Using Self-Levelling Compound Over Porcelain Tiles

Can you use Self Levelling Compound Over Porcelain Tiles?

You will be glad to know the answer is Yes. You can use self-levelling compound on Porcelain tiles, so you don’t need to go ripping all those old tiles up. Phewwww!

That being said, don’t just go pouring your self-levelling compound directly onto your porcelain tiles as there are some conditions that need to be met.

It can be more difficult for self-levelling compound (SLC) to stick to porcelain when compared with other substrates like concrete or flooring screed.

Precautions

You may need to apply a Self-levelling compound primer over porcelain tiles as they are non-porous, depending on the type of self-levelling compound you choose.

You should always use a primer first, only Artdex NA self-levelling compound can be applied directly to the tiles without a primer.

Best Primer To Use Over Porcelain Tiles?

I like to do a belt and braces job! So I always use Febond Blue Grit. It guarantees that ANY self-levelling compound you use will stick to the porcelain tile. It bonds to the tile and provides a mechanical key without generating any dust.

Roll it on, let it dry and get spreading your self-levelling compound straight away. Come hell or high water it’s not coming off.

Grab a 5-litre tub and you will have everything you need to get on with the job. A 5-litre tub will cover 15m2 so this is more than enough to do most rooms, it’s the best primer you can get!

Helps Adhesion
Febond Blue Grit, Extra Grip Plaster Bonding Agent, 5 Litre
£15.05 (£15.05 / kg)

Helps Adhesion on non-porous surfaces like floor tiles, porcelain tiles, terrazzo, quarry tiles and ceramic tiles

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If you are at the stage of choosing a self-levelling compound to go over porcelain, check out our table below.

Blue grit contains coarse sand and creates a rough texture which is ideal for ANY self-levelling compound to stick to.

I wouldn’t take any chances if I was tiling over the floor. The last thing you want to do is have to start ripping the new floor up because the self-levelling compound has not adhered properly.

Febond Blue grit is also relatively cheap when compared to buying multiple tubs of specialist primer.

When you consider that it is guaranteed that the self-levelling compound will adhere to the tiles, it’s a bargain!

Type of self-levelling compound to use over Porcelain Tiles?

I have made a table of some of the most common types of self-levelling compounds showing their compatibility with porcelain tiles.

Once you have selected your product from the table below you can use our self-levelling compound calculator to work out how much you will need.

I always recommend priming porcelain with Febond Blue Grit as it performs two functions in one.

It primes the floor and gives smooth surfaces like porcelain a mechanical key for the self-levelling compound to adhere to.

All the different manufacturers have their own specific primers to go with their own specific self-levelling compounds. If you are unsure you can always go with the manufacturer’s recommended primer.

I am just more comfortable using a product that I know will be more than sufficient, so I tend to use Blue Grit, but it comes down to personal preference.

However, I will keep recommending blue grit as a primer for porcelain tiles as It just gives you more peace of mind. It is compatible with ALL brands of self-levelling compounds and on top of being a primer, it also gives a good key for the self-levelling compound to stick to.

Check out the table below to see which are the best types of self-levelling compounds to use over porcelain tiles. There is only one stand-out performer and that is Ardex NA.

Type of Self-Levelling CompoundUsed Over Porcelain Tile?Is a Primer Required?Type Of PrimerMechanical Key?Coverage
Everbuild 708 Febflor Universal
503 SBR Bond
Suggested 4m2 @ 3mm thickness
Arditex NANon-required Not-required3m2 @ 5mm thickness
Everbuild 710 Febflor Flexiplus Latex503 SBR BondSuggested4m2 @ 3mm thickness
Bostic Fibre FlexBostic Cempolay Universal PrimerSuggested5.2m2 @ 3mm thickness
Ultra Tile Fix Pro Level Two – Flexible Two PartUltraTileFix ProPrimerSuggested2.4m2 @ 5mm thickness
Larsen Fibre Reinforced Leveller SLC 1550Larson Acrylic PrimerSuggested3m2 @ 5mm
thickness
Setcrete Latex Floor Levelling CompoundSetcrete Acrylic PrimerSuggested2.3m2 @ 5mm thickness
Bostic Cempolay Ultra StrongCempolay Universal PrimerSuggested3m2
@ 5mm thickness

These “specialist primers” are normally just a variation of PVA or SBR.

Requirements before you can self-level over Porcelain Tiles

So now you know you can use self-levelling compound on porcelain tiles. But there are a few things to keep in mind……

Are there any cracks in the existing tiles? If the tiles are coming loose in places then it should be easy to rip them up and remove them.

Ripping up the old tiles keeps the finished floor level as low as possible.

If the tiles are fixed solidly to the floor, you can self-level over them with confidence.

It is always good practice to sweep and vacuum the floor before applying any self-levelling compound if you are trying to do the best job possible. This will ensure a good bond between the tiles and the compound. If the surface is not completely clean, the compound may not adhere properly

Important Note

You can self-level over porcelain tiles but you may need to apply a primer to the tiles first. Some self-levelling compounds can be applied directly to porcelain without a primer these are normally mixed with latex not water.

My conclusion

If I have some self-levelling to do over porcelain tiles on upper floors I will always use Ardex NA self-levelling compound because it does not need a primer and it is flexible.

If I have some self-levelling to do over porcelain on a solid ground floor and I don’t want the job to get too expensive. I will use any cheap self-levelling compound and prime the porcelain tile with Febond Blue Grit first, to ensure I get decent adhesion.

If you have some of your own experience using self-levelling compound over Porcelain Tiles or you have had success with this method. Please Let me know by sharing it in the comments section below.

Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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