Liquid floor screeds are becoming ever more popular today as their many benefits over traditional sand and cement screeds have become more widely known and understood. This is especially the case when you are installing underfloor heating, which is becoming more common in new build properties today. This is because, although at one time it was thought that it was only suitable for high-end homes, underfloor heating has many benefits over and above a radiator system, and the installation costs can be reduced when it is used in conjunction with a liquid screed and force drying.
On any building project, time is money. As a liquid floor screed company in Gloucestershire, at UK Screeds we can provide you with a liquid screed for your project which can be installed up to 20 times as fast as a sand and cement screed which is laid by hand. This is because the screed is delivered to the site ready-mixed, and we simply connect up a hose and a pump and turn the pump on. By doing this, a liquid screed can be installed that will cover 100 square metres in as little as 45 minutes, and we can regularly screed as much as 2,000 square metres in a day.
Once the screed has been poured and settled, we run over it with a dappling bar in two directions just in order to remove any air bubbles, and then that’s it.
Liquid screed is perfect for use in conjunction with underfloor heating, especially water-based systems because the screed will completely envelop the heating pipes, leaving no air pockets or voids that you will typically get with sand and cement screed which is laid by hand. What that means is that the heat transfer to the room will be perfectly even.
Another very big benefit of liquid screeds is that they are nearly twice as thermally conductive as sand and cement, and that translates into faster warm-up times and lower energy usage. In addition to that, the liquid screed can be laid far more thinly than sand and cement. Where a sand and cement screed typically needs to cover the heating pipes to a depth of 75mm, our liquid screed only needs to cover them by 30mm, making a total overall depth of 45mm. That means again that the time and energy needed to heat the room is less. Not only that, although the actual cost of liquid gypsum screed is more than sand and cement since we use less of it that will reduce the overall cost as well.
Then there is the drying time factor. On a building project, anywhere that you can save time translates into cost savings as well, and our liquid screed will be dry enough to walk on within 48 hours, and often as little as 24 hours. That means that other contractors who also need to work on the site do not suffer any major delays.
Our liquid screeds have other benefits too. Unlike sand and cement, they do not crack, and they also suffer from absolutely minimal shrinkage. They are also environmentally friendly in the sense that about one-third of a liquid screed consists of recycled materials.
Indeed, our liquid screeds have so many benefits that would think that there must be a catch, and there is, although the impact is minimal. This is because as liquid gypsum screeds dry, they produce a layer of laitance on the surface, and this must be removed before laying the final flooring as it could cause floor failure.
However, removing the laitance is not a huge job, and we do this with floor sanding machines that will remove it and leave a perfect surface on which to lay the final flooring. You can use any type of flooring material with a liquid screed, but when using underfloor heating, one of the best in tile or stone. This is because it heats up quickly and retains the heat well, gradually letting it out into the room, and this has the effect of reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the room to the desired level.