Why You Shouldn’t Use Mortar To Level Concrete Floors?


Floor leveling

So you are thinking about using mortar to level concrete floors. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering if it will be a good idea or not. Well, the answer is no!

Mortar is not the most suitable element to level a concrete floor. The reason behind this is that mortars would crack eventually. The mortar usage will ultimately cause cracks on the floor. Over time, the mortar will break because the products used in mortar are unstable. And, there will be more cracks on the leveled floor if a heavy object falls on it. 

In this article, I will talk about how to level a concrete floor with mortar. Hopefully, readers will understand what problems might arise if you use the mortar and the best alternatives to level a concrete floor by going through the article.

Why Mortar Is Not Suitable For Leveling A Floor?

Mortars are not easy substances to level a concrete floor. If you exceed the maximum limit of thickness, then it makes the mixture unstable. Furthermore, it won’t help even if mortars are applied in layers. This is because upon curing, the layers of mortar become one with the previous layer that was applied. As a result, the mixture becomes unstable.

During leveling floors, many people consider mortar as an option. The common reason behind this is mortar sticks well to the concrete slab. Mortar also sticks well to the wooden floors. Even so, mortar is not a good choice. It contains materials that become unstable. As a result, it becomes impossible to use the product for floor leveling.

There are issues too when you cure mortar. Even though layers of mortar stick well to one another, curing them causes instability. After curing mortar, the layers overlap and become one with the previously applied layer. This causes the layers to become unstable. It also hampers the lifespan of the concrete floors as heavy objects might damage or crack the floors.

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Possible Ways To Level A Concrete Floor

One of the most suitable ways to level a concrete floor is to use a self-leveling compound. This is also known as liquid floor underlayment or floor resurfacing. This material flows out like a thick syrup. The compound is compact, as it perfectly hardens into a perfectly smooth level surface within a short period.

Self-leveling compounds are a better choice than mortars. These are more durable than the mixture made with mortar. Also, there is no chance of floors breaking even if any heavy object falls. Self-leveling compounds are also very quick to dry. Furthermore, one layer does not overlap another, and it stays stable through floor leveling. Two types of Self-leveling are:

Acrylic Self-leveling Compound

The acrylic self-leveling compound is prepared by combining acrylic liquid polymer and cement powder in a mixing bowl. 

It produces a concrete floor that is moderately flexible and resistant to scratches and imperfections. It takes longer for self-leveling concrete to dry than the other types.

Water-based Self-Leveling Compound

Water-based self-leveling compounds use water as a lubricant, resulting in a surface that resembles standard concrete in terms of consistency. 

It dries quickly, sometimes in as little as 20 minutes. This is generally purchased in powder form and mixed with water to make concrete.

Benefits Self-leveling Compounds Offer

Self-leveling compounds like Acrylic or Water-based provide many benefits. They are cheaper compared to other compounds. 

These self-leveling compounds are very easy to apply and dry up pretty fast compared to the other compounds. Furthermore, it offers a smoother concrete floor surface. There will be no unevenness leading to a better experience.

Things To Consider While Leveling A Concrete Floor

There are some basic things to consider when you decide to level your concrete floor. Proper planning and implementation is the first task at hand. The next task is to collect materials and mix them well. It is essential to fix cracks properly. Also, you should make sure to give ample time for the concrete leveler to dry completely.

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Proper Planning

It is essential to come up with a proper plan before starting to level a concrete floor. The condition of the floor should be checked out first. Secondly, it is necessary to find out what materials you are going to use to level your floor. Furthermore, it is necessary to decide on the amount of thickness you would like for your contract leveler. 

After deciding on your desired contract leveler, it is necessary to collect quality materials that would be appropriate for your floor. You need to take the furniture out of the room and clean the floor before starting the work. Also, I recommend short blasting the surface lightly. Short blasting is effective as it ensures proper adhesion.

Mixing The Materials Properly

To properly level a concrete floor, it is mandatory to mix materials properly. You should take the mixture into a bucket. A paddle is necessary to appropriately create a mixture. I recommend mixing a short amount at a time. 

The compound is pourable for 20-30 minutes after making the mixture. It does not spread well after this portion of time. That’s why it would be wise to make short batches of mixtures and apply them.

Filling The Cracks Completely

It is necessary to identify the places of cracks correctly. If there is any considerable gap or hole in the floor, you need to use a concrete filler. You should fill up the gap with the help of a concrete sealer. Furthermore, you can use a sealer to completely seal off the gap.

Utmost care is essential to complete this process. After filling the holes correctly and sealing them, leave them alone to dry off and gain a rigid form. This is necessary before leveling the concrete floor.

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Selecting On The Best Primer For Your Surface

Factors like weather, environment, etc. play a crucial role in Primer selection. The main job of Primer is that it extends paint coverage, creates a smooth base for a flawless topcoat finish, and extends the life of your paintwork.

There are 4 types of Primers for concrete floors. Each of them is unique and has different characteristics.

  • Epoxy Primer: Epoxy primers are also essential for industrial and commercial buildings. They possess a firm grip on the surface of the concrete that makes them very robust.
  • Polyurethane Primer: Polyurethane Primers are one of the best primers for stains and flaws. They fix the surfaces with defects with utmost ease.
  • Silane Sealer: This primer is most suitable for outdoor concrete surfaces. It is best outdoors as Silane sealers are very penetrative. As a result, they provide substantial protection from extreme temperature changes.
  • Acrylic Primer: Acrylic Primers can soak well into concrete. Acrylic Primers create a strong bond with the surface, and they dry quickly.

Let The Concrete Leveler Dry off

After properly applying the concrete leveler, it is essential to give it a significant amount of time to dry off. Usually, it does not take much time to dry.

Most concrete levelers dry thoroughly within 24 hours. It is essential to fully dry off the contract leveler before installing other floorings over it.

It is never wise to use mortar to level floors because of its unstable nature. There are better elements to replace mortar to level concrete floors.

Hopefully, now you know how to level a concrete floor with mortar! I hope now you know about all the alternatives that you can follow instead of mortar as well. Thank you for reading.

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