By installing an underfloor heating (UFH) you can create a deliciously cosy underfoot sensation in any room of your house. It heats your house, keeps your feet warm whilst saving you money on your energy bills.
But, how can you ensure that you get the UFH in your house right? Use of the right floor screed can not only help you in getting it right, but also in attaining its longevity that your premise deserves right from the beginning.
A floor screed comprises of simple mixture of water, ordinary cement and quality aggregate like sharp sand. Primarily, there are two types of floor screeds, which is traditional ‘dry’ screed and self-levelling screed. It is used to accommodate underfloor heating systems in your house. But, it can also be covered with decorative flooring solutions or left bare.
Typically, a screed is the concluding floor finish as it is robust and ensures evenness of the floor entailing sturdiness. Along with these favours, it also offers an environment which is conducive for installing UFH solutions.
Usually, a screed is laid as quickly as possible once the UFH is in place, partially to reduce the risk of damage to the pipe-work. It is recommended to pressure-test the systems for leaks well before the work begins. Maintaining the pressure is equally essential whilst laying the screed.
Once the screed has been laid, it is crucial that it is left to cure before it dries completely. This is mainly because curing (providing sufficient temperature, moisture and time to allow the screed to attain its desired properties) assists in its long-term performance.
Depending upon the suitability of the floor of your house, you have the freedom to experiment with different types of screeds. It is better to seek professional opinion before you arrive upon a decision on the application of varying screeds, in order to cater your needs.
Listed below are some of the common screed types to ensure that you make the right decision:
This is a traditional mix of coarse sand and cement, generally in a 4:1 ratio. This is an idyllic final floor finish that can be used for various floor coverings, such as laminates and tiles.
Despite the name, it still needs an amount of water in order to reach the necessary consistency. It is crucial that dry screed is well-mixed and well-compacted so it guards against damage.
If this screed is used with underfloor heating systems, then you should run your UFH at a low temperature to begin with. This assists in completing the dry before the system is run at higher temperatures.
Self-levelling screed is also known as liquid screed or flowing screed, which differs from the traditional screed mixture. It is simply poured on the floor which spreads out across the entire floor to attain a level finish.
This screed is easy and quick to use. It also assists in reducing the risk of unwelcome voids forming in the finished floor leading to a sturdier overall finish.
Screed is a crucial accomplice to UFH as it absorbs warmth from the underfloor pipe-work and radiates it into the room above. Also, the exceptional thermal mass in screed assists in maintaining comfort, evening temperature whilst reducing energy consumption and running expenses.