Fill in a Sunken Living Room: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sunken living rooms were once a popular architectural feature in the 1960s and 1970s. However, today, many homeowners are looking to fill in these sunken living rooms to create a more open and spacious living area.

One of the first steps in filling in a sunken living room is to declutter the space. Remove all furniture, carpeting, and padding to create a clear workspace. Once the space is clear, you can begin to fill in the sunken area with concrete or another appropriate material. It is essential to ensure that the new floor level matches the existing floor level to create a seamless transition. Additionally, it is important to consider the electrical outlets and ventilation systems in the space and make any necessary adjustments.

Table of Contents

Assessing the Sunken Living Room

Before filling in a sunken living room, it is important to assess the area to determine the best course of action. This section will cover the two main aspects to consider when assessing a sunken living room: measuring the depth of the sunken area and inspecting the foundation.

Measuring the Depth of the Sunken Living Room

The first step in assessing a sunken living room is to measure the depth of the sunken area. This will help determine how much material will be needed to fill in the space. To measure the depth, follow these steps:

  1. Place a straight board or level across the sunken area.
  2. Measure the distance between the board and the highest point of the sunken area.
  3. Repeat this process in several areas of the sunken space to get an accurate average depth.
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It is important to note that the depth of the sunken area may vary in different parts of the room, so it is important to take multiple measurements.

Inspecting the Foundation

The second aspect to consider when assessing a sunken living room is the foundation. It is important to inspect the foundation to ensure that it is stable and can support the weight of the new fill material. Here are some things to look for when inspecting the foundation:

  • Cracks or damage in the foundation walls or floor
  • Uneven settling or shifting of the foundation
  • Signs of water damage or moisture issues

If any of these issues are present, it may be necessary to repair or reinforce the foundation before filling in the sunken area.

In conclusion, assessing a sunken living room involves measuring the depth of the sunken area and inspecting the foundation. By taking these steps, homeowners can ensure that the space is filled in safely and effectively.

Preparing to Fill in the Sunken Living Room

Before beginning the process of filling in a sunken living room, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. This section will provide a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for filling in a sunken living room.

Clearing the Area

The first step in preparing to fill in a sunken living room is to clear the area of any furniture, decorations, or other items that may be in the way. This will provide a clear workspace and help prevent any accidents or damage to personal belongings.

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Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials

The next step is to gather all of the necessary tools and materials for the job. This includes:

  • Shovels
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Concrete mix
  • Water
  • Trowel
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Nail gun (if applicable for securing framing)

Safety Precautions

It is important to take the necessary safety precautions when filling in a sunken living room. This includes wearing safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from any debris or sharp edges. It is also important to use caution when handling heavy materials and to avoid overexertion.

If using a nail gun to secure framing, it is important to follow all safety guidelines and instructions for the specific tool being used. Always wear appropriate eye and ear protection and make sure the tool is properly loaded and secured before use.

By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and successful project when filling in a sunken living room.

Filling in the Sunken Living Room

If you have a sunken living room that you want to fill in, you have a few options. One of the most popular methods is to pour concrete to level the floor. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it will give you a level surface that you can work with. Here are the steps to filling in a sunken living room with concrete:

Pouring Concrete

  1. First, remove any furniture or other items from the room. You’ll need a clear space to work with.
  2. Next, remove the existing flooring. If you have carpet, you’ll need to remove the padding and tack strips as well. If you have hardwood or tile, you’ll need to remove the entire floor down to the subfloor.
  3. Once the floor is removed, you’ll need to prepare the subfloor. This may involve adding additional support beams or filling in any gaps or holes.
  4. Once the subfloor is ready, you can begin pouring the concrete. This is a job that’s best left to professionals, as it requires specialized equipment and expertise.
  5. After the concrete has been poured, it will need to cure for several days. During this time, you’ll need to keep the room well-ventilated and avoid walking on the concrete.
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Leveling the Concrete

Once the concrete has cured, you’ll need to level it to ensure that it’s even and smooth. Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, use a level to determine which areas of the concrete are uneven. Mark these areas with chalk.
  2. Next, use a concrete grinder or sander to smooth out the uneven areas. This can be a time-consuming process, but it’s important to get it right.
  3. Once the concrete is level, you can add a finish to it. This may involve staining, painting, or adding a decorative overlay.

Filling in a sunken living room can be a challenging and expensive project, but it can also be a great way to create a more functional and aesthetically pleasing space. By following these steps, you can ensure that your new floor is level, smooth, and ready for any type of flooring you choose to install.

Finishing Touches

Once the concrete has been poured and leveled, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your sunken living room. Here are some steps to take to complete the project.

Allowing the Concrete to Cure

Before adding any flooring or furniture, it’s important to allow the concrete to cure properly. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the type of concrete used and the weather conditions. During this time, it’s important to keep the area free from foot traffic and heavy objects to prevent any damage to the surface.

Adding Flooring

Once the concrete has cured, it’s time to add the flooring. There are many options to choose from, including hardwood, tile, carpet, and more. When selecting your flooring, consider the style and decor of your living room, as well as the durability of the material. Hardwood and tile are popular choices for their durability and timeless appeal, while carpet can add warmth and softness to the space.

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Before installing the flooring, it’s important to ensure that the surface of the concrete is level and free from any debris or bumps. A self-leveling compound can be used to even out any imperfections in the surface. Once the surface is ready, the flooring can be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Adding Furniture and Decor

With the flooring in place, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your sunken living room. Consider adding comfortable seating, such as sofas or armchairs, to create a cozy and inviting space. Add decorative elements, such as rugs, curtains, and artwork, to add color and texture to the room.

When selecting furniture and decor, it’s important to consider the scale of the room. Sunken living rooms can often feel smaller than they actually are, so choose furniture that is proportionate to the space. Avoid overcrowding the room with too many pieces, which can make the space feel cluttered and cramped.

Overall, filling in a sunken living room can be a challenging but rewarding project. With the right materials and a little bit of patience, you can create a beautiful and functional space that adds value to your home.


Hello! I'm Nikita, the creator of Abodenation, a blog dedicated to home improvement, troubleshooting, advice, and decor. With years of hands-on experience and a keen eye for detail, I love sharing my passion for creating functional, beautiful, and comfortable living spaces with others. Join me on my journey to transform houses into homes, one project at a time.

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