Concrete Floor Screed

Concrete floor screed – is it the one for your project?

I’m Andy Parkin, Managing Director of the Multi-Award Winning Speed Screed. I’m here to talk about  Concrete Floor Screed?

Everyone knows what concrete is, but how many people understand the difference between screed and concrete?  Although many people think they’re the same, they do have some differences.  Both concrete and screed are used widely in the construction industry but outside of that people really don’t know much about them.

Concrete floor screed – it’s all in the mix

If you look at the ingredients used to make concrete and screed they are pretty much the same:

This similarity means that most homeowners don’t really understand the difference, however, it is important to be aware of what these are because each is more suited to a set of particular tasks.

Telling the difference between concrete and screed can be done in a few different ways by looking at:

  • Use case
  • Composition
  • Physical appearance
  • Thickness of application
  • Consistency
  • Application methods

So let’s look at each of these in turn.

Use Cases

Concrete floor screed can be less coarse than concrete, making it great as a finishing but unsuitable for construction tasks.  It is generally therefore used on pre-existing concrete floors so that the finished area is level and smooth.


How ingredients are combined will give you a good idea of what job the mix is suitable for.  Plain concrete generally uses a large grade of aggregates which is quite coarse; it is therefore much stronger than screed.  On the other hand, concrete floor screed is generally finer.  This makes each material suitable for its own specific purpose.

Physical appearance

Plain concrete and concrete floor screed are noticeably different in appearance.  Concrete is always a lot rougher because of the aggregates used, you can see this easily even when it is wet because the aggregates are anywhere up to 20mm in size.  Concrete floor screed generally will contain a smaller grading of aggregate and is generally higher.

Thickness of application

Concrete is usually applied a lot thicker than screed – 100mm is the lowest thickness for domestic use but it can go up to 200mm where hard wear is expected.  Concrete will provide a good, sturdy base for flooring.  Concrete floor screed would be laid at around 75mm thickness on average and after it has been placed it is compressed and looks much smoother than plain concrete.

Application Method

When laying concrete specialist equipment is always necessary, and in most cases needs pumping into place.  For concrete floor screed, similar equipment may be required depending on the specification of the mix.


Concrete can be wetter than screed which looks semi-dry (apart from structural versions of concrete floor screed).  However, the screed should not be so dry it crumbles and attention should be paid to keeping the consistency correct.

In Summary

While similar materials are used to make concrete and concrete floor screed you need to choose the best one for your needs.  The above pointers should make this much easier but we are always on hand to give advice so please do get in touch.

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