Author Topic: Too good to be true - self leveling product?  (Read 18949 times)

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Offline Deke

  • Posts: 242
Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« on: February 07, 2014, 10:14 PM »
I saw this on a newer This Old House: http://www.silpro.com/products/silflo_220.shtml

They mixed and poured bags and bags of this "self leveling underlayment" SilFlo 220 to level a basement floor - some areas up to 2" - and they made it look effortless (except for the mixing and pouring). They have another product, Silflo 230, that can be used as a "wearing surface" with testimonials here: http://www.silpro.com/successes.shtml

I have a pretty annoying and uneven basement floor in my wood shop and I was pretty much resigned to it being that way forever figuring repouring the floor would be too expensive. Now, I'm wondering... I could level my floor with this, put down some flooring (or epoxy resin...) and be made in the shade. It just seems too good to be true, or is it? Chemistry these days is pretty amazing.

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Offline Deke

  • Posts: 242
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 01:23 PM »
200 views and no replies? Maybe someone can just make up something? :-) How about this. Does anyone here have general advice or experience on repouring/redoing a basement floor? Is my wife right - the best option is to wait and get another house some day with a nice basement?

Offline mastercabman

  • Posts: 1854
  • NORFOLK,VA
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 01:31 PM »
I have use a product like that long ago
It works great but expensive
I don't understand!?! I keep cutting it,and it's still too short!

Offline Walk On Wood

  • Posts: 277
    • Walk On Wood
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 01:33 PM »
I've never used that product, but I've used many self leveling products and they work great.. Just mix them up and pour them down.. Thinner for better self leveling, thicker if you want to float it or feather an edge better
The Green Kool-Aid is good!

Offline amt

  • Posts: 379
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 02:08 PM »
I looked in to products like this but the cost quickly went crazy high.  Made Festool look inexpensive :)

Offline h.gil

  • Posts: 111
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2014, 02:16 PM »
I have used this before, the cost does add up in a hurry.You can cut the mix with pea gravel or vermiculite (when added weight is a factor).
You could also use sand to level prior to a floating floor installation.

Offline bionicus

  • Posts: 115
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 02:23 PM »
I've used whatever brand my nearest Depot carries. Levelquik or something. Feathering out to an existing height is a little trickier in that you can pour too much and then find yourself scooping up a liquid with a dustpan like a fool. And you might need to scarify or otherwise prepare the existing concrete if it's been painted.

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2014, 03:11 PM »
I have used self leveling compound and I have seen many jobs people use the stuff!


Thing is I think people take the word self leveling seriously!

Thing is it ain't selfleveling!  Nothing is!

They all require a helping hand!

Been to a few jobs people have just poured the stuff and job done!  WRONG!

It does require some working in to help it level out.

Jmb
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Offline Deansocial

  • Posts: 2114
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 03:17 PM »
How out of level is the floor? The stuff that lays to 50mm has courser aggregate than say the feathering compound that does 0-3mm so it's best to measure the maximum and they chose a compound to suit even if it means filling the dips first then going over with a finer compound to get a decent finish.

For the best finish always prime the floor first and go over with a spiked roller after laying it

Offline Deke

  • Posts: 242
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 09:22 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I went away for a bit not realizing there would be so many replies. I think many of you are right, the cost of these products is kind of a shocker ($20-30 a bag and I would need 30, 40 or more bags?). My floor is quite a bit out of level in some places, up to 3". On closer inspection there are cracks and sections that would need to be repaired extensively. So, all in all, redoing the entire floor is probably the best approach. I'm not quite giving up on DIY here though. I have a friend with a portable mixer and breaking up a floor and hauling out a bunch of busted concrete would be good exercise.

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 10:06 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I went away for a bit not realizing there would be so many replies. I think many of you are right, the cost of these products is kind of a shocker ($20-30 a bag and I would need 30, 40 or more bags?). My floor is quite a bit out of level in some places, up to 3". On closer inspection there are cracks and sections that would need to be repaired extensively. So, all in all, redoing the entire floor is probably the best approach. I'm not quite giving up on DIY here though. I have a friend with a portable mixer and breaking up a floor and hauling out a bunch of busted concrete would be good exercise.


3" is a lot like Dean already mentioned about different ones for different thicknesses are available but  that's pretty thick  and depending on the size of the room it will cost a lot of money.

Especially if you have cracks like you said you have and it being so out of level and uneven  it could mean the subfloor is likely unstable and self leveling products are not structural so you would very likely have all the cracks coming through the self leveling compound.

I would say you are much better off taking the floor up and redoing it.



 
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Offline Jalvis

  • Posts: 348
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 11:14 AM »
I started in the trades as a mason apprentice at age 13.   Currently in my area masons are getting the same prices or less then when I started.  With that said you might want to have the pros take a look.  Three guys can whip that out in no time.   

Offline h.gil

  • Posts: 111
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 12:16 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I went away for a bit not realizing there would be so many replies. I think many of you are right, the cost of these products is kind of a shocker ($20-30 a bag and I would need 30, 40 or more bags?). My floor is quite a bit out of level in some places, up to 3". On closer inspection there are cracks and sections that would need to be repaired extensively. So, all in all, redoing the entire floor is probably the best approach. I'm not quite giving up on DIY here though. I have a friend with a portable mixer and breaking up a floor and hauling out a bunch of busted concrete would be good exercise.

I recommend you research "dry pack" concrete, it basically is barely moist concrete mix. For a DYI'er like you it would be easier to mix, handle and level. Depending how loose you pack it, it shouldn't telegraph cracks the way solid concrete does.

I found this set in Youtube to give you a better idea:
http://www.youtube.com/user/PrecisionMarbleTile?feature=watch

Offline Deansocial

  • Posts: 2114
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 12:47 PM »
You could dry screed it with a fiber screed, really strong stuff and can be laid 4" thick

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6628
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2014, 01:26 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. I went away for a bit not realizing there would be so many replies. I think many of you are right, the cost of these products is kind of a shocker ($20-30 a bag and I would need 30, 40 or more bags?). My floor is quite a bit out of level in some places, up to 3". On closer inspection there are cracks and sections that would need to be repaired extensively. So, all in all, redoing the entire floor is probably the best approach. I'm not quite giving up on DIY here though. I have a friend with a portable mixer and breaking up a floor and hauling out a bunch of busted concrete would be good exercise.

I recommend you research "dry pack" concrete, it basically is barely moist concrete mix. For a DYI'er like you it would be easier to mix, handle and level. Depending how loose you pack it, it shouldn't telegraph cracks the way solid concrete does.

I found this set in Youtube to give you a better idea:
http://www.youtube.com/user/PrecisionMarbleTile?feature=watch



Sounds like dry screeding. 

I'll check video out later can't watch it at moment.
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Offline Deansocial

  • Posts: 2114
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2014, 02:01 PM »
Just glanced at the video and looks like dry screed to me. Get some fibers in there and it will be nice and strong

Offline Kodi Crescent

  • Posts: 786
Re: Too good to be true - self leveling product?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2014, 06:12 PM »
I had an out of level and plane floor that I wanted to tile.  I tried one of these products at least twice.  It did not cure correctly, and it flaked off.  In my opinion, it would not have supported a tile underlayment.  Getting the water mix and getting it down within some magic parameters seemed crucial.  I didn't get the correct formula, and had to tear it all out, twice.

I ended up cutting out the subfloor and sistering the floor joists to bring the floor level and in plane.  Replaced the subfloor and then started the underlayment process for tiling.