Floor covering is a good option when it comes to giving a space a new look, since it does not require a large work and is generally inexpensive. However, to obtain good results it is necessary to check that the floor is correctly levelled.
We all like the idea of renovating our house, which is why we usually think first of the final result. This is the case of floor coverings, which leads us to decide on the material to be used, the color and other aesthetic issues. Although these features are essential in interior design, we often overlook more basic issues, such as floor level.
Importance of leveling the ground
Floor leveling has different benefits in terms of safety, aesthetics and furniture durability. First of all, an uneven floor increases the risk of tripping and even falling, even if the slope of the ground is practically imperceptible. This is especially noticeable in the homes of elderly or disabled people. In fact, in some houses there are areas that are no longer used due to this type of circumstance. On the contrary, a level floor allows a fluid transit for all the members of the family.
Likewise, the unevenness of the floor causes setbacks when installing a coating, which may imply an additional cost of money, either in materials or in qualified labor, since it is a more complex job. On the other hand, when the entire floor is at the same level, renovation works are considerably speeded up, facilitating the work of the master builder.
In this order of ideas, it is important to point out that an uneven floor causes the coating to deteriorate faster, whether it is wood, marble, porcelain or any other type of floor, since the inclination generates flaws in the structure that worsen with traffic. of people and the passage of time. However, leveling the floor generally preserves the coating better, regardless of the material used.
On the other hand, the unevenness in the floor causes instability in the furniture , reducing its useful life and causing discomfort to the members of the household. Likewise, we must mention the aesthetic problem caused by the unevenness, since it makes symmetrical composition difficult in interior design, disturbing the harmony of forms.
The best way to level the ground
The first thing we must mention is that to level a very uneven floor, it is advisable to lower the excess, since otherwise a considerable amount of floor mortar must be used, which not only increases the amount of the investment, but also implies a higher load on the structure, which can be a problem in some houses.
Many of us have ever wondered how to level a floor with cement, however, if the unevenness is not too pronounced, the simplest thing today is to use a leveling paste for floors, better known as self-leveling mortar, which is a product manufactured especially for these jobs. In this case, you only need a few tools, such as a laser level, a tape measure, an electric drill with a mixing rod , a caulking gun, and a cutter. In addition, you must have self-leveling mortar, water, wooden slats and polystyrene strips.
- Check the unevenness
The first thing we must do is place the laser level in the center of the floor that we want to level. Some of these devices work at 360 degrees, which means that we will see a line of red light on all the walls that indicates the level. In this way, all we have to do is measure with the tape measure from the ground to the light line. On the wall where the measurement is greater, it means that the inclination is towards that side.
- Clean the surface to be leveled
Before leveling the floor with mortar, it is necessary that the surface is completely clean, since in this way the mixture can adhere correctly. The idea is that the floor is as smooth as possible, this means that if there are bumps, they must be removed. Similarly, larger holes should be covered with cement and allowed to dry before applying the leveling paste. Floor cleaning can be done with a vacuum cleaner to speed up the process. It is worth remembering at this point that if there are skirting boards, they must be removed before leveling the floor.
- cover door sills
If you want to know how to level a floor to put tiles or any other type of coating, it is important that you first delimit the space, so you can use some wooden strips to cover the thresholds of the doors, so that the leveling mortar does not overflow to other spaces in the house. It is important to put the wood under pressure to increase the containment capacity.
- Place expansion joints
The self-leveling mortar is a material that expands and contracts, therefore, before adding the mixture it is important to place some expansion joints. In this case, we can use polystyrene strips and mounting adhesive. In addition, later in this space it is possible to incorporate plinths if necessary.
- Prepare the mix
The great thing about self-leveling mortar is that it comes ready to mix with water and apply. However, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s indications regarding the proportions to the letter, since each product needs a certain amount of water. Typically, this type of mix is much thinner than a traditional Portland cement mortar.
Although it is possible to mix manually, to achieve the right texture, experts recommend using a concrete mixer or a drill with a mixing rod. The amount of material depends on the unevenness of the ground, so it is good to prepare it in parts so that there is not too much paste left over at the end of the work.
- Apply the mortar
This is the most interesting part about how to level a floor for decking, tiles, or other cladding. The idea is to pour the mortar on the floor starting at the lowest part, that is, where the slope is. In order for the mass to settle correctly, we can use a brush, this helps the mortar to quickly find the necessary leveling and at the same time eliminates possible bubbles. To finish, you just have to let it dry completely and remove the expansion joints.
As additional information, we can say that there is a way to level the floor for flooring without mortar, but for this it is necessary to do a more professional job with battens or wooden strips, which implies a greater investment.