When self-leveling concrete can Be Used as a Finished Floor?
Self-leveling concrete is a durable substance similar to poured concrete that has become very popular recently. Often used as a subfloor in the preparation of vinyl or tile flooring, this material is an affordable solution for business owners on a tight budget. But can it be used as a finished floor covering? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is it?
Self-leveling concrete is a cement mix that looks and functions very similar to traditional concrete. However, unlike concrete, the material flows much more quickly and settles faster. After mixing with water, the self-leveling concrete can be pumped or poured, then spread evenly using a gouge rake. Once fully applied, the compound distributes until it levels out evenly.
The concrete leveler can harden smoothly in just 1-2 hours, depending on the product. After about 4 hours, it can be entirely ready for use, depending on the type of flooring laid on it. Self-leveling concrete is outstanding support as an underlayment for carpet, tile, or other floor coverings.
Self-leveling concrete is different from traditional concrete because it contains many polymers, unique glue-like molecules that bind the substance together. Traditional concrete also requires a lot of water to become fluid enough to pour. Self-leveling concrete retains its fluidity without the need for large amounts of water.
While self-leveling concrete is significantly more expensive than raw concrete, it is a versatile substance that can help business owners avoid demolition or replacing existing damaged slabs. Instead of breaking up old concrete, you can use a 1/2-inch layer of self-leveling concrete to restore the finish and instantly rejuvenate your aesthetic.
When Is it Applicable?
Self-leveling concrete can come in handy when contractors cannot repair cracks, pits, and ruts with traditional concrete repair compounds. Applicators can also use it to smooth out uneven or flat areas on concrete surfaces that are not strong enough to warrant a complete concrete replacement.
At the same time, leveling concrete works excellent as an independent, ready-made floor material. It’s tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear. Its raw industrial look also suits many different design themes. Finishes complement existing or planned color, decor, or accessory features, such as B. decorative mosaic or splash guard.
However, self-leveling concrete can be an affordable flooring solution for budget-conscious business owners. This statement is especially true for projects that might otherwise require the complete demolition of a sub-floor, in some cases foundations. Instead, an approved contractor applies self-leveling concrete supports to rescue and revitalize a floor. As helpful as this method is, there are times when it is not appropriate.
Do not use Self-leveler when
Self-leveling concrete should, in most cases, only be installed for indoor flooring, either as a standalone surface or as a flooring sub-floor. Some indoor and outdoor applications may make sense (e.g., a covered but exposed carport or garage floor). However, self-leveling concrete is not suitable for outdoor applications.
Vertical surfaces are also bad candidates, as polymer-mixed self-leveler doesn’t cure very well on non-horizontal surfaces. Self-leveler is also not suitable in areas where heavy machinery is operating or harsh chemicals can impact. Finally, despite its impressive durability, self-leveling concrete is not as strong as traditional concrete and cannot withstand particularly extreme conditions.
How to do the work?
Repairing concrete requires years of training and experience to ensure the flooring and underlying structure are safe and durable. Without in-depth knowledge, you can easily make a minor problem worse.
In addition to creating a noticeable mess, a do-it-yourself concrete repair can cover up serious structural problems and make a damaged surface more dangerous. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for do-it-yourself concrete repair to make issues worse, forcing a homeowner to pay for an entirely new cover when a professional could have fixed the problem with just a few targeted repairs.