Self Leveling Compound Help/advice Needed - Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:37 PM   #1
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self leveling compound help/advice needed

Hi, I want to install some 12x12 ceramic tile in my finished basement over concrete floor. Most of the area is very smooth and level, but in the hallway I have a low area that slopes gradually away over about 6 feet. The depth varies from about 1/4" to 1/2". I started out using a leveling compound from lowes called tec invision self leveler. It comes in 1 gallon pails. I mixed up 5 pails of the stuff and applied it. It didn't work as advertised. It stuck to the floor OK, but I was left with some waves, bumps, craters, high spots, etc. It didn't form a nice smooth level surface and the tile will certainly crack. I used a flat smoothing tool to try and feather out the edges. It just didn't self level and seemed too thick when applying. Like runny pancake batter. The good news is I went to check my results and I am still about 1/8" to 1/4" low. So I can apply more product. Would prefer to get a local tile installer to finish job right, but having little luck getting anybody to come out and look at it. One guy recommended another product at lowes made by henry. It comes in 40 lb bags, just add water, but the working time is much shorter and I am not feeling confident about applying it and getting the level smooth result I need to install the tile. My square area to cover is about 40 sq ft at the 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. I am looking for some advice on whether I should try to tackle this on my own, or pony up the $ and get a pro who will do it? Does the dry tec invision stuff need to be ripped up, or can I install the henry product go over top and bond ok? How do I get that smooth level surface? What tools should I be using? My fear is that I'll spend another $50 - $100 on materials and end up with bad results again and need to rip it out and start over. My other question is how dead level and smooth must this surface be to successfully install the ceramic tile without getting cracks. Can the thinset be applied thicker to make up some of the imperfections? Thanks! Steve


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Old 01-25-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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you need to use primer for the self leveler. it helps keep the slc from setting to fast. lowes sells a self leveler and primer that mixes a little runnier than pancake batter. it should level out on it's own. just don't mix it to thick. don't ask the guy at lowes for help. they usually get you in trouble.don't mix lhe leveler with the primer . the primer rolls on first.


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Old 01-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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If you don't think you can pull this off the second time around then don't screw with it at all. Call someone that knows how to fix it. Most pros won't even look at something some DIY has started and got it screwed up.

There is no reason the SLC shouldn't have worked for you the first time assuming it was fresh product and you followed the instructions. The shelf life is about six months and the bags are coded. If you didn't use primer the first time then it is likely you should remove the first application.

A 1/8" variance in elevation isn't much and can usually be corrected with thinset as the tile is installed.

Are there any cracks in the basement floor now? If so, describe them.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
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buds right if you did'nt use primer you need to start over. if you got waves in it you must have tried to help it level out. it dont need help. it self levels. good luck.
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