The floor in your warehouse is damaged and needs to be fixed. It’s a concrete floor and there are cracks in it due to wear and tear. Also, there are spots where the level of the concrete is not even and needs to be adjusted to bring it in alignment with the rest of the floor. Or maybe the floor in your office or your house needs maintenance, leveling, and the undoing of cracks being part of the job. What material will you decide to use in this job? Is there something that can help you make it easier to get what you want without spending too much time and money? Yes, there is! It’s called self leveling concrete.
What Is Self-Leveling Concrete?
It is polymer-modified cement which does not need additions of large amounts of water for placement. Unlike traditional cement, this one has high flow characteristics. It is used to help make a smooth and flat surface with the same amount of, if not more, compressive strength like that of traditional cement. Self leveling concrete is extremely popular these days, as more and more floor covering goods like vinyl’s and floor tiles require a greater degree of smoothness and flatness.
There is another type of highly fluid concrete formulation known as self-consolidating concrete. This contains superplasticizers or chemical compounds that reduce the need for the addition of water up to 15 percent. The result is somewhat similar to self leveling concrete, a smooth and flat floor. Self leveling concrete can be easily laid over plywood, wood, concrete, ceramic tiles or any other non-flexible surfaces.
How Is It Used?
Like traditional cement, it is poured in liquid form and can go up to an inch and a half in a single layer. Its viscosity or thickness is like that of pancake batter. There is a gauging tool used while pouring it to avoid from being spread into too thin a layer. Another tool called a smoother is then used to do the finishing by lightly breaking the surface tension of the laid product.
The beauty of self leveling concrete lies in its polymers which maintain its viscosity evenly from the top to the bottom of the liquid. This is achieved by not letting the sand particles deposit at the bottom of the cement layer. In order to use self-leveling cement, a thickness level of at least 0.25 inches is required to ensure that a sufficient amount is present for the material to flow.
Types of Materials
1. Underlayment- These are used to smoother out or to correct any irregularities in the floor by pouring it over an existing sub floor. Later on, other floor coverings can be laid like vinyl, wood, ceramic tiles, and even carpet.
2. Toppings- They work in a similar fashion like underlayment, but do not require any additional floor covering as they act as the actual floor.
Areas of Use
- Warehouse floors
- Industrial applications
- Residential floors
- Retail stores
- Institutional facilities
The end product of using self leveling concrete cement is a beautiful, smooth, and even floor. If you wish to make your floor super elegant, you could try adding different dyes or stains to the mixture. Mechanical polishing and saw cuts can further add definition to your already gorgeous looking floor. Available in white and grey colors, the end result is pleasing to the eyes. Other color choices are made possible by adding pigments to the mixture. Decorative concrete floors can be sealed using matte or glossy sealer options. They offer great performance and tough protection in areas that are heavily used. What’s more, they are also environment friendly.
So, give a try to self leveling cement and even out the odds in your concrete floor. Make it smooth, flat, extremely durable and a delight to the eyes.