Screeding a floor involves applying a mixture of cement, aggregates and water to a floor base. This forms a sturdy sub-floor that can be used to lay the final floor finish or even to be the final wearing surface. However, there is a lot more to floor screeding than simply trowelling on the cement sand mixture. A blend of experience and skills is required to ensure the quality, finish and durability of the flooring. While a well laid screed can extend the life of a floor, a failed screed can be an expensive issue with time consuming measures required to bring the flooring up to an acceptable condition. To get your floor screeding right you need the right floor screed mix, the right process for installing the screed, good measures for screed protection, plus of course the right floor screeding contractor!
There are many different kinds of screed and screed brands available, sot is important to consider carefully what each type has to offer. Traditional screed is a screed mix of cement and sand mixed in a 1:3-5 ratio and is often used for creating a sub floor layer for installing tiles, wood, linoleum, rubber or vinyl. Traditional screeds are most often used in places such as hospitals, schools,retail outlets etc. Free flowing screeds or anhydrite screeds are free flowing, self-levelling and self compacting screeds which are easy to work with, however, they are not suitable for areas that are prone to getting wet.
Levelling compounds vary from the general screeds in that they are used for the final layer of screed to increase the tolerance, levelling screeds are expensive and used in warehouses and areas which require a very high level of surface flatness. Structural Screeds are suitable for installing on pre-cast floor surfaces using specifications and calculations from a structural engineer in terms of load requirements, flexural strength, bending moment and point loadings. Fast drying floor screeds allow you to install the final floor finish as early as 3 days after screeding.
The cost of hiring a contractor to lay floor screed will generally cost somewhere between £8 to £10 per square metre, the average sized room will normally cost between £400 and £800, depending on the strips and height of levelling. To reduce the time and therefore the cost, you can prepare the floor in advance by a brush and dustpan to rake out any loose material or dust that may otherwise ruin the screed, scrub away any grease or oil stains and allow to dry for at least 24 hours, remove any existing skirting boards, then fill in any holes and level with a trowel to provide a clean, flat surface. providing the contractor with a clean and flat floor to work with will reduce the time and overall cost of the job, making it easier for them to cover the floor in an even coat.
Finding the the right screeding contractor means identifying a contractor with extensive experience, skills and modern equipment. They should be up to date with the latest technology and be able to provide references to show the quality of their work. The more the experience they have, the better they will be in managing the nuances of screeding, which means they will be able to deliver on time and within the agreed budget.
You can use the free quote service on this site to gather quotes from recommended contractors near you by filling out one, simple online form, rather than having to search the yellow pages and ring around. The screed installation needs to be carried out in a systematic manner to achieve the best results so your chosen contractor should begin by checking the specifications, then making sure the substrate is ready, then they will check the datum levels and measurement down to finished screed level, check the mixing plant is safe and suitable, at this stage they will generally begin mixing the screed in the correct proportion and apply in a sequential manner, applying trowel cuts where necessary for crack control.