Liquid screed flooring is incredibly popular today and almost any contractor may claim to offer this as a service.
However, despite its relative ease and practicality as a material, you must still plan your projects carefully and take into consideration important best practices and industry standards when laying down liquid screed for your home renovation.
Using the Right Mixture
There are a few different types of mixtures you can use for your screed floor and adapting your processes to their specific characteristics is the best way to get the most from your flooring.
For example, some will be modified to be self-levelling and can dry much faster, while others will enable you to achieve thinner layers of flooring that can be perfect for UFH systems.
Some mixtures will be free-flowing and will be pumped directly into position, while others may need to be mixed or prepared in some way on-site, and then moved into position manually or semi-manually.
Best Practices for Screed Floor Installations
- Ensure that screeds are mixed correctly with the correct ratio of water so that you don’t experience cracking
- Substrates must be level before you apply the liquid screed, with no dips or bumpy spots
- Insulation must be consistently and effectively laid across the whole area to ensure heat is distributed evenly to the surface if you are using a UFH system
- You must allow your screed to completely dry first before you start walking on it, or before you apply any final coverings
- Projects that are rushed can cause damage to the floor before it has completely set
- Moisture levels must not be too high or this will affect the drying time. Also, any leaks from pipes must also be controlled
- Movement joints must be installed correctly
- Flooring may need to be primed after it has dried so that your final coverings (vinyl, tiles) won’t come loose from the floor due to poor adhesion
How to Control Moisture
Before you start installing your final floor coverings, you must ensure that your floor is completely dry. Otherwise, tiles may become loose or dislodged in the future due to adhesive compounds not bonding the final coverings to the screed floor.
You can ask your contractor to test the level of moisture in the screed. And, to speed up the drying time of your floor, you can also install a dehumidifier to reduce the existence of moisture in the air during the process.
Causes of Underfloor Heating Failure
When you’re installing a UFH system as well as a new liquid screed floor, be extra careful that you are diligent in your planning and execution.
To get things right, all components should ideally be planned by the same company, or with a good amount of synergy between the manufacturers of the UFH system and the people you entrust to install your liquid screed floor.
Below are a few causes of UFH system failures that you should watch out for:
- The wrong type of screed has been used
- The screed has been laid down too thickly preventing heat from spreading properly through the floor
- The UFH design is not wells united to your floor plan
- Your liquid screed layer is not well suited to your floor plan
- UFH structure has not been installed correctly
- Floor screed has not been installed correctly
- There is excessive moisture in the screed stopping it from drying properly
A lot comes down to timing when you are renovating your home. There is the time it takes for individual processes to be completed, as well as the time needed for whole projects to reach completion.
With the installation of liquid screed for UFH systems, just remember that certain activities must be given enough time to finish before other activities can be carried out.
For example, you won’t be able to let workers resume activity on-site until your floor is 100% dry. This can mean certain activities should not be planned too early.
At UK Screed, we understand that carrying out a full floor renovation can disrupt your life substantially, often meaning you’ll need to find a temporary place to live while work continues.
If you’re worried about how long a new screed floor or UFH system will take to install or want to know more about our process, get in touch with one of our advisors specialising in liquid screed in Oxfordshire and other parts of the UK.
We’ll do our best to help walk you through the entire process so you can find the best ways to avoid setbacks in your next home renovation.