Self Leveling Compounds for floors

Has anyone had success leveling a tile or concrete floor using a self leveling product such as Levelquick by Custom Builders, sold at Home Depot?
I am trying to level an old mosaic bathroom floor before laying 6 x 6 tiles. The surface is not flat enough to use this tile without some leveling. Latex type levelers are not recommended under the thinset that will be used to mount the tiles.
I tried Levelquick using the procedure called for on the product, exact quantities of mix and water. I applied it over the recommended precoat, and poured over the whole floor within 3 minutes of mixing. The product is supposed to self level over the first 10 minutes after mixing and be ready for tile in 4 hours. In theory, it should.level itself as long as it is liquid.
My result was extremely disappointing. 24 hours after applying, half had still not set up, and the floor was neither level nor flat. I removed the product at 30 hours. The max depth was about 1/4 inch. Half came right up easily, the other half , about 1/8 inch or less, had set up and was difficult to remove. I do not know what the status was at 4 hours, but even at 24 it was not ready to tile even if it had been level.
This product is the only one I can find on a weekend, and I would like to get on with this project. Is there an alternative product that is easily found? Or, can this Levelquick be made to work, such as by mixing it thinner than the mfg suggests? I am afraid of maybe making it weak by making it thinner. I cannot find a website for Custom , so guess no way to contact them over the weekend.
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Sandy,
Haven't used that particular brand, but I have used portland cement (sounds like the type you used) based floor leveling compound with good results. I don't remember the brand, but I bought it at Lowes, and remember it was a name brand (was not levelquick).
My situation required a feather edge on one side of a small bath increasing to about 1" thick at opposite side. It took two large bags of (expensive!) compound. I mixed it, poured it out, helped it flow out just a little with a squeegee, and then left it alone. It self leveled within 10 minutes or so, and set very hard within a few hours.
I can only suggest that you try another brand. Mixing it a little thinner will help it flow better but may weaken it a little. Mine was the consistency of slightly running pancake batter when first mixed. Did you use a power mixer? It needs to be well mixed, but also need to be mixed quickly because it starts to set so quickly.
HTH,
Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paul Franklin wrote:

Thanks Paul,
Yes, I actually bought a 1/2 inch drill and a thinset stirring paddle so it would do the job right. Followed the instructions to the letter. The product did not perform as advertised, at least not in use as they instructed.. And it was also very expensive. About $25 a bag. Maybe I could return the powder residue I chipped up off the floor for a refund!
Found an old reference on this newsgroup that said someone at the mfg of Levelquick recommended using ice water with ice in it for the liquid, and put in more water than the instructions call for. Maybe that will work but I am ready to try something else. All the tile retail stores open today said they don't carry anything, just order it as needed, but one recommended a product called Ardec or one from Mapei. No place I could find carry either of them so must try the distributors on Monday. Another lost weekend for this project.. Did that sound like what you used?
By the way, the local Lowes does not carry anything but an Armstrong latex leveler, and that must be for laying vinyl, etc.
Sandy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
<snip>

I found the bottle of leftover primer. The stuff I used was from Laticrete. It was a year or two ago though, and you know how Lowes and Home Depot are, everytime you go in to get more of something you've used before, they have a different brand.
I hate it when you can't get what you need on the weekend when you have time to do projects! Good luck with yours.
Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I used the leveling compound from Home Depot. It is likely to be the same as what you have tried from the price that you have mentioned.
I also found that it was not "self-leveling". But to be fair to the manufacturer, I don't think they call it "self-leveling compound". They only call it "leveling compound". There is a big difference between self-leveling and leveling. If they call it "self leveling", this means we will have to help it along to level the floor. I guess they are "self-leveling" only relative to regular concrete mix.
I don't really have any good advice for you because I am not an expert and my prior experience with leveling the floor is less than "good". However, I came across a TV DIY-show showing a pro who used concrete mixed with minimum water and used this kind-of-dry-mix to pack around the bathroom wall to establish a level "dam" around the wall (of course I assume that he had marked the level line ahead of time). And then, he probably used dry mix to fill up the middle (I forgot exactly what he used to fill up the middle). However, when I tried to do the same thing, I found this to be very difficult to make sure the "dam" to be level. Moreover, I have a feeling that this is probably only suitable if we want to put in a relatively thick layer.
I also saw another TV DIY-show that showed a person poured leveling compound to level a very small bathroom. He largely let the compound to self-level without doing any tooling. But that was a _very_ small bathroom; the area to be leveled was like 3-ft x 3-ft. I have a feeling that he would need to help it along if the area had been larger.
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jay Chan wrote:

snip
Jay, that may have been a different product. The one I have did come from Home Depot and the bag says it is "Levelquick Self Leveling Underlayment". The instructions are very clear in promising it will "self-level" for the first 10 minutes after the pour. When I used it, I spread it around the entire bath floor promptly and it looked like the surface of a swimming pool. I went away happy and confident it was working. But, as I explained, it failed. Another poster , glen Good, says he gets good results and maybe mine was just a bad batch. Since the experience, I did a lot more calling around and discovered a product called Ardex K-13. It is supposedly the product most often used. I finally decided against using it because my area is small and the quantities are large when you deal with the K-13 and the required precoat that only comes in gallons. I am using the Ardex SF trowel applied leveler. It is working OK, but it is tricky to get the floor level and flat. And you have to work in small batches, and work fast. You only have a pot life of about 15 minutes. The pour idea is probably best, just 5 -6 times more expensive in this case of a small job.
Sandy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

you got a bad batch of "leveling compound" I have used this same product for years and it has always leveled itself (it is a liquid). and it has always been ready to install tile 4 hours later.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Glen Good wrote:

That could be the case, so I will return the unused part to HD. Maybe Custom would like to take this batch to the lab and study it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.