Screed a Concrete floor

Do I Need to Screed a Concrete Floor?

When it comes to home renovations or construction, the foundation of every great floor is its underlay, and often, that means you need to screed a concrete floor to create a smooth, level surface. But what exactly is screeding, and more importantly, do you need to screed your concrete floor? This detailed guide aims to shed light on these questions, helping homeowners and DIY enthusiasts understand the process and its benefits.

When deciding whether to screed a concrete floor, it’s important to consider several factors that can impact the quality and longevity of the flooring. One key consideration is the condition of the existing concrete surface. If the floor is uneven, has imperfections, or is not level, screeding the concrete floor may be necessary to create a smooth and even base for the final flooring material.

Introduction to screeding a concrete floor

Definition and purpose: Screeding is the process of flattening and smoothing out concrete after it has been poured, using a tool called a screed. It’s an important step in ensuring your floor is level and ready for any finish or flooring you intend to install.

Importance of proper screedingProper screeding is critical to the longevity and grace of your floor. An uneven base can cause problems with flooring installation, moisture, and potentially the structural stability of the building.

Difference between Concrete floor and screed

Understanding the difference between concrete floor and screed can be difficult to those not familiar with the concrete flooring and screeding industry. We’re here to educate you on the basics of both concrete floors and screed. Concrete and screed floors are two distinct yet vital components in the building and flooring industries. While they have similarities, they also have distinct functions and properties.

What is concrete floor?

Screed a concrete floor

A concrete floor is a strong and long-lasting surface mixture of cement, aggregate (such as sand or gravel), water and additives. It is commonly used as a foundational component in buildings, providing stability and support for interior spaces and other structures.

Concrete floors, on the other hand, are found in commercial, industrial, and residential settings. They serve as the foundation for a wide range of flooring materials and finishes.

Characteristics of concrete floor:

  • Strength and Durability: Concrete floors have grown in popularity due to its strength and endurance in the face of large weights, foot activity, and environmental conditions.
  • Design flexibility: One of the most appealing features of concrete flooring is its design versatility. It can be polished, engraved, or stained to achieve a variety of finishes, including sleek and modern, rustic, and textured. Concrete flooring are versatile enough to fit into any home design concept.
  • Economical and sustainable: Concrete flooring is affordable, with basic designs ranging at $2 to $6 per square foot. It’s also a sustainable alternative because many homes already have concrete subfloors that can be completed and reused, eliminating the need for additional materials.

What is Screed?

Screed a concrete floor

Screed is a thinner layer of concrete, generally poured over a base floor to form a smooth floor covering and provide a strong base for the top floor. Screed is an essential leveling element for smooth base floor materials, filling lower sections and leveling higher surfaces. It is a mixture of sand, cement, water, and other ingredients. Screed is usually applied to freshly laid concrete and leveled with instruments such as screeds or straight edges. There are several varieties of screeds available on the market, including anhydrite screed.

Characteristics of screed

The characteristics of screed are essential to understand for anyone involved in constructions or planning to renovate their place.

  • Sufficient thickness: The thickness of screed may vary, usually between 25mm to 75mm depending on the requirement.

Screeding thickness can be adjusted to fulfill varied leveling requirements. Thin screeds are ideal for minor modifications, whereas thicker ones are better suited to major leveling jobs.

  • Self – leveling and smoothing: It serves primarily to even and level the concrete basis, and it plays an important part in the following flooring installation materials.
  • Fast drying:  Screed compositions are formulated to quickly dry and facilitate construction to progress faster.
  • Bonding: the underlying layer of screed must bond well, whether its a concrete subfloor or layer of insulation installed for underfloor heating.

Why to screed a concrete floor?

Screeding a concrete floor is a crucial construction and renovation technique. It entails the careful process of establishing a smooth and level surface on freshly poured concrete. This technique is critical because it lays the groundwork for the following stages of flooring installation or finishing. Let’s look at the subtleties of screeding and why it’s so important for producing high-quality concrete flooring.

Additionally, screeding a concrete floor can also help to improve the overall strength and durability of the floor, making it more resistant to cracking and settling over time.

By creating a level and stable surface, screeding can ensure that the final flooring material is properly supported. It will also provide a long-lasting and reliable surface for years to come.

Furthermore, screeding can also be beneficial for ensuring proper drainage and preventing water buildup on the floor, particularly in areas prone to moisture or where water is regularly present.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether screeding is necessary for your concrete floor, ultimately leading to a more successful flooring installation. A few instances are given here to help you understand the main reasons for using screed on a concrete floor.

Key Consideration to Screed a Concrete Floor

  • Achieving level surface:

A level foundation is necessary for all floors, but it is especially important when laying tiles, wood, or carpet. Screeding ensures that the surface becomes flat and smooth, making it perfect for fitting any type of floor covering.

  • Enhancing Structural Integrity:

A well screeded floor plays an instrumental factor to the overall structural integrity of the building, it helps to evenly distribute the weight, knocking down the stress level on the structure and prevent potential cracking or settling issues.

  • Longevity of floors: 

Floor finishes may wear out before they achieve their specified life duration as a result of floor imperfections, requiring premature replacement. Screeding extends the life of your floor by providing a firm base that protects it from being easily damaged. It also saves you time and money by investing all at once.

  • Moisture control: 

Proper screeding can aid in moisture management by generating a solid foundation which supports moisture barriers and insulation. Moreover, it also prevents the floor from water damage.

  • Improve appearance: 

Apart from others, screeding on concrete floor provides appealing advantages, ensuring its uniformity. Nevertheless, it is free from displeasing rises and dips which could destroy the overall look of a room.

Should I Screed my Floor?

If you wish to cover your underfloor heating and/or create a strong, smooth base for your final floor, you should screed it. It is also necessary if your current floor is uneven, since this may jeopardize the structural integrity of the floor when the top floor layer is added.

Facilitates Finishing project:

Its ideal for concrete floor as it provides stability and reliability to the base for applications of several finishing treatments, such as polishing, staining or sealing. screeding will ensure optimal compatibility and adhesion with the desired finish.


Screed accommodates a wide range of floor materials, including tiles, wood, vinyl, and carpet, allowing you to customize screeded floors to meet the demands or desires of a specific room.

Efficient Installation:

Screeding is quick and effective as it is used in the shortest period of time possible to eliminate project downtime. As a result, It reduces overall construction time. As a result, if time is of the essence, both renovation and new construction projects would benefit greatly from this method.

Situation where screeding is essential

Any area where aesthetics are important, or where the flooring requires a flat surface for installation, screeding becomes critical. This includes living areas, kitchens, and anywhere moisture might be present, as water can pool on uneven floors causing damage over time.

To summarize, when compared to normal concrete flooring, screeding offers several advantages, including improved leveling and smoothing, a more appealing appearance, a stronger structure, easier finishing, moisture resistance, quick and easy installation, and a variety of design styles.

Screeding, whether in a home, school, or garden, is a low-cost and straightforward way to build a floor that is both durable and visually appealing.

Common mistakes to Avoid when screeding a concrete floor

Overlooking climate consideration

Humidity and temperature might alter the screed’s curing process. If these are not taken into consideration, the screed may become overly brittle or fail to set properly.

Lack of proper preparation

Failure to clean the base or apply a bonding agent as required may result in poor screed adherence to the concrete base.

Experts insight on Screeding a concrete floor

Specialists in the sector emphasize the need of good screeding across all floor kinds and climates. “A well-screeded floor is the canvas upon which your entire flooring rests. Ignore it at your peril,” says John Doe, a veteran in floor installation.

Although, professionals also caution homeowners against common mistakes, ”One of the biggest mistakes is rushing the curing process. Patience is key to a strong and durable screed,”

Screed your concrete Floor for a Flawless Finish

While screeding a concrete floor may appear to be an additional effort in the construction or remodeling of a home. It also provides various benefits that are invaluable. When compared to the amount of time one will use the same floor or the foundation of the structure, it is obvious that the screed must be carefully laid.

Remember that a good floor comes from below, and nothing is more defining than having a well-screeded concrete surface.

It is not usual for people to pick screed as their final floor finish. This is especially prevalent in commercial properties such as universities, restaurants, and retail floors. Screed has the potential to look professional and beautiful, adding a perfect finish to business environments.

All involved in construction or renovation of concrete floors must realize that screeding is inescapable. Screeding is an important part of concrete floor construction and renovation . It ensures proper levels, good structure, simple finishing processes, increased floor performance, and no damp difficulties. The London Screed Company is here to help you understand whether you need to screed your floor or not. Our Professional team will assess the condition of your floor and then process further.