Does your home or place of work have a concrete floor? It’s no doubt that concrete floor is a durable and long-lasting building material, which is why it is a preferred floor material in most homes and buildings. However, you may have spotted bumps or uneven surfaces on your floor due to flexing and twisting over a period of time. These rough surfaces are not pretty to look at, and they also create a hindrance, especially when you want to install tiles or any other decorative floor. If this is your problem, don’t worry, a floor leveling compound addresses all the issues of an uneven floor.
Uneven floor surfaces are sometimes due to the installation of concrete floors to buy an armature. When an expert does not do your concrete floor, the result is bumpy and an even surface. However, don’t let that worry you as mentioned leveling compounds are effective in getting rid of the problem. There are two types of floor tiles leveling compounds — one that requires tooling and the self-leveling that doesn’t require tooling.
Since if you want to make this your DIY project, you first need to understand the best self-leveling compounds available. The self-leveling compound offers a thickness of between 0.4 and 4 inches. You can also install them by hand or use a mixing pump.
Self-leveling compounds are mostly used on the inside floors of the house. However, some people have been known to use it on countertops. These compounds are used on supermarket floors, food outlets, institutions like schools. They are not recommended for areas with a lot of strenuous industrial foot activity like dragging of steel.
Before starting the project, you should be well prepared for the task ahead. Check all the cracks and repair any areas that might have been heavily damaged. The floors must not be wet, so get rid of any moisture.
The application involves mixing the compound until it becomes lump-free. The final product must be slurry. Then with the use of a soft brush, gently apply to the concrete where you want to even the surface. Because of the smooth consistency, the product dries quickly, so you should be mindful of that.
There are two types of self-leveling compounds. These include acrylic-based and the water-based leveling compound.
Advantages of Self Leveling Compound
- The self-leveling compound doesn’t need too much water for the proper placement because it is a polymer-modified cement.
- It is also used in creating a highly smooth surface with some high compressive strengths.
- Self-leveling compounds are easy to install, which is why most homeowners use it for their home DIY projects.
- It is a popular and highly recommended leveling compound by architects.
- It is also unlikely to cause any allergic reaction to you or any other member of your household.
- Self-Leveling compounds require minimum labor because they are easy to install.
Acrylic Self-Leveling Compound
The acrylic self-leveling compound consists of two products that have been mixed together. These products are acrylic liquid polymer and cement powder. It gives the floor surface elasticity and more resistance to abrasion. It also offers continued attachment to the concrete floors. Acrylic self-leveling compounds require more time to dry up. Drying will depend on the temperature and humidity levels, and because of this, it incurs too much labor time.
Examples of Acrylic Self Leveling Compound
This is a cement-based leveling compound that is protein-free. It is used for leveling internal floors like tile, laminates, carpets, and vinyl. It gives them a thickness of about 6mm. The resulting product is a smooth level.
SikaLevel 25 Latex
SikaLevel 25 is polymer modified. Which means it is recommended for underground heating. It levels rigid and uneven areas of the floors. It creates a smooth floor surface.
Sikafloor Level 30
Level 30 offers high performance and a self-leveling product. It also dries quickly and can be used for both indoor and outdoor floors.
Water-Based Self Leveling Compound
Just like the name mentions, water-based leveling compound needs volumes of water to come up with a mixture that is used to level the floor. It takes up to 20 minutes for the mixture to dry up, so it is essential that you have the spreading in hand when pouring the mixture. Water-based compound are usually ready-made, you only have to mix with water to get the final product
The water-based mixture creates a smooth surface due to its flowy consistency. The type of floor will determine the kind of water-based self-leveling compound to be used.
Examples of Water-Based Self-leveling Compound
LevelQuick is a water-based leveling compound that is mostly used below tiles, stones, vinyl carpet, and even hardwood. LevelQuick is readily available at the cost of not less than $32 on Home Depot and also online shops.
Mapei Self-Leveler Plus
Mapei is also another water-based self-leveling compound that is only used as an underlayment. If you are planning to put up tiles, then it is advisable that you put it up 24 hours after application. For woodwork, the maximum time is 48 hours. You can get this product from Lowes and independent flooring stores. The costs are about $30
Henry 555 Level Pro
Henry 555 Level Pro is another example of water-based leveling that is used over any other type of flooring material. You can get this product from Home Depot at the price of about $37.
Akona Self Levelling Compound
Akona is used over wood and concrete floors. The compound mix is okay on its own and does not require any primer. Akona goes for about $35 at Menards.
Self-leveling Product Precautions
20years ago, leveling products were applied with trowels, which used to leave a mark, which is not a pleasant sight unless you prefer it. However, at this age, homeowners are looking for a product that could guarantee smooth and clean surfaces, something similar to a machine’s work.
Use the right amount of self-leveling compound for your floors; otherwise, you will get a bumpy surface. However, that should not be a case of a concern; just apply a second layer of the leveling compound or just grind the surface thoroughly to get the smooth surface.
Concrete floors are a beauty to behold because they are strong and durable, unlike the other floor materials. However, they can be subject to damages or unevenness if not correctly installed. Which is why you need a leveling compound to sort out the issue.
Leveling compounds are useful in the evening the bumpy and uneven floors in your house or office. Leveling compounds are available in two types: those that require tooling and those that don’t. self-leveling compounds for concrete do not require tooling, and they are of two types: the acrylic and the water-based compound.
The self-leveling compound is the most preferred, and most people use it for their DIY projects because it comes in ready to use mixtures, and it is also cheap. After application, you can easily install tiles or any other decorative floors of your preference. However, it is recommended that you do it within 24hours after use.
The beauty of using a self-leveling compound is that it is relatively cheap, and it doesn’t require any particular expertise.