Self-leveling underlayment is a floor coating material used to correct damaged surfaces and make them level for the application of tile, vinyl, carpet, and other types of flooring. The cement-like mixture contains polymers that help it bond to the surface underneath, creating a new, hard, durable, and level floor.
Pouring a self-leveling underlayment is also necessary when you are installing an in-floor heating system under tile. In this article, Portamix provides tips for safely and successfully pouring self-leveling underlayment.
Preparing the Floor
The first step to pouring self-leveling underlayment is preparing the surface underneath. This is to ensure the floor coating bonds to it and to avoid damaging beams, cables, wiring and other systems. Start by thoroughly cleaning dust and debris from the surface. Once the surface is clean, prefill any large holes, cracks or seams, thus creating a completely smooth and solid surface. Where the existing floor meets the walls, you may need to install a sill sealer or a foam gasket that creates a barrier to prevent the liquid underlayment from seeping through the cracks. Next, caulk around the sill sealer to completely seal off the room. Preparing the surface ahead of time will reduce cleanup and allow you to pour your underlayment without undue worry.
In addition to sealing your floors and protecting your walls, you must cover every other utility or opening on the floor that could allow the self-leveling compound to escape. You can start by taping covers over vents and drains and caulking around the covers to completely seal the barrier. Next, you need to build shallow dams in doorways by placing a short piece of wood between either end of the door frame and ensuring it is flush with the floor. Once the wood is in place, extend the sill sealer you placed on the walls around the dam too. After you have everything cleaned, taped, caulked and protected, you can prime the surface. Primer prevents the surface from absorbing water from the self-leveling compound. This is essential if the surface is a porous material like wood or it has cracks and holes that could absorb water and eventually swell or crack.
Ensure You Have Proper Mixing Tools
Once you complete the preparation work, you're ready to mix and pour your self-leveling floor coating. When mixing floor leveler, you must use professional equipment to ensure a thorough mix, regulate the volume you pour, reduce labor time and eliminate clean-up. The Portamix Hippo Mixer is a comprehensive mix-and-pour system that features an electric motor for fast mixing capabilities, closed-loop control handles to regulate pouring quantities, and a canister that's easy to control and clean. The Portamix Mega Hippo Mixer is also on wheels, which makes it easy for you to move around the room as opposed to lugging a heavy bucket by hand. Failing to use the proper tools for your job could result in the underlayment curing with lumps, bumps, and cracks or not bonding to the surface underneath at all.
How to Get a Portamix Hippo Mixer
When working with self-leveling underlayment, the biggest challenge you face is ensuring you are thorough, from preparing your surface to priming to mixing. As long as you take your time, invest in the right equipment, and follow the steps in this guide, you'll be well on your way to a smooth, even floor.
If mixing floor levelers is part of your next project, get in touch with Portamix to see how a Mega Hippo Mixer can save you time, labor, and money.
Email us at email@example.com for a free quote.