Skip to content
Home » What’s the Difference Between Screed & Concrete?

What’s the Difference Between Screed & Concrete?

Screed is a thin upper layer of material laid over a base of concrete. It is made up of the combination of water, cement and sharp sand. Screed can be used to create a smoother surface and more durable in preparation for the application of a floor.

Although not as robust than the subfloor concrete that it protects, it boosts the durability of the floor and enhances its appearance. It’s perfect to cover pipes underfloor and creating a level surface for different floorings, including vinyl, laminates, tiling carpets, floorboards, carpets and even stone.

There are three primary kinds of screeds that are floating, bonded and unbonded. The kind of screed you choose is dependent upon the kind of base concrete and your needs. Each kind has its own unique applications, but you require an appropriate foundation in order to make the most any type of screed you select.

In addition to the various types of screed described below, wearing and reinforced screeds are utilized for particular uses. Reinforced screed is made of polypropylene, glass fibres, or a metal mesh for added durability. Wearing screed is the strongest kind and is an ultimate top layer without needing to put in other flooring, such as tiles or carpets. This kind of screed is made to withstand the most wear and tear, and usually requires additional aggregates in order to ensure it is more durable. Wearing screed is often found in industrial areas including power stations and warehouses in which there is a requirement for a low-cost, durable flooring.

Here are some more details on the three kinds of screed.

Bonded Screed

The screed that is bonded is directly attached with the subfloor of concrete (substrate) using an adhesive. It is made by creating the concrete’s surface rough and then bonding agent. It is ideally suited for applications in which heavy loading is anticipated and has a thickness of between 15mm and 50mm, however 25-40mm is the ideal. Prior to bonding screed, you have to clean the area thorough cleaning.

Unbonded Screed

Unbonded screed is placed on top of a PVC/dampproof membrane that separates its concrete base. It’s a good choice for constructions where damp poses an issue. When using unbonded screed, it’s essential to keep an eye on the process of drying because when it is drying too fast its edges may be distorted. This kind of screed is suitable for thicknesses of more than 50mm.

A Floating Screed

Floating screeds can be unbounded and are usually used in conjunction with an acoustic thermal layer. Because it is not bound it is recommended to add the membrane either below or over an insulation layer especially if it uses silver foil backing. Floating screed needs at least 65mm of thickness or up to 75mm on flooring that is heavily loaded.

What are the uses of Screed?

Uneven floors may have issues in structural integrity after the top floor layer is put in place, therefore installing screed is a way to avoid these issues. Screed can be used to safeguard the concrete subfloor and withstand the rigors of the heavy footfall. Additionally, it has great insulation properties, making it the most popular flooring option for floors that have heated underfloor systems.

Screeds are made of 1:13 or 1:4.5 ratio of sharp sand to cement. Self-smoothing or “levelling” screed tends to be less the depth than a wearable screed, and adds to the structural strength of the flooring. Before you lay screed, clean the floor by cleaning the area of any dirt. After it is laid – and based on the type of screed, it can take between 16 and 2 days for it to dry and cure however, you must remain longer than you can for the best endurance.

How much screed you need will depend on factors like the dimensions as well as the unevenness of your flooring and the intention behind your undertaking. A screed calculator will help you determine how much you’ll need.

What kinds of projects does Screed Ideally Work For?

Screed Essex can be located in commercial facilities as well as schools, hospitals as well as airports and housing however it is also used in any environment with flooring that is internal. It is regarded as one of the most effective materials for heating underfloor systems. Screed is also great to soundproof residential homes between floors as well as other structures susceptible to sound transmission.

Screed is a great choice for the flooring’s final layer for those who wish to achieve an industrial appearance. It is possible to add an attractive finish by either applying screed directly to the floor or by using a stencil throughout its curing procedure.

What’s the difference between Screed and Concrete?

Concrete is more coarse than screed as it has bigger aggregates and it has a different quality of cement. There are flecks of stone and gravel in a mix of concrete, however screed has a smoother, appearance that resembles mortar. The method of making screed and concrete is a similar one, however concrete is intended to offer durability and strength while screed provides a smooth surface. This is the reason concrete requires greater, stronger aggregates to attain greater endurance and durability. Screeding is not a necessity but its smoothness assists in repairing irregular bases and improve the appearance of concrete.