Screeding – Getting the Mix Right
Hi, my name is Andy Parkin. I am the Managing Director of the Multi-Award Winning Speed Screed. I want to talk to you about screeding and how to get the mix right for your project.
What is the right screeding mix?
Well, in a nutshell, you need to make sure that the mix is properly blended in exactly the right proportion. Sounds logical? It is. It is important, though, to consider the final use of the floor to and what options are available with regard to the amount of space at your location and the time you have to complete the project.
When laying screed, site mixing is an efficient way of making sure you get the right mix as long as the workers doing the blending are skilled. If not it might be well worth considering using ready-mixed products. However, if you are happy to go ahead and mix your own here are some of the main methods for mixing:
Mixing by hand
This is only really suitable when you are screeding small areas. Hand mixing screed is labour intensive and also hard work and even in the most skilled hands errors can occur which will take its toll when it comes to final quality. For bigger projects, you would need to look at some of the other mixing options.
Free Fall Mixers
Screeders will often look at using these machines to mix the screed on site. If you are going to be screeding using general mixes which are fluid (like general concrete) these machines are fine, however, if you are using screed the machines can often produce poor quality mixes which will not stand up to very much wear and tear.
Forced action mixing
Forced action mixing machines are economical and also extremely efficient if you need to produce a lot of screed on site. These are great when adding other things to the mixture too, ensuring that everything is completely combined. There are two types of forced action mixers:
Screed Pumps: These are favoured by screeders looking to lay large areas so you often find them when there are larger screeding projects underway.
Pan mixers: These are a more portable form of forced action mixer and are really useful when screeding at smaller sites where space is too limited to allow for larger equipment.
Ready-mix always provide a good consistent mix and are helpful for smaller sites or those where storage is a problem. Something to consider here is the logistics of getting the mix to site on time to avoid any loss of time (and money).
Whatever mix you choose always be sure to leave the right amount of drying time before you allow traffic on the area. The area should be kept free of all traffic for 24-48 hours and heavy traffic should be banned from the area until the final flooring layer is applied.
I hope this has given you some valuable insights into the mixing process. We’ve several other articles on screeding on our knowledge centre, be sure to check them out. Please contact us, we love to help.