More and more new homes today are being built with underfloor heating because of the many advantages that it has over and above a radiator system. For a long time, it was considered that underfloor heating was an expensive item and only suitable for high-end homes, but in fact when you install it in conjunction with a liquid screed it can be economically viable for all types of homes, not just those at the top end of the market.
When you are installing underfloor heating and carrying out floor preparation in Bicester, a liquid screed has several advantages compared with a traditional sand and cement screed. Just to begin with, it is far quicker to install than sand and cement because it is delivered to site ready mixed and them pumped into place using a pump and long hose.
A liquid screed uses calcium sulphate in place of the cement as a binder, and the material itself is more expensive, although not a lot. However, a liquid screed can be laid a lot thinner than sand and cement, so there is not so much material required. Furthermore, the speed of laying saves a considerable amount in labour time because sand and cement has to be laid by hand by a worker using a trowel. It is estimated that the liquid screeds that we install at UK Screeds can be laid about 20 times as fast as sand and cement.
There are more advantages to using a liquid screed. Not only is it quicker to lay, but it also dries faster. Our screeds are dry enough to walk on within 24 – 48 hours, so there is no delay for other contractors who need to work on the site.
In addition to that, the liquid screed is self-levelling – hence why another name for it is self-levelling screed. In the same way that you pour water (or your favourite tipple) into a glass, the surface of the liquid will very quickly become flat, and our liquid screed works in the same way. Levelling a sand and cement screed by hand will usually never achieve a level better than the British Standard Surface Regularity 3 which allows for a variation of up to 10mm when measured using a straightedge and a slip gauge over a 2-metre distance. This is known as Utility Standard.
By contrast, our liquid screed will always achieve Normal Standard which allows for a variation of up to 5mm, but in most instances will achieve High Standard which is a maximum of 3mm.
Yet another benefit is the ongoing running costs of the underfloor heating. Because the liquid screed is laid thinner than sand and cement it heats up the room faster, therefore using less energy to do so. In addition to that, the thermal conductivity of a gypsum screed is almost twice that of sand and cement, so that also contributes to faster heating times and again saves on energy bills for the lifetime of the building.