Standard Floor Screed
I’m Andy Parkin, Managing Director of the Multi-Award Winning Speed Screed. I’m here to talk about floor screed.
There are a number of different types of floor screed available which are designed to fit multiple use cases. The overarching aim is to level a surface and make it ready to receive the tiles, carpet, vinyl or other floor coverings.
The traditional floor screed is a mix of cement and sand and is placed as a layer which can be used to support a final floor surface. The main thing to remember here is that the way the screed can be laid varies and that will depend on the area where it is placed and its intended use. We will cover some of these differences here.
- Bonded – sits directly on the base layer.
- Unbonded – sits on a membrane placed between the screed and the base layer
- Floating – sits on an insulation layer and a membrane placed between the screed and the base layer
Just as different types of floor screed are suited for different uses, the bonding method will also change accordingly.
Different types of Floor Screed
Reinforced screed – The screed is reinforced using polypropylene fibres or metal mesh to reduce the risk of cracking and curling that can occur as the floor screed dries. It is useful for placing a final flooring layer.
Floor levelling screed – this floor screed contains additives that enable it to self-level to a certain extent making less work for the screeder. These screeds are often delivered ready-mixed and pumped directly onto a well-prepared surface increasing the speed of application and reducing the amount of waste.
Fast-drying screed – this screed is manufactured using special additives to speed drying. It is good for use in areas where a reduction in downtime is paramount and is often used in commercial, industrial and hospital settings. Traditional floor screeds take weeks to dry before you can consider placing the final floor and this will increase if the environmental conditions are poor. With fast drying screed you can reduce that time considerably. It is also available as a reinforced screed for areas of extremely heavy use making it very popular in modern construction projects.
Floor screed for underfloor heating – more and more homeowners are opting for underfloor heating which uses electric elements or water pipes to heat the space. When installing underfloor heating systems the elements or pipes are encased in a layer of floating floor screed which incorporates the thermal insulation layer. A good quality screed should be used for this if the potential of the heating system is to be maximised.
How thick should the floor screed be?
This will always be dependent on screed used. As a general guide for a traditional 1:4 screed the following minimum thicknesses apply:
- Bonded screed: 25mm
- Unbonded screed: 50mm
- Floating screed: 65mm
- Underfloor heating screed thickness: 65mm
These are just some of the applications for floor screed; if you need more information about your individual case use please contact us – we will be happy to help.