Floor Screeding Options – From Domestic Applications to Heavy Duty Industrial

Floor screeding is used to level ad prepare surfaces for a final floor coating. In domestic environments, screed is normally topped with tiling, carpet or a raised wooden floor – while industrial applications may simply paint and seal the screed, depending on its purpose.

In domestic situations, two types of floor screeding are used – bonded and unbounded. Bonded screeding occurs when a bonding agent has been correctly applied to the surface over which the screed will be laid. The bonding agent is designed to minimise the amount of screed you need – and so is ideal for applications where a full screed depth (traditionally 50mm) is too much for the finished article.

Bear in mind that most domestic floor screeding installations will, as noted, be tiled or carpeted. Using a bonding agent allows you to level the floor with screed, without pushing up the total height of the floor – a consideration especially where re-laying of floors is concerned, as the project will almost certainly be lifting the original level of the home’s flooring.

Floor screeding is often required where under floor heating is installed. The heating pipes are installed over the existing level of the floor, which is then levelled using a quick drying screed. The heating pipes are contained within the new floor. Underlay and carpet, or adhesive and tile, are then overlaid

Industrial floor screeding applications may need to take a number of extra factors into account. A load bearing screed is used where extremely heavy foot and vehicle traffic is expected; or in warehouses where specific areas of the installation may be required to bear a certain weight. This is common (for instance) where heavy racking units are placed. Structural screed need not be used on every square inch of this type of insulation – any more than chemically resistant compounds and finishes are required over the whole square footage of a warehouse floor.

Industrial floor screeding is often painted using anti corrosive or chemically resistant finishes. You may also require a bactericidal finish, particularly where the floor screeding is done in breakout and hygiene related areas. The finished screed may be sealed with a clear polymer to prevent scratches or water ingress.

Traditional floor screeding can be a laborious process – and requires the greatest minimum thickness of screed as well. A modern free flowing screed may be used in place of a traditional screed where appropriate. Free flowing screed is applied and dries much faster than traditional screed – but it does require a longer preparation time, which should be factored into the equation.

It may be necessary to reinforce your floor screeding, again particularly if you are screeding over a large area. Reinforcements are introduced into the fabric of the screed as a layer of mesh or fibre. The reinforcement works in the same way as the steel bars in compressive cement – as the screed dries, the reinforcing fibres prevent the contracting compound from distorting or cracking.

It is important to understand the full set of requirements of your floor screeding project. If you need to use structural screed, or treat your screed for repelling bacteria, make sure you know before you begin.
Screeding, floor screeding.

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