Floor "Leveler," or not


I pulled up the carpet in my bedroom to find that the previous residents put the carpet down on top of plywood. I want to put some vinyl down over the plywood, but need to fill in the cracks between the plywood as well as fill in any small holes first.
I went to find some "floor leveler," describing to the person in the floor department at Lowes what I was trying to do. She showed me a big bag of powder, told me that I'd need six bags for a 14' x 15' room, and that I had to mix it myself.
Whew!
If that's all there is I'll get it, but isn't there something else? I don't really need a lot. Isn't there a sort of "hole filler" that I could use? I remember buying some when I wanted to put vinyl on a concrete floor that had small holes in it. It worked a bit like spackle.
While it is a large area, the whole floor wouldn't have to be covered with the stuff.
Thanks in advance for your advice,
--
8^)~ Sue (remove the x to email)
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One word: Thinset. Trowel it out where needed, using a non-notched trowel, using a trowel corner to work it into the wider seams.
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wrote:

You don't need floor leveler unless you have lots of dips and bumps or ripples. If you are talking about sheet vinyl, best bet is to get the prep and installation instructions from the vinyl manufacturer you plan to use. They will recommend products compatible with their vinyl and adhesive (if you are using glue down), including a floor patch compound used for the seams in the underlayment. Be aware than even very small imperfections in the underlayment will telegraph through the vinyl over time; even a layer of tape will show eventually. So it is important to get it smooth. Often the best bet is to put down a new layer of 1/4 inch underlayment, filling the seams and screw heads with the recommended patching compound, and then sanding smooth per directions before placing the vinyl.
Good luck!
Paul F.
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wrote:

Often the best bet is to put down a new layer of 1/4 inch underlayment, filling the seams and screw heads > with the recommended patching compound, and then sanding smooth per > directions before placing the vinyl.
That's exactly what I would do. A little more work, perhaps, but removes a lot of uncertainties.

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Luan?
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wrote:

Folks have used luan for a long time with few issues, but most of it isn't rated for underlayment, and will probably void the vinyl warranty. Best to stick with the stuff actually made and sold as underlayment; usually comes in 4x4 sheets. AFAIK, the main difference is there are guaranteed to be no voids.
Paul F.
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Yep. Even if you put it over existing vinyl that was in good shape, the recesses in the "pattern" will eventually show through. It would have to be skimcoated first.

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Suzie, I sure see a very different answer than others.
There are gyp based floor levelers, acrylic based, and cement based. I have had problems in the past with gypsum based products and do not recommend them. If you have small areas to work and will not have further use for the product, Durham's Rock Hard water putty will work quite well. Any good floor supply store, lumber yard, or box store should have many choices of floor leveler. Thinset is an adhesive for ceramic tile, it might work but one of the major issues with any leveler is the ability to feather out to nothing which is not typical for thinset.
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DanG
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