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How to prepare your floor for liquid screed

Preparing liquid screed

 

As established concrete experts based in Bristol, Newport and Cheddar, we are ideally positioned to provide guidance on the best way to prepare for liquid screed.

Our Wrightflow Liquid screed flooring is designed to withstand even the most testing conditions and is ideal for customers looking to utilise their underfloor heating and save on their energy bills. The combination of materials, anti-crack and anti-shrink agents used in our liquid screed ensures you are left with only the highest quality concrete flooring and long-lasting results with a range of benefits.

However, this all relies on you undertaking the correct preparation work first. Find out how you can best prepare your site for liquid screed below or contact our team with any queries on 0117 958 2090.

Do you need help with your screeding project? 
We are the right people for you – let’s work together! Contact us on 0117 958 2090 today to get a quote or to find out more.

How to prepare your floor for liquid screed

 
  • Remove any debris from the sub floor.
  • Place insulation in 2 layers. Using dried sand to fill the void around pipes and ensure that this is level before installing the second layer of insulation board.
  • A membrane of 1000 gauge or thicker should be laid immediately under the pipework (above the insulation board) as a slip layer, and to prevent leakage of the screed before setting.
  • Install an edging strip around the edges and corners of the wall and attach securely.
  • Any shuttering across doorways or steps should be fully sealed with expanding foam or mastic to prevent leakage after laying but before setting. Pipe ducts or holes through walls also need to be sealed before placement of the liquid screed.

Wright Minimix - Liquid Screed

Wright Minimix - Liquid Screed

If you are installing liquid screed with underfloor heating

 
  • Install underfloor heating pipes and ensure that they are clipped every 400mm and more around bends. Make sure that the system is full of water prior to the liquid screed being laid. This avoids the pipework floating to the surface of the screed.
  • If you are using an ‘eggbox’ type pipe system, the membrane should be laid under the eggbox, and you should avoid using small off-cuts of eggbox to avoid any possibility of floating.
  • The minimum cover above underfloor heating pipes is 30mm therefore minimum screed thickness is normally 50mm when using a 16mm UFH pipe.

Common mistakes to avoid when preparing for liquid screed

 

Measuring the space incorrectly

Often sub-floor slope or unevenness may cause unexpected differences in the overall floor level and in the quantity of screed required. It is the customer’s responsibility to measure each room/area appropriately.

You will need to consider critical features such as door openings, minimum thicknesses/cover and required differentials in floor height between rooms. These must be agreed prior to installation and marked on the wall above the level of the finished screed so that they are present for comparison should a disagreement be raised about finished floor levels.

Any such disagreement must be brought to our attention within 48 hours of the screed being laid. Should these marks be removed or altered prior to any investigations then we will not be held accountable for any level issues.

Ordering less screed than required

Should extra liquid screed be required over that originally ordered and a separate delivery needed, the client will be charged extra costs,  so it is essential that a proper estimate is made by the client to avoid this.

Do you have any other questions about preparation for our liquid screed? Don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our team will be glad to answer your queries on 0117 958 2090.

Do you have any liquid screed requirements? 
We are the right people for you – let’s work together! Contact us on 0117 958 2090 today to get a quote or to find out more.

News
Pouring your Concrete in Winter
12th January 2022

As suppliers of concrete, screed and mixing services in the South, at Wright Minimix we know all too well the trials and tribulations involved with pouring concrete during the winter months.

In the UK, it’s hard to know whether it will be sun, rain, cloud, or snow on any given day, which makes it difficult to prepare for your concrete pour – however, our vast experience in the industry has allowed us to become as best prepared as possible, so that we can make sure you know exactly what to do regardless of the weather you’re confronted with.

Assess the temperature

There are a few important breakpoints that you should make sure to remember, as they could have a huge effect on the quality of your concrete pour.

Below five degrees Celsius, concrete is considered to be subjected to cold temperatures – at this level, it should never be left out in the open air for more than 24 hours, as this could cause the water in the concrete mix to fail to make the critical chemical reactions that give concrete its signature strength.

It would be wise to take precautions in such a situation, such as leaving the concrete insulated overnight – thermal blankets can absorb the heat emitted by the concrete as the curing process takes place, serving to keep it above that 5-degree breakpoint.

Frost and freezing

While the five degrees benchmark does begin to cause some problems with the integrity of your concrete pour, it’s when temperatures stray below this number that serious precautions need to be taken – in order to prevent wasted materials, wasted company time and an unsatisfactory concrete pour.

Freshly poured concrete must be prevented from freezing for at least 24 hours, making it vitally important to keep a close eye on the temperature for not only the day that the concrete is poured, but the following 24 hours too.

As water is the main component of concrete, the appearance of any ice crystals on your concrete could spell very bad news – when water freezes into ice, it expands, and when this happens within your concrete mix it disrupts the critical hydration process.

When this occurs, it leaves your concrete with up to 50% of the strength it should have had – rendering it unsafe to use in any build, but perilous when part of a large-scale project.

Another important check to make is for frost, especially within your trenches and cavities. In these sheltered spots, it’s easier for frost to accumulate unnoticed – and if concrete is poured on top, it could lead to not only an uneven pour, but the freezing of concrete as it makes contact with the frozen surface.

Choose Wright Minimix this Winter

In order to keep track of these varying factors, we highly recommend having a checklist or company protocol for when you are confronted with cold temperatures when on a job. This way, you can be as prepared as Wright Minimix!

If you would like to explore our services further, you can check out the rest of our website – and to book in Wright Minimix for your premium, local, concrete pouring service you can call our friendly team today, on 0117 958 2090.

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Screed and Underfloor Heating
25th October 2021

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

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.

Liquid

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.

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What is Quikrete and how do you use it?
29th September 2021

Quikrete is an all-purpose, do-it-yourself fast setting concrete, perfect for consumers trying to save money, time and energy on concrete work or repairs.

Selling itself as ‘easy to make and apply with just one set of hands’, this concrete mix attempts to take the power away from contractors and heavy machinery, and put it in the hands of the homeowner.

For example, the passing of the seasons often leaves its marks on concrete structures, with fluctuating temperatures causing expansion, retraction and as a result, cracking.

Quikrete allows just one person with a paintbrush to remedy the issue, with little to no hassle. You can even give other worn out areas a brush up, replenishing that newly laid look.

How do you use Quikrete?

Using Quikrete is much easier for the individual than working with traditional concrete. While most concrete is incredibly tough to mix, especially without the expertise or machinery, Quikrete have a simple to follow formula that will have your projects roaring along in no time.

As a general rule, mix one part water with five parts mix, and you’ll have perfect Quikrete – it may take some experimentation, but once it has a consistency like that of modelling clay, you’ll know it’s ready to go.

Quikrete vs Ready Mix Concrete

Ready mix is the go-to for many people working on concrete projects. Mixed by professionals and delivered to site, it takes away both the need to hand mix and the pressure of getting your mix absolutely spot on.

As well as being vastly experienced in the trade, professionals have access to industry machinery that will always produce a higher standard of concrete than achievable at home.

Professional services can listen to your needs and specifications, and hours later have the exact concrete mix you needed for your project. So why use an alternative like Quikrete?

When buying ready mix, you get what you pay for – professional concrete for professional prices, with all the equipment that comes with it.

When it comes to smaller projects, Quikrete will do a proficient job – without the need to spend big, or stress over getting heavy machinery onto your property. In addition, Quikrete makes touching up cracks or worn out spots incredibly easy.

However, for larger projects and that professional finish – there is no substitute for industry experience.

Wright Minimix – The South West’s Leading Ready Mix Concrete Supplier

For specialist advice and premium quality ready mix concrete, you can always rely on Wright Minimix to deliver. With years of industry expertise and loyal customers across the region, why not give us a call on 01179 582090 to discuss your ready mix concrete needs.

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Why Build a Concrete House?
17th June 2021

Concrete – it’s a grey, dull substance. But it can make beautiful homes. Chosen for its durability, versatility, and easy transport to site, concrete is a popular choice for people looking to build or extend their home. 

But this time, we’re not talking about the concrete blocks that are commonly used to construct properties and housing estates. 

Poured and precast concrete is one of the most popular new ways to build a house, with more people saying goodbye to concrete blocks, and opting for the angled lines and soft curves of concrete-filled custom-made moulds. 

Additives are usually added to the standard concrete mix to give it more favourable properties. Thanks to the reinforced mix, concrete houses are more energy efficient, more insect and mould resistant, and more disaster resistant than houses made from standard building materials. 

The fact that concrete houses are more expensive doesn’t put people off. That’s because properties made from concrete are more cost-effective in the long run – think lower energy bills, and less maintenance and upkeep. 

Combined with industrial-esque glass and steel, concrete is the perfect choice for people that not only want to make a statement, but for people who want to be more environmentally friendly when it comes to heating, and constructing their home. 

Wright Minimix provides concrete pumping services

It goes without saying that if you’re going to build a property made entirely from concrete, you’ll need a concrete pump. At Wright Minimix, we have six concrete pumps available, meaning we can service all scales of concrete pumping. 

If you’re looking to contract a concrete pumping company, get in touch with Wright Minimix team. They’ll be able to advise you on the concrete mix and pump required to complete the project and provide a fast and reliable concrete pumping service. Give the team a call on 0117 958 2090.
 

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