Floor screeding is where a perfectly blended mixture of sand and cement is poured over the top of a subfloor to smoothen any bumps or irregularities.
Sounds straightforward enough, doesn’t it?
But without experience and the appropriate tools in your arsenal, screeding a floor can be tricky. And if the job isn’t done properly then the floor could become damaged later on – costing you more money. That explains why many people ask professional floor screeding contractors, like JCW, to help.
Saying that though, it is perfectly possible to screed a floor yourself. You just need to make sure that you’re properly equipped and prepared.
Preparing your floors for screeding
The type of screed you choose and the size of the area can impact the time it will take, the thickness that the screed will need to be poured, and the overall cost.
Therefore, before work commences, it’s worth sitting down and planning exactly what you need to do and how you’ll do it.
Make sure that you accurately measure the area that requires screed, and remove any dust or dirt from the subfloor to ensure the surface is clean.
Oh, and don’t rush!
5 easy steps for floor screeding
Divide the floor area
Rule no.1 when floor screeding is to allocate yourself plenty of time. The last thing you want is to give yourself too much to do and to skimp on quality and safety.
Begin by splitting the floor into sections using dividers. If you don’t have any of these, grab a few long, straight pieces of wood – and before you put them down, wet them so they can be easily removed.
Apply a layer of floor screed
Starting on the section furthest from the door, use a trowel to spread the screed mixture across the subfloor.
Unfortunately, sand and cement screed is not self-levelling. It doesn’t have an agent that reacts once the screed is poured, so it won’t compact on its own. That means you will need to use a straightedge or timber length to level the floor first.
Repeat the process
After screeding the first section, do the same again for all the other sections in the room until the entire area has been covered.
Once you’ve done that, the timber dividers can be removed and you’ll need to fill in the gaps.
Cure the floor screed
Screed should cure within a week, but it typically depends on the size of the area and your chosen floor screed.
It’s worth noting that, if the room temperature drops below 10°C, curing times may be longer too. So, to ensure the best results, it’s worth seeking advice from professionals.
Leave the floor to dry completely
After leaving the floor to cure, it still needs time to dry before site traffic can be resumed and the final floor finish can be applied.
Floor screed should dry at a rate of 1mm per day. So, wait at least three weeks (if possible).
And there you have it.
You should now have a better idea of how to screed your floors. In the meantime, if you have any questions about floor screeding or would like an expert opinion, be sure to get in touch with JCW today. They are always on hand to help and will happily share their expertise.