Things to Consider in Choosing the Right Type of Liquid Screed
Innovations in construction techniques and materials have made day to day decisions more complex for building contractors. For example, there is a lot more that goes into choosing the right type of liquid screed than merely calling a supplier to order it. From aspects such as additives as well as methods of application, the decision is an entire process that begins from the design stage and ends after the floor finishing material has been installed.
In order to simplify the process, you need to begin by carefully assessing the installation area. To help you, we have compiled in this article several essential points so that you can conveniently narrow down the best options.
Why is liquid screed better than an ordinary cement mix?
Liquid screed is preferable for many reasons. If you are a contractor and would hire a supplier like liquidscreed.co.uk to deliver and pump the mix, you can save on the high cost of labour. Also, if you are planning to install underfloor heating, liquid screed is better than ordinary cement because it lays flush on the heating pipes, thus maximising thermal performance.
Moreover, you can apply liquid screed in thin layers to optimise floor evenness. Unlike cement, screed mixture will not curl or shrink after drying. Lastly, liquid screed does not crack.
Project area and amount of screed required
The project area will determine whether it is worth considering DIY mixing or ordering pre-mixed screed from a reliable supplier. Although it is easy to apply, mixing large batches of screed could take a while. Therefore it is ideal to order pre-mixed screed for bigger projects.
Traditional or fast-drying mix
Depending on the area or flooring section where you need to apply screed, quick-drying could be an excellent option. But if it is a DIY project, you need a bit more room in case you make some mistakes; hence a traditional mix is better.
Another aspect you need to consider is moisture testing. Regardless of if you use a quick dry or traditional mix, you still need to conduct a test to ensure that the slab is dry enough and contains the right amount of humidity before you install the flooring.
Compatibility of flooring options
Flooring type will also affect the liquid screed you choose. For example, if you are going to install tiles, you will need to sand the surface of the screed layer if you are using anhydrite mix. On the other hand, no sanding is required for ordinary liquid screed mix. The primary difference here is cost. Although anhydrite mix is cheaper, you will pay additionally to have the surface sanded.
Bonded or unbonded installation
Bonded screed means you directly pour the mixture over the cement base. Unbonded, on the other hand, uses a layer of plastic to act as a moisture barrier. Bonded installation works well for both thin and thick screed application. On the other hand, unbonded installation is best when the liquid screed reaches a certain thickness. Otherwise, the screed may curl or shrink if applied too thickly over the membrane.