Floor screed is a construction material used to create level surfaces. It is typically made from a mixture of cement, sand, water, and sometimes lime. Floor screed is usually poured over a subfloor to provide a smooth and even surface on which to install ceramic tiles, stone slabs or timber planks. Screed can be applied by hand or with the use of a machine, ensuring a professional and high-quality finish.
To help you better understand the importance of this material, here is your quick crash course on floor screed.
What is it made of?
There are a variety of materials that can be used to make floor screed. As mentioned before, this can include cement and sand. However, other ingredients may also be added in order to modify the properties of the screed. This includes plasticisers or accelerators.
There are two main types of floor screed: bonding and unbonded. Bonded screed is mixed with a bonding agent before it is applied to the surface. This helps to create a strong bond between the screed and the subfloor.
As the name suggests, unbonded screed does not have the same bonding agent as it is not usually attached to the concrete slab underneath. Rather, it is typically applied on the polythene layer or damp-proof membrane (DPM) that is on top of the prepared concrete.
What is the purpose of screed?
Floor screeding is often used to level out uneven floors, or to raise the level of a floor to meet the threshold of a door.
Screed is also used to fill in any undulations or irregularities on the surface of the concrete, providing a flat and level foundation for your flooring. Without screed, your flooring would not lay evenly and would be at risk of cracking or breaking.
Polymer-based screeds can also be used for water resistance, durability, and to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. This is a great option if you are looking for a long-lasting and resilient flooring solution in an area that is prone to moisture. In addition, some screeds also offer some level of thermal insulation.
By adding pigments to the mixture, screed can be made in any colour you like, allowing you to achieve the perfect finish for your flooring. There are a variety of pigments available, so you can find the perfect shade to match your style and décor.
Pros and cons of floor screed:
There are several benefits to using floor screed. One is that it dries quickly. This means it can be used soon after it is poured. This can be helpful when the workers are under time-pressure during construction.
Additionally, great quality screeding can help make various aspects of home maintenance a lot easier. With a smooth and level screening, jobs like bathroom renovations and timber floor sanding will be a lot easier to conduct.
That being said, there are also some drawbacks to using floor screed. One is that it is not always strong enough to support heavy loads. This means that it may not be suitable for use in high traffic areas or for bearing heavyweight machinery. Another issue with floor screed is that it can shrink as it dries, which can cause cracks to form.
Overall, floor screed has both advantages and disadvantages. Its fast-drying nature and ability to level uneven surfaces make it ideal for use in many construction projects. However, its lack of strength and potential for shrinkage means that it is not suitable for all applications.
In order to make sure that your floor is as good as it can be, screed should only be applied by a professional. If you are considering using floor screed in your next construction project, be sure to consult with a professional to ensure that it is the right material for your needs.