Concrete vs Liquid Screed: Exploring the Key Differences

by | Oct 23, 2023

Concrete vs Liquid Screed Difference

Concrete vs liquid screed

In the world of construction, having the right materials at your disposal is crucial to ensuring a smooth and efficient project. While concrete is a household name in the industry, screed might not be as familiar to those outside of it. However, don’t let its lesser-known status fool you – screed plays a vital role in many construction projects. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between liquid screed and concrete, shedding light on how each can be a valuable asset in your construction endeavours.

What is liquid screed?

Liquid screed, often referred to as flow screed or flowing screed, is a self-levelling floor compound. It is composed of a thick mixture which typically consists of a binder (either calcium sulfate or cement), sharp sand, water, and specific additives or admixtures to enhance its properties. It’s commonly delivered directly from a mixing truck and then spread across the desired area using a liquid screed pump.

Floating screed

How is liquid screed different from concrete?

At a glance, liquid floor screed and concrete may appear alike, but those within the construction field recognize their distinct functions and characteristics. While they may have some similarities, their composition, purpose, and application usage vary notably. Concrete is used for it’s strength, whereas liquid screed is tailored to deliver a smooth and flat finish for the final flooring layer. Both materials are composed of aggregates, cement, and water in their mix. However, concrete has a rougher texture due to its larger and coarser aggregates, in contrast to screed, which utilizes finer aggregates to aid the final floor finish.

Curing times and cost efficiency

Curing times for both liquid screed and concrete are relatively consistent, allowing for recommended foot traffic within 24-48 hours post-pouring. However, it’s worth noting that liquid screed tends to come at a higher cost than concrete, primarily because it incorporates finer aggregates and specialized additives to achieve its smooth finish. One noteworthy benefit of liquid floor screeds is their capacity to promote energy efficiency. They are frequently applied over underfloor heating systems, thereby significantly improving the efficiency of thermal heat transfer and contributing to potential energy savings.

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