Posted on

construction worker levelling out floor with screed

When undertaking a construction project, there are many different materials that will need to be sourced in order for the project to be completed to the standard required. Concrete is likely to play an important role, however one material that you may not have heard of before is screed. What is screed in construction and why is it important for certain projects? Let’s find out. 

What Is Screed In Construction?

Screed is a thin layer of material that’s laid on top of a concrete subfloor. It is usually made of cement and sharp sand, however coarse aggregates can also be added to create a thicker layer for industrial purposes. Screed and concrete can often be confused as they are both technically made out of a cement mixture. However, the main difference between the two is that concrete is coarser and stronger whilst screed provides a smooth finish. 

What Are The Different Types Of Screed?

Now that we’ve established the answer to “what is screed in construction”, let’s take a look at the three main types and their applications.

Bonded: As the name suggests, “bonded” screed is applied directly to the concrete base using a bonding agent. This type is most commonly applied to concrete that’s under continuous construction or that undergoes heavy loading applications. It may also be used for flooring in underfloor heating systems. 

Unbonded: On the contrary, unbonded screed is not bonded to the main structure. Instead it is placed on top of a damp-proof membrane that helps to reduce shrinkage and moisture from collecting. 

Floating: Screeds can also be used as a floating layer of insulation, either on their own or in conjunction with other floor insulation. This is mainly used where underfloor heating is present, however it can also be applied when acoustic or thermal insulation is used. Due to its insulating properties, this is often the thickest of all the screeds.

What’s The Importance Of Using Screed?

Screed is usually an important part of any construction project that requires a floor to be laid. The primary purpose is to level out the flooring, providing a flat surface for decorative or additional flooring layers to be applied. However, that’s not it’s only benefit. Floor screed, like floating types can help to provide insulation, and screeds can also be used to enhance the properties of underfloor heating systems, ensuring the heat is able to travel through the floor and into the rest of the property effectively.The material is hardwearing and designed to be durable against constant wear and tear.  When required for industrial purposes, it can be modified to make it more robust. 

How Long Does It Take To Install?

As we highlighted when discussing “what is screed in construction”, there are many different applications for this crucial construction material. With this in mind, the process for installing floor screeds varies depending on the application. Before flooring can be applied on top of the screed it needs to be completely dry. This usually only takes a few days, however for robust screed used for industrial purposes this can take a matter of weeks to months. 

To hear more about the uses of different floor screeds, or for more information on how Al Manaratain can help supply materials for your construction project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.