UK Floor Screeding Contractors
You can’t overestimate the importance of choosing the right flooring screeding solution, preparing the substrate well, and getting the screed absolutely perfect.
If you’ve ever seen a flooring project that’s delaminating well ahead of its predicted lifespan, you’ll know just how painfully disruptive it can be to put it right. Especially an internal project in a now-occupied space.
At Diverse, nothing is left to chance.
We can guide you towards the best solution or combination of treatments required for your exact requirements. We’ll document the programme of works and the process itself.
We can take care of all surface preparation, to make sure of the strongest achievable bond. We can advise on and install any required DPM or separation barriers, thermal and acoustic layers where required. And, of course, we look after the screeding itself, using only the most respected product lines.
We’re an approved installer for Isocrete K-Screed, an accreditation not easily earned, for arguably the most specified product in the business. Every job is closely supervised by an SSSTS-qualified specialist, working with a handpicked team.
You receive a bespoke, end-to-end service, with recommended solutions tailored precisely for the particular environment.
Substrate and surface preparation
The most destructive part of the job. Which is why we maintain our own mechanical preparation equipment (scabblers, floor grinders and STR rotary sanding machines with interchangeable blades, plus vacuum attachments to keep the environment dust-free).
We remove the old surface layer, adhesives and any contaminants and prepare a clean, uncontaminated floor substrate on which we can apply the new screed system. Getting this right is critical for efficient bonding, which is what makes the difference between a surface that delaminates and fails, and a floor that’s in great condition many years later.
Depending on the building specification and the environmental conditions – and we’ve worked in just about every type there is – your flooring system may require a pre-screed layer or two to offer protection or meet building performance requirements.
These typically include:
DPM systems: damp-proof membranes in the form of polythene sheeting or epoxy liquid system applications.
Void Formers: a lightweight material that creates a non-loading separating layer, allows for services and/or fills a void.
Thermal layers: specialist materials designed to enhance heat retention and reduce cold ingress.
Acoustic layers: specialist materials designed to provide superior acoustic insulation, reducing sound egress and ingress.
The most important factor in installing a surface that stands the test of time is knowing which type of screed is best suited to which end application and environment. We guide and specify designs for all of the following screed systems.
Bonded screed: where thin screeds are required to be bonded to the substrate. Whether epoxy or acrylic, we can advise the best method of screed bond for the project. A bonded screed is generally designed for heavy use areas where maximum strength is required, for example a plant room or an electrical substation. Epoxy bonding, which can also act as a DPM, tends to be reserved for challenging environments, for instance a laboratory performing vibration testing, or where the thickness of screed needs to be less than generally 40mm.
Unbonded screed: where screeds have sufficient depth (generally 40mm) to be separated from the substrate, we can advise and install a suitable method. An unbonded screed is laid directly on a polythene sheet. This sheet could be a 1200gauge polythene DPM membrane or just a 500gauge membrane if a DPM is not required. This type of screed prevents the need to prepare the surface, so it’s usually quicker and easier on the client’s budget.
Floating systems: a floating screed is laid on an insulation board with a traditional sand/cement screed, or 40mm thickness with a liquid screed – the thickness of the screed can be dependent on the size of insulation, for which we can recommend and advise accordingly. This insulation could be dependent on the U-value required (PIR insulation), or it might be that there is a larger build-up to fill, using a void filler (polystyrene board known as EPS). The greater the insulation thickness, the thicker the screed depth required.
Rapid-drying screed: we can provide fast-drying screeds when you have a challenging programme and when drying time is critical and finishes need to be laid quickly, for example shopfitting situations where the client needs the store open as quickly as possible.
Underfloor-Heating compatible: screed options devised to be installed over underfloor heating pipes.
Liquid Anhydrite: a highly thermally conductive, free-flowing gypsum (calcium sulphate) screed.
Liquid Cementitious: specially formulated liquid screeds used to create self-levelling cementitious floor screeds. Liquid screeds are much faster to install, because they are poured; as much as 1000m2 can be completed in a day.
Traditional screed: common sand and cement (semi-dry) screeds. Typical installation rates are between 150m2 and 200m2 a day.
Heavy-duty screed: robust semi-dry screeds, for when heavy traffic is expected.
Polymer-modified: an additive to produce high performance screeds with improved water resistance and increased physical strength. Typically used in substation environments such as UKPN Rooms, or wet environments such as showers and roofs.
Granolithic: a tough, hard-wearing, heavy-duty screed option.
Which type of screed is best for your project probably requires some product-specific expertise. We’re always happy to help so just get in touch for a chat about what you’d like to achieve.
Screed is one of a number of specialist concrete mixes, which is then applied – often by pouring – onto an existing concrete base. The purpose is to create a perfectly level, smooth and even floor, ready for covering or polishing.
You might not if the concrete base is outside and you don’t need a smooth finish. But concrete uses a larger, coarser aggregate mix and seldom offers the smooth finish required to take other flooring finishes. Even laying paving slabs over a screed can be easier and offer better results than laying directly on a concrete mix.
This can vary significantly according to the type of screed used. The earlier you involve a specialist screeding contractor in the design process, the more control you have over defining your timetable and the best screed to meet that and the end-use requirements. Some screeds with specialist additives can be ready to walk on in as little as 12 hours. Others may take up to 48 hours before they can take foot traffic. The time between curing and applying further finishes or even furniture varies too, but will typically be between two and four weeks. We can perform a screed test to ensure the floor is ready to take surfacing such as carpet or tiles. There are also some fast-setting screeds which can be used to accelerate a project timetable, particularly with refurbishments and fit-out, but it’s always recommended to consult a screeding expert to aid in scheduling.
Usually, yes. Among other things, we use specialist equipment to strip away any remnants of existing adhesive and loose debris, to ensure that the substrate is in the best condition for bonding with the screed. There are various techniques available, depending on what’s needed: repairing any cracks or joints in the sub-surface or filling in any significant holes; diamond grinding; scarifying; and shot blasting. Good preparation is essential to a long-lasting surface. If a DPM membrane is required, the preparation requirements are significantly reduced, however.
If it’s been applied properly, and it’s the right screed for the environment, none whatsoever!