Alternate to Self-leveling Compound


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Old 10-20-08, 06:59 PM
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Alternate to Self-leveling Compound

I have a 5' by 5' area in a basement bathroom that I will be covering with vinyl tile (floating, not glue-down). The area is relatively flat and I know it is slightly out of level. There is a portion of it that is of a different texture and not perfectly flat from where I had to replace the concrete after having some plumbing work done underground. It's not major, but it just might be enough to cause a noticeable problem with the tile which is pretty thin.

I had initially thought I could just throw some self-leveling compound down. But I've read some others experiences online and it doesn't seem like its that easy to work with. Are there any alternates?

With a small area like this, would it be possible (and easier) to apply a skim coat of some other material?

What about putting down a bed of thinset and embedding two peices of cement board or hardibacker? that actually seems like the easiest option, but I'm concerned about the brittleness of that material.

Any thoughts? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
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Old 10-21-08, 08:40 AM
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Not a Tile/flooring expert!! OK, now thats out of the way...

From what you describe, I think something like Henry's (ARDEX) FeatherFinish might work. It was recommended to me by one of the Pro's here for a couple of small cracks with a tiny raised edge, which whould have been very noticable thru the vinyl. Went down very simply, easy to work and smooth out, quick cure, but plenty of working time for a small area.

Some of the flooring folks will be around.

btw what is floating vinyl tile? Is it a loose lay sheet vinyl?
 
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Old 10-21-08, 10:00 AM
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Thanks! I appreciate your opinion (even if you are not an expert).

The tile we plan on using is a floating plank with built in glue tab. It's vinyl but shaped similarly to a hardwood plank and it looks and feels similar too. it's not perfect but for a below grade bathroom, I think it's better than laminate.

It's almost similar to floating tongue and groove flooring, in a way. The planks glue together but not to the floor.

I've done a lot of research and there are some very mixed results with this type of flooring. However, I think I've compiled enough tips, tricks and best practices to be fairly successful (considering we're talking about 25 square feet here, there isn't much opportunity for grave errors I hope).

Here's a link to a similar Home Depot product

They also make a version that looks more like tile.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 10:27 AM
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Ahh ok, I understand...duh on me! Actually I THINK thats what we may have in the house we moved to here. Haven't pulled any up to find out yet.
 
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Old 10-21-08, 05:47 PM
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Ardex SD-F Feather Finish

Mapei PlaniPatch


Either will do exactly what your trying to accomplish.
 
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Old 10-22-08, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the help!

I took a look at the FeatherFinish product and it looks like it might be easier to control than the SLC. It seems like you just prime the area, mix according to instructions, then just trowel on? Does the product do any type of self-leveling at all? I'm just a little concerned of getting a smooth finish with just a trowel.

I've done work with smoothing joint compound before, a little...but never any flooring material.
 
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Old 10-23-08, 05:37 AM
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At the top of the wood floor forum here at DIY.com, there is a sticky post, titled concrete slab prep(or something like that.) It has pictures of one of my jobs where I had a lot of floor prep.

ARDEX SD-F is not a self leveler. Don't mix it too runny or you will lose the PSI and it will be dusty. Pour out your mud and drag it with a screed(long, stiff straight edge) it will not be perfect but it will be enough that a troweled skim coat with a flat trowel will easily correct any small imperfections.
 
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Old 10-24-08, 09:38 AM
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Is Ardex SD-F FeatherFinish and Ardex FeatherFinish the same product? I only can find it listed as FeatherFinish on the Ardex website.

I want to make sure i am purchasing the correct item.

Thanks for all of our help!
 
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Old 10-24-08, 11:50 AM
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Arlington...
I've been wondering the same thing. I was thinking maybe the Henry's product is just marketed and packaged for retail/homeowner sales and the Ardex branded stuff is more of a Pro product? But they probably have the same stuff in the different packages?

I found that Ardex bought Henry's a while back, I'm sure they are going through marketing and branding changes.

When I bought mine for the small project, I sure didn't need a 10lb bag, I probably could have used 1 lb, and still thrown out some.
 
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Old 10-25-08, 01:21 AM
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You definitely don't want a self leveler for this project. I've used BAGS of Ardex featherfinish and really like the stuff. So far as I'm aware, there is only one version of it.
 
 

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