When looking to install underfloor heating, there’s one particular type of concrete that industry professionals rely on: screed.
At Wright Minimix we have decades of experience in producing quality screed for installations of all shapes and sizes, and know very well where it suits and where it falls short.
However, screed is less well known in general circles. Knowing how effective it can be, especially when it comes to underfloor heating, we decided to talk you through with a guide on what screed is and why it’s perfect for this job specifically.
What is Screed?
Screed is a type of mortar that lends itself to surface level installations, due to its ability to produce a smooth, flat surface – perfect for then installing flooring such as carpet, laminate or hardwood.
It’s usually made with very fine grade sand, giving it a malleable, liquid-like property that makes it easy to pour into ‘molds’ – while it also dries relatively quickly, making it suitable for projects that need to maintain a speedy pace towards completion.
It typically sits above a hard concrete base, which lies at the bottom of the installation providing a solid surface to pour the screed into. There are many types of screed, but most installations are completed with one of two types: semi-dry screed or liquid screed, with each having differing advantages and disadvantages.
Semi-dry screed is the traditional form – using a mix of sand and cement at varying ratios depending on the job at hand, usually at 3:1 or 4:1. Water is then added, bringing the screed to life and creating a smooth consistency.
It’s best applied with expert hands – as this form is less malleable, meaning it needs an experienced installer to help level off and provide the professional finish that you are looking for. Trowels and other flat-edged tools are perfect here, while you can also add Polypropylene fibres to increase the strength of the mixture.
Often referred to as self-levelling screed or flowing screed, this form of the material has far less viscosity and exhibits liquid qualities far more closely. This is great as it does not require the use of professional hands or tools to level it off – due to the liquid qualities the material simply levels off itself.
Liquid screed often takes less preparation too, as you are able to pour it directly on to the surface you’re working with without having to mix with water – while it then dries much quicker, allowing you to press on with the project.
What Makes Screed Good for Underfloor Heating?
While the use of a particular type of screed will depend on the unique requirements of your project, it is undoubtedly the best for this type of installation due to the universal qualities of all types of screed.
The nature of the material means once the underfloor heating systems are in place, you can pour the screed directly over the top of it – filling up the mold, encasing the pipework and levelling out to a perfectly smooth floor on the surface.
The fact that there are no air pockets in this method means that heat from the underfloor piping reaches the room as efficiently as possible.
However, there are mistakes to be made here that you should be sure to avoid. Part of commissioning the underfloor heating system is turning it on for the first time, allowing the heat from the system to speed up the drying of the screed around it – but if this is done too early, you could end up with cracks in the material, leaving you with extra tasks to complete.
The material has increased malleability, but as a result, is significantly less strong than traditional concrete.
Wright Minimix Quality Screed
If you’re looking for a professional, vastly experienced trade company to help you with your underfloor heating systems, look no further than Wright Minimix. We’re ready to provide any type of screed for your unique installation – why not give us a call on 0117 958 2090.