Floor screeds are not a legal requirement when you are building a new home, or for that matter any other type of property. However, you do want the flooring to be as flat and level as possible and this is particularly important with modern precast concrete beam and block floors, which have a distinct camber that can cause problems when it comes to laying floor finishes.
Screeds are also necessary when you are installing underfloor heating, as you have to cover the heating wires in the case of electric underfloor heating or the heating pipes when installing a water based system.
The surface regularity of a screed is important, and it is often described as a measure of the waviness of the surface. British Standards describe this in terms of SR1, SR2, and SR3. This is measured by laying a two-metre straightedge on the screed and measuring any gaps with a slip gauge. SR1, which is high standard, allows for a maximum gap of 3mm. SR2, normal standard, allows for 5mm, and SR3, utility standard, allows for 10mm.
In order to achieve the maximum level of flatness, SR1, you would need to use a liquid screed in Hungerford. This is because of the better material used and the ability to achieve a far greater level than if you use a traditional sand and cement floor screed.
Mixed In A Cement Mixer
Sand and cement screeds are often mixed on site in a cement mixer, and this means that every batch is going to be a little different from the last batch because the mixer is being loaded by workers using shovels. On larger contracts, today, ready-mixed screed is often used for this reason. Either way, the screed is then barrowed into position and then levelled and flattened as much as possible by a worker on hands and knees with a trowel.
A liquid screed on the other hand is also delivered to site ready mixed, but at UK Screeds what we then do is attach a pump and long hose to the delivery truck and simply pump the screed into position. Because the screed is in liquid formit is self-levelling, in much the same way as if you pour a glass of water, or even your favourite tipple, after a few seconds the surface will be level. Once the screed has been laid, we then go over it with a dappling bar in two directions just in order to remove any air bubbles.
Using a liquid screed means that we will always achieve a level of SR2, but in most cases it will be SR1. If you use a traditional sand and cement screed, it is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve that level flattening out the surface by hand, and it will usually be SR3.
That is the biggest advantage of using a liquid screed, but there are several others, especially if you are installing underfloor heating. Liquid screed also dries very quickly and is ready to be walked on in 24 – 48 hours, which means that other trades who need to work on site are not held up.