2023 Author: Philip Bishop | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 07:54
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Application area
- Types of mixtures
- Required tools
- Foundation preparation
- Mixing the mixture
- Pouring the mixture
- Expert advice
Old concrete floors show negative qualities over time. These can be cracks, potholes, chips and other defects. You can fill each hole separately, or you can level the floor with a thin layer. These compositions have a sufficient number of positive qualities that can dry out in a short time and you can start finishing. In addition, the strength of the base will turn out to be even better than with concrete pouring.
Advantages and disadvantages
The use of self-leveling mixtures in work does not create any particular difficulties. They are very simple and easy to knead: the required amount of water is added to the mixture, and then poured onto the floor surface. Potholes and defects are completely filled, and an even base is created. In addition, there is another set of positive qualities:
- Fast drying process, which is very important with a limited amount of time for repairs.
- A very thin final layer, which is noticeably different from other types of screed. On average, it can reach 5 mm. This quality is very important in rooms with low ceilings.
- A few hours after pouring the mixture onto the base, you can move along it and perform all types of finishing work in the room.
- Shrinkage in such a screed does not appear, but at the same time it remains a very strong and reliable structure. Has a long service life.
- A beginner can level the floor with a thin layer. The self-leveling floor will turn out perfect without experience.
A day after the installation of self-leveling floors, you can make any kind of flooring, that is, to carry out the finishing.
But any technology cannot do without its drawbacks. True, most of them are associated with the very process of filling. If you adhere to the requirements and recommendations, then you can easily get rid of them.
- The surface must be prepared carefully. There should be no defects, be it cracks, potholes, significant irregularities. Also, there should be no dust and dirt on the surface.
- It is very difficult to dismantle the self-leveling floor if the work is not done well
- The high cost of production can be added to the complexity of the production process.
- During the drying process, a large amount of toxic and harmful substances for human health are released. If drops of the prepared mixture come into contact with the skin, a burn may occur. In addition, a very high level of flammability.
This all indicates that you should be careful when using mixes for self-leveling floors and carry out all work strictly according to the instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer.
The main purpose of using self-leveling mixtures is the device of a thin layer of screed when leveling the base. There is also a narrower specialization, which includes dedusting the surface, primer composition, improving the quality of the surface that is processed and much more. It should be noted that quick drying does not allow cracks to appear on the surface and shrinkage to form.
There is a concept of rough peers. With their help, a rough floor is mainly arranged, even if a floor heating system is laid in the screed. Here, the requirements for the mixture are even less. But still, maximum measures are taken to obtain the desired result.
Types of mixtures
A different composition will suit each specific substrate. Here it is important to pay attention to some points that allow you to make the right choice:
- The level of humidity in the room where the floor leveling technology will be applied with a self-leveling mixture.
- The presence or absence of additional decorative finishing of the sub floor.
Presence of direct contact with water during operation. This is more true for premises such as a bathroom, kitchen or toilet.
- Additional qualities of the arranged surface. This number usually includes noise absorption, the construction of a layer of thermal insulation, anti-slip while walking.
- Subsequent exposure to the floor surface with chemicals for cleaning, that is, the use of various household chemicals. This is inherent in kitchens.
- With the help of the mixture, the floor is leveled with a thin layer or it is already a surface finish.
- The very foundation where the self-leveling floor will be installed, its features and moisture level.
Based on all this, certain types of dry mixes are distinguished for high-quality leveling of the sub floor.
For any premises, cement-based mixtures are suitable. In this case, the layer will be as thin as possible, at least 2 mm. An excellent option here is the "Prospectors" self-leveling floor. This reduces the drying time of the surface. You can start finishing almost immediately. If necessary, you can select the appropriate mixture and fill up to 5 cm. They will be somewhat more expensive in cost than, for example, gypsum-based mixtures. You can choose the products of the company "Ceresit", "Knauf".
As for gypsum self-leveling compounds, they can be used mainly in rooms with low humidity levels. Immediately it is worth taking aside bathrooms or kitchens. When choosing, you should focus on the products of "Volma", "Europlan". The screed layer when using gypsum mixtures turns out to be somewhat large - from 20 to 100 mm, which has an effect on increasing the drying time.
The mixtures can be based on epoxy resins, which have increased abrasion during operation. Under external influences, cracks and potholes appear on the surface. They may be suitable for chemical laboratories, but not for the kitchen or bathroom.
The self-leveling mixture on a polymer basis has an increased cost and requirements for the base. But the characteristics shown are of interest even to experienced specialists. When self-leveling floors are arranged, the mixtures must fully comply with them, depending on the operating conditions. Here one can single out such manufacturers as Osnovit, Ruslan, Forman and others.
In addition, there is a division of mixtures depending on the screed layer to be arranged. There are thick-layer, special, quick-hardening and finishing. Each of them has its own characteristics, including drying time. Everyone can answer the question of how to fill the self-leveling floor with a thick layer. Everything will depend on the fraction in the mixture used in the work and the goal that must be achieved.
Before starting work, you should stock up on tools. Everything will depend on the complexity of the work, the type of material used and the desired result. When finishing leveling the subfloor, the following should be available:
The containers in which the solution will be mixed.
- A drill with a mixer-type attachment, with which a mixture with water will be prepared.
- A spatula that allows you to evenly distribute the solution over the surface. Despite the property of fluidity and self-distribution of the mixture over the sub floor, this tool will be very useful to get high quality.
- As a result of the pouring, air bubbles may appear on the surface. They should be disposed of using a needle roller. Otherwise, after complete drying, "craters" will form, creating a negative manifestation of the entire structure.
With all the inventory and material available for work, you can begin preparatory activities. There should be no cracks or potholes on the base. The mixture can flow through them and fall on the lower floors, as well as the overlap collapse. To eliminate them, a special putty is used. An alternative to this method is a rough floor screed device. Removal is subject to removal of the old coating, elements of paint on the surface, varnish, debris, etc.
Leaving even a trifle on the site before pouring the self-leveling floor, the latter will be damaged, albeit not completely, but partially. We'll have to dismantle, which, in addition to the financial component, takes a lot of time.
For the use of self-leveling mixtures, a base with a height difference of up to 30 mm is perfect. In addition to this, there should be no major defects. A solid foundation and confidence in it will be if you first arrange a rough floor.
Do not forget about priming the base. This item is mandatory, and you cannot depart from it. The self-leveling mixture on the primer does not only lie down evenly, but also adheres more reliably to it. The finishing quality of the surface will at the same time achieve the maximum effect.
There may be times when the primer will soak into the substrate. In such a situation, you will have to repeat the procedure again, that is, apply another layer. It is worth remembering that subsequent layers are applied when the previous one is completely dry.
This entire preparation is carried out before leveling the curve of the floor screed. When the work follows the technology exactly, then you can be sure of a positive final result.
Mixing the mixture
The most important thing at this stage is to strictly follow the instructions that are indicated on the packaging from under the self-leveling mixture.
Manufacturers know all the intricacies of their products and advise the performers how to do everything exactly to obtain a high-quality surface. All proportions must be observed without deviations. This will avoid possible difficulties in the future.
If a liquid formulation is obtained, properties and characteristics may be lost. It is even possible that cracks appear on the surface, as well as chips and potholes from external influences.
The mixture should be poured into water, and not do everything in reverse order. Otherwise, the process will take a lot of time and effort. Mixing should be done without haste, resulting in a thick working solution.
Pouring the mixture
The distribution of the solution will depend on which base is in front of us. For wooden floors, the thickness of the screed will be from 5 to 20 mm, and for all others, at least 2 mm of self-leveling floor can be taken. This should be taken into account when the ceiling is low. In addition, when a self-leveling floor is arranged, the fill height must completely cover all the errors of the base. This is what they are used for.
After distributing the mixture over the entire plane in the room, you should walk with a needle roller to get rid of the bubbles that have formed. In order not to damage the fill layer, special shoes are put on - paint shoes. As a result, it remains only to wait until the self-leveling floor is completely dry. The main thing is not to allow direct sunlight to hit the surface, so that premature drying does not occur.
At the end of the work, you do not need to grind the surface, take care of it and then further level it. The floor is perfectly flat.
For large areas, do not prepare a large amount of mixture at once. It thickens very quickly and dries up within half an hour. Therefore, it is better to fill in one area, and then proceed to the second, than to throw out the solution without use. There will be no differences between the poured and freshly poured screed.
With large areas of pouring a self-leveling floor of more than 20 square meters, it is necessary to perform expansion joints. They must be done within the first three days of drying.
Self-leveling compounds are not used on plywood or wood substrates. But if you arrange it on a separating basis, which can be a polyethylene film, then there will be no problems.
Drying time will fully depend on the type of mixture used in the work, as well as the environmental conditions. The time is also influenced by the thickness of the fill.
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