If you are interested in DIY renovation and remodelling, you need to become quite familiar with flooring materials. As such, it is also vital to understand the difference between concrete and liquid screed. It is easy to get confused since both are primarily made using the same components. However, there are differences, especially in texture, performance, and ideal applications that you need to know about.
What is liquid screed?
Almost everyone is familiar with ready mix concrete. Usually, you buy the mixture which contains different proportions of aggregate, water, sand, and cement. The manufacturer may also include additives to improve the performance of the resulting surface. Ready-mix concrete is easy to use and apply; hence, it is one of the most common construction materials used today.
In contrast, liquid screed is made from the same materials, but the components have a smaller or more delicate consistency than an ordinary concrete mixture. Typically, liquid screed contains less aggregate, making the resulting mixture smoother and more liquid. This texture is what makes screed the ideal material for sub-flooring. The lack of solid aggregates means it does not have the structural integrity for vertical applications.
Uses of ready mix concrete and liquid screed
Because these two construction materials have different consistencies, they are also used in different parts of construction projects. Ready-mix concrete is usually applied in external surfaces to provide structural support. Concrete is also ideal for paving driveways, fence foundations, pillars, basement paving, and any application where durability is critical.
On the other hand, liquid screed is used for internal installations, such as flooring. Once the layer of screed has been poured, you do not need to bother smoothing out any bumps. Contractors like liquidscreed.co.uk specialise in floor screed and will take care of the pouring and installation for you. Although DIY friendly, it is still best to hire a contractor when the project is too big for one person to handle.
Another popular application of liquid screed is in providing structural support for underfloor heating. Since the material flows quickly and smoothly, it adheres well to the pipes and does not have any air bubbles. As a result, it helps improve the heat conductivity of the pipes.
Other benefits of using liquid screed
In addition to the compatibility of liquid screed with underfloor heating installation, there are other benefits to using this material for your subfloor.
- Easy handling and installation. For small DIY projects, liquid screed is easy to manage. Although it appears too liquid, it dries out quicker than ordinary cement. Installation requires less equipment and also takes less time if you have a pump.
- It helps achieve a level surface. Evenness is critical when installing any flooring finish. You can level an uneven subfloor by adding a layer of liquid screed.
- It does not crack easily. Cracking is a significant disadvantage of using ordinary cement. Fortunately, you will not have the same problem with liquid screed as it dries evenly and is not susceptible to cracking.
If you are interested in using liquid screed for a DIY project, contact a reputable screed contractor to ensure you get the best quality material for your needs.