Our prior tutorial (Module 1) shared how to prep concrete floors before self leveling. If you haven’t seen our tips please do so. Self leveling begins with prep work and can be a massive failure if proper preparation is ignored!
Prime-N-Bond primer was applied to the floor the day before and allowed to dry overnight. Priming concrete floors helps self leveler bond properly. Don’t forget this critical step.
Laticrete NXT self leveler was used in this basement bathroom. It’s a great product and will yield great results if you follow the directions.
Mix Self Leveler
It’s really important to use measuring buckets and the correct amount of water with self leveler (0:30). One 50 pound bag of NXT requires 4 to 4-1/2 quarts of water. Measure the water in containers and pour into a large mixing barrel.
It’s possible to mix two bags of NXT with our tool set up. Ardex makes a great mixing barrel kit for self leveler. It’s not cheap but comes in handy for projects like this. Five gallon buckets can also be used to mix NXT.
Wear a silica dust respirator to protect your lungs, we like Sundstrom’s respirator because it works and is comfortable.
Pour water into the mixing barrel then add NXT and use a mud mixer.
Mix NXT per Laticrete’s instructions; if the manufacturer recommends mixing 2 to 3 minutes then do that. Companies thoroughly test products to see what yields the best performance, so trust their recommendations.
Pour NXT over the primed concrete until it covers the Tapcon screw heads, aka height indicators (1:27). There’s no need to pull Tapcons from the floor because self leveler should cover them.
PRO TIP: Always have more self leveler than required, it’s surprising how much leveler is needed for a project!
Use a floor squeegee to move self leveler into the corners (2:05). Once the self leveler sets up it will become a monolithic surface on top of the concrete floor. Remove any 2x4s at the doorway or shower using a reciprocating saw.
Self leveler makes setting bathtubs, toilets, vanities, and tile so much easier.
What Could Go Wrong?
This section addresses the Top 5 mistakes that you could make:
- Incorrect measuring: improper water content can make leveler perform poorly
- Not mixing leveler: follow directions and mix leveler for the correct timeframe
- Forgetting respirator: wear a silica dust respirator while mixing leveler
- Ignoring squeegee: leveler needs squeegeed into corners
- Skipping cure time: allow leveler to cure properly before tub or shower installation
Tool and Material List
- NXT Self Leveler
- Floor Squeegee
- Measuring Bucket
- Cordless Mud Mixer (Tool Only)
- Corded Mud Mixer
- Mixing Paddle
- Shop Vac
- Reciprocating Saw
- Silica Dust Respirator
Questions for Tutors
If you’re reading this you’re the first to view our new course.
How cool is that!!
We’d love your thoughts:
- What did you like and what did you dislike?
- Should we add pictures to clarify certain points?
- Do you like having a ‘Comments’ section for Q & A?
- Would you like the written instructions in the form of a printable PDF?
Add your thoughts to the comment section below and we’ll respond.
Jeff and Steve
P.S. Many thanks to Jerome McManus, Connie Tucker, Henry Zaczek, Helmut, Ken Bronson, Edie Boyer, Shaun Hicks, Carolyn Sears, Aram Gerstein, Alicia Allen and Mike for their great feedback of Module 1!