June 5, 2023

Screed Considerations in Floor Renovation

Refurbishing floors is a tedious process. If you miss one essential step in the process, the results can be disastrous. There are several critical considerations you need to pay attention to when renovating flooring, especially with the screed. The following aspects should guide you in successfully refurbishing your home’s flooring.

Do you need to re-apply screed, or is the existing layer still structurally sound?

Before you install a new floor, you need to look into the quality of the subfloor and the base. These two layers significantly impact the performance of the new flooring. Before you decide to keep the old screed layer, check for cracks, shrinkage, warping, and curling in all areas. Focus on joints and corners and look for any signs of damage. You can hire a contractor like Liquidscreed.co.uk to help with the removal and re-application of a new layer.

Although keeping the old screed will help you save money, you cannot guarantee the integrity of the structure after installing the new floor.

Flatness and evenness of the screed

Whether you choose to retain old screed or apply a new layer, one essential characteristic to keep in mind is the flatness and uniformity of the surface. The floor finish will reflect any inconsistencies in the subfloor. British standards only allow a maximum depth deviation of 5mm. But the requirements vary depending on the purpose of the floor. For high-standard commercial applications, the variation should be no more than 3mm. A higher deviation in floor evenness will lead to faster wear and tear, and may also pose a trip hazard.

Presence of hazardous chemicals and contaminants

In case you are renovating an old industrial building, the floor may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals. In any case, have the concrete base assessed for the presence of hazardous compounds. These contaminants need to be removed before you continue further work on the flooring.

Test for moisture

Another problem you need to avoid is moisture. It is a misconception that old concrete or screed does not emit moisture. However, moisture can also seep from underground. Before you proceed with refurbishing floors, add a layer of waterproofing material before applying screed. Waterproofing the base layer will prevent water from going up and damaging the flooring.

After applying the screed and allowing it to dry, you still need to test for moisture content before installing any flooring material. If the moisture content is high, you may want to avoid using non-water-resistant floorings such as hardwood and vinyl.

Drying time is essential

Screed drying time is also crucial in completing your project. Traditional screed takes about 100 days before you can install flooring. If you do not allow the screed to dry appropriately, flooring may peel off from the subfloor. If you are pressed for time, you can get a modified screed that will dry faster. Modified screed mixture that dries faster usually contains additives that allow water to evaporate quickly, but at the same time maintaining durability and strength. You can always consult your contractor regarding the best options to use for screeding.