Learn How to Apply Self-Leveling Concrete

••• Photo by Wonderlane flickr

Self-leveling concrete is a flowable polymer-modified topping that can be self-leveled without troweling. They are one of the preferred solutions for leveling uneven surfaces and when the area to be repaired is subject to moderate traffic. A self-leveling concrete does not need excessive amounts of water and is normally used to create smooth surfaces. It is the preferred way to fix a floor before installing floor coverings.

Benefits of Self-Leveling Concrete

Some of the benefits obtained when applying self-leveling concrete are:

  • Self-leveling concrete comes in a ready to use mixture and is relatively easy to apply.
  • Depending on the product, it might be colored or dyed.
  • Offers a relatively fast strength gain.
  • Doesn't require special tools during its application.
  • Provides an excellent bonding to concrete surfaces.
  • Offers high abrasion resistance.
  • It can be installed on the top of concrete, ceramic tile, wood or any non-flexible surface.
  • It is easy to install and can be applied even after the construction process has finished.
  • It requires less water than traditional concrete.
  • A seamless surface can be created if it is not applied over a very large area; otherwise, you should have control joints.
  • Self-leveling concrete dries so fast that can save you money by shortening the construction process.

How to Apply Self-Leveling Concrete

Self-leveling concrete can be applied very easy following these steps:

  • Start by reviewing your manufacturers' specs as they normally require to apply a primer to the surface before the self-leveling concrete is applied. This is normally a step that most contractors do not follow.
  • Mix the self-leveling concrete in a pail or bucket, by adding the necessary amount of water. Mix thoroughly using an industrial mixer (paddle). Keep mixing it until you have a created a uniform mix and all cement has been mixed. 
  • Now you are ready to apply the product, but be sure to have a clean surface before pouring the mix over the surface.
  • Pour the mix over the surface. The mix should run freely self-leveling over the surface.If the mix is not moving to the required areas, use a trowel to push it to the desired area. 
  • Be sure to check that the thickness of the product is not thicker than 2 inches but not thinner than 3/8 inches.
  • You can also use a broom or a brush to apply the concrete. It dries in only minutes due to its thin consistency.
  • When the self-leveling concrete begins to dry, it will turn into different colors so don't be surprised if it shows many colors during this process.

Common Self-Leveling Concrete Applications

Self-leveling concrete can be used in different application such as:

  • Fix uneven surfaces, especially floor surfaces.
  • Great solution to fix light manufacturing floors, retails and warehouses.
  • It is the preferred way to level a floor surface prior to installing carpet, hardwood flooring, stone, and tiles.
  • It can be applied and used as countertop surfaces.
  • It can be used to repair concrete cracks and other imperfections.