How To Install Self-Leveling Concrete Over Plywood Substrate

Transforming a plywood substrate into a sleek, durable concrete surface is not only feasible but also a smart choice for remodeling projects. This blog post delves into the step-by-step process of installing self-leveling concrete over plywood, as demonstrated by Duraamen’s experts

Understanding the Benefits

Installing concrete over plywood offers a unique advantage, particularly in remodeling scenarios. It provides an opportunity to leverage the existing structure without the need for extensive tear-outs, thus saving time and reducing construction waste.

Key Preparation Steps

  • Ensure Plywood Stability: The plywood must be stable without any deflection; if it flexes, it needs reinforcement before proceeding.
  • Surface Preparation: All seams and screw heads on the plywood must be well-covered to create a smooth base for the concrete.
  • Moisture Protection: If moisture is a concern, applying a flexible waterproofing membrane over the plywood can safeguard the installation.

Installation Process

  1. Preparing the Plywood: Start with a firm, non-deflective plywood base. The surface should be meticulously prepared to ensure it is smooth and free from imperfections.
  2. Applying a Waterproofing Membrane: For areas prone to moisture, a waterproofing membrane is crucial before the concrete application.
  3. Mixing and Applying the Concrete: Use Duraamen’s Param 35M or Param 5500, which are designed for thin applications (3/8″ to 1/2″ thick) and lay down ultra-flat. These materials are ideal for ensuring a level and smooth surface.
  4. Finishing Touches: For a unique finish, products like Skraffino can be used over the base layer to create a hand-applied, aged concrete appearance.


  1. Can I install self-leveling concrete on any type of plywood?
  • Yes, but the plywood needs to be stable and free of flexing. Preparation is critical to ensure the surface is smooth and secure.
  1. What thickness should the concrete overlay be?
  • Typically, a 3/8” to 1/2″ thickness is sufficient. This ensures a solid overlay without the risk of cracking or instability.
  1. Is it necessary to use a waterproofing membrane?
  • If there’s a risk of moisture exposure, yes. A waterproofing membrane prevents moisture penetration, protecting both the plywood and the concrete.
  1. Can I apply a decorative finish over the self-leveling concrete?
  • Absolutely! Products like Skraffino can be applied over the self-leveling concrete to give it a customized, decorative appearance.

Utilizing self-leveling concrete over plywood allows you to enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your space efficiently. With careful preparation and precise application, you can achieve a long-lasting and beautiful concrete surface atop an existing plywood base.

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