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Self leveling? underlayment



"Self leveling? underlayment," in the Floor Preparation forum, begins: "Hello all, I am new to this forum stuff so please bare with me. I guess my question is, Just ..."

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Old October 20, 2007, 01:45 PM   #1
Chuck C
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Self leveling? underlayment


Hello all,

I am new to this forum stuff so please bare with me.

I guess my question is, Just how self leveling is self leveling underlayment? I can't seem to get it to flow out the way I have seen it flow. I used a home made gauge rake to persuade it toward the walls and into corners but I still have lows and highs and the gauges of my gauge rake left trails. I used Mapei's Novoplan 2 and my rake consists of a straight board camfered (with drywall screws as gauges) on a broom handle. The engineered hardwood flooring suggests no more than 1/8th inch in 6 feet out of level. I have followed Mapei's instructions to the "T".

Any help would be appreciated. Did I give you guys enough info?

Chuck

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Old October 20, 2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


It sounds like you have it too thick (not enough water). Is it setting up too fast? Mix smaller quantities or use ice water. Just a couple of thoughts.
Give us some more info for more suggestions.

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Old October 20, 2007, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


What is the surface you are pouring over, and are you using a primer. If the surface is porous, the leveler will not flow as well.

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Old October 20, 2007, 11:22 PM   #4
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Just got a question Chuck .... are you getting the term level confused with flatness? Engineered wood you should not have to be going to all this trouble and I believe most folks are better served using a patching compound like Mapei Planipatch to fill in the lows.

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Old October 21, 2007, 05:19 PM   #5
Chuck C
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Thank you for your quick responses. We have in floor hydronic heating on the second level over our garage. The floor is insulated from below and has some high and low areas that exceed the Shaw engineered flooring we are putting down. BTW this is new construction, an addition that we added onto our 1920's home. The light weight concrete was poured over the hydronic tubes over a year ago. (I have had some health issues but am finally getting back to work.) We followed the underlayment instructions to the "T" which said to use 5 1/2 quarts of 70 degree water to a bag. We mixed it in a 5 gal. bucket with an egg beater type mixer. When the 1st and 2nd bags didn't flow right we increased the water all the way up to 6 quarts to thin the mix but it still appears to have setup too quickly. This water was at tap temperature. The floor temp was at ambient temp. We didn't have the heat on yet. As for the moisture content, I don't have a way to check it right now but from reading other forums I had better get a meter before I start laying the flooring. When I finally get to that point anyway. We plan on glueing the flooring to the underlayment. I am ready to find another product that I can screed over the low spots after I grind off the drips from the gauge rake that left high high spots. Any suggestions?

CPROADER, I was told by a rep at Lowes that I really didn't need to put down a primer since I was pouring onto concrete. Was he in error?

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Old October 21, 2007, 05:56 PM   #6
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


He was in fact, "in error". This is why it did not flow. The porousity of the lightweight sucked the moisture from the mix causing it to stop in its tracks. The primer seals it letting the mix flow. As far as mixing it with more water, the opposite is true. The more water you use the less the mix will flow and find its own level. This might not sound right but I have found that a thinner mix actually leaves mounds of sand causing the uneven distribution of leveler. Good luck to ya.

If you don't use the primer you also will not get a good bond.

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Old October 22, 2007, 11:08 AM   #7
Chuck C
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


So do I remove it and start over or just pray that it holds and use Mapei's planipatch as Jerry suggested?

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Old October 22, 2007, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Chuck C said View Post
So do I remove it and start over or just pray that it holds and use Mapei's planipatch as Jerry suggested?
If yer on good standin with yer maker, then you can pray. Otherwise I would go to Lowes and ask them to show you where it says you don't need primer, and when they can't show you tell them to replace waht you've used and start over. What you are going to find when you pop it up, is it has transferred the water to the lightweight and now the water will prevent a good bond. Now if the lightweight has been sealed before at some other time you may be ok. I would pop up a small area to see if it is bonding or not. Good luck to ya, and keep us posted.

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Old October 23, 2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Sooo, is this what a bad underlayment adhesion would look like? It will take a while to chip it all up. I know that there are wide blade chisels on the market. Are there any other products or tools to chip this stuff up? Not sure if I got the picture uploaded properly. Hope it works.
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Old October 23, 2007, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


How big an area have you already tried to level ? Was the lightweight damp under the leveler ? It looks to me like it did not adhere well, but hard to telll since I didn't break it up. Is Lowes going to replace it or are you stuck with it ? Anyways best of luck to ya and we'll stay with ya on this til she's done.

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Old October 24, 2007, 02:07 AM   #11
Chuck C
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


This room is a little over 350 sq. ft. The leveler wasn't damp. It's been a few weeks since it was poured. I haven't been to Lowes yet. They are in a town about thirty minutes away and I don't go there often. I really appreciate your help. I wish that I heard about this forum sooner. I wouldn't be in this mess.

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Old October 24, 2007, 03:19 PM   #12
Peter Kodner
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Give Lowe's a phone call and at least you can gauge their reaction before showing up

I am curious. How did you find us?? (Glad you did tho )

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Old November 1, 2007, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Chuck C said View Post

I have followed Mapei's instructions to the "T".

Any help would be appreciated. Did I give you guys enough info?

Chuck
Must have missed a few of those instructions, eh.

It's gong to get worse, removal is your best option.

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Old November 2, 2007, 01:08 PM   #14
Chuck C
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


I called Lowes and the flooring dept. manager stands by their statement that the primer isn't neccessary. He did give me the number to Mapei's tech support. They told me that they recommend the primer. I did ask the guy about the adhesion. He said that it is possible that the underlayment will not separate but he wouldn't guarantee it. I have a guy who is in the flooring business coming to look at it Monday. I can't see removing it if I have to chip it out with hammers and chisels. All I am going to be doing is walking on in it not banging on it. The radiant floor has gone through a few heat cycles now with no change.

Pete: A forum on DIY.net, or is it DIYnetwork.com, refered to this forum.

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Old November 2, 2007, 09:11 PM   #15
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Re: Self leveling? underlayment


Well I hope it works ok for ya. If yer puttin a floating wood floor over this, it may perform ok for ya. They shouldn't have told ya it didn't need primer, but if it seems to be adhering ok the floor may have a sealer on it already. Let us know how it turns out, cause we really like hearin happy endings.

Ya live in a real quaint little town. I worked there for about a week years ago installing the carpet in a bank. Can't remember which one, but we hopped over into Canada for a couple hours after the job and got chased back accross and were politely asked not to return. Can't win 'em all.

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