A Guide to Floor leveling compound
Hi, I’m Andy Parkin. As the managing director of a multi-award winning company, Speed Screed, I am often asked about mixing floor leveling compounds and how this impacts on the final floor. Here are some of the best tips for getting a great mix when using a floor leveling compound.
How to mix a floor leveling compound to get great results
If a surface has a lot of small irregularities it can significantly impact the wear and appearance of the final flooring layer. Using a floor leveling compound can help to reduce and even eliminate these, giving a smooth finish on which to place your carpet, laminate, tiles or other wearing surfaces.
Getting the mix right
Always mix a floor leveling compound in accordance with a manufacturer’s instructions. Different products work more effectively when mixed at different ratios. Once you have established the mix you will want to make sure that materials are combined correctly so I’d advise you use an electric drill mixer rather than try to mix by hand. A speed of under 300rpm is best and should be continued until you have a completely smooth and lump-free product. Once you have mixed the floor leveling compound leave it for a few minutes and then remix for 30 seconds to make sure you have completely integrated the mix with the water.
When you have mixed the floor leveling compound to the correct consistency, you can proceed to application. The mix should be poured directly onto a properly prepared substrate. Once in place, you can work the compound with a trowel and make sure that it covers the entire area including corners, obstructions and so on and that it is levelled down to the correct depth. Once you are happy that the floor is level and well-prepared use some of the floor leveling compounds on the existing floor to blend it in with the newly laid screed.
Pay specific attention to how smooth your floor leveling compound is before you let it dry, if there are any imperfections make sure they are removed. For slabs and tiles, this means that there should be a variation of no more than 5mm over a 2-meter area.
Self-leveling compound drying times
Drying times vary according to the specific product used but a guide is always given by the manufacturer. For some products, the drying time can be as little as 4 hours, but you can expect to wait for up to 24 hours before you can place a floor especially if using vinyl or carpet because any moisture left in the screed layer will gradually enter the flooring and cause damage.
When using self-leveling compounds in areas that need waterproofing you will need to leave it for at least 24 hours before placing a membrane.
As with many other products, there are different types of floor leveling compound produced for different use cases so be sure to check that the product is fit for purpose before it is delivered to site.
For more advice please take a look at some of our other articles, or contact our office staff for more information.