When is the Best Time to Use a Self Leveling Compound

self leveling concrete joint compound

A self leveling compound is a concrete type floor underlayment that is applied to subflooring prior to the installation of tile or wood. Using a self leveling compound is easier than other types of subfloor compounds because it will fill in low spots to make sure that a more complete coverage of the floor takes place. The best time to use a self leveling compound is in conditions that are not too humid or cold in order to allow the compound to set up properly and work as designed.

What Is Self Leveling Compound?

The self leveling compound is a type of quick setting concrete. It is mixed with water into a compound that has a watery consistency. Unlike concrete that is mixed to a consistency of toothpaste or peanut butter, self leveling compound has a consistency that is more like pea soup. This consistency allows you to pour it on the floor and apply it with little work or intervention once the mixture has been prepared.

Working in Too Hot a Room

If the temperature in the room where the self leveling compound is being poured is too hot, it may not properly cure. This may result in a soupy mess on the floor that does not properly level and may need to be cleaned up and poured again. This can be avoided by waiting until the temperatures in the room are less humid or cooler. You may consider using floor fans as a way to bring the temperature down and make the room easier to work in.

Working in Too Cold a Room

If the temperature in the room where the self leveling compound is being poured is too cold, the compound may freeze during the application. This will prevent it from reaching the lower areas of the floor and creating the self leveling effect that you desire. The resulting floor will not be level and you will again find yourself having to remove the material and starting over to achieve a more even or level pour. You can consider using floor heaters and turning up the heat in the room as a way to raise the temperature to a more moderate temperature climate.

How to Best Use Self Leveling Compound

When you purchase the self leveling compound for use on the subfloor prior to the laying of a new tile or wood floor, you should check with the manufacturer for any hints or directions on how best to use the material. Following the manufacturer's advice will yield the best results when working with their brand of self leveling compound. Each manufacturer may have specific instructions or directions that should be followed in order to properly use their self leveling compound. Following this advice will help you avoid having to pour the floor again or waste any of the compound because of improper use.

If necessary, ask for advice when purchasing the self leveling compound from the retailer.