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Self leveling cement

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Sep 29, 2013, 11:50 PM
Self leveling cement
I'm redoing my basement and am a few weeks away from doing the flooring. I'm going with vinyl plank as it seems to stand up to mostiure well and fits in the budget. Part of the basement already has tile down. I'm not sure what it's made of but back when I purchased the house the inspector said it was most likely asbestos so I am just going to go over it, overall the tiles are in good shape. However part of the current floor is just slab, so there's a very small height difference where this meets the existing tile,maybe 1/8 inch or so. Can I just use self leveling cement on the slab to make the two areas level? The slab portion is about 10 ft by 10 ft. Any input is appreciated, thanks.
Sep 30, 2013, 12:42 PM
An eighth of an inch is certainly minimal.
I have had good luck using a floor leveling product (as I recall it was a powder mixed with a latex liquid?) I actually did a sloped area to join one high level to another lower, several layers to achieve the near 2 inch ramp on concrete, but the stuff held up really great and was easy to work with. (different from your situation as this was then painted, so no other flooring was placed over it)

I think a skim coat spreading out six to eight inches or so of a similar product would be all that would be needed for making a more level base for a floating floor. The concrete floor needs to be a clean surface of course for the product to stick well. Often the flooring product directions will tell you how much variation is possible in height or with voids in existing flooring.

Maybe others here have additional or different advice?
Sep 30, 2013, 10:41 PM
Self-leveling cement will 1/8". So unless you could use it to completely cover the entire slightly lower space with a matching 1/8" of fill, it will not get you anything.

Go instead with a leveling compound like Conrad suggests. Feather it out over a foot or more to gradually taper out that 1/8" edge.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jaybee,

Oct 01, 2013, 12:13 PM
Thanks for your responses.

Had another question based on the responses received. What's the difference between self-leveling cement and leveling compound? I looked up different products and I do not really see a difference. Is there a specific one you can recommend? Sorry, this is my first time working with floors like this. Thanks.
Oct 01, 2013, 01:17 PM
Self-leveling cement is a masonry product. While it can be used on top of wood, it's ideal use is to level out uneven concrete slabs. It is designed to better bond to concrete and be similar in strength and density. Install is meant to be mixed thin so that it can be poured and only lightly worked. With the help of some vibration, it will seek it's own level. Masonry floor levelers cannot be sanded so any working must happen while it's still in liquid form.

A floor leveling compound is more of an epoxy base product. It can work on concrete but is designed for a wood subfloor. A floor leveling compound is troweled in place and worked with a trowel so that it is smooth. It can also be sanded once cured. An epoxy based leveling compound can be sanded to a feathered edge.

Oct 01, 2013, 03:08 PM
Thanks for clarifying.
Oct 01, 2013, 04:00 PM
I've used Fix-All for problems like this. It gets mixed, then use a large trowel to spread it. It's like installing a ski-slope (on a much smaller scale). I've used a 12 inch drywall mudder, or a two foot level.

They make it look so easy on tv, don't they