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Self-leveling systems smooth over the rough spots

April 24/May 1, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 23

By Ken Ryan


Flooring installers and contractors know all too well that a project will only be as successful as the subfloor underneath. It’s also common knowledge they will face subfloor challenges on each jobsite. Fortunately, today’s suppliers of subfloor preparation materials—including self-leveling compounds—are developing systems designed to reduce installation costs and improve profitability for contractors.

Ardex demos self levelingArdex K 10 Reactivatable is a high-flow, self-leveling underlayment that seeks its own level and provides a durable, flat, smooth floor surface with minimum labor. When installed using a spiked roller, Ardex K 10 helps the contractor with a healing time of up to 25 minutes. Ben Mack, vice president of marketing, said Ardex K 10 has a unique formula that uses “reactivatable” technology for extended healing time. This technology allows the installer to get back into the material for up to 25 minutes after pouring. Ardex K 10 has high-flow properties providing a smooth and flat surface at just 1⁄8 of an inch. It’s as simple as mixing with water and pour. After 10 to 20 minutes, the product will start to set while maintaining its healing properties for up to 25 minutes. “Fresh material can be joined with the existing material by moving a spiked roller through the material to reactivate it, ensuring uniform healing,” Mack explained.

Schönox provides a full range of integrated subfloor solutions to address the challenges faced by installers with products specifically designed to work together resulting in a smoother, faster and safer solution.

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 2.53.21 PMSchönox performance does not stop with solving subfloor problems. Advantages such as reduced dust, overall air quality, waste reduction and the use of recycled content are all hallmarks of the Schönox product line. The company’s R&D efforts are making a difference in subfloor projects everywhere a Schönox bag is opened.

Among its signature products is Schönox DSP, which delivers a compressive strength of 7250 psi, allowing it to withstand tough retail traffic. “As a wear-rated, self-leveling compound, [Schönox DSP] can be used to renovate subfloors, making those renewal projects faster and environmentally responsible,” said Michael Mayer, business development for Schönox. “DSP hits all the aesthetic, performance and environmental marks needed for retail applications. Retailers are staining, polishing and sealing this floor leveling compound.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 2.53.12 PMSoundLevel, a sound-reducing liquid and self-leveling underlayment, is designed for all floating floor systems (vinyl tile/plank, laminate and wood) to reduce sound transmission. SoundLevel also controls moisture levels, patches up to 1⁄8-inch cracks, levels substrate unevenness and enhances thermal insulating properties of the floor.

SoundLevel is free of solvents, hazardous chemicals (per OSHA Regulation CFR 1910.1200), water and isocyanates. This product is a one-component, 100% solids, non-flammable and low-odor liquid underlayment with negligible VOC content that meets federal, state and local governmental indoor air quality regulations. It is also UL Greenguard Certifitied.

Ufloor Systems/Uzin
Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 2.53.17 PMThe Uzin brand has developed innovative technology for its cementitious and synthetic gypsum leveling compounds. This product development model includes a discovery process based on input from installers, contractors, business owners and flooring manufacturers; it focuses on the requirements needed for a successful installation. The result of this partnership and input has resulted in a technology called Level Plus+ Effect, which is built into a number of leveling compounds including Uzin NC 170, its premium cementitious leveling compound, and Uzin NC 110, its premium synthetic gypsum leveling compound. The Level Plus+ Effect provides: outstanding fluidity and flow properties, which saves time, material and labor costs; excellent absorbency for improved adhesive bonding strength; superior surface smoothness; optimal dimensional stability and fragmentation; and fast hardening/curing.