self-leveler over patch, and vice versa, OK?

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by oneway, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. oneway

    oneway Member

    Are there any issues putting a layer of self-leveler over a layer of patch, or vice versa? What about patch, then self-leveler, then patch on top of that?
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    If bonded properly, some leveler wants substrate to have a surface profile of around 3 so smooth doesn’t bond as well. Self leveler needs to be primed for it to flow,cure properly, that the water is not robbed from the patch.

    They could expand and contract at different rates just like ceramic tile and slab, so if it’s thick or larger areas then I would consider calling tech services.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I put patch over leveller all the time, there is typically nothing wrong with this.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Some levelers when you don’t prime they will shrink slightly and lift up off the substrate. Overwatering, fans, large airflow also affects its result, cracking.
  5. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    The self leveler should be your last deal. I don't see any problem going over patch if you prime it before the self leveler.
  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    How worried I would be layering underlayment material depends on what's going on top.

    One size does not fit all.
  7. oneway

    oneway Member

    I'm reflooring over a concrete subfloor with Pergo XP laminate.

    Originally I hired someone, but the additional cost of leveling - which is not nearly done yet - was exceeding the estimate for the entire job. I had to pull the plug and take on the rest DIY.

    I'm about to use some Henry 555 self-leveler, and notice that the directions require that you prime the surface with Henry 554 primer. I remember that the flooring guy used self-leveler in a few places but used no primer. He was using Ardex V1200, and the docs say this does require primer.

    Is primer optional in the real world?

    Should I be concerned about the places where V1200 was used without primer?

    Side-question: is primer required if putting the self-leveler over Ardex Feather Finish?
  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yes, leveler is “required” to ensure/help to product flow, for it to bond, and to resist it shrinking as it sets.

    Failure may occur, make sure it’s dry when you pour, that’s my biggest fault. I really need some meter or something telling me, because my idea of dry is still too early.
  9. oneway

    oneway Member

    > make sure it’s dry when you pour

    Do you mean, make sure the primer is dry?
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yes. And the name is deceptive, it is usually trained persons and tools to ensure it flattens appropriately. Err on the low fill, not pouring humps. There’s a tool called a smoother which in my opinion there’s no substitute(finish trowel) It breaks the surface tension to “relax” the mix for better flow/settling.
  11. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    It's not optional to me. If you read the docs, you know that one of 2 different primers is required, depending on the porosity of the concrete.

    The part that concerns me is the in-a-few-places part. Ardex V 1200 is a product that is used in large, usually complete spaces. It's not a trowel-on patching compound, like Ardex Feather Finish or Henry Feather Finish. Some people think SLC (Self-Leveling Cement) is easier because it is self-leveling. It's not either - not easier to apply and isn't literally self-leveling. It's viscosity does help the installer apply the product, but they help it along with specialized tools and procedures that most DIYers aren't familiar with.
  12. oneway

    oneway Member

    > The part that concerns me is the in-a-few-places part.

    I think we had different ideas about what constitutes "level". My problem with his work is that even in places where the old laminate had obvious and severe problems due to the subfloor (panels separating 1/4" at the ends over a 2'x3' high spot, worn/frayed panel edges over a 2'x4' low spot, etc), he would patch a little bit in/around these areas but they would still be 1/4"+ off. It seemed obvious to me this would result in the identical problems down the road. He did put down flooring over this area and after we parted ways I could tell by walking on it that this would indeed happen. I pulled up the flooring (about 300sf) and am re-leveling now.

    I don't know enough about this business to say his approach wasn't reasonable by some other set of priorities but it just looked like another ruined floor waiting to happen...
  13. oneway

    oneway Member

    I put down my first box of Feather Finish

    My floor looks like a burn victim. So do I.

    I didn't get to the desired depth anywhere in the patch though, so hopefully I'll do better on the second layer.
  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Depth is cheaper with other patch. Feather finish is for fine tuning.
  15. oneway

    oneway Member

    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    That is definitely better if you are doing heavy coats. Unless you are rich..... then feather all the way.

    I use plani patch from mapei for my heavy filling I get 50lbs of that stuff for 32ish dollars I think.... it works great!
  17. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Screed, screed & screed. That's the best & easiest way to get it flat. Mark your high spots, mix a pail up, dump in the low spots, screed to the high spots, Easy peasy!

    Luckily a floating product is going in so it doesn't have to be as perfect as if a resilient product were going in.

    If it's only 1/4" off at your worst I would forget about self leveling. It won't level at that thickness & more than likely will make more work for you. But If it was my place & I had the time, I would use the self leveler first & pour my deepest spots & come back to screed my patch to it if that makes sense. Basically using the self leveler as "fill" then get it pretty with patch (FF). But as stated above use the primer! You'll be thankful you did in xx amount of years when you get a new floor & dont have to do any subfloor work other than a sweep.

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