How to Avoid Cracks and Top Layer Bubbling When Using Self-Leveling Compound

Self-leveling compound seeping across a floor

When working with self-leveling compound material you can eliminate and avoid cracks and top layer bubbling by precisely following the instructions for using the material. The self-leveling compound is a type of quick setting cement that is placed on subfloors prior to laying a tile or wood floor. The self-leveling compound provides a barrier that makes it possible to lay the floor, which is never advised to placed on top of a plywood subfloor directly.

1. Become Familiar with the Use of the Self-Leveling Compound

The best way to avoid cracks and bubbling is to familiarize yourself with the packaging material and any instructions provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer's information can help you avoid these problems by informing you how the compound should be mixed, what consistency should be achieved, and when to best use the self-leveling compound. Additional information can be found at the manufacturer's website or any advice or helpline that they maintain for their customers. The more information that you can obtain prior to the use of the product, the better positioned you will be when it comes time to use the self-leveling compound.

Once you make yourself completely familiar with using the self leveling compound as instructed by the manufacturer, practice coming up with a mixture that meets the recommended consistency. Typically when working with a self-leveling compound, the desired consistency is that of a watery pea soup. Unlike concrete, if you mix the self-leveling compound to a consistency of peanut butter or toothpaste, you have over mixed it. This will cause the self-leveling compound not to pour and level as it is supposed to.

2. Pour the Compound Evenly and Carefully

When you achieve the desired consistency of the self-leveling compound, you should pour it out over the floor carefully and slowly. the solution will spread over the floor, filling in any low spots in order to make the entire floor surface level. Working slowly and carefully will reduce the number of air pockets created, which can cause the bubbling effect. Pouring the self-leveling compound out quickly will increase the possibility that air will get into the compound and that it will in fact bubble up.

3. Check the Temperature of the Room

Make sure that the room's temperature is consistent with what the manufacturer recommends when working with the self-leveling compound. A room that is too hot or too cold may cause the self-leveling compound not to set up properly, and can cause it to crack when it dries. The use of heaters or fans to bring the room to the desired temperature may be necessary in order to avoid this from happening. You may also need to wait a day or two prior to the application of the self-leveling compound in order to ensure a climate that is conducive for its use.