Installing tile, laminate or vinyl is a popular flooring update. While carpet hides the hills and valleys of concrete slabs, tile and vinyl will make them stand out. Laminate flooring may crack or split, if the floor is not level enough. The answer to these problems is self-leveling compound for concrete.
Before installing self-leveling flooring, sweep and vacuum the floor thoroughly. To find the low spots on the floor, lay the straightedge on the floor and move it around. The low spots will show up as gaps under the straightedge.
Mix the concrete self-leveling compound. You should add most of the water to the bucket first and then pour the self-leveling compound. Mix it with a paddle mixer to a smooth consistency. Then, mix in the remaining water and move immediately to the first application area.
Pour the mixed self-leveling compound on the low spot of the floor. Level it with the straightedge with a back and forth motion. As you move across the area, push the self-leveling compound toward the straightedge. Trowel the edges of the self-leveling compound smooth as it begins to set, using a float trowel.
After working on each area, you should clean all the buckets and tools, especially the straightedge. This is done, because the self-leveling compound begins to set in 20 minutes and is hard in 30 minutes. To finish the remaining areas, you will need clean buckets and a clean, smooth straightedge.
Once the self-leveling compound has set hard, before it cures, smooth out any area with a four-inch floor scraper.
Remember that the goal isn’t a perfectly level floor, but a flat enough floor to install the material on, so that the finished flooring will look and feel flat, when you walk on it. If the correct amount of water is used, self-leveling compound sets really fast, within 20 minutes. That’s why you shouldn’t mix more than you can use in 10 minutes. Give yourself time to screed and trowel the area you’re pouring the self-leveling compound on. For this job, safety goggles and a dust mask are necessary safety equipment.