- The composition of the homemade floor screed mixture
- Dry mixes for leveling the floor
- Self-leveling polyurethane floor
- Additional materials for leveling the floor
- Why are floor leveling mixtures of different quality
In this article: homemade floor screed mixture, its composition, characteristics, cost of components; general characteristics of dry mixes for leveling the floor, their types, consumption rates, cost; self-leveling floors based on polyurethane – characteristics and composition, consumption rates, cost; how to choose mixtures for self-leveling floors; what additional materials / tools are needed when leveling the floor; the reasons for the different quality of mixtures.
The desire to bring your apartment to perfect condition, or to something close to it, will certainly put the homeowner in front of the question – what to do with the floor? If flaws in the walls and ceiling are visible immediately, because they are always in sight, then with the floor the scale of the problem is not immediately noticeable – thick linoleum or parquet smooths out irregularities. And if you want, which is quite natural, a really even and strictly horizontal floor covering, existing defects – both visible and invisible – need to be corrected. You will need building mixtures for leveling the floor – let’s take a closer look at their characteristics …
The composition of the homemade floor screed mixture
Its composition is 85-90% identical to dry mixes in the factory packaging, it contains M500 cement and clean (washed) sand of a fraction (grain size) up to 5 mm, mixed in a cement / sand ratio of 1/3 (one part of cement accounts for three pieces of sand). The mixture is mixed first in dry form, then water is gradually added and mixing continues. The consistency of the finished floor screed mixture should be similar to good sour cream, i.e. be thick and viscous.
When compiling a homemade mixture, there are more difficulties than it looks at first glance: the sand must be perfectly clean and sifted, care is required with the introduction of water – waterlogging will seriously reduce the quality of the screed. At the end of the installation, such a screed must be kept for exactly one month, spraying the surface abundantly with water several times a day – otherwise it will not be strong enough. After complete hardening, additional alignment will be required – there will be subsidence in places. How to make such a tie yourself – see here .
To independently compile such a mixture, you will need: sand of at least class I – clean and washed, as you can see for yourself by grabbing a handful of sand with your hand and rubbing it with your fingers; cement packaging must contain full marking (PC 500 D0, PC 500 D20 or M 500 D0 (or D20)), manufacturer’s name, full legal address and contact numbers – if such information is completely or partially absent, you have a low-quality product.
An independently compiled screed mixture will be relatively inexpensive: the average price of a 50 kg bag of M 500 cement is 220 rubles, a bag of first class dry sand (50 kg) – 35 rubles. However, the risk of getting a poor-quality screed is quite high..
Dry mixes for leveling the floor
The composition of most of them (depending on the manufacturer) is precisely calibrated and tested in the laboratories of the manufacturers, in it there are certain and constant proportions of the binder / sand, in addition, modifier additives are introduced that improve the characteristics of the mixtures. Working with dry mixes for leveling the floor will require extreme accuracy when introducing water – its required amount is indicated on the packaging, you cannot deviate from it in the direction of increasing or decreasing, because the quality of the screed will be seriously disturbed.
A screed based on such mixtures will completely harden after 24-120 hours (depending on its thickness), i.e. after this period, you can start applying the main decorative floor covering (linoleum, tiles, etc.). Drawdown probability is minimal.
According to the binder, such mixtures are divided into cement and gypsum: the former can be used in any premises, the latter – only in rooms with low humidity, i.e. they are not suitable for a bathroom. However, a mixture based on gypsum can form a thicker floor screed – if the largest cement-sand layer should not exceed 50 mm, then gypsum sand can be up to 100 mm thick.
Please note that each type of dry mix is intended solely for its own tasks, in other words, it is not recommended to use, say, a mix for the finishing coating of a self-leveling floor as a base (thick layer) – cracks form. The technology of self-leveling the floor with dry mixes – here .
When choosing a packaged mixture for leveling the floor, carefully read the information on the package, make sure that this is a really large manufacturer (a wide range of products). The packaging itself must be neat and intact (not have any damage).
Pay attention to the consumption of the mixture in finished form, to the required amount of water for its solution: the average consumption of the mixture is 1.6 kg / m2 (for each layer of millimeter thickness); the less the declared need for water, the stronger the coating itself will be, the faster it hardens – which means that such a mixture contains enough modifying plasticizers that reduce the need for water. It should be noted that each manufacturer of mixtures develops its own recipes with different proportions of modifiers – hence the different “behavior” of the mixtures when they are laid.
The average cost of a mixture for leveling the floor (craft bag, 25 kg): for the formation of the base – 310 rubles; for finishing screed – 480 rubles.
Self-leveling polyurethane floor
For leveling the floor in residential premises, only such a self-leveling floor is suitable – based on polyurethane resin. Self-leveling polyurethane floor, one or two-component, is in tightly closed tin buckets. Work with such a self-leveling floor requires a complete absence of moisture, otherwise the chemical reaction will not go as it should. The optimal thickness of such a coating is from 1.5 to 2.5 mm, a smaller layer thickness will not be enough, a large one will be too expensive. In addition to the self-leveling polyurethane floor, there are other compounds: on epoxy resins – they are intended for non-residential premises (sales areas, various industries); on less popular methyl methacrylic resins, etc..
The time for complete hardening after application to the floor surface is 24 hours. The resulting surface has no seams, does not require additional decorative finishing – it is final. Since a self-leveling polyurethane floor is a finishing coating, its formation will require a well-prepared base (made from ready-made mixtures based on cement), maximum (ideally complete) removal of any debris and dust. Important: during the entire time of curing of the self-leveling floor, it is necessary to completely exclude drafts and the possibility of falling sunlight – these factors will disrupt the integrity of the completely uncured coating!
Self-leveling polyurethane floors allow you to find special decorative solutions – a drawing or volumetric composition can be placed under a layer of transparent coating. The only point is that the more voluminous such a composition is, the thicker the polyurethane floor layer will be and the more expensive it will cost. A well-applied polyurethane floor covering will last up to half a century without any external changes, it is extremely difficult to remove it even when the need arises. As a rule, a self-leveling polyurethane floor is formed in the premises of the bathroom, bathroom and kitchen.
If we compare the characteristics of a one-component and two-component polyurethane self-leveling floor, then the composition of two components is more durable. Its first main component is an aqueous dispersion of a polymer (for example, a polyether polyol), the second is a primary alcohol (usually cyclohene dimethanol), which, when combined, gives the polymer rigidity and strength.
The average cost of a two-component polyurethane self-leveling floor is 400 rubles / kg of Russian production, 1100 rubles / kg of European production. Consumption 1.5 kg per m2 (with a layer thickness of 1 mm).
When choosing a self-leveling floor based on resins, pay attention to: the brand – it must be known; availability of detailed instructions for application – the option “mix the two components with a construction mixer and apply” is not enough, detailed instructions should be at least on the manufacturer’s website (make sure it is available before buying!); request a quality certificate, otherwise refuse to purchase.
Additional materials for leveling the floor
Regardless of the cost of the mixture for the floor screed, it alone will not be enough – consider this right away. First of all, the opinion about the independent fluidity of mixtures is somewhat exaggerated. They will not be able to completely and fully cover the floor, they need to be helped using the rule (a wooden beam of the required length), a spatula and a needle roller, spreading the creamy mass in different directions.
You cannot do without a primer-impregnation – it will increase adhesion, i.e. adhesion of the self-leveling floor to the main surface. Manufacturers strongly advise using a specific impregnation primer, most often produced by them – this recommendation has two reasons. Of course, it is beneficial for the manufacturer that the consumer buys all the components produced by him, but the point is that he conducts laboratory tests of his floor leveling mixtures on these primers, i.e. the combination of these particular products allows you to achieve the desired result.
Why are floor leveling mixtures of different quality
You wondered this question, didn’t you? Of course, an imported product is more expensive just because it went through customs, and the delivery cost a certain amount. On the other hand, domestic manufacturers cannot reduce the price so much, because the components used in the production of the mixture are completely identical to foreign ones – they contain the same modifying additives purchased in Europe at a high cost and imported through the same customs.
The reason is in the recipe, or rather in the amount of modifiers contained in the mixtures – most often there are fewer of them in a domestic product. This is due to the desire of the manufacturer to reduce the cost of production, to offer a more “democratic” price to the consumer. Such products have basic properties that will suit the average consumer, but will require strict adherence to the repair technology described by the manufacturer on each package of the mixture. The cheapest dry mixes are based on analog modifying components produced in East Asia, so their quality is rather low – in terms of their characteristics, they are similar to the usual man-made mix for floor screed described above..