SLUs, Patches, and Skimcoats: Manufacturers Share Their Latest
We asked several installation products manufacturers to share their latest self-leveling underlayment, patch and skimcoat products with our readers. Here is what they said:
Ardex: “Two products in our self-leveling line-up as well as one new patch really stand out. First is Ardex K 22 F. It’s a high-flow self-leveling underlayment that is reinforced with microfibers. These microfibers increase the flexibility of the product, enabling its use over wood. This installation can be done as thin as 1/8 in. without the need for a liquid admixture or any sort of mesh fastened to the wooden subfloor.
“Ardex K 60 Arditex is a rapid-setting latex self-leveling underlayment. It is mixed only with a latex additive, and can be installed over a wide variety of substrates without the use of a primer. It can save you time and money, especially when installed over an Ardex MC Rapid moisture control system.
“We’re also releasing a brand-new skimcoat and patch product, Ardex MRF. It’s an unsanded underlayment that can be used in applications that are exposed to moisture indefinitely, such as for exterior use and under moisture control systems. It features the unique Ardex Weatherproof Technology.”
Bostik: “Bostik has a comprehensive line of self-leveling underlayments, primers, patches and skimcoats that have best-in-class performance. SL-200 is super-fluid, with a long open time, making it ideal for thin resilient applications and it’s easier to work with for small crews and novice installers.
“SL-175 is a workhorse that cures quickly and may be used as a wear layer.
“SL-100 offers tremendous value and is well-suited to thicker pours. None of these products have moisture vapor limitations, so they support the entire range of Bostik’s unlimited moisture vapor control installation products.”
Custom Building Products: “We have two new self-leveling underlayments in our CustomTech line that target key issues contractors face with flooring prep. The first is TechLevel 125 Deep Pour Self-Leveling Underlayment. TechLevel 125 is designed for pours of up to 3 in. in one installation for thick build applications.
“Our second new product is TechLevel WSF Fiber-Reinforced Self-Leveling Underlayment for Wood Subfloors. It is designed to eliminate the need for reinforcing lath over plywood or OSB on interior wood frame subfloors.”
Dependable: “Dependable recently released a new self-leveling underlayment called Skimflow LCB (Liquid Cement Board). LCB is a fiber-reinforced self-leveling underlayment designed specifically for installations directly over plywood. Since LCB is fiber-reinforced you can install it directly over wood without mechanical reinforcement.”
H.B. Fuller/TEC: “While not new, TEC Multipurpose Primer is something our customers are excited about. We have a single primer that can be used on just about any substrate. One primer works on concrete, gypsum, wood, steel, tile and linoleum—to name just a few. This takes the guesswork out of choosing the appropriate primer for the situation.
“In addition, TEC Level Set self-levelers now have improved flowabilty. This has become more important as contractors have begun pouring self-levelers thinner. These products have also been optimized to work in conjunction with moisture mitigation products.”
Laticrete: “The Laticrete Supercap Ready-Mix Delivery Service uses half the man hours when compared to traditional, smaller mixing systems. With the ability to blend and pump up to 30,000 pounds (13,608 kg) per hour—the equivalent of 600 small bags per hour—this revolutionary development for the tile and flooring industry benefits the entire project from design to completion by providing predictable results.
“Thanks to its computer-control system, a consistent, quality blend is ensured every time, shaving weeks off a project schedule while delivering a flat floor for subsequent trades to build out on within 24 hours. Fast-track environments where self-leveling underlayments are typically used include applications such as residential towers, schools, hospitals and warehouses.
“Laticrete also offers an extensive surface preparation line called NXT. Included in the line is the new and improved NXT Skim, a premium quality, fast-drying, cement-based underlayment designed for skim-coating, smoothing and leveling prior to floor covering applications. The improved formula results in a creamier consistency for a smoother application and sleeker finish, as well as an extended pot life and easier troweling.
“In a first amongst skim-coating products, the NXT Skim packaging was also redesigned with a tin tie resealable feature that allows the product to be saved for additional uses, minimizing product waste and increasing cost savings for the installer.”
MAPEI: “MAPEI has recently introduced new self-levelers to the market that offer unique advantages in terms of flow characteristics, time required before floorcovering can be installed and density.
“Products like Ultraplan LSC offer the installer a super-fluid leveler that requires very limited effort to place, resulting is a super smooth surface.
“Ultraplan QuickTraffic offers high-flow characteristics but cures extremely fast, so that vinyl floorcovering can be installed within three hours of application.
“Ultraplan Lite is also a unique formulation in that it provides a self-leveling function but at a density that is approximately 50% less than traditional cement-based products. This lightweight attribute allows for Ultraplan Lite to be used in areas where the structure will not take the load of a normal leveling compound.
“MAPEI has also introduced two new gypsum underlayments: Planitex SL and Planitex SLF. These two new levelers are based on gypsum rather than cement and offer extremely fluid flow properties, super-smooth surfaces and very high compression strengths.”
Merkrete: “The recipes that are used in producing these products vary and have evolved over the last decade. Polymers are better and cement technology has changed. We now have patches that perform similar to SLUs such as Merkrete’s ProPatch Plus, and SLUs that can be poured up to 3 in. in one application. Many products contain fast-drying properties to enable fast-track installations.”
Schönox: “Schönox RF is a cement-based, fast-setting smoothing and patching compound. It is excellent for ramping, filling cracks and holes, or for repairing concrete stairs.
“Schönox PL is a cement-based universal repair mortar for use on deep fill on cement floors. High physical properties with minimal shrinkage.
“Schönox PL is ideal for balconies, terraces, swimming pools and other outdoor wet areas. It is suitable for leveling, smoothing and repairing of concrete, masonry cement and rapid cement screeds, ceramic tile, and old substrates with water-resistant adhesive residues.
“Schönox SGH is a two-component repair compound that is non-shrinking and silicate-based, suitable for filling cracks. Low odor and easy handling; ready for pour over after one hour.
“Schönox S1500 is a cement-based self-leveling compound suitable on all cement and gypsum substrates with minimal shrinkage.
“Schönox XM is a cement-based self-leveling and smoothing compound characterized by good working properties, standard preparation and cost-effective applications.”
USG: “USG has been in the cement business for over 40 years and gypsum business for over 115 years, and has been leading these industries in innovative technologies and products which are driving industry standards regarding fire-resistance, compressive strengths, sound attenuation and improved installation characteristics to name just a few.
“USG Durock Brand Quik-Top and Quik-Top FR (Fiber-Reinforced) Self-Leveling Underlayments are the industry’s only self-drying gypsum underlayments that are ‘low prep,’ meaning they don’t require mechanical preparation of the subfloor. The surface reaches compressive strengths in excess of 10,000 psi (three times higher than most concrete slabs) and can receive floor coverings in as little as 15 hours.
“USG Durock Brand Tuf-Skim Floor Patch is the industry’s only fast-drying gypsum patch that is UL Classified for non-combustibility per ASTM E136 and can receive flooring in as little as 30 minutes.
“USG has also launched the industry’s first dustless self-leveling cementitious flooring product. USG Levelrock Brand Pre-Pour Liquid Underlayment is a specially formulated slurry that uses a liquid activator to trigger the setting of the material—meaning no dust and less mess—while resulting in a high-strength, fire-resistant floor. These innovative technology platforms will be the basis for more exciting product enhancements from USG in the near future.”