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Old 03-15-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
Neverending
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Slow Setting SLC?

Hiya Folks,
Been quite a while since I last posted. Got great advice for a large Saltillo install years ago (well, large by my standards) and the floors have been flawless so thank you much for the help on that project.

I have a new project where I'm putting 12x24 porcelain over concrete. Simple enough but I'm thinking I need to do a bit of work flattening the concrete first. The area is 20x31 and has low spots ranging from 1/8" to 3/8". I've been told to just flatten it with thinset as I go but honestly, I'm not sure my skills would let me do that. I fear I'd be forever pulling tiles back up to add more thinset to eliminate the lippage. I could be wrong on this assumption.

So my mind has turned to flattening with SLC or another suitable material. I have used the stuff in the past and realize it works very quickly. I'll be doing this by myself so really can't afford to do the typical SLC's that I see out there so am hoping you all might have a recommendation for a slower setting product. To date, I've come across Custom Building's ES and a product from Ardex, FB 9 L. The CB offering is not stocked locally and I haven't called yet to determine if the Ardex is or not. The Ardex product as well appears to be a thinset that is rated for extra thickness so theoretically I could use this to not only flatten but to also set my tile. If this is the product for me, I worry that it is not stocked locally as well. I can special order alright but I never seem to estimate my needs very well (this isn't my profession so haven't had enough lessons learned on this ) so like the ability to return or pick up a bag as needed.

So really the question comes down to is, is there a slow setting product out there that I could use for flattening this slab prior to tile? I would be screeding it flat by the way if that makes a difference.

Thanks very much for any help you can offer.
Cheers.
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:36 PM   #2
hallt
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I would recommend using a non sanded patch like Ardex SKM or Ardex Feather Finish for your low spots and birdbaths. Both patches are non sanded and can go up to 1/2" per lift. These products bond directly to the concrete without primer and set in less than an hour. Just mix according to the instructions, apply to the low areas and screed off. In no time at all, you will have a very flat floor and will not have to worry about building up thinset, (which is a no no!).
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:44 PM   #3
jadnashua
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Map your floor's surface out carefully with a long straightedge. The longer the better - 10' or more is useful. Once you really know what you're up against, then decide what you're going to do. Over a slab, most, if not all, of those products can go to a feather edge, but keep in mind, even water will have a lip on the edge (most dramatic on a freshly waxed car, but in reality, there's always a lip)...you MUST help it along. A pancake doesn't flow to fill the entire pan...it stops because of surface tension...slc or patching materials won't either unless you help them along and you don't have a huge amount of time to do it.

Industry standards for tile with any edge 15" or greater, is 1/8" in 10' and no more than 1/16" in two feet...that's the prep. IF done, actual tiling will be much easier and faster, and likely, produce a better overall result.

Note, tile wants flat...it doesn't care about level, but you may.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:22 AM   #4
Neverending
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Thanks folks. Will phone the local suppliers to see if they have/can get the products mentioned above.
Cheers.
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