What is Floor Screed?
Traditional floor screed is a mixture of sand and cement that is used as a floor layer which tiles, laminate, vinyls, carpet and wood flooring are placed on top of. It is applied similar to that of plaster to a wall with a trowel and water, leaving a smooth finish. There are different types of floor screed used in different applications depending upon the situation. The most popular types/descriptions of floor screed are:
- Bonded floor screed is where the screed is laid onto a surface that has been prepared in such a way as to maximise the bond between layers; this is used typically for thinner layers where heavy load is expected.
- Unbonded floor screed is, as it sounds, not bonded to the concrete layer beneath but on top of, usually, a damp proof membrane (DPM).
- Floating (flowing) floor screed is a type of unbonded screed that is used over thermal or acoustic insulation. This type of screed is becoming popular as the importance of thermal insulation in particular grows, especially with new build properties. Floating screed is also frequently used over underflooring heating pipes.
- Sand and cement screed is the traditional method of screeding a floor comprising of 3-5 parts sharp sand to 1 part cement. This type of screed can be used as bonded or unbonded floor screed.
Why Screed a Floor?
Floor screed is a very effective way of leveling out a concrete floor for applying the final layer of flooring, such as carpets, laminate. It is also frequently used over insulation and pipework that is to go under the floor. A use that is becoming more popular is to cover underfloor heating; floor screed can have enough water content to be a very thermally efficient solution,