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Dry vs Liquid Floor Screed: Which One is Best For You?

Screed is an extremely useful material as it helps to achieve flat surfaces, and cover underfloor heating. Broadly they are of two types: dry and liquid floor screed. Each vary in terms of materials, pricing and application methods.

There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing the best type of screeding method, so let’s explore each type in more detail.

Applying liquid floor screed
Applying liquid screed. Credits: HomeBuilding.co.uk

What is Dry Screed?

According to the Concrete Center, dry screed generally consists of aggregates (such as sand) and cement, with an approximate ratio of 4 parts aggregate and 1 part cement.

It’s often referred to as a traditional screed because of its widespread use across the industry.

Benefits of Dry Screed

  • Cost-effective: One of the main reasons for its popularity is because of its lower price point both in terms of material and labour.
  • Applicable on non-flat surfaces: This can be useful in for screeds in wetrooms.

What is Liquid Floor Screed?

Liquid screed, also known as flowing screed, is designed to provide a smooth, level surface prior to the application of floor finishes and is ideal for both commercial and domestic buildings.

Unlike dry screeds, liquid floor screed uses smaller and fewer aggregates which creates a flowing, liquid-like consistency that allows it to be poured rather than handled.

Flowing screeds can be used bonded, unbonded or floating and with or without underfloor heating.

As such, the layer of flowing screed is thinner than drying screed, but still creates an extremely strong and durable surface. 

Benefits of Liquid Floor Screed

  • Quicker application: It is comparatively quicker to apply and handle because it can be poured in one go and not applied piece by piece like you would with a dry screed.
  • Energy efficient: Liquid screeds are more conductive than traditional screeds. The effort required to spread and distribute the floor evenly is less thereby reducing the amount of energy needed.
  • Better insulation: it provides space for bulkier insulation to be installed along with it. This will result in more efficient heating.
  • More flexibility: Given its higher tenacity and strength, they can be used in places that have more footfall which is ideal for commercial and industrial projects.

Which Type of Screeding Works Best For You?

If you are on a lower budget, traditional screed would be a better option since it’s a cheaper solution. However, you must be aware of the inherent costs that you may incur in the longer term given that heat retention in dry screeds is less which could translate to a higher energy bill.

On the other hand, if you value your time and would like to gain from the effects of underfloor heating/insulation, liquid floor screeding would be a better option for you.

Though the initial cost may be higher, the money you save may make up for it in the long term in the form of lower energy bills. This is why many people consider liquid screed to be a great investment.

Still Undecided?

As professional screeding experts, we have experience in understanding which works best for your situation. If you are still not sure which typing screeding would work for you, do get in touch with us to enquire more about our screeding services.

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