Q:

How do you use self-leveling concrete topping?

A:

Quick Answer

Use self-leveling concrete topping by pouring the product onto a prepared concrete surface and evening the product's surface using a spreader. Pay attention to the product's directions, as different concrete floor toppers require different application thicknesses. Allow the topping to dry fully before cutting or engraving the surface or installing hardwood flooring or carpet over the topper.

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Full Answer

The most important step when applying a concrete floor topping is substrate preparation. Without a properly prepared concrete surface, the polycarbonate topper does not fully adhere to the substrate, which can lead to serious problems in the future.

Different types of concrete floor toppers require different degrees of substrate preparation, which largely depends on how thick the topper is poured. Relatively thin toppers only require scratching or mild grinding before pouring. However, any topper poured to more than 0.5 inches requires more substantial preparation. Thicker toppers require extensive grinding, shot blasting or scarifying. While thinner toppers require less preparation, they are also less effective at covering imperfections or unevenness in the original concrete surface.

The Concrete Repair Institute produces an official guide for contractors to recognize how much preparation a concrete floor needs before pouring an overlay. By measuring the average distance between the peaks and valleys in a concrete surface, the contractor can assign the floor a concrete surface profile value, commonly called a CSP. Most concrete floor topper products come with a suggested CSP for various thicknesses, taking much of the guesswork out of the process.

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