Self Leveling Concrete – What Is It?

Unlike traditional concrete which typically requires more labor to resurface an old floor, self-leveling concrete only requires hours and a few people to do it.

What is self-leveling concrete?

It is a unique and relatively new concrete technology that is used to create smoother and flatter indoor surface prior to the installation of floor finish. Contrary to traditional concrete which requires the addition of large volume of water for application, self-leveling concrete has a flowing consistency making it easier to apply as it pours and spreads easily over a surface.

Forms

Self-leveling concrete comes in two forms of materials – underlayments and overlayments.

The self-leveling underlayment material is usually intended for leveling and correcting existing problematic surfaces to make them suitable for installation of floor finishes such as vinyl tile, sheet vinyl, ceramic tile, hardwood floor products and carpet. Installation of underlayment surface may vary in thickness which usually ranges from 0.125 inches to about 0.25 inches.

Self-leveling concrete overlay serves for the same purpose, but it can function as a finished floor overlay. Self-leveling floor overlays can be colored, epoxied or polished to create a finished wear surface. This type of concrete overlays can be used for many applications.

There’s a variety of self-leveling concrete products available nowadays. Some products are only suitable for indoor applications such as restaurant, warehouse and basement floors, retail stores, light industrial as well as institutional floor finishes. There are also self-leveling concrete products that are used for outdoor applications like patio, driveway or sidewalk resurfacing.

Characteristics

Self-leveling concrete is a type of concrete that is combined with polymer and has high flow characteristics. It means that it just flows and levels easily when poured. No trowelling is needed since only a gauge rake is required to pull the material to the exact height. The surface is further smoothened and evened out by a tool called “smoother”.

When applied as a floor finish, it produces a low maintenance, functional and decorative floor. It also creates a stronger, highly compressive, leveled surface when applied as an underlayment.