Choosing a floor screed is like looking at a restaurant menu. With the variety of options available, it is easy to get confused. Some terms may be new to you, which makes the selection process more complicated. In making the process simpler, you need to begin by keeping in mind where you will apply the screed. These are types of screed that are best used for new construction, while there are kinds that work best for improvements over existing flooring. This article provides you with more information on how to best select a floor screed for your needs.
What makes liquid screed different from an ordinary cement mix?
Why is liquid screed preferable over ordinary cement? Here are some of the reasons:
- Floor screeding contractors spend less on labour.
- If you are installing underfloor heating, using liquid screed is more compatible.
- You can apply screed in thin layers; hence, allowing you to even out the surface.
- Screed is less prone to shrinkage, unlike cement.
- Cement cracks quite easily, while you can reinforce screed, so it does not crack.
The primary difference between screed and cement mixture is the ingredients. While screed also contains cement, it uses a finer aggregate and has higher water content. Although both are comparable in strength, the smoothness of screed has a better overall appearance.
Type of flooring installed over the screed
One essential factor to consider in choosing the kind of liquid screed is the flooring you will install. If you are using tiles, for example, your choice will have a significant impact on the result. If you are using anhydrite screed, you need to sand the surface before installing tiles. On the other hand, choosing liquid cement screed will not require sanding.
Different types of liquid screed
Here is a comparison of the common kinds of liquid screed used in most flooring construction:
- Bonded screed. If your home is susceptible to moisture or water damage, the bonded screed is best. This type of screed is also better for thin applications. In applying bonded screed, a bonding agent is applied to the concrete base to maximize bonding with the mixture.
- Unbonded screed. Instead of directly applying the screed mixture on the concrete base, a layer of plastic separates the surfaces. The purpose of adding a layer of plastic is to prevent cracking and protect from moisture.
- Polymer floor screed. Liquid screed that contains polymers has a high concentration of adhesive. The additives will ensure that even if the mixture is thin, chemicals and moisture will not leach out.
With every floor screed installation, it is essential to understand how long it takes to cure the material. Timing will vary depending on the ratio of additives added into the mixture. The higher the additives, the longer it takes for the screed to set and dry. If you are planning to remodel a large area in your home, it is best to hire a professional who can install the screed and flooring correctly. Look for a contractor with extensive experience in working with different types of liquid screed.