When undertaking any sort of building project there are a few things that are required in all of them. The walls of a building need too be straight and solid, and the roof needs to keep out all types of weather, from a gentle drizzle to an Arctic-type storm such as Arwen which we recently experienced. And the floors need to be flat and level.
At UK Screeds, we don’t build walls or roofing, but we do produce a surface that is as flat and level as it can be upon which to lay the final flooring, whatever that may be. This is important in any case, but doubly so when you are going to fix something such as tile or stone as the final floor surface, because if the surface on which you lay tile is not absolutely level, then those tiles are going to start to break when people walk on them, and that is not good.
So, we produce and lay a screed on top of the substrate, and not just the traditional 20th century sand and cement screed which has been used for years. Certainly, that can produce a fairly level surface, but not as level as the liquid anhydrite screeds that we use.
A Number Of Reasons
This is for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that sand and cement is usually mixed on site – certainly on smaller sites – in a cement mixer and then barrowed on to the substrate where it is laid by a worker on hands and knees using a trowel to flatten and level it as much as possible. Because each load is mixed individually, it means that there will not be complete consistency between each batch. Partly for this reason, on larger sites the sand and cement screed is usually delivered ready mixed today, but is still laid in the same way.
As flooring screeding contractors in Reading, our liquid anhydrite screeds are also delivered ready mixed, but the laying process is completely different. As it is in liquid form, all we do is to connect a long hose with a pump to the delivery truck and the screed is then pumped into position. Compared with a sand and cement screed, this is lightning fast. In fact, our teams can lay 100 square metres in 45 minutes or so, and as much as 2,000 square metres in a day. This is as much as 20 times as fast as laying sand and cement by hand, so there is a massive saving on labour costs.
Because the screed is in liquid form, it is virtually self-levelling. All we need to do once the screed has been pumped into position is to run over it in two directions with a dappling bar just to remove any air bubbles, and then we can leave it to set.
But the benefits of a liquid screed don’t stop there. Even though it is liquid form, our anhydrite screed dries very quickly. In fact, depending upon weather conditions, it will be dry enough to walk on within 24 – 48 hours. That means that there is no delay to other contractors who need to work on the site.
A liquid screed is also perfect for use with underfloor heating because it will totally envelop the heating pipes and leave no gaps or voids. That means that the heat transfer into the room is 100% even, so the heat in the room will be evenly spread as well. This is vey different from sand and cement which almost always will have gaps or voids in some areas, meaning that the heat transfer will not be even.