Before beginning a tile installation over a concrete floor, it is important to make sure the floor is smooth and even. Otherwise when weight is applied on your floor tiles they will crack as they bend into the dips and low spots. How can this problem be resolved? By applying a leveling compound.
First you will need an object with a straight edge, such as spirit level or framing square. As you slide the edge slowly across the floor, note places where the floor is uneven, where there are valleys beneath the edge and the floor and mark it with a pencil or other instrument. These are the areas that will require your attention first with the leveler. Now that the problem areas have been marked, what’s next?
A basic step follows. Clean the floor to eliminate dust and debris. Next, do not apply the leveler immediately, but first apply a brush or two of latex primer, or roll it on in a thin coat. This primer will strengthen the bond between the floor and the leveling compound so it needs to get into every nook and cranny of the floor.
Once your primer has been applied, wait until the primer completely dries. If it is still wet when you apply the leveling compound, it may react with it and make it less stable. Additionally, to speed up the drying process and get rid of unpleasant odors from the primer you should air the room out.
When working with leveling compound remember that it sets extremely fast. You will only have up to 20 minutes to mix, pour, and evenly spread the leveler before it dries. Thus it is vital to have all the necessary tools before you add water to the mixture. Moreover you can maximize the drying time by adding cold water to the mixture.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use gloves. Try to avoid breathing the dust from the leveler as it can lead to cough or even allergies.
Immediately after mixing the leveler, spread it to the problem areas. Wait until it begins to thicken and then make it even. Afterward you can spread it out to the whole room and ensure that the floor is even. Work quickly. When the leveler gets thick do not try to slow down the process by heating it up or by adding water. It will ruin the mixture and make it break afterward. In 4 hours, the compound will be hard enough to stand on.
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