Why Screeding Your Floor is Essential Before Laying

Floor screeding is a process many of us may have witnessed at some point in our lives. However, most are unaware of exactly what the purpose of it is.

Well, not only is the function of great significance, without it the process of laying down your floor would be ruined almost from the start. 

Whether you’re making an entirely new floor or relaying an old one in your home, screeding is still vital to the process. Below are the primary reasons why it is such a crucial stage.

What is screeding?

Before we described the importance of screeding, it’s essential to know what exactly it involves. It is creating a flat layer of concrete as a level foundation upon which you can lay the finishing layer of your floor. 

This is to ensure that everything beneath the top layer is even, especially when being built upon an uneven ground.

As a general rule, a traditional screed should vary more than 5mm every 3 metres. There are many types of screed to purchase, too, suited for a wide range of different jobs. 

The best is the levelling compound is the modified fibre for increased resilience. Its quick-drying properties also allow it to be walkable from between as little as four to six hours. 

Additionally, the thickness allows room for variations of flatness and levelness on the base, meaning you can put down anything from tiles, vinyl, laminate flooring and solid wood flooring as the final finish.  

Why Is It Used?

As stated, the primary purpose of screeding is to ensure the base layer of any floor is even and level. Imagine trying to walk over linoleum only to stumble over a random dent. 

Not only is screeding practical, but it also makes the floor finishes look nice too! An uneven surface can be obvious even at first glance, leaving a rather bad impression. 

This doesn’t mean that it can be used as a simple concrete floor, however. Screeding surfaces are always built for support, though, and never intended to be the final finish. 

Deviations in floor length can also damage both underneath and above the top layer.  The same goes if you intend to use underfloor heating. 

Before the screed, the floor should be assessed for the quality and suitability of the current layer, especially if this a refurbishment.

Over time, a screed can lose some of its integrity, making it all the more vital that any existing screed should be analysed thoroughly before starting to lay it down.

What Happens If You Don't Screed?

Laying a floor without screeding is like trying to bake bread without kneading the dough. Skip this crucial stage and what you’ll get as a result will fall apart pretty quickly. 

Unevenness not only presents a hazard to those walking on top of it they also damage the floor itself, making the entire process pointless because the whole thing would have to be redone again.

The same goes if your screed is poorly done. Too much variation in thickness and the finish will become just as unstable if you hadn’t done any levelling screed at all, no matter how much luxury vinyl flooring you use. 

It can also move which, naturally, is less than ideal as a solution for your hardwood floor. Movement is what can cause the most damage and can lead to numerous injuries. 

To summarise, screeding should never be skipped. Your home will be much sturdier and much more even if you lay it down before even thinking of putting down the top layer. 

How To Apply Screed

Thankfully, screeding your floor is simple thanks to the broad range of levelling compounds available. You can simply take a pack home and apply it yourself! 

The best is the pre-blended variety that only requires you to add water to start applying. We also recommend varieties that are ready to receive floor covering in as little as fourteen days. 

Alternatively, you can buy liquid levelling compounds which you can pour onto already existing foundations. This is best for sealing any cracks in already laid down screed. 

At the Flooring Lab, we have a wide range of levelling compounds and adhesives for you to choose from. See our full range here and choose according to your needs.

Customise Your Floor

At the Flooring Lab, we have many options available, from carpet tiles to vinyl, to help you bring the perfect finish after you’ve made your screed. 

Visit our full range today by heading over to our product page.