Best Self-leveling concrete is considered the best choice if you are looking to renovate your floors, but are worried about the condition of the underlying floor.
Additionally, you also need to think about the cost it will incur. A professional home decorator will know how to level their own floors with the help of self-leveling concrete.
What is self-leveling concrete? It is a highly vicious concrete and a modified version of a polymer. All you need to do is pour it on the floor and it will cover the surface like a thick liquid.
This way, you will be able to create an even and flat surface, without having to waste a lot of effort or time.
This concrete is considered the best option if you are looking to flatten existing hard floors like plywood, tile, or concrete before you decide to install new interior flooring like wood, tiles, or LVP in your homes.
However, just because Self-leveling concrete is easier to apply does not mean you cannot go wrong. For instance, mixing concrete is not easy.
You need to understand the thickness of different environments. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with self-leveling concrete.
Ardex Feather Finish Self-Drying CementBest Self Leveling Concrete
The Ardex Feather Finish is manufactured by Ardex Americas, one of the top companies to produce specialty building products.
The self-drying feather finish joins the company’s line of feather-finish patching compounds that are designed to eliminate problems related to flooring installation like staining, mildew, molding, crumbling, and disbanding.
This cement is a self-drying self-healing concrete product that will provide you a smooth surface before you can carry on with the installation process to cover a range of substrates.
The installation can be done from a true feather-edge up to a decent depth in a definite area; the product also dries up within 15 minutes. Since the cement is mildew- and mold-resistant, it is also perfectly suited for castor wheels.
The Ardex feather-finish cement is considered one of the best patching solutions. If you are looking for something of high quality, you will definitely like this self-drying cement.
It is a blend of exceptional Portland cement and other types of cement that provide you with superior bond strength.
All you need to do is mix it in water and apply it. The cement also has a very superior coverage; each bag can easily cover an area of 300-sqft.
However, you need to store the cement only in a dry and cool area. If you leave it exposed to the sun for too long, the cement can get ruined.
- Applying the cement is very easy and quick
- The bond strength of the cement is very exceptional
- Installing the floor coverings does not take more than 15 minutes
- The area coverage per bag is very impressive
- While working with this cement is not difficult, it is still a very big undertaking
- This cement is very expensive, as compared to other products
- Another problem with this cement is that it may crack with heat or cold
Quikrete Fast-Setting Self Leveling Floor SurfacerBest Self Leveling Concrete Overlays
The Quikrete Fast-Setting floor surfacer is a self-leveling product that can be used as an interior floor topping and underlayment. You will see a very smooth surface once you apply it, thereby making it perfect for finishing floorings and ceramic tiles.
The Quikrete surfacer can be used both indoors and outdoors, which makes it a versatile option. You can easily restore existing floors with damaged finishing on existing floors, new concrete floors, and industrial floors.
While the surfacer can be used for a wide variety of flexible purposes, it is quite difficult to apply, as compared to other resurfacers.
However, preparing this surfacer is very easy; all you need to do is mix it with water. You can also control the consistency of the mixture, simply by adding less or more water; how you want the mixture will depend on how thin or thick you want it to be.
The Quikrete surfacer can easily fix any type of problem ranging from repairing cracks and holes to resurfacing old concrete and the floor in the shower.
This is also one of the fastest setting resurfacing – the setting time is approximately four hours. However, the resurfacer may settle in less than four hours as well, depending on the type of surface it is used on.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you wet the concrete before applying the surfacer mixture; this is because the mixture cannot hold wet concrete.
If applied to a very reactive surface area, the mixture will get hard very quickly. If you want to prevent this problem, you need to keep adding water constantly. Thanks to the water, the mixture will be able to maintain its consistency.
- This resurfacer will enhance the appearance of the concrete
- The product adds a few more years to the overall life of the concrete surface
- Quikrete resurfacer will properly rehabilitate the concrete surface
- Used and recommended by professionals
- The resurfacer cannot be used to fix crumbling or cracked concrete
- The surfacer can only be used on plain and smooth concrete surfaces
Henry 12064 Gallon Pre-Mixed Floor PatchBest Concrete Self Leveling Compound
The Henry 12064 is a great option for repairing and smoothing interior wood, masonry, and concrete. Preparing this floor patch is quite simple and will provide you with the best results.
The product is free from contaminants and very solid. The product is also available in four different variants – one, two, three, and four-pack variants.
The Henry 12064 can be applied on dry and clean wood with ease. Additionally, it can also be used to patch non-moving cracks seen on concrete.
However, it cannot be used on moving joints or cracks. The 12064 will provide you with a finished wear surface over masonry and concrete. All you need to do is cover the layer completely with this high-quality patch.
The area coverage of Henry 12064 is also very impressive. With each quarter, you can cover up to five sqft, with a thickness of 1/8-inches; for a gallon, you can easily cover an area of 20-sqft with the same thickness.
If you want to delay the hardening of the floor patch, all you need to do is use warm water and a damp sponge for the cleaning.
Storing the Henry 12064 floor patch is also quite simple. All you need to do is close the container and store it in a dry and cool place.
However, you need to ensure that the temperature does not drop to the freezing point. It also has a decent shelf-life; if not opened, the product can last for about a year. Additionally, Henry 12064 is also packed with a one-year warranty period.
- The Henry 12064 has a very even and nice consistency
- Applying the product is very simple and can be done easily
- When dried, the cement will form a strong bond with the polymer
- Even if you spill it accidentally, the cleanup process is very simple
- For this price rate, you will find a lot of other better options
- According to some reviews, Henry 12064 does not last for a long time
- While the coverage is decent, it is certainly not the best
Bostik SL-175 Premium Self-Leveling UnderlaymentBest Self Leveling Concrete Exterior
The Bostik SL-175 is considered a top choice of cement-based, premium, and self-leveling underlayment that is mostly used by professionals. It is capable of creating a level, flat, or smooth surface before you can start the floor covering the installation process.
The Bostik SL-175 has superior leveling properties, low shrinkage, and long wartime time, which makes it perfect for people that are looking for demanding applications.
Additionally, it also has a very durable wear layer; this way, you will get the natural look of the concrete. You will be able to expand the decorative possibilities ranging from surface treatments, dyes, and topical stains.
The Bostik SL-175 offers you quick service; any surface that you apply to will be walkable within an hour or two.
The product can be applied from neat (1/8-inch to 2-inches) to properly extended (up to 5-inches), which is just okay. The product can be used to maintain pour merging and healing properties for 20-minutes.
The Bostik SL-175 is mildew- and mold-resistant, which makes it ideal for pumping applications. It can also be used as a wear layer or an underlayment.
It can be left open to normal construction traffic too. If you are in the early construction phase, you can also apply the Bostik SL-175 over the ‘green concrete.
The Bostik SL-175 consists of a calcium aluminate formulation, which makes it a very high-performance product.
Additionally, if you are an environmentalist, you will be glad to know that the contents of the underlayment are made of 21% recycled materials. The Bostik SL-175 can also be feather-edged if you already have existing elevations.
- The Bostik SL-175 consists of 21% recycled content
- This cement is one of the most durable options available in the market today
- Storing and applying the product is very easy
- The return-to-service is quite fast; within an hour or two
- The area coverage is not great
- The product is quite expensive
Henry 12167 40LB 565 UnderlaymentBest Self Leveling Underlayment
The Henry 565 is considered one of the top water-based compounds that are available in powdered form. All you need to do is pour the contents out and mix them in water. After that, you just need to spread the mixture.
The Henry 565 is a fast-drying underlayment concrete; in fact, you can start laying down the ceramic tiles almost six hours after the installation. For other types of floorings, you will have to wait for approximately 16 hours.
Henry 565 is a perfect product if you want to deal with deeper crevices in any type of flooring; this is because it can be laid up to a thickness measurement of five inches. Additionally, the 565 can also be used on surfaces like wood, ceramic tiles, and concrete.
Unfortunately, the Henry 565 package does not include a primer. It is recommended that you add a layer of primer before you get started with the layering work. The company recommends that you use its underlayment primer product for this purpose.
One of the best aspects of Henry 565 is its cost; it is very affordable. A single bag can easily cover an area of 44-sqft, with 1/8-inch thickness. Depending on the condition, you can expect the 565 to be set within 30- to 45-minutes.
- Since it is a water-based compound, mixing it is fast and easy
- Ceramic tiles will dry up well within six hours after application
- The area coverage is decent
- The pricing of the product is affordable
- Other types of flooring will dry up within 16 hours
- The 565 is not packed with a dedicated primer
- Cleaning the mess can be difficult
What are the advantages of using self-leveling concrete?
You will find a lot of benefits of using self-leveling concrete, rather than using traditional concrete or calling in a professional for the job. Apart from saving money, other benefits of self-leveling concrete include:
- You do not have to add water to the self-leveling concrete. This means that there is very little mess, unlike the times you end up overwatering traditional concrete.
- Self-leveling concrete is known to produce a very smooth and consistent surface. Also, the layer does not lack strength as well. While this concrete can be used as an underlay, the floor will also remain strong and smooth if the concrete is used as a stand-alone.
- Apart from providing proper leveling, self-leveling concrete can also be used on non-flexible surfaces like plywood, wood, LVP, and ceramic tiles.
- Because self-leveling concrete is very easy to apply, even DIY-ers and amateurs can use it to smoothen and level the concrete floors.
- If you use and mix the self-leveling concrete properly, you will find that the resultant concrete is much stronger than traditional concrete. Hence, self-leveling concrete can be used for reinforced concrete construction.
- Unlike regular concrete, self-leveling concrete does not cause any type of allergic reaction. Traditional concrete causes chromium allergy that results in asthma.
- Self-healing concrete is more mildew- and mold-resistant, especially when used in damp conditions than traditional concrete.
- This concrete has a much faster drying time than regular concrete.
What are some downsides of self-leveling concrete?
Like the two sides of a coin, self-leveling concrete also has certain disadvantages like:
Since self-leveling concrete dries up fast, you need to work very fast. If the concrete product dries up within 20-minutes, it only means you have roughly 15-minutes to get your work done.
Since self-leveling concrete does not reinforce the under layer on which it is applied, anything that goes wrong with the sub-floor will loosen the self-healing concrete. This will also result in damages to the flooring and sub-flooring.
Because self-leveling concrete dries up fast, it will stick firmly on any surface it gets splashed against. If you do not want the stain to remain permanently, you need to clear it immediately.
Best Self Leveling Concrete – Buyer’s Guide
With the increasing number of self-leveling concrete products available in the market, it may get complicated to choose one that best suits the type, whether you are choosing one with compressive strength or the one with a fast drying time.
Thankfully, choosing the right self-leveling concrete is fairly simple. All you need to do is follow this buyer’s guide below:
ThicknessWhen you want to fix the flatness problem, you always need to check for the minimum and maximum thickness of the self-leveling concrete.
You will find self-leveling concrete products of varying thickness, ranging from 1/16-inches to five inches. However, if you are looking for a thin self-leveler, it cannot be applied thick. You need to ask how many layers you are willing to combine for the thickness you are looking for.
If the flow of the self-leveling concrete is high, you will be able to work on your job much easier. With a higher flow rate, the concrete will place itself in the area.
Additionally, the flow will also determine how fast the self-leveling concrete heals. You will not have to exert and overwork with the concrete if you are looking for an even layer.
This is, perhaps, the most important criteria – how long will it take for the self-leveling concrete to dry up? Again, the answer to this question depends on which self-leveling concrete product you choose.
If you want a quick turn-around, you need to look for something that dries out quickly; some products dry out within 90-minutes.
However, if you are patient, you can choose a product that dries out within 2-3 days as well. In the end, it is all about your preferences.
The strength of the self-leveling concrete will depend on what type of floor you are applying on – house, office, grocery shop, or warehouse. Each self-leveling concrete product has a specific compressive strength.
In fact, some may go as high as 7,500 psi. With higher compressive strength, the self-leveling concrete will be able to handle more load and traffic.
What are the different types of self-leveling concrete?
Primarily, there are two types of self-leveling concrete you will find in the market:
Water-based self-leveling concrete
As the name suggests, this self-healing concrete is water-based. This means that the surface has more consistency than normal concrete. Additionally, it also dries up in as little as 20-minutes. All you need to do is purchase the powder and mix it in water to create the self-leveling concrete.
Acrylic-based self-leveling concrete
This self-leveling concrete compound is made from mixing cement powder and acrylic liquid polymer.
This makes the resultant concrete more elastic than normal concrete and more resistant to abrasions and scratches. However, this compound takes more time to dry completely.
Best Self Leveling Concrete – FAQ
Here are some common questions related to self-leveling concrete products:
What is the recommended thickness level of self-leveling concrete?
In most cases, the thickness can be anywhere between 1/8-inches and 1-inch. However, the thickness can be as thin as 1/25-inches or thick as 6-inches.
How much area coverage does a standard 50-lbs self-leveling concrete bag provide?
How does this self-healing concrete work?
This will create a smooth surface and the cement will dry up fast. The setting is also stronger than standard concrete.
Do you need to use a primer before you proceed with the leveling process?
Some brands offer a primer with their self-leveling concrete products, while others have already mixed the two so that you do not have to prime the surface separately.
Is it necessary to apply a second coating of self-leveling concrete?
This concrete is considered quite a handy tool when it comes to evening out internal floorings or new flooring.
These products are very easy to apply and can be done even by DIY-ers and amateurs, thereby saving you a substantial amount of money.
When you are looking for the right self-leveling concrete, you need to know the viscosity that you are looking for so that you end up with a smooth floor surface.
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