The Importance of Screeding

Screeding serves as the foundation for any successful timber flooring project. It involves creating a level, even, and smooth surface upon which the timber floorboards will be laid. This process helps eliminate irregularities, such as bumps, dips, or unevenness, that can affect the final appearance and functionality of the floor.

One of the primary purposes of screeding is to ensure proper weight distribution across the floor, preventing any potential damage due to excessive load or stress. Additionally, it aids in the prevention of movement and warping of the timber boards, which can occur if the subfloor is not adequately prepared.

Understanding the Screeding Process

Before proceeding with screeding, it is essential to evaluate the condition of the subfloor. It must be clean, dry, and free from any debris or imperfections that could affect the integrity of the screed. If necessary, any repairs or adjustments should be made beforehand.

The screeding process begins with the application of a primer to the subfloor. This step ensures a strong bond between the screed and the subfloor. Next, a screed mix is prepared, usually consisting of sand, cement, and water. The mix is then poured onto the subfloor and spread evenly using a screed bar or straightedge.

To achieve a perfectly level surface, the screed is carefully manipulated using a technique known as “screeding off.” This involves dragging the screed bar across the surface, smoothing out any inconsistencies and creating a uniform thickness. The process may need to be repeated several times, depending on the size of the area and the desired levelness.

Benefits of Screeding Timber Floors

Screeding timber floors offers a multitude of benefits that enhance both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the flooring:

Level and even surface:

Screeding eliminates any undulations, ensuring a perfectly level floor. This provides a smooth and seamless finish, allowing for easy installation of timber floorboards.

Improved durability:

By creating a solid foundation, screeding prevents excessive movement and reduces the risk of floorboard damage, such as warping or cracking, over time. This increases the longevity of the timber floor.

Enhanced thermal and acoustic insulation:

Screeding acts as an additional layer of insulation, reducing heat loss and noise transmission. This can significantly improve the energy efficiency and overall comfort of the space.

Compatibility with underfloor heating:

Screeding can accommodate underfloor heating systems, allowing for efficient heat distribution throughout the space. This makes timber floors a viable option for those seeking a warm and cozy environment.

Using Screed In Wood Flooring Installation

Using Screed In Wood Flooring Installation

Screed is commonly used in wood flooring installation projects. The ideal way of ensuring your subfloor is level and smooth, screeds are relatively easy and quick to lay. Screed is the term used to describe the finish which is put on a concrete floor to make it level and stable. The mixture used is normally made up of a combination of coarse, sharp sand and cement. Ironically, the term screed originates from the name of the tool used in the leveling process, which is a flat, usually aluminum board which is dragged over the mixture to create a completely level surface.

Screed can be applied to structural concrete or to insulation to create a thin, level surface on which your wood floor can be installed. Once the screed has been laid, it can either be dragged level using a “screed” (the tool mentioned above) or you could use a self-leveling screed. Self-leveling screeds are becoming more and more commonly used and can even be delivered and pumped into your room directly from the delivery truck if there is appropriate access.

One of the most important things to remember when installing wood flooring

Whenever and wherever a wood floor is to be installed, it is essential to make sure that all materials, including concrete and screeds are dry. It is also important to acclimatize the subfloor before laying the wood flooring.

When laying a screed, for the express purpose of installing wood flooring, it is essential that a damp proof membrane be incorporated into your plans. This damp proof membrane will help keep the moisture content within their desired levels and will help avoid any moisture present in the subfloor reaching the new floor. For best results, screeds should be applied in warm, dry conditions.

Screed Timber Joists

When building from new, Flow liquid screed works hand in hand to give a far superior feel to the floors.
There are many systems available that you can use when you require a pre-completion test for Part E of the building regulations.
If using Concrete planks there are robust detail systems available.

Using timber flooring systems for soundproofing may be slightly cheaper but can give a real headache when it comes to floor coverings. Tiles do not generally like flexible substrates so bathrooms and kitchen floors are difficult to finish.

Flow Screed on Joists

Due to Anhydrite liquid screeds flexural strength and durability you can screed directly on to joists. This allows you to use screed on separating floors.

Reduce costs of builds compared to using block and beam

Incorporate underfloor heating on separating floors with ease

Sound reduction for enhanced living

When designing any new builds simply get your preferred floor joist manufacturer to engineer the floor to take the weight of Anhydrite floor screed.

Liquid screed generally has a weight of 900N/m2 (90kg) at 50mm. Timber Frame manufacturers can design in from the start with ease.

An example build-up would be:

Engineered Joists to Manufacturers design

15mm tongue and groove OSB

25mm PIR insulation (not specifically required)

DPM membrane 1200gu

Underfloor heating

45-50mm Anhydrite Floor Screed

This could not be achieved with a traditional sand and cement screed due to its unforgiving characteristics. Above is a typical section of a traditionally built house with liquid Anhydrite Screed on both floors. This is built to current NHBC standards.

The Yelofon HD+ System is a perfect partner to Anhydrite screed. You can also incorporate underfloor heating using these systems.

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Screeding is an essential step in achieving a flawless timber floor. By providing a level and even surface, screeding enhances the durability, aesthetics, and functionality of the flooring. The process requires attention to detail and precision, ensuring that the subfloor is adequately prepared and the screed is skillfully applied. Investing time and effort in screeding will undoubtedly yield long-term benefits, guaranteeing a stunning timber floor that withstands the test of time. So, when it comes to timber floor installation, remember the significance of screeding and let your floors shine.