Among those who equip their apartment or office, 3D self-leveling floors are gaining popularity. Importantly, you can install them yourself. And the durability of such a flooring and the original design are additional bonuses.
For the first time, the design of the space underfoot with images with a 3D effect appeared on the streets. Artists painted pictures so realistic on sidewalks and walls that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish them from real objects. Interior designers have been able to find a way to use this effect indoors.
Despite the complexity of the laying technology and the high cost, such decorative floors have found their fans.
Before proceeding with the purchase of materials and installation, you need to consider in detail all the advantages and disadvantages of such a coating.
Of all the advantages, the following can be distinguished:
Exclusivity. Achieving uniqueness using self-leveling floors is quite simple. The choice of the image is limited only by the imagination of the owner of the premises or the designer. You can come up with a drawing on your own or with your child, or use the services of a professional artist.
Long service life. Manufacturers give a guarantee for mixtures for self-leveling floors from 30 to 50 years. The cover is resistant to falling heavy objects and aggressive substances, so it is very difficult to ruin it.
Excellent waterproofing properties. The complete absence of seams will allow you not to worry that accidentally spilled liquids will flow to your neighbors.
Hygiene. The self-leveling floor has an antistatic effect, or, in other words, “repels dust”, and due to the absence of cracks, it does not accumulate dirt, mold and allergens.
Refractoriness. Most polymer coatings are not exposed to high temperatures, the flammability class of the materials used is G1. Materials of this class are usually used all the way to the fire exit.
Easy maintenance. In a room with such a floor, it is enough just to wet clean as it gets dirty. Various cleaning agents can be used.
Possibility of installation in any premises. Provided that the technology is strictly adhered to, it will not be difficult to fill in polymer floors even in a room with a non-standard layout. And the ecological safety of the mixtures allows them to be used even in bedrooms and children's rooms.
The bulk polymer coatings with the 3D effect have their disadvantages:
High price. The installation price per square meter, taking into account all materials and the work of the master, fluctuates around 5-6 thousand rubles. This amount may be higher depending on the region. You can save money without losing quality if you make liquid floors with your own hands. But in this case, you will need to purchase special equipment, which later may never be needed. Or you can rent it, which will also lead to additional costs.
The complexity and duration of the process. The time from the beginning of the preparation of the premises to the complete polymerization of the coating sometimes takes more than a month. The technology of the installation process is quite painstaking, everything needs to be done quickly and very carefully. If something goes wrong, it will be very expensive and physically difficult to remodel or dismantle such a floor.
Cold to the touch. The self-leveling floor in temperature is close to the tile. In addition, warm floors cannot be built under it. When heated, the composition can release phenol, which is hazardous to health.
The complexity of dismantling and repair. Repairing such coatings is very expensive, but it is also difficult to damage them so that repairs are required. Dismantling is even more difficult. All layers are firmly adhered to each other and the concrete screed. Therefore, it will be easier and cheaper to lay a new coating on top of the polymer one. Or you can use the services of professionals, whose work will result in a decent amount.
So, self-leveling 3D floors have many styling features and difficult dismantling, but they are very simple and safe to use. Therefore, you need to soberly assess whether it is possible to cope with this task on your own or whether it is better to turn to specialists.
If the decision to install a polymer coating on your own is finally made, first of all, you need to study in detail all the stages of work.
Before you start choosing an image, you need to think over the interior of the room itself as carefully as possible. The main rule that must be taken into account is that furniture should not cover large details of the pattern. If it is assumed that rearrangements are possible later in the room, it is advisable to think over several options in advance.
In the interior of the room, which involves a large number of small elements, a laconic image should be selected. And vice versa, a drawing overloaded with details can only fit into an interior made in the style of minimalism. For the rest, the choice of drawing depends only on the imagination, artistic abilities and financial capabilities of the owner of the premises.
The most common choice when choosing an image is photography with a sense of multidimensionality. Images of the seabed and marine animals are especially popular. These images are recommended for use in a bathroom or kitchen. And photos of the forest, flowers, leaves, and others are suitable for a living room or hallway.
In any case, the picture must be selected so that over time it does not get bored, because it is impossible to change it after filling with the finishing layer. It is not recommended to stop your choice on aggressive images and too bright colors, they can soon become annoying.
The resolution of the selected photo must be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Before you can print the final version on a large canvas, you need to process it. You can do this yourself if you have the skills to work in a graphic editor, or with the help of a designer.
First, you need to photograph the room as seen from the entrance. Then, in the editor, crop all the details in this photo except for the floor. Transform the selected image into a trapezoid shape and overlay the perspective on the cropped image the way you would like to see the picture from the threshold of the room. The finished option is converted into a rectangle, saved in * png format and printed on a regular black and white or color printer in A4 format. Putting the printout in the middle of the room, you need to check the optical illusion effect from different points.
The finished image can be printed in an advertising agency or printing house, which has the necessary equipment. Some of these companies may offer ready-made options to choose from.
Printing can be ordered on a banner sheet or self-adhesive vinyl. It should be noted that some manufacturers of bulk mix do not allow the use of a banner canvas. In such cases, vinyl is the only option.
Another option is to create a drawing yourself if you have artistic talent, or contact a professional artist. The work of a professional will cost more and take a little longer, but it will give new variations to show your imagination.
All the details of the drawing should be discussed in detail with the artist: the image itself, style and color scheme. It is advisable to order a preliminary sketch in A3 or A4 format and check the 3D effect on the example of a photograph.
The agreed image is applied to a previously prepared base with special polymer or acrylic paints.
You can also use stencils for drawing. You can purchase them in specialized stores or print them in the desired format by means of plotter cutting on self-adhesive vinyl. Most often, images of floral ornaments or geometric shapes are applied.
To enhance the 3D effect, you can use small details that are laid out on top of a drawing or photograph. These can be shells, small stones or pebbles, coins or buttons. In some cases, leaves and flowers are used.
What is it filled with?
The next step is the choice of materials. There are several formulations for screed floors on the market.
For the finish layer that creates a 3D effect, you can choose the following:
For living areas such as a bedroom or living room, it is best to choose an epoxy resin based compound. Compared to the others, it is more environmentally friendly, but less durable. It is not recommended to clean it with powder products, which can ruin the top layer. If heavy objects are dropped, chips may form.
The manufacturer's warranty for epoxy polymer compounds is 30 years.
Polyurethane-based compounds are perfect for the bathroom and kitchen. Due to the increased strength, but less natural composition, other types of mixtures are best used in industrial facilities and in places with high traffic.
The base polymer layer must be selected depending on the method of applying the image. When using banner fabric or vinyl, a standard white polymer is required. If the picture will be applied with acrylic or polymer paints, a colored fill is selected for the background. In terms of composition, this layer must coincide with the finishing layer.
To prepare the concrete base, you may need a self-leveling cement floor, a concrete screed or filler. It directly depends on the state of the surface. For the treatment of the base, a primer must be selected.
The top coat varnish is selected based on the selected topcoat. It can be selected in a specialized store with the help of a sales assistant or by reading the instructions. For grouting small parts such as shells, polymer clay or gypsum is suitable.
Calculations of the required amount of each ingredient are made taking into account the quadrature of the room and the thickness of the layers.
If the bulk mixture is not enough for the entire area of the room during operation, the coating will be hopelessly damaged. Therefore, it is better to buy materials with a margin.
How to do it?
As soon as all the necessary materials are purchased, you need to prepare tools and accessories:
Grinding machine for leveling a concrete base;
Powerful household or industrial vacuum cleaner for cleaning dust and dirt;
Construction mixer for mixing components. Instead of a mixer, you can use a drill with a power of at least 800 watts with the functions of reverse, speed control and a special mixer attachment;
Rollers: several velor rollers for applying primer and varnish, and a needle roller for rolling the polymer base;
Squeegee and a set of spatulas of different sizes from 12 to 60 cm;
Paint shoes (special soles with spikes);
Protective clothing: respirators, suits, gloves. They are needed both to protect workers from harmful fumes and mixtures on the skin, and so that dust, hair and drops of sweat do not get on the pouring floor;
Protective film (material that is used when painting cars is suitable);
Thinner for cleaning tools.
Step-by-step instructions for making liquid self-leveling floors with your own hands involves the following steps:
Preparation of the concrete base
After removing the old coating and removing dirt and dust, you must carefully examine the floor for cracks, stains and other imperfections. It will not be superfluous to process the base with a grinder and be sure to clean it from dust with a vacuum cleaner. Check with a level whether the surface is sufficiently level. Seal the flaws with a concrete screed, putty or self-leveling mixture based on gypsum or cement.
The complete drying of the prepared surface can take from 24 hours to several days, depending on the method of leveling. The moisture content of the coating before the next step should be no more than 4%.
In the case when there is no special device for measurements, you can use the tools at hand. Press a meter by meter polyethylene sheet tightly to the surface and leave for a day. If, after the elapsed time, no condensation or perspiration has formed on it, you can continue to work.
It is recommended to use a two-component mixture, which must be prepared strictly following the instructions. Mixing is usually done for 2 minutes with a construction mixer at 500 rpm using reverse. The primer is poured onto the floor and rolled out with a velor roller over the entire surface for no longer than 30 minutes, until the mixture begins to dry. After 24 hours, you can proceed to the next item;
It is advisable to sheathe the walls with a protective film in order to avoid the ingress of dust and lint on the polymers, to limit direct sunlight into the room. The air temperature in the room should be constant, within 10-25 degrees, humidity - no more than 80%. It is necessary to ensure the flow of fresh air, avoiding drafts. Vacuum the surface again;
Laying the base polymer layer
Start work only in protective clothing and paint shoes. An assistant who will mix the components in another room will be very useful. The finished mixture is poured in small strips, starting from the wall farthest from the entrance. It is better to use a squeegee for leveling. H
To make the layer even, you can use a spatula. For this layer, a thickness of 1.5-3 mm will be sufficient. The mixture must be used within 30 minutes, otherwise it will start to solidify.
The time interval between pouring the strips should be kept no more than 10 minutes, so the coating will be homogeneous. Within 15-30 minutes after pouring, roll the polymer layer with a needle roller to release all air bubbles. Leave it for a day until the layer dries;
You can only walk on the previous layer in soft shoes, as paint shoes or hard soles leave marks. The technology will differ depending on the chosen method of applying the image. Drawing with paints is applied directly to the base layer. After drying, it is covered with varnish or a thin layer of topcoat to protect it from damage by paint shoes at the next stage.
Two people should work with the self-adhesive vinyl at once. The paper backing is peeled off in small areas and glued to the floor so that no bubbles form underneath. If there are joints, adjust the canvases to each other very carefully. The glued image must be immediately treated with a protective layer.
The banner fabric does not have a self-adhesive base, so it must be glued to a layer of varnish or a thin layer of topcoat. Upon completion of the work, the canvas should be degreased with methyl alcohol and covered with a protective layer. If small details are provided, then they should be laid out on the protective layer immediately after application.
Pouring the finishing polymer layer
The manufacturing technology of this layer is exactly the same for the base layer. Maintain layer thickness from 3 to 5 mm, depending on the components used. In the process of work, you need to be even more careful, not a single drop of sweat or dust should get on the coating. You can walk on the finishing layer only in soft shoes and not earlier than after 5 days.
Varnish is used as a protective coating. It must be selected taking into account the polymers used. It is applied in two layers with a brush or velor roller. It spreads well over the surface, forming a smooth glossy layer. The first layer dries up within 8-12 hours; no more than a day should pass before the second layer is applied. The floor can be fully loaded 7 days after applying the last layer.
How to care?
Polymer coatings do not require special care. It is necessary to wash such floors as soon as they become dirty with plain water or with the use of cleaning agents and stain removers. Once a year it is recommended to treat the top layer with polish or mastic, it can be varnished.
If scratches appear during operation, they need to be polished with special tools and a new double varnish coat applied.
The overwhelming majority of owners of such floors leave positive reviews. Many of them have tested 3D self-leveling floors for five or more years. They are satisfied, first of all, with the ease of maintenance and durability. The beautiful and unusual design delights the eye for a long time. For many, this solution was suitable specifically for the bath, eliminating mold and mildew.
There are several negative reviews that the color of the coating has changed over time. In this case, experts indicate that a poor-quality composition was used. Therefore, you need to choose only trusted manufacturers, and purchase polymers in specialized stores.
Non-standard solutions in the interior
The most familiar and widespread solutions are images on the marine theme: the seabed, dolphins, turtles. You can often find various stencils. But every day there are more and more unusual and non-standard solutions in interiors using 3D floors.
The map of the earthly hemispheres on the floor in the living room will look very unusual and restrained.
The floors laid out with real pebbles will turn out to be a little textured.
The sight of space landscapes is breathtaking every time.
Someone will love the bird's eye view of the city.
Images in the form of an abyss, dips or down stairs look very impressive, but they must be selected with extreme care. They should not put pressure on the emotional state.
Photos with captions can be used. For example, such a floor will look interesting in the hallway.
Aerobatics will combine a 3D floor and a 3D wall or furniture in the interior.
For information on how to make self-leveling floors with a pattern, see the next video.