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Use of Leveling Compounds When Installing Ceramic Floor Tile

It is important to make sure your floor is level before installing ceramic floor tile. Leveling compounds are just the ticket for smoothing out an unlevel floor.

Leveling compounds are ideal for smoothing out a subfloor surface prior to installing ceramic floor tiles. To ensure your ceramic floor tiles will not crack over time, it is critical that they be installed on a rigid and level subfloor.

Leveling compounds are cement based and are easy to apply. They will adhere well to both concrete and wood surfaces.

When preparing a floor for the installation of ceramic floor tile, additional material is typically installed over the home’s existing base subfloor. The existing subfloor is normally constructed out of concrete, 3/4th inch OSB, or plywood. Concrete, backerboard, or exterior plywood is normally added to the subfloor to increase the rigidity of the floor surface. The more level and rigid the floor, the less likelihood of the ceramic tiles cracking.

To ensure that the floor surface is level and rigid, a leveling compound may be needed, The leveling compound can be added to the floor to adjust for any dips or humps in the subfloor. Dips and humps can occur due to imperfections in the concrete slab or floor joists, or from warping in the base subfloor.

The subfloor should be clean and dust free, prior to applying a leveling compound to your subfloor. If it is not, you may get a poor bond between the leveling compound and the subfloor.

To apply leveling compounds, you can use a trowel, broad knife, and/or a length of 2”x4”.

Use the length of 2”x”4, to see how much leveling compound you will need, by running it over the surface of the subfloor to see how much of a dip or hump you have to deal with.

Note that leveling compounds set up quickly. ConsequentlyFree Articles, it is best to make up small batches at a time.

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Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more DIY home remodeling and building house additions, and DIY House Repair and Maintenance information visit and

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