When you are in the process of constructing a building, one of the things that you need to take into consideration is the floor screed.
Now, it has to be said that when you are constructing a building there is no law which says that you have to use a screed, but in the vast majority of instances, common sense dictates that you should. You obviously want the floor to be as flat and level as possible, so you don’t want to lay the floor finish on a bumpy concrete substrate.
For very many years now a floor screed has consisted of good old sand and cement mixed in a ratio of between 3 and 4.5 parts sand to 1 part of cement. It is relatively cheap to produce and can be mixed on site in a cement mixer by unskilled labour and trowelled on to the substrate by a man on hands and knees.
When you have said that you have to look at the other side of the coin, where you will find that such a screed can have patchy quality because every mixer load will be of different quantities as the materials are simply shovelled into the mixer. Sand and cement screed also has a tendency to develop cracks, and it can also curl. If you are installing underfloor heating, it has to be laid quite thickly, and it is likely to have air pockets around the pipes in places, where the labourer has failed to completely envelop them with the screed. That means that the heat transfer into the room will not be even.
These are just some of the reasons why the use of liquid floor screeds has become so popular over the last few years. A liquid screed is delivered to site ready mixed and then has a hose and pump connected to the delivery truck, and the screed is simply pumped into place.
So Much Faster
This means that laying a liquid floor screed in Basildon, or for that matter anywhere else, is so much faster than laying sand and cement by hand. In fact, it is reckoned to be about 20 times as fast. On any building site, time is money, so there is a considerable saving here, even though the cost of the materials used for a liquid screed is around twice that of sand and cement.
But there are other benefits too, not the least of which is that, because it is in liquid format, it will totally envelop the heating pipes and therefore the heat transfer into the room will be even.
Even though it is liquid, it dries very quickly indeed, and will be dry enough to walk on within as little as 24 hours, and certainly within 48. That is another big time saving for a site where other contractors need to work, as the down time is minimal.
Furthermore, when you are installing underfloor heating, the thermal conductivity of a liquid screed is nearly twice that of sand and cement, so the room will heat faster and use less energy. That is a saving which continues for the life of the building.