Cementitious self-leveling overlays: A durable, trendy alternative


Marta Pineda

 September 7, 2018. 11:18 PM

Concrete is known as one of the most durable, functional and reliable building materials. However, it’s not always the most attractive.

When it comes to restoring an aged concrete floor, ripping out an existing slab and pouring a new one is costly and very time consuming. This is where cementitious self-leveling overlays offer an alternative that is not only cost-effective, durable and versatile, but also quite trendy.

Designed for interior use only, cementitious self-leveling overlays also known as self-leveling toppings, can be used to resurface old uneven concrete floor slabs. They are
usually a more economical alternative to granite, terrazzo or marble finishes and offer an attractive option to traditional floor coverings.

What is a cementitious self-leveling overlay?  
Self-leveling concrete overlays are flowable, polymer-modified cementitious toppings that have the ability to self-level without troweling reaching their final set in a matter of a few hours. Keep in mind that by definition an overlay is “something laid as a covering over something else” which means that self-leveling overlays must be installed over a sound, stable and properly prepared concrete surface either new or old.

The range of applications is virtually limitless: residential, commercial, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, casinos, auto showrooms, resorts, theme parks, office buildings, light industrial floors, retail stores and museums just to mention a few examples. Self-leveling, toppings offer so many alternatives for using old spaces in new ways.

Decorative, Versatile and Trendy
The popularity of self-leveling concrete overlays initiated in the early 2000’s where cities like Las Vegas had approximately 95 percent of the interior floors done with self-leveling concrete overlays. They have been extensively used since and almost two decades later there has been an increase in popularity for gray concrete floors as well as decorative trends.

A cementitious self-leveling topping can be saw-cut to create endless designs, acid
stained, dyed, sealed, coated, engraved and polished.

Ultratop® and Ultratop PC are MAPEI’s high-performance, self-leveling, polishable
concrete toppings and here are some of the properties and features:

A single-component product
Easily installed from ¼” to 2” thick
Not able to be extended
Quickly hardens within 2 to 3 hours 
Polishable as soon as 24 hours** 
Uses Planibond® EBA / sand broadcast as primer 
Available in light gray and white
Packaged in 50 lbs. bag

A single-component product
Easily installed from 3/8" to 2" thick
Installed up to 5" thick extended*
Provides a "salt  & pepper" appearance
Quickly hardens in 70 minutes
Polishable as soon as 24 hours
Uses Planibond EBA / sand broadcast as primer
Available in natural gray
Packaged in 50 lbs. bag

*for installations from 2” to 5”, extend Ultratop PCup to 25 lbs. per 50-lb bag with washed, well-grade pea gravel measuring 1/8” to1/2.”

Finally, since it seems like self-leveling concrete overlays are here to stay, we invite you to take a closer look at MAPEI’s Ultratop and Ultratop PC.

For more information, application tips and a personalized customer service just call our Technical Service line 1-888-365-0614 or visit our website www.mapei.com.


Marta Pineda

Marta Pineda

Marta Pineda is MAPEI's Technical Service Representative for Concrete Restoration Systems. Marta brings to MAPEI 20 years of experience as an Architectural and Technical Sales Representative, having worked for distributor companies in the construction materials industry. Her professional training and experience working with architects, civil and structural engineers, project managers and project developers has given Marta the skills and the technical knowledge to work with product specifications.


Load more comments

Log in or register to add a comment.

Keep in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter to get Mapei news