With so many choices in the industry it is quite confusing to choose the best tile leveling system for your application. Many times the best choice is one that meets the specific requirements of the job at hand. In this article I will go over a few choices.
Tile leveling systems have two main options, self-leveling and semi-self leveling. This article will cover semi-self leveling.
Semi-self leveling is only applicable to surfaces where there is no need to create an entire surface. For example, when laying in a pool on a concrete slab, a float leveler would be inappropriate, as the tile would eventually crack or separate.
Self leveling comes in two basic forms: horizontal and vertical. A horizontal leveler uses a series of hand wheels on the base. The wheels allow for precise setting and removal of the level from the surface.
Some of the best tile leveling systems today are available with semi-self horizontal leveling. They have become more common because it is possible to use the required machinery when you don’t have time to lift, hold and move the equipment.
The downside of a vertical leveling unit is that they can become too rigid when operating on a level deck. With vertical units the bottom edge of the machine arm and the weight of the deck put a lot of pressure on the wheels and cause them to take longer to reach the bottom of the work area.
Many of these units offer a minimum of 3 feet of floor clearance so that the work can be performed in the most convenient manner, while offering maximum energy efficiency. The difference between horizontal and vertical leveling is that the former allows movement during leveling and the latter doesn’t.
When using any tile leveling system, it is important to select the appropriate surface for your application. Some substances can be scrapped after being set, while others must be leveled as part of the final finish.
Granite is ideal for a rough garage floor because it has a natural tendency to absorb marks. On the other hand a wet concrete floor needs to be sealed to prevent further damage to the surface.
So if you are working on a dry concrete floor, you can go for a horizontal self leveling system and move on to more serious applications, such as moisture absorption on a wood floor. If you are working on a wet concrete floor, I recommend using a vertical tile leveling system to provide a level surface without removing the tiles after they have been set.
A lot of people overlook the importance of using a superior quality tile gun when using vertical tile leveling. Many of the newer guns, especially those made by Makita, offer increased accuracy and repeatability due to the dedicated turret system.
The use of a Makita tile gun can help you select the best tile leveling system. These are just a few of the things you should consider before making your final decision on the best tile leveling system for your job.