2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 22:24
- Which alignment method to use
- Types of bulk mixtures
- Choice of application method
- Work technology
- Preparing the base for leveling
- Measurements and markings
- Leveling the floor
Repair in any of the rooms when changing the flooring necessarily involves the correct preparation of the base. Especially when it comes to arranging tile floors. In this case, it becomes almost mandatory to level the floor under the tiles. Laying tiles on the floor itself is painstaking work, in addition, it is impossible to carry out it qualitatively without proper preparation of the base and creating a perfectly flat surface. That is why the question arises of how to level the floor under the tiles using technology.
Which alignment method to use
The first question in cases where the laying of tiles on a concrete floor is involved is the choice of a leveling method. There are, of course, not many options. This could be:
- arrangement of a concrete screed;
use of self-leveling floor.
The most economical in this situation is the first way. The mixture for the concrete screed can be prepared by yourself. To do this, it is enough to purchase cement and sand.
Additionally, you can use plasticizers and other modifying fillers.
In addition, there are a lot of ready-made screed mixtures on sale in the construction markets today. It can be noted that a concrete screed is irreplaceable in a way when the surface has a large slope, holes, cracks and other significant defects.
But there is also one significant drawback. Drying of the concrete solution takes up to three weeks, and you will also have to perform waterproofing and sand the surface after drying.
In turn, thanks to modern production technologies, a new version of mixtures has appeared on the market that allow you to level the floor for laying tiles. They are called bulk, or self-leveling mixtures.
This type of material can significantly reduce the waiting time before starting work. Drying of such a mixture takes up to four days. It is enough to pour the composition onto the surface, after which it should be independently distributed over the floor, then the mixture hardens and adheres well to the base.
Types of bulk mixtures
Bulk mixes will help us figure out how to level the floor under the tiles without screed. Directly themselves solutions of this type can be distinguished two types differ in the recommended height of the screed:
- Composition for starting treatment, or in other words - "rough". Such a mixture should be applied in a large layer, up to 2 cm. They are intended to hide significant defects, slopes and peculiar "waves" on the floor.
- The second option is the finish coat. This mixture is applied in a thin layer to create an ideal surface with a thickness of 2 mm and more and allows you to remove minor height differences.
The last thing to note is the consumption of the mixture. The composition itself is sold in bags, usually packed in 20-25 kg. The average consumption is 1 bag of 20 kg for raising the floor level by 1 centimeter with an area of one square meter. Based on these data, you can roughly calculate the amount of the required mixture.
Pay attention to the indicators indicated on the packaging. Each individual mixture has its own density, respectively, there may be a different flow rate. More details can be found directly from the instructions on the material itself.
Choice of application method
And now it is necessary to decide which method to use, and the choice will mainly be influenced by one, the most significant factor - the thickness of the required layer. Accordingly, the very thickness of the layer will depend on the roughness of the surface and the presence of defects, thus:
- In the case when large deviations and defects are not observed on the surface, then a small layer of the leveling compound is required (up to 3 cm), then a self-leveling floor is used.
- In the presence of significant deviations of the base surface, as well as significant defects, cracks, potholes and other things, it is necessary to provide for a leveling layer of more than 3 cm. In this case, it is inappropriate to use a self-leveling floor, in addition, with such a large layer it will not be strong, and as a result, may not withstand the load during operation in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a cement screed.
Laying and leveling floors, like any other process, must be performed according to a certain technology. Otherwise, the result can be very disappointing. Next, we will consider carrying out each of the alignment methods in the form of step-by-step instructions.
Before you start leveling floors under ceramic tiles, you should prepare the necessary tools and materials, including:
- Leveling compound (or cement, sand in the case of screed).
- Construction mixer or drill with mixer attachment.
- A set of spatulas, it is advisable to choose wide (from 30 cm wide) with a long handle.
- Mesh for reinforcing the base.
- Roller to eliminate air bubbles. It is not a necessary tool, but desirable because the formation of such bubbles entails a loss of strength.
- Also useful are special spiked soles that will help you walk around the room without carrying dust and debris behind you.
- Building level.
- It is advisable to purchase a laser level for marking.
Preparing the base for leveling
Before you start pouring the concrete floor under the tiles or performing the screed, it is necessary to prepare the surface (this step is carried out in the same way for both the self-leveling floor and the screed). In case of work in the kitchen, bathroom or toilet, all plumbing should be dismantled.
Also, considering the issue of leveling the concrete floor under the tiles, cleaning the base becomes an important factor, since the presence of greasy spots and dust can spoil the quality of the coating, respectively, worsen its durability. The entire coating should be cleaned as thoroughly as possible from debris and dust, as well as the remains of a weak old coating.
If this factor is neglected, then the final quality of the coating can be compromised. It is recommended to pay special attention to the corners of the room.
In the case of the presence of various kinds of cracks and chips, it is necessary to close the potholes, for which it is used:
- tile glue;
The most suitable mixture can be found in almost any hardware store. It is advisable to prime the surface in advance with a special compound - a primer with a primer. This mixture plays the role of both a base and an additional impregnation, which significantly improves the adhesion of materials.
Thanks to the use of such a composition, in the future the coating will dry faster and more evenly. Namely, due to uniform adhesion, the floor will gain greater strength and last longer.
Measurements and markings
Upon completion of cleaning and priming, you can proceed to the marking, on the basis of which the floor leveling under the tiles will be carried out with your own hands.
In this case, a good option would be to use a laser level. With this device, it will be easy to project the marks of the zero level of the floor around the entire perimeter. This is what will help to avoid lengthy measurements, calculations, labeling and other things. Here it is enough to set one mark, from which the report will be kept in the future.
When arranging a self-leveling floor
It is necessary to project the level of the future floor, and then screw in the screws in height, between which you need to pull the thread. Thus, the ground level of the floor will always be visible.
In the absence of such a level, you can use an ordinary building one, the length of which is at least 1 meter. In this case, the marks will be applied as follows:
- The first floor zero mark is drawn.
- From it, using a tape measure, a distance is measured slightly less than the building level.
- Next, we apply the level itself and set it to a horizontal position.
- At the free end of the measuring device, we screw in the next self-tapping screw.
- In the same way, we carry out work around the entire perimeter of the room.
The complete absence of deviations becomes an important factor, therefore, it is best to choose the level with the most accurate scale that will not make an error.
Leveling the floor
And now, upon completion of all the preparatory work, you can start directly solving how to level the floors under the tiles with your own hands. Let us consider separately the technology of self-leveling floor and screed.
Filling the floor with your own hands
First, dilute the mixture in accordance with the instructions on the package. In order for the coating to be of the highest quality later, it is necessary to strictly follow the cooking technology and all the proportions indicated on the package.
Note that a mixture that is too dry or too liquid can cause surface defects to appear after drying. In particular, if the mixture is too liquid, it will dry for a long time and lose its strength, otherwise, on the contrary, it will set too quickly, forming uneven lumps of concrete.
For mixing, a construction mixer is used, which will allow you to mix everything most thoroughly. You can also use a concrete mixer. The solution must be prepared in portions, since you may not have time to use up all at once, and as already mentioned, the mixture quickly sets, and its further use will become impossible.
Further, the mixture must be evenly distributed over the floor surface, starting from the far corner and ending with the doorway. It is necessary to smooth out the solution with a spatula, and then roll it over it with a roller with special teeth. This will help remove air bubbles from the mixture.
The grasping of the mixture begins to occur after 30-40 minutes, therefore, the work must be done quickly and accurately. In no case should you be distracted from the process.
In addition, it is recommended not to cover the entire surface at a time, but to work gradually. It is this step that will allow the solution to be distributed as evenly as possible, respectively, to obtain a high-quality coating.
Also pay attention to the pace of work and the length of the lanes:
- It is advisable to process the next section until the edges of the previous one dry, which will make the surface as flat as possible, moreover, seamless.
- Another way will be the gradual execution of strips with a distance between them, which will allow the bottom part of the surface to be seamless, while upward you will have to additionally finish it after drying.
In order to make it easier to level the tiles on the floor in the future, the layer should be as uniform as possible, in addition, it is advisable to apply no more than 20 mm of mortar. Thus, the surface will gain strength and dry quickly.
The mixture itself after application will harden after 3-4 days. You will get an almost perfect surface. Wait until the surface is dry before leveling the floor under the tiles.
When arranging a cement screed
In the case of arranging a rough screed, the first steps of marking are performed in the same way as for a self-leveling floor. After that, depending on the thickness of the layer that is planned to be performed, the installation of guides (beacons) is carried out. Their role may be:
- Aluminum corners.
- Also special beacons.
They are laid out in accordance with the marked level of the future floor, so that the top of the lighthouse is on the same level with the threads stretched along the perimeter. Lighthouses are fixed with the help of special solutions, in most cases gypsum or alabaster is taken to fix them, although it would be better to use cement mortar.
Immediately before the installation of the beacons, the reinforcement mesh is laid. It will help make the coating more durable. It is necessary to select, depending on the layer thickness, a different mesh. For example, when pouring a screed with a layer of 2 cm, the mesh must be taken with a thickness of 2 to 5 mm with a cage of 5 cm. Details about the floor screed along the beacons.
Doing the screed yourself
The second leveling option, as already mentioned, is a cement screed. The technology for its implementation is very similar to the self-leveling floor, but there are a number of characteristic differences that need to be noted. Consider the step-by-step instructions for performing the screed, so that you can immediately notice the very differences:
- The first step is to mix the cement mortar. Mixing is carried out in a ratio of 1 to 2, where one share of cement and 2 shares of sand.
- Further, depending on the thickness of the layer, the solution is distributed over a small area, which should not exceed the distance of an outstretched arm.
After the rough distribution of the solution, it must be leveled, which is done using the rule.
Thus, the first section is leveled, and after complete alignment, the solution is laid out on the next.
- This is how section by section is carried out, starting from the far corner of the room towards the door, until the floor surface is completely leveled.
The main difference in working with a screed is that it must be completely leveled independently. In the case of a self-leveling floor, it is enough to level it a little "by eye", then the mixture itself will take a completely horizontal position, and you can not worry about the result. In the case of the screed, as you can see, everything is significantly different.
In the case of a concrete screed, installation can begin after only a few weeks, which is typical for cement mortars.
This completes the process, now you know how to level the floor under the tiles. In addition, within the framework of the article, an answer was given to the question of whether it is necessary to align the tiles, which is important and relevant. We invite you to watch several videos that will more clearly show the progress of work.
- How to lay the tiles on the floor yourself.
- How to choose a tile adhesive.
- How to make a cement screed.