Leveling materials are used to level subfloors before installing carpet or other flooring and to patch floors that have become uneven. Concrete floors should be level and free of blemishes, cracks, dips and bumps. A level floor prevents floor coverings from sagging and developing cracks. Whether you are leveling floors because of new home construction or as part of renovations or repairs, the materials used include special compounds and tools for performing the work.
Several materials are used before application of leveling compounds. A degreaser cleanser removes contaminants that could prevent proper bonding of the leveling compound. Latex bonding agents or primers are applied to concrete floors to prepare them for the application of leveling compounds. Bonding agents create a stronger bond with the leveling compound.
Self-leveling floor compound, which is also called floor resurfacer or liquid floor underlayment, is mixed with water and poured. The quick-drying compound hardens in about an hour. Another type of leveling compound is mixed and spread with a trowel to smooth ridges created by the compound setting too quickly. This mix and spread compound is also used to fill small cracks and other blemishes in the floor.
The leveled concrete can be the sub-floor. However, different types of sub-flooring are used to cover the concrete depending on the type of flooring that will be installed. For instance, wood floors must be nailed to the sub-floor, a process that will crack the leveling compound used on concrete. One sub-floor panel product has waterproof backing and is made for tongue-and-groove installation. Sub-flooring can be made of wood, plywood, particle board or fiber board.
A paint brush and mop is needed to apply the bonding agent. You will need buckets and stirrers for mixing the self-leveling compound. Use a long-handled garden rake to smooth out lumps in the poured compound. A trowel is used to spread the compound that is applied to cracks or other blemishes. You might need protective tape to protect surfaces from the compounds. A hammer, screw drivers and drills can help with removing obstructions to the leveling process, such as woodwork and doors.
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