Video: Mix a Self Leveling Underlayment to the Right Consistency (Example: LevelQuik ES)

August 18, 2008 | by Fred (email) |

Check out our first One Project Closer video!  We decided on this topic for our first video because I couldn’t find good information on this when we were considering a self leveling underlayment for our basement.

After watching this short video, you might be interested in the larger article on How to Use Self Leveling Underlayment. The reality is that getting the right consistency from an SLU is pretty easy if you follow the instructions with the product you select.

We hope the video is helpful to folks thinking about using an self leveling product in their projects.

Tools Required for Mixing Self Leveling Underlayment

The most important part of getting the right consistency in the SLU is having a good mixing paddle and a reasonably powerful electric drill.  We do not recommend using a battery powered drill/driver unless you have a newer lithium ion system.  Even in this case, if you’re pouring a large area and will be mixing one batch immediately after another, you should consider an electric model.

The 24″ mixing paddle shown in the video can be found at Home Depot in the drywall section (labeled as a drywall compound mixing paddle).  You should not use light duty paint mixing blades or they will gum-up during mixing.  With SLU running as high as $30/bag, its not worth risking.

If you don’t own an electric drill and don’t have access to borrow one,  this is a good opportunity to pick up one for all your future projects.  Electric drills are essential in applications that require repeated, high-intensity drilling, like drilling through studs to run Romex wires throughout a room.

More on Self Leveling Underlayments:

Check out the related content section below for more information on SLUs!

12 Responses
  1. Adrian says:

    Hey Guys

    I will be leveling a small bathroom next week. I pretty much have everything I need, except a good electric drill. I went to my local HD and there was a Dewalt rep. in the tools section. He told me not to use this type of heavy duty drill, you described above, for these types of mixing applications; apparently, I run the risk of burning out the motor. He recommended I rent some kind of mixing drill. Does your drill still work ok, after using it in this mixing application? Thoughts? Thanks very much. Your video is fantastic, only wish there was one on spreading technique….hint hint….

  2. Fred says:


    A 7-10 amp 1/2″ electric drill will have no problem standing up to this mixing application, at least not for the DIYer. In fact, we’ve used our very similar 1/2″ electric drill to mix drywall compound, self leveler, waterproofing sealer, and paint – all with no problems and the drill still works fine.

    The reality is that self-leveling compound never develops into a very thick substance if you follow the instructions (it can’t, of course, it has to be thin to be pourable).

    Now, what you SHOULDN’T do, is use a 3 Amp, 3/8″ drill designed for general home use. It’s possible that even a thin consistency product like SLU could cause this to burn up.

    My opinion. Worth price charged.

    Good luck with your project!

  3. Tim says:

    The video was helpful. I’d like to see where you’re putting a true feather-edge (i.e. 1/16th inch) on the pour with a flat trowel or float. Is feathering done while it’s still pancake batter consistency, or do you let it set up a little?

  4. Fred says:

    Hey Tim, I answered your question on the other article as well… you can start feather edging at any time; but for LevelQuik ES you’ll want to start no later than 10 minutes in, and for LevelQuik RS, no later than 5.

  5. Derek says:

    Great video and article. Where can I find the next video in the segment?


  6. Joe says:

    I just used levelquik. It looks like it worked o.k. Two things I would add, 1) hold back a quart of water and add it as needed, my mix was watery for the top 2 inches. 2) slowly add the levelquik dry mix to the water, maybe a quarter bag at a time, I mixed for 5 minutes and still had lumps. I appreciate your site.

  7. sam says:

    can you put a portland based self leveler over a gypsum based non-self leveling flooring leveler

  8. Colleen says:

    Great video, but I’m having problems finding the next video in the segment on pouring and feathering. Can you help me out please.

  9. Rick says:

    I have a small area that does not really need a whole bag used. what is the best way to measure for a smaller area.

  10. Fred says:

    Rick – pretty much you have to measure everything out with a scale and measuring cup. If you use 1/4 of a 50lb. bag, you’ve got 12.5 lbs, and you use 1/4 of the water. The only other way is to “wing it” which essentially means add powder until you hit the right consistency. We do not recommend this, as its easy to get the mix wrong and then the stuff will flake apart.

  11. Paul says:

    I have used tis on small projects and done well with it. I am concerned with larger projects. I have one coming up that is about 400 sqft. an entry and kitchen and on a slab. I need to raise it 1/2″ total. How do I stay consistent and keep it working together?

  12. Charles Currie says:

    I noticed you did not have any type of mask when pouring the product out of the bag. This is extremely unhealthy as cement products are not at all good for your lungs. Poor representation of the working habits.

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