Preparing for screed installation

Screed is a crucial component in many construction and flooring projects, providing a level and durable surface for the final floor covering. To ensure the success of your screed installation in the United Kingdom, proper preparation is essential. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to create a solid foundation for your goal.

1. Assess the Substrate

Before any screed is laid, it’s vital to assess the condition of the substrate (the surface that will receive the screed). Ensure it is structurally sound, clean, and free from dust, debris, and any contaminants. Address any cracks or damage in the substrate to prevent these issues from affecting the screed.

2. Damp Proof Membrane (DPM)

Depending on the project’s requirements, you may need to install a damp proof membrane over cement screed to prevent moisture from rising through the substrate and into the screed. This is particularly important in areas prone to dampness or moisture ingress.

3. Bonding Agent

If your substrate is particularly smooth or non-absorbent, a bonding agent may be necessary to ensure proper adhesion between the substrate and the screed. The type of bonding agent required will depend on the specific conditions and materials used.

4. Edge Insulation

To prevent thermal bridging and provide a clean edge for the screed, consider installing edge insulation. This is especially important in underfloor heating systems, as it enhances energy efficiency and prevents heat loss at the perimeter of the room.

5. Mixing and Application

Screed can be mixed on-site or delivered as a ready-mix product. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct water-to-screed ratio and mixing time. When applying the liquid screed itself, use appropriate tools and techniques to ensure an even and level surface.

6. Drying Time

Allow sufficient time for the screed to dry and cure. The drying time can vary based on factors such as screed thickness, environmental conditions, and the type of screed used. It’s essential to follow manufacturer recommendations to avoid issues like cracking or curling.

7. Surface Finishing

After the screed has set but is still workable, finish the floor surface, as needed. This can involve smoothing the surface or adding texture, depending on the intended final floor covering.

8. Moisture Testing

Before adding the final floor covering, conduct moisture testing to ensure the screed is sufficiently dry. High moisture levels can lead to problems with adhesion and long-term durability.

9. Floor Covering Installation

Once the bottom screed board is prepared and dry, you can proceed with the installation of the final floor covering, whether it’s tiles, hardwood, laminate, or any other material. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific floor covering you’re using.

10. Maintenance and Care

After the floor covering is installed, ongoing maintenance is essential to protect the screed. This includes regular cleaning, proper care for the floor covering, and addressing any issues promptly to prevent damage to the screed below sub floor itself.

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating is a popular method of heating homes and commercial spaces. It involves installing a heating system beneath the floor, providing a comfortable and efficient way to warm a room. There are two main types of underfloor heating: electric and water-based (hydronic).

  1. Electric Underfloor Heating:
    • This system consists of electric cables or heating mats installed beneath the floor.
    • The electric elements generate heat when an electric current passes through them.
    • It is typically used in smaller areas or specific rooms and is easier to install compared to water-based systems.
  2. Water-based Underfloor Heating:
    • In this system, warm water is circulated through pipes or tubes installed under the floor.
    • The water is heated by a boiler or a heat pump before being distributed through the underfloor pipes.
    • Water-based systems are more commonly used for larger areas or entire homes.

Advantages of Underfloor Heating:

  1. Even Heat Distribution: Underfloor heating provides an even distribution of heat across the entire floor space, eliminating cold spots.
  2. Energy Efficiency: It can be more energy-efficient compared to traditional radiators because it operates at lower temperatures.
  3. Space Saving: Since there are no radiators taking up wall space, underfloor heating allows for more flexible room layouts and interior design.
  4. Comfort: Walking on a warm floor is more comfortable than on a cold one, and underfloor heating can create a pleasant environment.

Underfloor Heating Pipes

Underfloor Heating Pipes

Underfloor heating pipes bring a touch of luxury and efficiency to our homes, redefining the way we experience warmth. From silent operation to energy efficiency and health benefits, these pipes represent a leap forward in heating technology, offering a holistic approach to indoor comfort.

Laid Flat

Laid flat screed installation is more than a preparatory step; it’s the foundation upon which your flooring success rests. By understanding the intricacies of this process, you can ensure a seamless and durable foundation for the floors and walls that define your space.

Unveiling Bonded Screed: What Sets It Apart?

Bonded screed, a blend of cement, sand, and additives, serves as a robust foundation for various floorings. This section unravels the composition of bonded screed, highlighting the features that set it apart from other flooring options.

The Importance of a Solid Foundation

A successful flooring project begins with a solid foundation. Understand why bonded screed plays a pivotal role in creating a stable and even surface for a wide range of flooring materials.

Types of Bonded Screed for Different Applications

Not all bonded screeds are created equal. Explore the different types available, from traditional sand-cement bonded screed to more modern variations, and understand their applications in different settings.

The Art of Bonded Screed Application

Mastering the application of bonded screed requires precision and expertise. Walk through the step-by-step process, from surface preparation to the final finish, ensuring a seamless and well-bonded foundation.

Bonded Screed for Underfloor Heating Systems

Discover how bonded screed seamlessly integrates with underfloor heating systems. Explore the compatibility and advantages of using bonded screed in conjunction with these energy-efficient heating solutions.

Achieving the Desired Surface Finish

The aesthetics of your flooring hinge on achieving the desired surface finish. Delve into the techniques and tools used to create a smooth, level, and visually appealing surface with bonded screed.

The Benefits of Bonded Screed

Explore the myriad benefits that bonded screed brings to the table. From its strength and durability to its adaptability for different floor coverings, understand why this flooring foundation is a preferred choice.

What is a Clipped Pipe System?

A clipped pipe system represents a contemporary approach to plumbing, characterized by the use of specially designed clips to secure pipes in place. Uncover the elements that make up this system and how it redefines the efficiency of plumbing installations.

Insulation Ensuring

Insulation ensuring is more than just a construction requirement; it’s a commitment to creating spaces that are not only comfortable but also sustainable and energy-efficient. By understanding the nuances of insulation and ensuring its proper application, we pave the way for a more resilient and eco-conscious built environment.

Screed is a critical element in creating a level and stable surface for your floor covering. Proper preparation and installation are fundamental to the success and longevity of your screed. By assessing the substrate, addressing moisture concerns, using bonding agents as needed, allowing for proper drying time, and ensuring correct installation, you can establish a solid foundation for your screed and the floor covering that follows.


  • What is the purpose of a damp proof membrane (DPM) in screed installation?
    • A damp proof membrane is used to prevent moisture from rising through the substrate and affecting the screed. It is particularly important in areas where dampness or moisture ingress is a concern.
  • What is the role of edge insulation in screed installation?
    • Edge insulation is used to prevent thermal bridging and provide a clean edge for the screed. It is especially important in underfloor heating systems to enhance energy efficiency and prevent heat loss at the room’s perimeter.
  • How long does screed take to dry?
    • The drying time for screed can vary based on factors such as screed thickness, environmental conditions, and the type of screed used. It’s essential to follow manufacturer recommendations for the specific screed product.
  • Why is moisture testing important before adding the final floor covering?
    • Moisture testing is crucial to ensure that the screed is sufficiently dry. Excess moisture can lead to problems with adhesion and long-term durability of the final floor covering.
  • What are some common floor coverings used over screed?
    • Common floor coverings include tiles, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and carpet. The choice of floor covering depends on factors such as aesthetics, durability, and intended use.