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Old 04-16-2018, 10:26 AM   #1
Mr_Stop
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"Flattening Floor" methods

I'm curious as everone's preferred method for "flattening floors" to get them into spec? I remodel mostly older homes built between the late 1800's through the late 1960's and I rarely find a flat floor situation (don't even think about level).

Most of the floors are a 3/4" plywood substrate (either existing or installed by the framers). I find the floors to often be 1/8"- 1/2" out of flat is some areas. Also, I am often trying to line-up with an existing wood floor, so I don't usually have the depth to do a mud floor.

I have been using Henry Featherfinish Patch and Skimcoat. It has worked well, but it is pricey (~$17 for 7 lbs) and a bit tedious to install in larger areas. I would love to use leveler, but either my floors aren't level or I don't have the depth to add lath.

Questions:
  1. Do you have patch/skimcoat products or methods that have worked for you that are more cost effective and/or easier to install?
  2. Do you have a quick way of determining, marking and gauging where you need to flatten or level?
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:08 PM   #2
MAPEI - Technical Service
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Many installers use our Planipatch. It should be less expensive than the product you're using. If you can't accommodate lath then none of our levelers would be recommended for your situation. However, we do have a plastic lath that may help reduce the overall thickness you need allowing you to consider a leveler.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
Mr_Stop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAPEI - Technical Service
Many installers use our Planipatch. It should be less expensive than the product you're using. If you can't accommodate lath then none of our levelers would be recommended for your situation. However, we do have a plastic lath that may help reduce the overall thickness you need allowing you to consider a leveler.
Thanks Dan. I think I checked out the Planipatch at one point but dismissed it. For some reason I didn't think it was for wood substrates. However, in re-reading the label it looks like I missed that part. Looks like it is worth a try.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
have been using Henry Featherfinish Patch and Skimcoat. It has worked well, but it is pricey (~$17 for 7 lbs) and a bit tedious to install in larger areas. I would love to use leveler, but either my floors aren't level or I don't have the depth to add lath.
You need to try CBP TechLevel WSF-Fiber Self Leveler. Excellent product no lath pour over damn never everything. Half the price of Ardex Liquidbacker.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #5
Mr_Stop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Tile
You need to try CBP TechLevel WSF-Fiber Self Leveler. Excellent product no lath pour over damn never everything. Half the price of Ardex Liquidbacker.
I like the idea of that! The only downside I can see is that it is a 1/4" minimum thickness from what I can tell. I'll need to see if I can find a local supplier who stocks it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:56 PM   #6
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In my opinion, one of the great things about working in a 75 - 100+ year old house is that all the old tile areas will have a thick mud bed under it. If you're concerned with cost, mud those areas back whenever possible. Nothing is as cheap as dry pack.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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I've been experimenting with Ardex Liquid Backer Board a bit and it would work for what you are talking about. It's a 1/8 minimum self leveler that's ok for wood subfloors and no lath.

I like the idea of it but it does have a bit of a learning curve which I am in the process of. But the last project went pretty well.

But I also use Planipatch or Feather Finish for spot patching. And sometimes I even fix it as I go.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:03 PM   #8
Mr_Stop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy
In my opinion, one of the great things about working in a 75 - 100+ year old house is that all the old tile areas will have a thick mud bed under it. If you're concerned with cost, mud those areas back whenever possible. Nothing is as cheap as dry pack.
I agree, that mud beds could make sense in those situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
I've been experimenting with Ardex Liquid Backer Board a bit and it would work for what you are talking about. It's a 1/8 minimum self leveler that's ok for wood subfloors and no lath.

I like the idea of it but it does have a bit of a learning curve which I am in the process of. But the last project went pretty well.

But I also use Planipatch or Feather Finish for spot patching. And sometimes I even fix it as I go.
That looks like a cool product. What is giving it a bit of a learning curve over other SLC's?

Like your blog BTW!
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:59 PM   #9
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I wouldn't say that the learning curve is "over other slc's". It's more of just learning how to do slc's well.

Learning smoothing and floor mapping techniques. Especially in a small bathroom where you are starting in a toilet closet behind the flange and working your way out.

There's also pouring over a wood subfloor which I'm learning is never quite as sealed up as well as I think.

Here's an example of a recent floor. That divot is apparently a spot that I didn't see but the slc obviously liked to fall through. There were a couple of those along with a seam behind the toilet that all leaked.

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