Leveling a floor to put a stand on it

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Magnus, Nov 30, 2010.

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  1. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    Choose the spot where you want your stand to be at. Make sure you take into account space between the back of the stand and the wall for extra equipment, etc. If you want to mark it somehow, do it.

    1- Go to your local hardware store and buy a 1x1" (they can come 8 feet long), also buy some 1mm plastic sheeting (if you want to spend the money and you will use if for something else later), or you can use a piece of nylon or big trash bag, just cut it to the desired length and duct tape it together the best you can. IT MUST BE WATER TIGHT! The plastic must be resistant but soft enough for it to mold to the gaps of the floor. Also, buy a piece of black, mate finish toe-kick, since your stand is black otherwise try to match the finish in your stand.

    2- With the 1"x1" build a square matching your tank's base, but make it 1/8th of an inch smaller on each side, this is the thickness of your toe-kick (usually between 1/8" and 1/4" so what you subtract will depend on the toe-kick you get).
    [​IMG]

    3- With the plastic film, make a pool inside the frame and staple it to the top surface of the square you built, giving it an extra 1/8th of an inch that you will let hang towards the floor and staple the film to the very top of the square or rectangle, matching your stand's base surface, (but do subtract the 1/8th of an inch or total thickness of the toe-kick) Make sure, you're building a pool with the film and that it stays stuck to the floor and to the sides of the 1x1's (plastic film in general has lots of static charge, so this will be easy and work beautifully).
    [​IMG]

    4- Once this pool is built, get one of these: Product Comparison Page (I would get the anti-microbial one), mix the self leveling underlayment just a tiny bit more wet than the directions, but only A TINY BIT (I'm familiar with this underlayment mix) and pour inside the "mold" or frame you built, spread and smooth it the best you can with a trout or something long enough to fit in the mold and with a flat surface. The self leveling compound will do the rest.
    [​IMG]


    Place some weights on the side of the frame where the floor is leveled and see that the film can still touch the floor and all the interior sides of the frame (do this before pouring cement inside). This is so when you pour the 1 inch of underlayment, you end up with a perfect platform that touches the floor and molds to the wood floor, but still keeping the mold's/frame's shape and keeps true level where the floor is actually leveled. If the floor isn't very much leveled at all, do not worry about this step since it isn't an essential one. The weights will also keep the frame from moving around when you pour the mix.
    [​IMG]

    Even if there's a gap between the base of the frame and the unleveled floor, formed by bumps or depressions on it, the film will keep the underlayment from going too far out through the gap and on the floor, but it will form a lip that is easy to brake or chisel off.
    [​IMG]

    5- Give it 12 hours to set and cure or follow directions to make sure curing time is met, and then start taking the mold apart carefully. If you screw the 1x1's as in the pic, this should be an easy task as well. Apply some pressure with your knees so it doesn't move anywhere when you're working with the frame.
    [​IMG]

    Then cut the film from around the sides to expose the cement.
    [​IMG]

    6- Once you get the final platform all nice and ready, cut the toe kick to go around the whole perimeter, starting with the backside, then the sides and lastly the front in one long piece to cover the end grain of the side toe-kick pieces. You'll have to cut it to the right "height" going in favor of the grain, you can use a very sharp blade to do this if you don't have other tools. Lastly you can install by applying a few drops of super glue gel or even liquid nails to the toe-kick, for a permanent adhesion to the leveled concrete platform.
    [​IMG]

    7- After the cement is fully cured, you will have a perfectly leveled and finished surface for your stand.


    NOTE: Self leveling Underlayment cement is usually very safe at 1 inch (~2.5cm) thickness. If you want to build a taller, leveled concrete slab, you should fill with regular cement and leave that 1 final inch or 3/4" for the self leveling underlayment. Also, you should let the regular cement to fully cure before you pour the self leveling cement on.


    That's it!! It should be a 4 hour project tops (excluding drying/curing time) and that is if you have absolutely NO experience whatsoever with this materials, or woodwork. It is all very, super basic stuff. It may sound more complicated than it actually is, but just wanted to give you as much detail as possible in case I can't figure out how to draw things with this tool I was talking about earlier.

    Oh!! And by the way, this won't harm your floor, unless you step on it and do the twist while you're up there ;)
    But for very heavy tanks, you can use a thicker plastic film (2 and even 3 millimeters, but beweare, the thicker the film, the less is going to really mold to the floor).

    Sorry for being late, but I'm hoping this may help someone in the future.

    - Mag.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    This post from my 'Moving my tank tonight' thread blew my mind. I copied it to a new thread and put it on the homepage. Hope you don't mind. :)

    matt
     
  4. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Can I suggest this is moved to the DIY section and made a sticky?

    Steve
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Great suggestion. Done! :)

    matt
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    This part about weights is the only part I don't get - can you explain a bit further?
     
  7. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Since I bought more time with my landlord I am giving this serious thought.
    I measured my square stand last night and the base is 25 1/8" x 25 1/8" (LxW). EDIT - as stated it is a square so all lengths are 25 1/8"

    So per your instructions, it looks like I need 4 1"x1" 's that are 26" inches long. This would give me a cement base that is 25"x25" leaving the 1/8" for the toekick.

    I think I have this right?

    matt
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
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  9. FaceOfDeceit

    FaceOfDeceit Hockey Beard

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    From what I was understanding, the weights are to keep the plastic on the floor so the tension from you stapling it to the frame will not allow a gap between the plastic and floor...if you stapled it to tight I guess. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Great Idea!
     
  10. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    Great idea Magnus! Way to go man, now I know how I'm leveling the base for my farm tanks and sump.
     
  11. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    what do you do if you have carpet instead of tile or hardwood?
     
  12. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    Cut out a section where the tank will be, and do the same.