Self-leveling concrete is often used with a polymer-modified cement. Without using a lot of water as regular concrete, this type of concrete gives it that smooth and flat surface. This is mostly used when a surface needs repair, when wanting a smooth countertop or when you have uneven flooring. It is a great alternative when dealing with uneven flooring because you won’t have to re-do the entire foundation to level it. This concrete can be placed on top of concrete but also any non-flexible surface, such as tile, wood, ceramic, even plywood. Once applied you can add in any decorative overlays, such as coloring.
When trying to level your floors you can use the self-leveling concrete which uses minimal tools since it is mix of polymer-modified cement. Having this mix being liquidity, it can spread across the floor filling in any spots making any uneven floor leveled. This approach requires minimal effort and is given the ability to be used on top of pre-existing surfaces. Once poured, you can use a push, pull approach, using a gauge rake, making sure the concrete gets all the pre-existing surface covered.
Preparing The Flooring
Before adding the self-leveling concrete, you must prepare the flooring. Using tools, you must excavate the surface of any objects that may get in the way. Sanding down the flooring is important before you use a surface primer. This will help the self-leveling concrete to stick to the surface better. But also used to seal any moisture so once the concrete is poured it will not obtain any air bubbles. Usually caulk sealant is applied around any edges and seams so the cement is not dripping through the cracks. When dealing with bigger rooms, multiple contractors are needed since once the cement is placed, the concrete dries fast.
Just like any concrete, self-leveling can also be colored, stained, polished, stenciled, and engraved with any design wanted. Most self-leveling overlays are used with blends of cement, fine aggregates and other admixtures. However, when including color pigments into the mix, it can dehydrate the mix causing the cement to not have full fluidity. So, this is a job for professionals. The most used type of design is acid-staining or other solvent-based dyes.
Sometimes concrete overlays are used before having traditional flooring material installed like carpet, tile or hardwood floors.
Self-Leveling Larger Areas
When it comes to large areas, self-leveling concrete can be a difficult task. Not, only does it dry fast but you will need extra hands to help you. Purchasing a self-lever with a longer drying time is ideal in this case. Planning and getting tools together will help before mixing the self-leveling concrete. Using the regular steps as you would on a smaller surface, you will still be excavating the area and sanding down/filling in any repairs before placing the self-leveling cement. Putting down primer will also help, as well as, having a system of mixing, pouring and spreading the concrete. Using professional contractors are ideal in this situation since time and attention to detail is important.