Basement Uneven Floor

8 Replies

Old house- Floor uneven and currently has 12 in black tile.  I need to replace.  Its Student/College Housing.  Any recommendations?


Uneven like cracked and rising/sinking, or uneven like sloping toward a floor drain?

Paint it with a floor paint and then home depot sells a flake that you throw up and let land in the paint while the paint is still wet to give it some design and dimension. Nothing too fancy but its cheap and looks better than a dirty concrete floor. I usually use the grey floor paint.

Have you had the existing flooring tested for asbestos?  If it comes back negative, I like the idea of getting it out of there and then painting with a good epoxy paint.  Let the tenant put an area rug in the basement if they want something a little warmer.

Can you explain in more detail what the problem is  

If the unevenness is just in some small areas, you could use a feather finish (Mapei or Ardex) to fix those areas. Then, you could put whatever flooring on top of it.

If it's more severe, there are self leveling products from Ardex that can help. 

Best idea is to contact your local flooring dealer and ask for the number of a recommended floor installer. I'm sure they could talk you through the problem. And, if you need their eyes to help, I'm sure that could be arranged as well.

Good luck!


on your post its not enough information for me to give you advice on, i suggest more detail or a picture so the people on the BP forums can give you accurate advice on the matter you have a large range of people from contractors with many years to investor who have seen about every problem you can think of that can help with enough info .

How uneven?  It depends on what it is. Is it living space, like bedrooms or the area you want them to take their parties too?  If you can not level and you have some imperfections that you can't just cover with vinyl tile try something like place and go tile. A couple of advantages are that they are self install and you can move them if need be.  They make the floor warmer, you can lay them right over the vinyl tile.  I did this in a college rental basement because we will do a major rebuild and when we do we can take it out and reinstall.  I would get a sample from but you can order online from home depot.  There are other brands too but I forget their names. Search for tiles to use for flooding or portable dance floors. Our floor looks like bamboo or you can choose slate or something else. This is so much better then laminate in this kind of space particularly if it gets damp or risks flood. I was outside their uneven tolerance and it worked but it was not something where I was looking for perfection. If the floor is too much of a drop it might not work. There are other brands of this and a thinner garage style tile you can consider. They all lay over existing tile.

Another option is carpet squares. You can hose them or toss them if them get bad.  For college students I get the no nap commercial style.  They are also warm,  follow the contour of the floor and are self install.  They tolerate a lot of unevenness. They are half the price of the place and go but you will throw out maybe 6-20 year so buy extra.  I would not glue them down but lay them edge to edge so the students are less likely to take them up. However, they also are not as good in a damper basement. 

Rubber mats, like a gym can work too. You can get them in rolls with colored flecks.

For epoxy or concrete stained the uninstalled on the current vinyl unless it is already coming up is a real pain.  If they are 12x12 they are could be asbestos but less likely then the 8x8.

In your area if you want  this to be usable space (and a basement gathering place is both a selling point to these renters and a wear and tear saver for the rest of the house)   it helps to warm up the floor.

@Rob Myers,

You only have to worry about asbestos if you have 10x10 floor tile.

Its simple enough to get a flooring contractor over to give you a bid, they will identify the problem for you and go over options you will have on how to fix it. There are self leveling products like self leveling mortars if it only a sloping problem but if its a question of the floor raising meaning some force is making the floor lift that could mean a far more serious problem and cost allot more to address. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.