Floor Leveler - Advice Needed

Some one at this NG recommended LevelQuickRS to level my basement bath floor. The floor is really out of level and I figure I need 7 bags to level 72 sq. ft. to a depth of approximately 13/16."
If you've used this or a similar product please let me know what tools I'll need and if the plan I've devised for pouring the mixture needs revision. Here is my plan: First, I'm going to install the treated lumber plates to completely enclose the area of the bathroom. Next, I plan on mixing and pouring about 5 bags in the first pour and then see what, if any, additional pouring I'll need. Finally, if I need additional coverage I'll estimate and mix and pour a second and final time. Oh, I'll be applying the primer before each pour.
If you've used this type of floor leveler I'd appreciate your advice.
YTK in WI
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That's a pretty thick requirement for leveling. What is the thinnest area? If 13/16 is the thinnest section then plain ole concrete will do IMO. Does the floor really need to be level? Sometimes just flat is all that is required. No one will notice if the toilet is tilted just a tiny bit or if the shower pan is off kilter a bit. If it so severe that the shower pan wont drain then you have real issues and floor leveling is not really the best solution. It may be better to just break up the existing concrete and pour a level/flat floor. That way you wont have a step up and a trip hazard.
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I've used the stuff twice now. The first time was an absolute disaster. The second time went a little better. First, do not try to do this by yourself. You will need help. The stuff just sets up too quickly to let you pour, mix, pour some more, etc...If you can mix it all at once, then that should really help. I recommend having a helper to mix while you're pouring.
Basically, their datasheets (on the web) give pretty much all the details of pouring it down. You will need some sort of a rake or something to move it around, it doesn't just spread out like water. Basically, pour it in and move it around until you think it's fairly flat then let the concrete do the rest of the work.....here's where it's important to really pour it in one go if possible.
I wish you luck. I had to chip out approx. 150 SF of the crap when my first pour went awry! Cheers, cc
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Did this to level the floor in a small basement bath.
Your plan sounds reasonable, but there are a few things to watch out for.
Have help. The stuff starts setting quickly and if you want it to self level, you will need to get all 5 bags mixed and poured quickly. Have a *big* electric drill with a paddle mixer, and plenty of buckets to mix in. I would recommend about 3 people, 1 to run the mixing paddle, one to measure and add the water and mix, and the 3rd to dump the compound and roughly spread it. It self levels, but it works a lot better if you spread it manually around so it's approximately level. Mark lines on your perimeter so you know what level is.
Have enough buckets so you don't have to wait for one to be emptied before you start on the next, at least three plus a couple more for measuring water. Mark 1 or 2 buckets with a line indicating the right amount of water so you don't have to measure each time. If you are off on the water too much either way it won't work as designed.
It's heavy, and it takes a lot more effort to mix it, even using the drill and paddle, than I expected. I used a Milwaukee 1/2 in heavy duty drill, and it was still slow going to do the mixing.
The powder is very fine, and when you dump it in the bucket to mix, it will form a big cloud of dust that gets on everything, so be prepared and block off any areas you can. Dust masks or respirators are a good idea.
Seal any holes or gaps in the formwork with caulk or foam. The stuff doesn't seem that runny, but I had a small gap and it slowly seeped out as it was setting and I ended up with a depression in the surface next to the gap. I also had a small hole in the underlying concrete that I assumed was shallow, and a surprising amount of compound ran into it, leaving another depression.
Be prepared to mix and place an extra bag or two on the first pour. I had estimated 1.5 bags and it took more like 2.5. Fortunately I had bought an extra bag, just in case, intending to return it if I didn't need it.
Good Luck!
Paul Franklin
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Thanks Paul. I haven't needed to use the stuff, but have been wondering how it worked. I guess I'm glad I don't need to use it, but your warnings are information I'll commit to memory. ;-)
Can you pour the stuff in stages/layers?
--
Keith

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wrote:

I think it would be harder to do it in stages, but if you have a big area it would probably be the only way. If I were going to try it, I would start in the areas that need the most compound, and only fill them up to about 1/4 inch below the final level. The last pour would then cover the entire area a bring it all up to final level. The stuff is very strong, even in thin sections, so pouring a thin layer is not a problem.
IIRC, if you pour multiple lifts within a certain time limit, you don't have to use the bonding agent between layers, but if you wait longer, then they recommend using the bonding agent.
One other point...the stuff is *expensive*, so for big areas or deep sections, it might make more sense to float a conventional mortar bed, at least in the deepest areas.
Paul Franklin
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Paul Franklin wrote:

I use tape to seal off those cracks and gaps. Very quick, no setting up time like caulk.
R
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YTK wrote:

I have used leveling compound before. Just as other forum members have told you, this stuff is not forgiving. In my opinion, it is only good for leveling a very small area if you want to pour it and spread it out and largely depending on its "leveling" property to level itself out. You definitely need to help it along by spreading it and leveling it; this means it is not self-leveling.
The other thing is that it become very hard when it cured. This means if you poured it wrong, you would have a hard time to undo the mistake. You had better to be certain that you will get it right before you use it.
Area where you need to pour very deep, you may be better off using regular concrete (with sand) instead of leveling compound just to save some money.
My suggestion is to check out the This Old House web site. It has an article (with pictures) about the way Tom helped a home owner to level a basement. The article was based on one of the show in "Ask This Old House" TV show. His method seems like quite managable for a DIYer despite the fact that I have a reservation about it (I haven't tried it). The article is free in the last time I check it; you may as well take a look.
Good luck.
Jay Chan
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