5 Cheaper Alternative to Self Leveling Compound

cheaper alternative to self leveling compound

Do you want to level the flooring in your house but are concerned about the price? Don’t worry! Below we’ll discuss some cheaper alternative to self leveling compound that will still leave your floors nice and even. DIYers and those on a tighter financial plan alike will appreciate these choices for the value they provide.

Cheaper Alternative to Self Leveling Compound

Self-leveling compound is commonly used to balance out floors that aren’t perfectly flat. However, the price tag may add up quickly, particularly for bigger regions. Here are some choices to consider if you’re seeking for a cheaper choice:

Plywood Subflooring

Plywood subflooring can be used instead of self-leveling compound to smooth out floors that aren’t perfectly flat. To get a flat and even surface, plywood sheets are stacked and installed over the current flooring. Because of its low cost and wide availability, plywood is a practical and affordable flooring leveling option.


  • Relatively inexpensive compared to self-leveling compound.
  • Can be used on various types of existing flooring.
  • Provides a stable and level base for flooring installation.
  • Easy to install with basic carpentry skills.


  • Adds height to the floor, which may require adjustments to door heights and transitions.
  • Requires careful planning and measurement to ensure proper installation.
  • Not suitable for areas with excessive moisture or water exposure.

Floor Patching Compound

An additional low-cost option that might help you level uneven floors is floor patching compound. Its primary function is to even out the floor by filling up uneven areas. You may obtain a level floor without using self-leveling compound by using floor patching compound, which is simple to use and dries rapidly.


  • Affordable and readily available in hardware stores.
  • Quick-drying, allowing for faster installation of flooring.
  • Easy to apply and suitable for small imperfections and cracks.
  • Can be used on various types of flooring materials.


  • Limited effectiveness for major floor leveling projects.
  • May require multiple applications for larger gaps and unevenness.
  • Not suitable for areas with significant structural issues.

Concrete Leveling Mix

A concrete leveling mix might be a great solution if you’re dealing with slight unevenness or low places. The concrete surface may be smoothed out using this pre-mixed solution, which can be applied with a trowel. Floors may be easily and affordably leveled with concrete leveling mix.


  • Cost-effective option for minor unevenness and low spots.
  • Durable and provides a strong base for flooring.
  • Easy to apply using a trowel.
  • Can be used on concrete surfaces.


  • Limited effectiveness for major floor leveling projects.
  • Requires proper mixing and application techniques for best results.
  • Not suitable for non-concrete surfaces.

Sand and Cement Mixture

Before the invention of self-leveling compound, floors were typically leveled using a sand and cement mixture. A leveling mixture that is both economical and effective may be made by mixing sand and cement in the proper amounts. To get the best results from this do-it-yourself approach, you’ll need some knowledge and practice.


  • Affordable and widely available materials.
  • Can be customized based on specific leveling needs.
  • Suitable for both small and large areas.
  • Provides a stable base for various types of flooring.


  • Requires experience and skill to achieve desired results.
  • Time-consuming, as it involves proper mixing and application techniques.
  • Not suitable for areas with excessive moisture.

Gypsum-based Self-Leveling Compound

When compared to other types of self-leveling compound, those made with gypsum tend to be less costly. These compounds are made to smooth out imperfections and provide a flat surface on which to lay flooring. Self-leveling compounds made with gypsum have excellent flowability and are simple to work with, making them a smart choice for homes on a tight budget.


  • More affordable compared to other self-leveling compounds.
  • Easy to work with and provides good flowability.
  • Suitable for various types of flooring materials.
  • Can be used for both small and large areas.


  • Not as widely available as traditional self-leveling compounds.
  • Limited effectiveness for major floor leveling projects.
  • Requires proper mixing and application techniques.

FAQs about Cheaper Alternatives to Self Leveling Compound

Can I use plywood subflooring over any type of existing flooring?

Plywood subflooring may be installed over most surfaces, including concrete, wood, and vinyl. However, before installing the plywood subflooring, it is necessary to confirm that the current floor is structurally solid and free of dampness or other concerns.

How long does it take for floor patching compound to dry?

Depending on the product and the circumstances, the drying time for floor patching compound might range from a few hours to a few days. Drying time for the compound is typically about 24 hours. However, always be sure to check the product’s packaging for further instructions.

Is sand and cement mixture suitable for large areas?

Even though a sand-and-cement combination may be used to level up enormous areas, doing so successfully needs careful preparation and execution. When working on a large project, it’s wise to bring in experts to help you out. They have the experience and tools necessary to efficiently complete large-scale leveling jobs.

Can gypsum-based self-leveling compounds be used for all types of flooring?

Self-leveling compounds made with gypsum may be used on a wide variety of floors, from tile and vinyl to hardwood and laminate. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure it will work with your floor, though. Certain flooring materials may need for specialist leveling chemicals.

Are these alternatives as effective as self-leveling compound?

Although self-leveling compound was created for this purpose, the aforementioned options can still be useful if applied properly. The state of your floors, the degree of unevenness, and the needs of your flooring material must all be evaluated prior to making a decision. A flooring expert’s advice can guide you toward the best option.

Can I combine different leveling methods?

When one leveling technique doesn’t quite cut it, another may. For instance, a plywood subfloor installed in heavily uneven places might be patched with floor patching compound to hide the patchwork. Using this method, you may tailor the leveling procedure to the unique requirements of each room in your house.

Final Words

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a flat floor. You may save money without sacrificing quality by looking at alternatives to self-leveling compound. There are benefits and drawbacks to each possible choice, from plywood subflooring to floor patching compound to concrete leveling mix to sand and cement combination to gypsum-based self-leveling compound. Before making any changes to your flooring, it’s important to evaluate its current state, get the advice of experts if necessary, and read and adhere to any manufacturer’s recommendations.

Now that you have this information, you can make a well-informed decision and level your floors without spending a fortune. Without breaking the bank, you may level and smooth out those bumpy floors and install the flooring of your choice.