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Old 11-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
thoekstr
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SLC didn't level out flat - help!

I did an SLC pour over my heat mat this past weekend using Laticrete that didn't work out as I had hoped. I followed the instructions EXACTLY and used cold water, but the mix came out much thicker than I had anticipated. I did the pour quickly; 300lbs on 120sf in less than 25 minutes with two mixing helpers, and I was able to "herd" the stuff around using a notched floor squeegee, which worked pretty well. Now the floor is dried and it seems quite wavy and not flat at all. I would say that the variations are probably up to 1/8". I don't feel like my 13x13 tile install is going to go well unless I re-pour another SLC using a different product which will level out to be FLAT. Is there any problem with pouring another layer of SLC on top of the initial SLC? I was thinking of trying the Custom LevelLite product? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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you probably mixed it too thick, but the heat mat can also impede the flow. Just do another thin layer. Make sure to prime it with the latex first so the first layer doesn't dry out the second.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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definitely to thick.
water levels itself so the SLC has to be pretty loose.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:59 AM   #4
thoekstr
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Thanks for the replies; that is what I thought.
My follow-up question is whether I should go with the LevelLite SLC as my next layer, and if it is OK to use the leftover Laticrete primer that I have to prime for the LevelLite SLC. It is my assumption that the latex primers are fairly universal, and I am already spending WAY more $$ on this phase of my project than I ever intended. (obviously by my lack of knowledge, I am a DIY homeowner)
Thanks so much,
Todd
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
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the primers can be used together.
why wouldn't you use the Laticrete again ?

mix it up loose like chocolate milk
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:07 AM   #6
thoekstr
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I followed the mix instructions EXACTLY and came up with a bad result, so I am quite hesitant to put myself into the same spot twice.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
ceramictec
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I think all others will be similar.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Probably true. I had just read so many tips about making sure that it was measured exactly per specs that I didn't want to add water at the time of the pour b/c I didn't want to screw it up! I should have gone with my gut and put in a bit more water, though.
Another story of a first-timer screw-up. At least I set my doors high enough that I've got plenty of wiggle room to add thickness. (trying to talk myself into a bright side, here)
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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I add a little more then said, especially when I use a Rapid Set.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
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If you don't have a good paddle, or don't mix it for the specified time or at the specified RPM, it won't flow properly.

It's MUCH easier to get things flatter if you go a little deeper. Just like a pancake doesn't fill the pan and be like a crepe, if it's too thick, it's harder to get flat.

Another thing to consider is, how level really is the room? Trying to push it up a hill over a bumpy heating mat doesn't work well...it needs to flood the area so it can actually cover everything while level...some of it will stick on the high spots if it isn't deep enough to cover it all; sort of like a thick paint.

Also note that after 25-minutes, the first batch you poured would be starting to set up, so trying to move it with the rake could leave ridges, even if they are underneath the still liquid top layer...if there isn't enough, they'll show through.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
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I've had my share of SLC headaches too.

While it's supposed to find it's own level, I've seen it just follow an unlevel floor on more than one occassion.

You could do a second pour or if there's just a a few dips here and there you could float them out with thinset.

Overall, SLC is a useful product in certain circumstances, so I'm not knocking it!
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:54 PM   #12
ceramictec
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a dry un-primed floor with dust on it will bite you in the butt when doing and SLC. dust or dirt will stop the SLC from getting to it's level and create humps in your SLC. it picks up the power and makes it get hard too fast as it's trying to level out.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:30 AM   #13
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Slc

Brian mentioned that he adds a little extra water.

I do too.

There is an art to mixing and pouring SLC I think here in the forum many of us forget that we went through this learning curve and now are a little to easy in recommending SLC with out all the red flags.

I know I have had the grinder out and the fans going taking down ridges back in the day. I know I flooded my basement bedroom a tad (My wife is still mad that here couch got covered - the re apolstrey job eased her pain some). The great SLC flood on 33rd - that cost me $300.00 in damaged luggage. SLC has cost me at least $2,000.00 in "School of Hard Knocks" training

SLC can screw up so many aspects of a job. A DIYer not thinking through a SLC job can flood there basement, dining room, kitchen etc if all precautions are not made.

Great stuff - but user be ware.

Nice pour Brian - Do you mix it bag by bag or two or three in a garbage can like me?
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