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botched levelling job?


dpwell's Avatar
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06-12-13, 09:57 AM   #1  
botched levelling job?

Hi all

I just had a contractor level my apartment bedroom floor in preparation for me putting in laminate flooring. I'm on the third floor, and the floor base is concrete.

The contractor came the other day with bags of LevelQuik RS underlayment. I watched him work for a while then left him to it and went out.

When I came back I found the floor wasn't flat. There are noticeable differences in elevation between the areas where the different bucketfuls were emptied. I tried laying some flooring down (without underlay) and there are noticeable sagging spots.

I have watched some videos of people applying this stuff and they all use trowels or other tools to move the compound around. This contractor did not, he just poured the stuff out and let it find its own level.

So I'm not sure what to think. Is it reasonable to expect a totally flat floor? Did my contractor apply the stuff correctly? It gets better: I also noticed last night that there are hairline cracks in the underlayment.

thanks in advance,
David (total and utter DIY newbie)

 
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06-12-13, 12:33 PM   #2  
Here's the directions.
Did he apply a primer first?
http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/TDS/TDS-108.pdf

 
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06-12-13, 12:58 PM   #3  
Joe beat me to it, was primer applied? It is needed for the bond with cement. It takes around 2 hours to dry......

They will have to scrape down the high spots and probably massage the rest with floor patch or something.

How loosely did you use the word "contractor"?

 
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06-12-13, 01:04 PM   #4  
I agree with the others. Although it is called Self Leveling Compound, it really isn't. You have to help it along in some instances, but in the end it will find level. I am surprised he only poured it out and let it try to fill in on its own. We use it to hide heating cables prior to tiling floors, and it requires help to move in the right direction.

 
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06-12-13, 01:10 PM   #5  
HI

He did apply the right primer but didn't let it dry for very long. Certainly not for 2 hours. By "contractor" I simply mean the guy I have hired a few times to do work for me. He's self-employed. I got his name from neighbors. What does massage with a floor patch involve? When I emailed him he suggested a "conc grinder" ("dusty but effective", he said)

Or should I just get more leveller and try to finish it/do it right myself?

 
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06-12-13, 01:42 PM   #6  
The SLC will get you close, but not all the way home. You usually have to "massage" or do a little scraping to some high spots and trowel in some quick patch on some of the lower spots. Really depends on how bad it is.

I would give your guy a chance to make it right, after all, you did hire him for a job. At your own risk if he doesn't have insurance or a license. Concrete grinder would not be the first thing I would recommend unless I had no clue what I was doing.

 
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06-12-13, 04:01 PM   #7  
You say it's "botched" but did he say he was done? Or is he doing it in 2 steps and just hasn't been back yet? At any rate, it can be done in 2 steps... using self levelling and allowing it to seek its own level, in the worst (lowest) areas... and then once that is set up, come back later using a feather patch and trowel to feather the edge and any other areas that need a thin coat.

That's what I'd probably have done.

 
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06-12-13, 11:04 PM   #8  
Well, there was never any talk of a second visit. It seemed clear, to me at least, that he was going to do it in one. He never talked about a 2nd visit or followed up in any way. You make a valid point that perhaps it was his intention to come back, but I don't think he did intend that, and I have doubts now about his competence as everyone seems to think you need to move the stuff around with a trowel, and he didn't. That, and he didn't buy enough leveller to totally cover the floor in the first place. So there are still a few square feet uncovered.

 
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