Screed is commonly used in wood flooring installation projects. The ideal way of ensuring your subfloor is level and smooth, screeds are relatively easy and quick to lay. Screed is the term used to describe the finish which is put on a concrete floor to make it level and stable. The mixture used is normally made up of a combination of coarse, sharp sand and cement. Ironically, the term screed originates from the name of the tool used in the leveling process, which is a flat, usually aluminum board which is dragged over the mixture to create a completely level surface.
Screed can be applied to structural concrete or to insulation to create a thin, level surface on which your wood floor can be installed. Once the screed has been laid, it can either be dragged level using a “screed” (the tool mentioned above) or you could use a self-leveling screed. Self-leveling screeds are becoming more and more commonly used and can even be delivered and pumped into your room directly from the delivery truck if there is appropriate access.
One of the most important things to remember when introducing a screed into a wood flooring installation project is the risk of moisture. Whenever and wherever a wood floor is to be installed, it is essential to make sure that all materials, including concrete and screeds are dry. It is also important to acclimatise the subfloor before laying the wood flooring.
When laying a screed, for the express purpose of installing wood flooring, it is essential that a damp proof membrane be incorporated into your plans. This damp proof membrane will help keep the moisture content within their desired levels and will help avoid any moisture present in the subfloor reaching the new floor. For best results, screeds should be applied in warm, dry conditions.
When it comes to installing your wood flooring over a screed, there are various fitting options depending upon whether you have selected a solid wood or an engineered wood floor. Solid wood floors can be nailed on to battens or glued-down directly to screed subfloors. Engineered wood flooring on the other hand can be installed using either the floating or glue-down methods when you have the presence of a screed. No matter which method you select, you should find that, if properly installed, your wood flooring on a screed base will be a long-lasting and stable flooring solution.