How to choose the right floor screed for your project
Is the floor in your building not level?
Whilst it might not seem like a big deal, uneven floors are dangerous in the home – particularly for children and elderly people who are vulnerable to falls. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that slips and trips account for a large proportion of accidents in the workplace too.
Wondering what you can do to reduce the risk of such hazards in your home or workplace? The answer is simple – apply a layer of floor screed.
What is the purpose of floor screed?
Traditionally, floor screed is a blended mixture of sand and cement that’s poured over the top of the subfloor to remove any impurities – providing a perfectly smooth, level floor. This is process is better known as ‘floor screeding’.
Although screeds are primarily used to level uneven surfaces, they can also be used to encase underfloor heating pipes, absorbing and radiating heat effectively to eliminate any hot or cold spots within the room.
What are the different types of floor screed?
There are two main types of floor screeds used.
- Sand and cement screeds
- Liquid screeds
Conventional sand and cement floor screeds are made using a strong mix – usually 1:3 cement to sharp sand – giving it a fairly dry, almost powdery consistency. This would typically be prepared on-site, but shoveling sand and cement into a mixer is time-consuming and prone to inconsistency, which is why most sites opt to use ready-mixed screeds that are delivered by a tipper vehicle.
Liquid screeds are self-compacting. Many manufacturers claim that they dry faster, even in adverse conditions, and can be tiled with little to no surface preparation. Liquid floor screeds are also underfloor heating (UFH) compatible. The screed flows around the pipes to form a void-free finish, helping to maximize underfloor heating performance.
Which type of floor screed is best?
To determine the best product for your floor screening project, you need to carefully consider your project requirements and the pros and cons of the different types of floor screeds available.
For example, if you’re on a budget and need your floor screeding, a sand and cement floor screed is ideal as it’s cheaper to produce and have delivered than liquid screeds.
If time is of the essence and you need to apply the final floor covering as soon as possible, it’s worth opting for a quick-drying sand and cement floor screed, like the one JCW Floor Screeding supply. This uses special additives to speed up the drying process, allowing site traffic to resume sooner.
Reinforced floor screed is another type of sand and cement screed that uses polypropylene fibers or metal mesh to minimize cracking and curling, which often occurs once the screed has dried.
Whilst both types of screed can be used for UFH systems, liquid screed really comes into its own when used to encase the electric elements or water pipes. As it fills the space around joins and gaps, heat is distributed more evenly, offering greater thermal efficiency.
Need an expert opinion?
If you’re new to floor screeding and can’t decide which type of screen is best for your project, don’t panic. The team at JCW Floor Screeding is always on hand to guide and advise you, ensuring you make an informed decision.
You can either speak to them directly over the phone by calling 01204 387 029 or send an email to [email protected]
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