Self-Leveling Didn't work!!! HELP!

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  #1  
Old 06-12-13, 05:51 AM
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Self-Leveling Didn't work!!! HELP!

I did TONS of research. Lots of "Experts" told me I need 2 bags for a 121aqft room (11x12) I took a scraper out and busted my.... tushy... scraping and cleaning that floor. I used the recommended primer.

My straight-edge is a piece of 4x8 ply that was ripped. The piece I have is 8ft x 6"x3/4" and I checked it with a 4 ft level to make sure it had no major defects. No light when I checked with a flashlight. I have 2 low spots that run in a couple of whoopdy-doo's across the room. In 1 spot it's 3/16 deep at about 2 feet wide. the rest of the spots, it's 1/8 deep by a couple feet. I don't have huge pits. Some people actually tell me it's fine....


I bought a 10.5 gallon trash can and carefully measured 10L of water into it. I stirred it carefully for a couple minutes with a powerful drill and paddle....

I put on my knee pads got my trowel, and said 2 "Hail Marry's" and 1 "Our Father". I poored out the leveler in 1-2 gallon increments overlapping as I went. I pushed it around with the rectangular trowel thingy and made sure I had complete coverage.

When I woke up this morning, I put on my shorts and flip-flops and ran over to my office, got my straight edge anticipating a 100% flat surface and HOLY SCHNIZZLE-STICKS, It's like I wasn't there at all. In fact, now I seem to have a high spot in one area... What the? What did I do wrong? Still have the 1/8inch low spots, and 1 area that's about 3/16. Should I just go after it with Thinset now? I don't get it... says "easy to use" on the bag....

Someone tell me that I'm not totally hosed and need to go rent a jack hammer...

Crusty
 
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  #2  
Old 06-12-13, 07:06 AM
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Let me see if I can help. First off, I assume this is a concrete slab foundation??? And I assume you are prepping for tile work??? What primer did you use, and where and when did you use it, in relation to the self leveling compound??? And anytime I've used self leveling compound, I've just poured it and let it "self level". I figure it will push itself around. And it does not dry perfectly flat, it does leave a little edge.
As for your high spot, do you need to jack hammer it out -- I don't know because it depends on how high it is, and I don't know because I've never had to remove the freshly poured self leveling mixture. As for the 1/8 inch variance, I wouldn't worry about that, just fill with thinset as you go.
 
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Old 06-12-13, 07:53 AM
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Hey dude... Thanks for the reply.

Yes on the concrete slab. about 8 y/o now. Putting hardwood down, not tile. Otherwise I'd do just as you said, add extra thinset. This worked perfectly in my bathroom and hallway.

The high spot isn't THAT high.... It's just new. I can probably shave it down with course sandpaper on the DA Sander.

I think I got too happy with my pooring of the SLC. Not sure.... getting really frustrated with it.

Crusty.
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-13, 11:53 AM
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Another floor leveler I like is Fix-It-All -- you mix it and spread it as needed. It's not self leveling, but it will help to fill in those 1/8 inch areas before you lay the hardwood.
 

Last edited by Re-mdlr; 06-12-13 at 02:03 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-12-13, 01:18 PM
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A small high spot coupled with a small low spot makes for a really big gap when you check it with a straight edge. I would get a 3" stiff putty knife and scrape down the high spots and re-check to see where you need to concentrate. Use a sharpie or other perm marker to highlight the areas you need to concentrate on. If really big areas need to be scraped, a long handled floor scraper may be needed. To get a really good look at the landscape, take a lamp or flashlight and shine it right at floor level across the floor. The shadows will show peaks and valleys.

What you should have done for a room that large is set up some screed sticks. I sometimes use thin metal rods you can find in the hardware store. Set them up on the extreme limits of the room and drag your straight edge along them. You remove after the floor dries and fill in the void left by the screeds sticks.

You also need to mix your SLC in smaller batches. Mixing in one large batch, it probably began to set up some before you finished the pour. SLC is false advertising. It spreads out but needs the help of some skilled hands to make it happen smoothly.
 
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Old 06-15-13, 01:02 PM
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UPdate....

I turns out that things weren't as bad as I thought. A friend of mine has done this before and he came over to take a look. The straight edge I was using wasn't long enough so I took care of that. Suddently things looked better over all, but, it made another area stick out. The middle of the room was below the 3/16 limit so it was good, but the side by one wall was off by 1/4 inch! The shorter straight edge didn't show that as it wasn't planning across the whole area. I used the straight edge and use a crayon (my marker died) to make a line across the floor from end to end on the dip. I moved 6 inches and did it again. After I was done I had a whole bunch of short stripes that outlined the low spot. Another bag of SLC poored to the area fixed it. I've since started installing the hardwood after waiting the right amount of time.....
 
  #7  
Old 06-15-13, 01:38 PM
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The price of free advice is, a picture of the finish product for us to see, and for bragging rights to your buddies so you can tell them of the job you did and direct them to this website to view the picture. Glad to be of assistance.
 
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