Making sure your floor is completely ready for a final application of tiles, wood or any other finishing requires you to sand, vacuum and prime your floor so it’s 100% ready for installation of your chosen floor finish.

As long as you are having a bonded floor like tiles or vinyl that uses an adhesive compound, you will always need to ensure your floor is completely prepared before you finish your floor project.

Sometimes this can be carried out yourself with the right tools, or you can ask your floor screed company to handle this activity once they have laid the cement screed and it has dried out.

Why Do I Need to Sand and Prime?

Sanding makes sure that you remove any flaky particles or accumulated matter that has been generated throughout the screeding process. This can simply occur naturally due to the type of screed you are using or if any particles or loose debris float up from below.

Dust or other general matter might also form a mass on the surface of the screed which will cause it to be bumpy and uneven.

A primer is often needed to ensure your screed floor actually bonds properly with the vinyl or tile you plan to use. Sometimes, the chemical compounds used in the screed will react in a way with adhesive compounds so that they don’t stick to your floor coverings.

Primer bleeds into the screed, protecting and sealing the surface while creating a top coat which tile adhesives and vinyl smoothing compounds will stick to. Without doing this your floor could end up cracked, damaged or loose.

Can I Skip Floor Sanding and Priming?

Skipping this stage of your floor installation is risky. Sanding the floor removes any debris or light surface contamination which may prevent the floor from being perfectly flat for the tile adhesive. It also increases the smoothness of your floor surface.

It is advised that you should sand the floor seven to ten days after your screed was poured, providing the surface is dry. You may also need to wait until your workers have finished using the site and no longer need to walk on the surface before you start sanding.

Screed contractors will usually have their own sanding and priming equipment, but you may need to hire additional tools if you are doing this yourself. We recommend that you find tools that are specially made for the process of floor installation.

For example, there is a huge difference between an industrial vacuum made for floor preparation and a standard home hoover. Using the latter won’t guarantee you remove all the excess debris and dust from the surface of your floor.

How to Sand Screed Floors

Floor sanding should be carried out using specialist floor sanding machines and should be done between 7 – 10 days after the screed has first been poured.

It might look straightforward but floor sanding is best carried out by professionals. The first stage will be to sand the entire surface to remove any particular objects on the surface. Potential areas with greater accumulated debris or matter will also be identified and given an extra round of sanding.

Generally, different stages are used with varying grit levels, finishing with an extra-fine cutting pad so that an absolute smoothness is achieved.


All the dust and matter that accumulates from the sanding process must be removed from the surface of the floor before you lay down your floor coverings.

If dust is not removed properly, it will affect the adhesion of your primer and your chosen floor covering.


Priming is a relatively quick job when compared to other stages of the floor installation process, but it is nonetheless important to the final quality of the floor. You can find a number of cheap primers on the market, but it’s best not to choose anything that is not 100% reliable and effective. Cutting corners at such a late stage in your floor project just isn’t worth it.

If you want to know more about the priming stage of the floor installation process, or how to choose the right vacuum or floor sanding machine in Northampton or other parts of the East Midlands, get in touch with us at UK Screed.