Most properties need a little bit of help when it comes to preparing the subfloor to receive new flooring. Few properties inherently meet the stringent industry specifications and standards that most have come to accept. As a result, new products are constantly arising to help fill in the gap to make your property more successful long-term.
Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, you should be certain that your property has the best materials at its disposal. Many of the new products are gypsum-based cementitious underlayments and self-levelers that have a seemingly endless assortment of benefits for your property. One of the leading names in levelers, known as Accucrete, is particularly useful for most applications.
However, you should know exactly what this product is and where it comes from before you select it for your project. If you’ve been wondering what Accucrete and other self-levelers can offer your property, take some time to review the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Why are levelers necessary?
Why would you need to use a self-leveler on your next project? For most property owners, you may automatically assume that you can place your desired flooring down over any surface type. To the naked and untrained eye, you may not even notice the subtle variations in height across your subflooring. Unfortunately, these subtle variations can significantly impede upon your floor’s chances of success.
New flooring standards often require contractors to meet extremely stringent standards regarding levelness. In many cases, a subfloor must not vary more than 1/8” over the span of ten feet. This is next to impossible to achieve without expert craftsmanship or the assistance of a self-leveler.
New gypsum-based underlayment and levelers can help you to meet these guidelines and standards more efficiently. You should take time to research what the specifications are for your desired flooring product in advance. This can help to ensure that you select the appropriate leveler and pour depth for your project.
If you don’t correct the levelness of your concrete slab or underlayment prior to installation of the flooring, you will not be able to keep the manufacturer’s warranty on the flooring. This can have a significant impact on your plans for the coming years if something goes awry with the quality of your flooring, such as a peeling finish or warped boards. A good leveling compound installed in advance could be worth the initial investment in order to protect your flooring under the manufacturer’s warranties for years to come.
What is gypsum?
Many of the most cost-effective and the least labor-intensive products that a contractor can install contain gypsum as a primary ingredient. This ingredient is used to help control how the cement actually sets after it is installed. It’s a key component to successful construction projects that involve cement, but that doesn’t really help homeowners and property managers to understand where it comes from.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding gypsum-based levelling products is really rather basic: what exactly is gypsum? It can be difficult to describe the positive attributes of these products without first considering the material itself. Gypsum is found in a wide variety of home improvement products, but you should know where it really comes from.
The short answer is that gypsum is actually a type of mineral naturally found in just under half of the states in America. Other countries are also found to be large sources of naturally-occurring gypsum. The chemical composition is referred to as calcium sulfate dihydrate, meaning that is ultimately just sulfur, calcium, oxygen, and water bonded together.
While there is a naturally-occurring source of gypsum, a derived version also exists. This is referred to FGD (flue-gas desulfurization) gypsum which is produced through manufacturing to make a purer form. It’s said that this type of gypsum actually reduces environmental pollution.
The mineral is considered to be non-toxic to everyone from humans to wildlife. The vast majority of gypsum that is produced is used in a wide variety of building products, such as gypsum board or cementitious underlayment and leveler.
What are the unique benefits of Accucrete?
There are many products available on today’s home improvement market for levelling a subfloor and preparing it for flooring. Take the time to research the inherent benefits to each of these manufacturers and products carefully. However, one of the more popular items on the market is the Accucrete self-leveler products.
Homeowners and project managers should be aware of the unique advantages of choosing Accucrete products to complete their projects. These products, produced by Allied Gypsum, can meet almost any price point and perform in the perfect way to meet your project’s stringent standards. Gypsum and lightweight cementitious underlayments and levelers have come a very long way from their negative connotations in years past.
One of the major benefits of the Accucrete levelers is their inherent self-drying capabilities. Compared to some types of cement and concrete that may take several weeks to reach their full strength and dryness, Accucrete cuts down the projected time line considerably.
For example, you may be able to install your flooring in as few as two days based on the pour depth required to level your area. This can help your project to move along much faster, which makes it ideal for tight timelines on both residential and commercial applications. These levelers can help your flooring installation move faster and help it to meet the industry specifications that uphold your warranty.
Do you remember the days where other trades couldn’t walk on the newly-levelled floors for hours or days? Those days are long gone with the introduction of Accucrete and its self-sealing properties. Within just two to three hours, other trades can return to trafficking on the floor. Basic foot traffic can be introduced in just a few hours, but light traffic can resume the following day.
This is another major advantage that can help on projects where the timeline is of the utmost importance. It can actually be installed before your drywall to help a new construction project move even faster than previously possible.
When you think of lightweight concrete or gypsum levelers, you may not immediately consider how strong these materials can be. You may be surprised to realize that Accucrete leveling systems can actually produce up to 4,500 PSI strength. There are a variety of Accucrete products, which can produce varying levels of strength ranging from 1,400 to 4,500 PSI depending on your project needs.
The finished job will be smooth and ready for flooring, but it’s also extremely lightweight. When a contractor pours Accucrete at a ¾” depth, it weighs just 7.2 pounds per square foot and has a density of roughly 115 pounds per cubic foot.
The major advantage to the strength is that it is extremely comparable to or stronger than many other products on the market, but it comes without a hefty price tag. You can achieve the same strength with a host of benefits without overpaying to get your project finished.
Fire and Sound Resistant
Is your client concerned that their property may go up in smoke? They may be pleased to hear that Accucrete products are actually very fire resistant when installed over a wood frame or pre-cast concrete flooring and ceilings. Depending on the specific product selected from the Accucrete line-up, you may have one to two-hour fire resistance.
Accucrete can also help to muffle sounds and make a building much more acoustically pleasing. The floor is stiffened with the installation of this leveler, which makes it far less susceptible to squeaky subflooring or pops from nails and screws. You’ll be able to walk much more quietly when you have an Accucrete leveler installed in the home or shop.
Because it also seals the room, it can help to reduce sound leaks moving through the mass of concrete and cement. It can be ideal for installing between the floors of a multi-level home or multi-family dwelling space such as apartments or condominiums.
Selecting the appropriate levelers and underlayment products for your next project can require a lot of research. However, you can rest easier when you know that you’ve selected a product that will improve the quality of your building and allow you to uphold other manufacturer’s warranties. Perhaps the largest benefit to gypsum-based underlayment and leveler like Accucrete is the ability to keep moving when you’re on a tight deadline.
The simple benefits of these products far outweigh the potential cost of installing a self-leveler on your new project. Consider what you could save long-term by correcting any potential issues now. It could help to avoid a major disaster in the future and make your property more comfortable in the here and now, regardless of whether you’re working for someone else or for yourself.