The flooring of a premise, be it for commercial use or in a home, is one of the most important fundamentals to ensure a quality overall look and feel , as well as to ensure the building has a sturdy and lasting foundation.
Floor screed from Liquid Screed can assist you in attaining the durability your floor deserves right from the very beginning.
What is Floor Screed?
Floor screed is a simple mixture of ordinary cement, water and quality aggregates such as sharp sand in the ratio of 1:3 or 1:4.5. This mixture is generally utilised to craft an even, hardwearing sub-floor and its normal thickness is about 75mm. It is highly advisable to employ the help of professional floor screed layers, to avoid any extremely expensive mistakes.
According to the type of your premise you are dealing with, the screed floor can be covered with underlay or attractive floor coverings, for example carpet or laminate. It can also be utilised to accommodate underfloor heating systems, including pipe-work surrounding the premises.
Screed is usually a concluding floor finish, because it is exceptionally robust and can be used for many different purposes, from industrial use to flooring in homes. Floor screed is a clear-cut blend of materials, considered to be an intricate and vital process to ensure smoothness of a floor, its longevity and entailing robustness.
Floor screed can also be applied to increase the lifespan of your floor, adding up to the overall superiority of the final flooring. This can go a long way ensuring a smooth and even exterior protecting the sub-floor from being subjected to premature erosion.
However, if screed is not laid appropriately, it can reduce the overall quality of the floor, resulting into a damaged floor cover. This can prove to be an expensive affair if you were to bear the expenditure of revamping the very core of flooring. It is important to get floor screed applied by professionals at liquid Screed to ensure a quality result is obtained.
Types of Screed
The type of screed which is used on a flooring project is determined by the building you are renovating, and what the premise will be used for. The two most commonly laid screeds are detailed below:
Cement and Sand Screed
Typically, these are known as traditional screeds, which are appropriate for any type of application, provided that they are mixed to the right specification. However, the downside of this screed is its drying time. Studies estimate that cement and sand screed require one whole day for each millimetre to dry (thickness up to 50mm).
Commonly, pump-able self-smoothing screed is known as self-levelling screed. This type of floor screed is named as such because it can be laid on an uneven floor surface to level it out. This floor screed can be laid as bonded or unbonded, and is more suitable for larger areas in comparison to traditional screeds. However, usually self-levelling screed is not appropriate for using in moist conditions or in places that are expected to be wet.
The professionals at Liquid Screed will consider your project and all your requirements before proposing the type of screed which will be most suitable for your project, and offering their professional guidance on the project.
Thickness of Levelling Screed
Depending on the requirements of the flooring project, the floor Screed will be mixed accordingly. This can involve using different proportions of each material and applying it in the right thickness. At Liquid Screed, we provide a varying array of screeds and all of them are utilised for specific purposes. Some screeds may provide you with a smooth, flat surface while others may just provide you with a rough surface. Mainly, self-levelling screed is used to provide a good finishing touch which obviously differs for every type of flooring. Self-levelling screed is also preferably utilised for underfloor heating as they spread easily across the floor, providing a professional finish.
However, traditional screed is more likely to be appropriate for an industrial or warehouse project.
Bonded Cement Sand Screed
At Liquid Screed, we recommend that this type of floor screed is applied at a thickness of at least 25 mm. However, in order to have proper levelling of the screed in all the required directions, the finished level of the structural concrete will need to have thickness of at least 40mm with a tolerance of ±15mm. This will grant you the required thickness of 25mm.
A tolerance of ±10mm is acceptable with minimum depth of 35 mm. This reduces the risk of debonding of the screed floor. It is important to ensure that the tolerances specified for the top surface of the base concrete should be well suited.
The following methods will reduce the risk of debonding, where the bonded screed thickness is greater than 40mm:
- The best method is to add additives to the floor screed in order to avoid cracks in it.
- You can prevent shrinkage by using fine concrete screed. As a matter of fact, it has been successfully utilised up to 75 mm in thickness.
Bonded Calcium Sulphate Pump-able Self-smoothing Screed:
At Liquid Screed, we suggest having an average thickness of 25mm for pump-able self-smoothing screeds. A maximum thickness of 80mm is quoted, thereby providing less restriction on the overall thickness. A depth of 40mm with tolerance of ±15mm is easily acceptable.
Unbonded Cement Sand Screed:
It is advised that the screed floor thickness should not be less than 50mm and be at least up to 70mm. Several reports mention that such screeds have high risks of curling and to prevent it the screed should be resistant across the joints or made thicker than 100mm.
It is recommended to have a minimum thickness of 20mm for the bonded screed which is very unlike self-levelling screed. There are fewer chances of this screed floor to debond as it has a concrete layer above or mesh reinforcement. This concrete layer or mesh support prohibits all chances of any cracks or curls.
The minimum screed thickness should be at least 100mm, but in order to prevent the risk of curling, consider increasing the depth to 150mm. You can focus on choosing the correct thickness for the screed by considering the following criteria:
- Type of traffic on the floor
- Drying out dampness in screed
- Balanced layer of the floor
In order to obtain a perfect screed of any type it is essential to firstly craft a proper base. For instance, a structural concrete base should include at least 300kg/m3 of cement. Some flooring requires to be grouted before screed is placed so make sure to follow the appropriate process. Sometimes additional units are required to be placed, as it is important to avoid any damage.
Liquid Screed takes up the effort of preparing the right combination of the base in order to achieve quality results. We also ensure that all debris and dirt is cleared by using vacuum equipment so that the place is crystal clear!
Screed Floor: Application Process
The process of applying liquid screed flooring is complex, and in order to achieve a quality end result, the process needs to be conducted in an organised and professional manner.
In the process, the screed is either bonded directly to the base or laid unbonded onto an appropriate moist-proof covering that is placed above the slab. On the other hand, it is also installed as a floating finish on a rigid insulation material. This procedure of application is appropriate with cast-in water pipes, in order to offer underfloor heating.
However, if reinforcement is needed, this can be either in the form of a fine metal mesh or fine glass mesh. The screed can be either left as finished or floated to craft a smooth, levelled surface to lay a specific floor finish.
In comparison to site mixed screeds, ready-mixed screeds offer additional quality assurance, as well as are a more reliable material. These can also be used in conjunction with underfloor heating systems, wherein only a minimum of 30mm cover of pipes is required.
Once the mix has been optimally laid, it is vital to keep that particular area tidy, in order to attain a smooth surface which gives your floor a professional finish.
We at Liquid Screed can assist you with the screed application process as we are a highly qualified floor screeding contractor. We also have an exceptional track record in not only delivering the projects on time, but also completing them within our client’s budget.
Liquid Screed: Why Choose Us?
At Liquid Screed, we provide our screed flooring services all across the country. We have 17 well-established branches all over England, and we are proud to be continuing to expand further into more cities around the country.
We provide consultation for homes and building contractors and even UK wide developers. However big or small your project, we will find the right solution for you, and will treat every one of our highly valued customers with equal regard.
As well as providing guidance on your flooring project, we also offer detailed advice to our clients in selecting the right type of screed for their premise, underfloor heating solutions and an aftercare guide as well. Liquid Screed provides the best suggestions after complete analysis of the existing situation of our client.
Along with supplying underfloor heating solutions we also offer flowing screed, which is one of the most advanced screeds supplied across the UK. Unlike traditional screed, flowing screed is easier to apply and dries more quickly than other type of screed. This limits the total amount of time the project will take and minimises your labour costs. The conductivity of screed makes it more economical and compatible to use with floors, especially with underfloor heating. Lastly, it is designed to cater every developer’s needs.
If you are looking for a varying array of floor screeds and professional advice on a flooring project of any sorts, Liquid Screed is your one stop shop! In case you have any queries, you can definitely request us for a call back on 0800 888 6663 or drop in an email at email@example.com.