. Tape it to the wall to hold it in place. This vapor barrier will seal from moisture and also help speed the curing process of the concrete.

Lay Insulation Board

Place the insulation foam board across the sand and membrane, cutting sections to fit as required. Cut 4-inch widths of insulation board and lay them around the edges of the room. The insulation provides a guide for the height of the concrete pad, as well as a rest for a leveling plank as you lay the concrete.

Lay Concrete

Shovel the concrete over the floor, starting at the wall farthest from the door.

Level Concrete

Scrape a straight-edged plank across the concrete to level it, using the top edge of the insulation as a guide.

Adjust for Gaps

Fill in any gaps or indentations using a trowel as you work backward. You may need to go over the area more than once.

Smooth and Set

Use a plastering trowel to smooth any rough areas, right to the edges of the insulation foam. Leave the concrete to set for two to three days.

Add a Top Layer

Place furring strips on the dry concrete. Apply a top layer, leveling it to the top of the furring strips. Remove the furring strips and fill the gaps.

Level, Set and Finish

Level the surface using a float. Work to the edges and back toward the door. Leave for another two to three days to set completely.

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