There comes a time in the life of every person when it becomes necessary to renovate his home, to increase its comfort, that is, to make repairs. One of the parts of housing that is not easy to repair is the floor. There is always increased attention to this part of the room, since this is the basis, the foundation on which heavy furniture moves and people walk. The floor, in contrast to the ceiling and walls, is an intensively exploited surface, the coating of which must not only have an attractive appearance, but also have high wear resistance..
Any type of floor is laid on the base – cement-sand or concrete screed. Any floor repair consists of two stages. The first is preparing and creating a perfectly flat base for the coating. The second is the installation of one or another type of flooring. The original base – a concrete floor – is never perfectly flat. In some cases, surface drops can reach up to 10 cm. It is clear that it is simply impossible to lay the flooring on such a base with high quality. Therefore, replacing the old coating or installing a new one, it is necessary to create a perfectly flat base. usually the following is used as such a basis:
The most durable and reliable base for flooring is a cement-sand screed. Such a screed should be done before painting and installing doors. To estimate the amount of floor repair work, the deviation of the floor surface from the horizontal should be measured. To reduce the consumption of the solution, a filler is used – expanded clay. It can be used in two ways – mixed with a solution, or lay a layer of filler as a base, and on top of it – make a screed from a solution, the minimum thickness of which should be 3 cm.One of the advantages of this work is to increase the level of sound insulation.
Cement is used as a binding agent in cement screeds, and crushed stone, expanded clay, gravel or sand is used as a filler. The strength of such a screed directly depends on the ratio of water and cement in the solution. If this ratio is overestimated, which is often done for the convenience of masonry, then its strength will greatly decrease, it will take more time for complete drying, and there will be strong shrinkage. Microcracks also often appear. Usually, the thickness of the cement-sand screed is on average 5 cm.If you make it thinner, then in the future it will peel off from its base.
One of the important disadvantages of mortar screed is the long drying time. So, the installation of the floor covering is possible in about 28-30 days after the application of the screed. To correct this deficiency, in our time, special mixtures are created that dry out rather quickly. Having made a screed from such a mixture, the floor covering can be installed after 3-5 days. It is also useful to use an epoxy primer, which, penetrating into the base, provides protection against the effects of moisture in the screed. Thanks to this, almost any floor covering can be installed on a surface that is still damp. However, a cement-sand screed does not always provide a perfectly flat surface..
Nowadays, many technologies are used to level floors, one of the most reliable of them is the so-called self-leveling floor. For its device, special mixtures are used, which harden very quickly. With their help, any, even the most uneven floor can be made perfectly even..
This mixture is a flowable, fast-setting surface-leveling compound. When applied, the mixture under the influence of its own weight spreads over the surface, filling all the cavities. Self-leveling materials have a number of advantages over conventional mortar screeds. It takes much less time for them to dry completely – up to 15 days. Thanks to the use of fine-grained filler, the surface is perfectly smooth, which cannot be obtained with a conventional screed. The thickness of the applied layer is on average 10 cm, which is very convenient when the room is low or you need to correct small irregularities. You can walk on such a floor surface after 6 hours, and apply the flooring after 12 hours..
For the installation of a warm floor, special compounds are produced that have increased resistance to cracking and high thermal conductivity, which allows you to withstand large temperature differences. Fast pouring and hardening, absence of any shrinkage, the ability to apply a thick layer of the composition without cracking – all this ensures reliable fixation of the heating elements at a low cost of work.
The heating element in the underfloor heating can be an electric cable or a pipeline that is connected to the heating system. Such an element is laid over the entire area of the room on the primary screed. Next, a self-leveling mixture is poured, which plays the role of the final screed. If a pipeline is used in a warm floor, then before applying a solution to them, the pipes must be filled with water at room temperature. A monolithic screed must be laid in two layers, which prevents the pipes from floating. The first layer of screed is poured up to the top of the pipes, and the second layer is about 2.5 mm higher than the first. It is possible to apply the second layer of the screed after a good setting of the first one – in about a day. All of the above basic methods of leveling the floor will be useful to anyone who decides to do such work on their own. However, despite the apparent simplicity of this process, it requires high professionalism and skills from the person who will do it, as well as high quality materials..