Sometimes the task of leveling a floor is needed to create the flat level surface that's necessary for a professional looking floor tile installation. And applying a leveling compound is the perfect way to go for the do it yourself, tiler.
You can tile over a slightly slanted floor, but if the floor has lots of hills and valleys, thinset alone won't do.These imperfections will eventually cause your tiles to crack.
And not only that, If you desire to use vinyl floor tiles or any other resilient tile, it is of primary importance that the subfloor is smooth and level. Once installed Vinyl floor tiles, as well as all other resilient floor tiles, show all the imperfections in the subfloor below right through the tiles!
Thank Goodness for self leveling floor compound. It will settle into a flat and level surface before it hardens. Patching compound requires extensive troweling. It is hard to use for do it yourself tilers. Self leveling material is a much smarter choice.
Place your bubble level on the floor. If it shows that your bubble is not centered, the floor is not level. Lift the low end of the level until the bubble is centered. Measure the space between the level and the floor.
If you are using a 2 foot level, and measure a gap of more than 1/4 inch you will need to use these instructions for leveling a floor before your floor tile installation. Leveling For a 4 foot level's distance is 1/2 inch. When you are using an 8 foot level, anything more than 1 inch needs to be leveled.
keep repeating this process using your bubble level all around the floor, while moving the level in different directions, wherever the slope seems too steep.
Step 2-Seal your Doorways
Cut 2x4s to the length of your doorways. Tack the 2x4s to the floors of the doorways using drywall screws.
You can use either Duct tape, masking tape, or blue painters tape, to cover the seams where each 2x4 meets the subfloor. Use additional tape to seal gaps in the subfloor, to stop the compound from pouring through any holes.
Step 3-Prime the floor
To ensure good adhesion, most self leveling compounds require a latex primer to be applied to the floor. Apply it using a roller and brush. Allow it to dry for about 2 hours before you mix your compound.
Step 4- Mix and pour your self leveling compound
Follow the package instructions for the amount of water to add to the self leveling compound. and use a mixing paddle loaded into a drill with a 1/2 inch shank, to combine your self leveling compound ingredients.
Gently pour some of the leveling compound onto the low spot of the floor. Use a flat trowel to push and pull the self leveling compound around the floor. Keep adding more compound as you back out of the room.
Step 5- See video below for viewing instructions
The self-leveling compound will even itself out, and harden into a flat plane. It will be ready for you to create your professional looking floor tile installation in about 12 hours. After hardening if you need to apply another coat of the self-leveling compound, do a second one the next day.