Can You Use Self-Leveling Concrete or Compound Over Tiles?

Self-leveling concrete or compound is one of the great ways to smoothen and flatten the surface of your building floor. Self-leveling concrete or compound is becoming more and more popular because of its unique quality and application.

Today, we are going to discuss whether self-leveling concrete or compound can be used over tiles.

What is self-leveling concrete? Does it really work?

Self-leveling concrete is the kind of concrete that is stronger than regular concrete. Self-leveling concrete or compound can be applied to make a floor smooth and flat.

And the great thing about self-leveling concrete or compound is that it does not need large amounts of water.

On the other hand, regular concrete needs a significant amount of water. The water is required for the fluidity of the regular concrete. Without a large amount of water, regular concrete can not be applied on the surface.

But self-leveling concrete does not have this problem.

One of the components of self-leveling concrete is a polymer. The molecules of polymer work as a bonding bridge in the self-leveling concrete mixture. But regular concrete does not have this feature. That is why self-leveling concrete is more expensive than regular concrete.

Self-leveling concrete works wonderfully if it is applied in the right way.

Self-leveling concrete can be used in terms of resurfacing an entire floor, spot-fixing flat or uneven spots. Self-leveling concrete can also be used as a step to enhance the decoration of the building.

Can you use self-leveling concrete or compound over tiles?

Self-leveling concrete or compound can be used over tiles. Self-leveling concrete or compound is a great choice in terms of creating a new surface on tile countertops. But self-leveling compound’s compatibility is not the same with all the tiles. But it is durable and usable on most of the tiles.

There are many kinds of self-leveling compounds or concrete. Some of them are acrylic self-leveling concrete and water-based self-leveling concrete. Self-leveling concrete or compound can be used over old tile as well.

If the old tile flooring of your building has worn out or has lost its shine, then you can apply self-leveling concrete on it to give the floor a new look.

Self-leveling concrete is a great decorative measure as well. Self-leveling concrete can be applied as a thin mixture and it will still remain firm because of its polymer molecules. It is a thing of beauty in terms of both decoration and durability.

Self-leveling concrete or compound possesses flow modifiers. Flow modifiers are the reason why self-leveling concrete does not need an excessive finishing effort. Because it spreads out quickly and flawlessly.

Self-leveling concrete or compound is a great choice if you are looking to add a new surface to your floor.

Self-leveling concrete can be applied on both new and old tiles. Let’s discuss some of the tiles self-leveling concrete or compound can be applied on.

Over vinyl tile:

A self-leveling compound can be used over vinyl tile. But applying self-leveling concrete over old vinyl tile is not a good choice. In that case, first of all, you need to take out the old vinyl tile and then apply self-leveling concrete.

So it is best not to use self-leveling concrete or compound over existing vinyl tile.

Over ceramic tile:

Self-leveling concrete or compound can be used over ceramic tile. But just like vinyl tile, it is not always a good thing to do so. Before applying self-leveling concrete to create a new subsurface, you should take out all the damaged tiles from the existing floor.

Otherwise, it will damage the structure of your floor and make it weak and fragile.

Over asbestos tile:

Applying self-leveling concrete or compound over asbestos tile can be a tricky thing. Older homes have asbestos tile as their flooring component. Before pouring self-leveling concrete, you have to take out the damaged asbestos tiles.

But removing tiles also presents the risk of exposing weak asbestos tile. It is better to seek expert help while applying self concrete over asbestos tile.

Over saltillo tile:

You can apply self-leveling concrete or compound over saltillo tile. But it can be tricky as Saltillo tile is uneven in nature. So pouring self-leveling concrete saltillo tile is going to be more tiring than other tiles.

First of all, you need to take out all the damaged saltillo tiles. Then you can pour a self-leveling mixture over the tiles.

Is self-leveling concrete strong? How strong and durable will it be over tile?

Self-leveling concrete is stronger than regular concrete. That is why the usage of self-leveling concrete is increasing day by day. But pouring self-leveling concrete can be a tricky task. Self-leveling concrete or compound is an expensive product.

So if you do not use it properly, it is going to cost you more money.

There are different kinds of self-leveling concrete for different flooring. Each self-leveling concrete has different instructions that have to be followed. If you are not an expert at applying self-leveling concrete, it is better to seek professional help.

It will increase the cost but will be beneficial in the long run.

If applied correctly and efficiently, self-leveling concrete is going to remain strong for a long time. But if the application process is flawed, then the cracks will start showing after a few years even if it seems new.

So the durability of self-leveling concrete over tile depends on the flawlessness of the application process.

Do you use the self-leveling compound with or without primer (over tile)?

You need to use a self-leveling compound with primer (over tile). Primer helps the self-leveling compound greatly in terms of mixing on the floor. But some self-leveling compound manufacturing companies add primer to the mix beforehand.

In that case, you don’t need to use primer additionally.

How to use self-leveling compound over tile countertops or tile floors?

There are several steps involved while using self-leveling compounds over tile countertops or tile floors. They are:

Removal of damaged tiles:

First of all, you will need to inspect the floor in search of any damaged tiles. Then you will have to take out the damaged tiles using appropriate tools.

Removal of grout:

Then you will need to search the floor to find any loosened grout. You will have to take out those loosened grout lines using a hammer and chisel.

Cleaning of the floor:

Next, you will have to clean the floor to get rid of dirt and debris. You can use a broom in this case. You will need to clean the old tiles using a tile cleaner. You will have to use a scrub brush to get rid of oils from the floor. Finally, you will have to clean the floor with water.

Preparing the mix:

You will have to prepare the self-leveling compound mix in the next step. You will need a bucket, wooden spoon, power drill, metal paint mixing tool, and kitchen mixer in this process.

You will need to follow the instruction manual given with the self-leveling compound.

Pouring the compound:

You will then need to pour the self-leveling compound on the floor. You can start the pouring process from the opposite side of the door and make your way gradually towards the door. You can use a trowel to assist you in the pouring and spreading process

Drying time:

After the pouring and spreading process, the self-leveling compound needs to be left out on the floor for at least twenty-four hours. Then the process of adding a new surface over the self-leveling compound can begin.

What is the cheaper alternative to self-leveling compound?

There are many cheaper alternatives to self-leveling compounds. But out of them, thinset is the most famous alternative to self-leveling compound. Thinset is much cheaper than a self-leveling compound.

Moreover, thinset has a long durability rate and does not crack easily.

You also do not need to use primer while using thinset. This also cuts down the cost. One of the drawbacks of thinset is that it is difficult to maintain consistency while using thinset mixture. It also runs the risk of damaging wires.

Although thinset is cheaper, the self-leveling compound is better.

Final Thoughts

Self-leveling concrete or compound can be used easily and efficiently on tile countertops or tile floors. Self-leveling concrete is a bit expensive but extremely beneficial in the long run. Pouring self-leveling concrete or compound can be a good choice in terms of creating a solid subsurface.