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What is Screed & Why Is It Important?

What is Screed & Why Is It Important?

19th Oct 2023

Screeding is absolutely essential during the subfloor preparation process and ensures that you have an adequate sub-floor before you continue the installation process. We have a wide range of screed and self-levelling compounds available at Floormart, ensuring that you are equipped to the fullest.

What is Screed?

Screed is most commonly used to level out a subfloor, especially one that is particularly uneven, to ensure that the floor is primed for your floor covering. There are a wide range of screeds available on the market, each designed to perform a unique job during the floor preparation process.

  • Self-Levelling Compounds -  A self-levelling compound is designed to level out uneven subfloors prior to the application of your floor coverings. A proper application of a self-levelling compound means that your floor will remain level, whilst providing a durable surface for years to come. 
  • Reinforced Screed - A reinforced screed, typically reinforced with fibres, is typically more hard wearing than typical screed and can be used to prevent issues such as cracking and/or shrinking.
  • Rapid-Set Screed - A rapid-set screed is most typically used when you are in a rush and need minimal downtime. With an extremely quick dry time, this is perfect in busy areas that experience high levels of foot-fall. 

How Long Does Screed Take to Dry?

A question that we get asked a lot is, how long does screed take to dry? The dry-time of screed can be very dependent upon what screed you are using. Some screeds can have a walk on time of 30 minutes, others can be hours. Depending on what job you are currently doing, will impact what screed you use which can have a knock-on effect on how long it takes for it to be ready to walk on. 

The Bostik Screedmaster SL C910 Speed 30 Rapid Set Self Levelling Compound is a perfect example of a self-levelling compound with an extremely fast dry time. The Bostik SL C910 self-levelling compound has a walk on time of just 30 minutes and is perfect for when you want to minimize potential downtime. 

So...the answer to the question "how long does screed take to to dry?" is it depends on what screed you use. We would highly recommend you check the specifications of the particular manufacturer/brand you are using as this will give you the most accurate information regarding the dry-time. 

How to Mix & Prepare your Screed for Installation?

The first step in preparing your screed prior to application is the mixing process. Ensuring a thorough and clean mix is essential in ensuring that your screed goes down without issue. When mixing screed it is also important to think about the ratios. Many of these flooring screed are ready to use, but the typical ratios of flooring screed that can be made - are 1:3 or 1:4.5 cement vs sharp sand. 

There are a variety of different ways that you can mix your screed, hand-mixers and mixing stations are amongst the most popular, each one is dependent on the size of your job and the amount your are due to mix. 

The Portamix Mega Hippo is a great example of a high quality, heavy duty, mixing station that has the capacity to mix a large amount of screed extremely efficiently. 15amp 2-speed motor and large ergonomic handle means that the Portamix Mega Hippo can confidently mix 5-6 bags at a time. This is absolutely perfect for more commercial applications, where there is a larger areas to cover. 

A big mixing station however is not always the answer...

When working in smaller, possibly more domestic areas, a more portable hand-mixer may be more appropriate for you. The range of Collomix Hand Mixers are a fantastic example of high quality mixers, that do not break the bank. The Collomix Xo1 Hand Mixer features outstanding ergonomics, a high speed motor and incredible ease of use - making it a great addition to any fitters kit. 

Once the screed has been mixed, the next step is the actual installation. There are a variety of different tools and methods that can be used to apply screed onto the subfloor. This is largely down to personal preference, but there are some stand-out products that make the installation of screed and self-levelling compound an absolute breeze. 

Screeding Trowels, a much more traditional method, are a fantastic option for smaller areas that require a little more attention to detail. For those who aren't fans of using a screeding trowel and getting down on their knees, there are tools such as the CAM Rake. The CAM Rake by Midwest Rakes, is a fantastic tool that is designed to aid you in the even distribution of screed across the subfloor. The unique CAM system allows for an extremely precise and consistent depth of screed when working with an uneven subfloor. One of the main benefits of the CAM Rake is the fact that you don't need to get down on your knee's to apply the screed, which can actually slow application process exponentially. By remaining stood up, simply pushing the rake across the subfloor, you can speed up the screed application process meaning you spend less time on each job - saving time and money. 

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