Understandably, planning a large renovation that includes a whole new floor installation can be worrying when you’re trying to keep costs to a minimum.
As you’ll likely need to remove all furniture from most parts of your home before you start your project, additional costs for removal and storage can also add up, as well as the price of temporarily staying in accommodation while your new floor is being finished.
One of the best ways to reduce costs is to ensure you don’t encounter any challenges or problems while you lay your liquid screed flooring. We explore some of the ways you can do this so that your project gets finished as smoothly and problem-free as possible.
Assess Your Contractors Abilities and Credibility
Hiring competent professionals to screed your floor is the first thing you need to do to make sure you don’t run into any avoidable barriers.
While almost anyone can offer screed services today, due to the widespread availability of the necessary materials, you’ll be surprised how few contractors have carried out large scale projects using liquid screed.
This is especially true when it comes to installing underfloor heating systems (UFH) and liquid screed flooring, which can be much more complex and demanding than using traditional screed applications.
A few things to check when hiring a liquid screed company are:
- Experience – Ensure that the person you engage has vast experience with construction and other cement-based jobs. Ideally, they should be regularly employed in similar screed projects to the one they plan to do for you.
- Previous Jobs – Most contractors will be able to tell you about the previous jobs they’ve done and show you pictures of the finished product. A good portfolio is a good sign that builders are proud of their work and dedication to doing a good job.
- Accreditations – There are a number of screeding courses available that a professional can partake in. Checking whether your contractor has a certificate in screeding can help give you confidence about their abilities. Just make sure you distinguish between theoretical abilities gained from courses and proven experience based on past jobs.
- Customer Reviews – If there are online reviews or ratings for your potential contractor, make sure you take a look at them. While you should always take them with a pinch of salt, they should give you a good idea about the professionalism and skill level of your potential screed company.
What’s Involved in Screeding a Floor?
To avoid mistakes, it’s best that you have good basic knowledge about what the screeding process involves. This can help you check the processes used by potential contracts, as well as monitor the condition of your project as it happens.
Your existing floor will need to be appropriately removed, cleaned and potentially sanded down before you apply any new screed. The requirements will depend on the condition of your floors.
- Preparing the Mixture
So much relies on using the correct ratio of cement and sand when you are screeding. Some contractors will be able to prepare more complex liquid screed mixtures off-site and simply deliver it to you, completely ready for use, while others will choose to mix the screed on-site before application.
Getting this right isn’t hard for experienced labourers who view the mixing process as quite simple, but for inexperienced homeowners who have chosen to do it themselves, you must be careful that you’re completely aware of the correct quantities of water, cement and sand you need to use.
If it’s your first time, or if you want to check that your contractors have done a good job with the mixture, you might want to test it before you use it throughout your home.
Liquid screed can often be simply pumped into the designated area from a cement truck which contains the correct mixture. Other more traditional screed mixtures can be prepared on-site and then dumped onto the floor before being spread it out evenly across the required space.
Floors need to be even. If not, so many future problems can occur with your final finishing, whether you choose to use tiles, wood or other floor materials on top of your screed flooring. Make sure your contractor has a process to ensure that floors are completely even and levelled out.
- Drying and Curing
You might encounter problems during the drying process if people start using it before it’s completely dry.
You can cover up the work with a polythene sheet to protect it and deter potential trespassers. It can be wise to keep the polythene sheet over the area for several days before the floor is completely dried and ready to walk on.
If you’re still cornered about running into various problems with your next liquid screed floor installation, get in touch with us at UK Screed and we’ll explain to you our process and measures taken to prevent potential problems from cropping up.
Whatever kind of floor finish you plan to use, we can help you choose the right methods and floor compound in Surrey or other parts of the UK so that you can achieve the desired effect for your home.