Self leveling compound

Old 06-09-03, 08:12 AM
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Self leveling compound

OK. Here is the deal. Originally I was going to put down carpet in my basement. Well, the walls and ceiling are built, heating and electrical is done. But I have now decided to put down laminate flooring. I have purchased dri-core 2' x 2's for the subfloor, but my basement floor is not level, there are some areas that dip over .5". So I have to level those areas (many).

I have a couple of questions:

First: Idealy I should have leveled the floor before building, is it going to cause a problem if the leveling compound seeps under the bottom plates (actually under the vapour barrier)?

Second: Do I need to etch the concrete? It is a new house and the floor is clean (sorry 2 year old house). Or can I just prime before leveling? If I have to etch, I'm conerned about using water and getting the bottom plates wet.

Third: For additional leveling I will have to use the dri-core leveling plates. How good do these work and can I buy them in bulk? I can only find them in small packs here.

Fourth: A bit off topic. Does anyone know a good source for drywall in Ontario, Canada. This stuff is getting expensive, almost $14 CND for 5/8.
Old 06-09-03, 07:49 PM
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I can give some input here...

The below is a previous posting from a member...this may help...

Before you go spend a lot of money, please look into this. I'm glad I did.
First I found this product called subflor, which appears to be very similar to the Dricore product.
Then I found that they wanted $9 a 2x2 piece (4 sq feet). WHOA. So I got some rolls of Delta-FL and 4x8 sheets of 5/8 OSB which came out to be about a buck per square foot. I'm sorry I can't remember the actual price per sq ft for the Delta product, but I do remember it being less than a dollar.... Screwed it down with some tapcons and I'm good to go! Made my own 'Subflor' for half price!
I've looked into these two products as well. And had one comment. The big difference between dricore and delta-fl is that the dri-core panels will 'float' with thermal expansion and wouldn't take as much effort to 'level' them to irregularities in the concrete. Dricore is a subfloor on is own, But with deltams you need install a sub floor on top of it before your final finish.
I installed Dri-core, solid, VERY EASY to install subfloor!!! It took me and my wife (yes, my wife) about
5 hours for 300 sq. ft., with some cutting around pipes support poles etc. I thought it went well anf it looks and feels great. Just follow the installation instructions and ther will be no problem...Need to do the other 1/2 next weekend...will be putting wall up after that..i will keep all informed on how it goes...But I would recommend this floor to anyone...Thanks for all your input..
I like the idea of putting the walls on top of the dricore, which i will be doing..Should I get any dampness, (which I shouldn't bu if), the walls and toeplate are off the cement. I used 1x3's as spacers and the 3/4" space is just right. . Dricore suggest fatening the toe plate to the flooring and then fastening the flooring to the concrete with 3 fasteners every 16 ft. I think itll work out nice. Let me know what you choose..and I'll keep you up to date on how the walls go up. In addition, i am not using baseboard heat so I did not have that worry, I am using a gas fireplace. Good luck..

I never contacted a flooring contractor about dricore. I bought 2 panels to show my General Contarctor, and he liked it, he had never seen it. From my understanding, it is made in Canada and is only available exclusively at Home Depot in the US. It is $4.97 for a 2x2 panel.

Advantages is that it is easy, solid, incorporates your vapor barrier and sub floor in one piece, allows the panel to "breath" underneath should you get dampness. I will now feel much more comforatble putting down carpet. Another point, it is dricore is only 7/8" high, where a true subfloor with sleepers etc is 2-2 1/4"..a big deal for me because of my ceiling height...

Had to use a few piece of leveling kit near the sump hole..$3.97 for a package of 20 pieces...

Floor levelers are available at HD or Lowes but designed for small areas. If need be, you could always have the product installed as I indicated above. If you have a large area, this may be beneficial and time saving.

Hope this helps!
Old 06-12-03, 07:45 AM
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Some random comments, excuse the length ...


The edges of the basement floor are likely to be the high points with the floor sloping toward the floor drain(s). This means that there is likely little need to run the leveller out to the edges of the floor where I imagine your walls are constructed.

Note that I think you should still leave some way for water to reach the floor drain(s) and not completely level the floor.

Don't know what to tell you about etching other than to check with the product instuctions. Priming is a must. Found RONA selling a product, but not the primer - someone thought that one out real well. Ended up using the one HD is selling. Beware they aren't cheap.

Anyway, I levelled a small area that will be a bathroom just recently (about 8x7). Didn't etch, just cleaned real well and used 2 coats of primer as spec'd. Seems to have bonded OK. Will not be subject to a large amount of temperature variation so I figure it should be OK. Levelling manufacturer made no mention of need to etch either - I figure they compensated somehow in the makeup of the primer.

DriCore / Subfloor

The underside of DriCore is the same as a platon product. HD sells it in rolls, but it is not cheap - about CAD$215 or so I think at the one in Etobicoke. Its in the same ailse as the shingles I think. Custom cut your levelling squares from this.

I am planning to use the SubFloor product. Mainly because I can buy the DeltaFL product that makes up the SubFloor underside in 4x8 sheets at RONA Lansing in Mississauga for about CAD$25 per sheet. Again, custom cut the levelling squares from this.

The smaller size means I won't have to pay $$$ in order to have a ton of it left over when I am done. I have seen DeltaFL in rolls also, but like the smaller 4x8 size. I have never seen the DriCore platon in anything but rolls.


If you find a source let me know.

Why 5/8 and not 1/2? Need for fire rated or noise contol?
Old 06-12-03, 08:33 AM
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You are right about the edges of the walls being higher, except for one or two spots in my basement.

In my experience the building box is cheeper, I got my dricore subfloor for $5.80 each (they just raised to $6.40) and the 4 x 8 delta fl is $23 or 24 there.

I need 5/8 on the ceiling, since I have some 24" spans. I will probably do 1/2" on the walls to save some cash.

Anyway I'm going to prime the floor tomorow and level it on Saturday (only the needed areas).

I will post some pictures when its done.

Old 06-12-03, 12:08 PM
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You got a good price on the DriCore. Bldg Box is not as convenient for me so I haven't been yet.

The 5/8 may sag over a 24" span because of its own weight. IIRC, I have seen others recommend using it only with 12" spacing.

Can anyone confirm the minimum spacing for 5/8 drywall used on a ceiling?
Old 06-12-03, 12:26 PM
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24" it may be heavier, but it can span 24" 1/2" will sag over time.

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