Floor screed is a simple mixture of water, ordinary cement and graded aggregate (such as sharp sand) to create a smooth, hardwearing sub-floor. It usually laid to be about 75mm thick and should always be laid by a skilled professional.Depending on the premises, the screed can be covered with underlay and a decorative flooring solution, such as laminate or carpet, or it can be left bare. It can also be used to accommodate underfloor heating systems and pipework.
In many commercial or industrial premises, screed is usually the final floor finish as it is extremely robust and can be painted to identify different zones, such as pedestrian areas and traffic routes.
Although screed is a simple blend of materials, it is actually a complex and essential process, to ensure the floor is level, durable and sturdy.A correctly laid floor screed can prolong the lifespan of a floor, increasing the overall quality of the finished floor, ensuring a flat and level surface and protecting the sub layers from wear and erosion. However, if badly laid, the screed can reduce the overall quality of the floor, can cause damage to the floor coverings and be costly to put right.
Which screed is best?
There are a choice of different screeds which are all suitable for different applications. It’s always best to ask a professional to advise you on the most appropriate screed for your needs, but we’ve detailed a few of the more common types to help you make a more informed choice.
A standard screed mix of cement and sand is the ideal final floor finish for many different floor coverings, including tiles and laminate. This makes it ideal for many environments, from homes and schools to hospitals and shops.
Floor levelling compounds
Floor levelling compounds are different to standard screed mixes, generally used for levelling or as the final layer to provide a smooth surface for laying floor finishes such as vinyl. More costly than standard mixes, but the perfect solution for warehouses and industrial areas that must be level for safety reasons.
Fast drying or accelerated screeds
Many other types of screeds can take weeks, or even months to completely dry and be ready for a further layer of flooring, so accelerated screed is ideal for projects with tight deadlines. Many fast drying screeds can be ready for the final floor finish after just three days.
Choosing the right floor screed contractor
To ensure you get the right type of screed and that it is laid correctly for the best finish and long lasting results, be sure to choose the right contractor.Your chosen concrete supplier should have extensive experience and a skilled team of concrete and screeding experts, as well as state of the art equipment and technology. Although price will be a consideration, it’s important to choose a contractor that will be able to adapt the method of delivery and screed mix to meet any unforeseen requirements.