Screed Installer's Guide to Cement-Based Liquid Screeds

As a certified installer, you understand the critical role screeds play in creating durable and efficient flooring solutions. However, the wide range of screed products available in the market can present challenges in choosing the right one for specific projects.

Certified installers often encounter various projects with unique requirements, making it vital to stay updated on the latest industry trends and best practices. The Approved Installer Program is a resourceful solution designed to address these challenges.


By participating in this program, installers gain access to specialized training, cutting-edge techniques, and invaluable knowledge to ensure successful screed installations every time.

Combined with the guidance in this post, becoming an approved installer will ensure that you can feel confident in each and every installation.

Whether you're a seasoned professional seeking to enhance your skills or a newcomer aspiring to become a certified installer, this guide will serve as your go-to resource for mastering screed installation and achieving exceptional results in every project you undertake. Let's get started!

Looking for more information? Click on each header to check out the expanded posts, where we dive into each of these areas one-by-one in more detail, offering practical advice on efficient screed installation with cement-based liquid screeds.


  1. The Top 3 Reasons to Become a Certified Liquid Screed Installer: Highlights the advantages of becoming certified, including in-depth knowledge, staying updated with industry standards, and gaining a competitive edge.
  2. The Best Screed Products for Efficient Floor Installation: Explores screed types for efficient floor installation, such as rapid-drying solutions, high flow screeds, and low shrinkage formulations.
  3. Understanding Shrinkage and Curling in Screed: Covers shrinkage and curling in screed, emphasizing joint design, reinforcement techniques, and proper curing methods.
  4. How Long Should Floor Screed Take to Dry: Discusses factors influencing screed drying time, including environmental conditions, screed thickness, and underfloor heating.
  5. What Type of Screed Should Be Used for UFH: Guides in selecting the right screed type for underfloor heating (UFH) systems, focusing on thermal conductivity, low thermal resistance, and self-levelling properties.
  6. Ensuring Screed Compatibility with Adhesives and Floor Materials: Emphasizes the importance of compatibility between screed, adhesives, and floor materials, including adhesive selection, moisture and pH level considerations, and subfloor preparation.


Top Reasons to Become a Certified Liquid Screed Installer

Before we jump into some more general guidance on screed installing and cement-based liquid screeds, let’s briefly discuss how becoming a certified liquid screed installer through Cemfloor can help. The Approved Installer Program offers numerous advantages that elevate your expertise and credibility in the industry.

Firstly, certification provides in-depth knowledge and training on the correct usage and application of liquid screeds. By understanding the intricacies of different screed products, certified installers can confidently choose the most suitable option for each project, ensuring long-lasting and high-performance flooring solutions.

Secondly, staying up-to-date with evolving industry standards and innovations is crucial. As a certified installer, you gain access to the latest advancements in screed technology and installation techniques, allowing you to remain at the forefront of the industry and deliver top-notch results.

Clients increasingly prioritize certified professionals due to their proven expertise and reliability. By proudly displaying your certification, you signal to potential customers that you are a trusted and skilled expert in liquid screed installations.

In conclusion, becoming a certified liquid screed installer opens doors to enhanced knowledge, continuous professional development, and a distinct advantage in a competitive market. By investing in certification, you invest in the future success of your business and the satisfaction of your clients.


The Best Screed Products for Efficient Floor Installation

Within screed installation, using the correct screed products is paramount to achieving maximum efficiency and outstanding results. Let’s explore the key considerations to make when selecting or working with top-performing screeds:

  1. Rapid Drying Solutions: Time is often of the essence in construction projects, and rapid-drying screeds offer a practical advantage. Screeds, such as cement-based liquids facilitate quicker project completion, allowing for faster access to the floor for subsequent trades or activities.
  2. High Flow Screeds: High flow or self-compacting screeds are known for their excellent flow properties, ensuring a smooth and even surface with minimal effort. Their ability to self-level reduces the need for excessive manual intervention during installation.
  3. Low Shrinkage Formulations: To mitigate the risk of cracks and surface imperfections, opting for screeds with low shrinkage properties is essential. These formulations provide dimensional stability, ensuring the integrity of the flooring system over time.
  4. Enhanced Thermal Conductivity: In projects incorporating underfloor heating (UFH), screeds with high thermal conductivity are preferable. Such screeds efficiently transfer heat, maximizing the system's overall energy efficiency.
  5. Environmentally Friendly Options: Increasingly, sustainable building practices gain prominence. Utilizing eco-friendly screed products can contribute to green building certifications and cater to environmentally-conscious clients.

By carefully considering these factors when selecting or working with screed products, certified installers can optimize installation processes, deliver high-quality flooring solutions, and ultimately exceed their clients' expectations.


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Understanding Shrinkage and Curling in Screed

The phenomena known as shrinkage and curling in floor screeds can cause constant issues for contractors and end-users. Knowing how best to avoid these occurrences is crucial for ensuring the longevity and stability of the flooring system. This section delves into the key concepts related to these issues.

Shrinkage in Screed: Shrinkage occurs as the screed dries and loses moisture, resulting in a reduction in volume. This process can lead to cracks and fissures on the surface, compromising the integrity of the flooring. Installers must take preventive measures to minimize shrinkage-related issues during and after installation.

Causes of Curling: Curling in screed refers to the upward or downward bending of the edges or corners of the floor slabs. It occurs due to temperature variations, moisture differentials, and restraint from the surrounding structure. Properly understanding the causes helps installers implement effective strategies to prevent curling.

Joint Design and Placement: To address shrinkage and curling, appropriate joint design and placement are essential. Installing expansion and movement joints at strategic locations allows the screed to accommodate volume changes without causing unsightly cracks or curling.

Reinforcement Techniques: In cases where curling is a potential concern, incorporating reinforcement techniques, such as using steel mesh or fibres, can enhance the screed's tensile strength. This helps mitigate the effects of curling and provides additional support to the flooring system.

Curing Methods: Adequate curing is vital to minimize shrinkage-related issues. Installers should follow proper curing practices, such as keeping the screed moist and protected during the critical drying phase, to prevent rapid evaporation and excessive shrinkage.

By developing a comprehensive understanding of shrinkage and curling in screed, installers can implement proactive measures to address these challenges effectively. With the right knowledge and techniques, they can ensure stable, crack-free, and durable flooring solutions, leaving clients satisfied with the results for years to come.


How Long Should Floor Screed Take to Dry?

The drying time of floor screed is a critical factor in any construction project, as it directly impacts the timeline for subsequent activities and the overall project completion.

This section delves into the factors that influence the drying time of floor screed and provides insights for certified installers to manage this process efficiently:

  1. Environmental Conditions: The prevailing environmental conditions significantly affect the drying time of screed. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and ventilation play a vital role. Warmer temperatures and lower humidity levels promote faster drying, while cold and humid conditions can extend the drying period.
  2. Screed Thickness: The thickness of the applied screed layer is another determinant of drying time. Thicker screeds take longer to dry completely. Certified installers must consider the project's requirements and specifications to ensure appropriate screed thickness for optimal drying times.
  3. Type of Screed: Different screed types, such as traditional sand and cement screed or modern liquid screeds, have varying drying characteristics. Liquid screeds, for instance, often offer faster drying times compared to traditional screeds.
  4. Underfloor Heating: When underfloor heating (UFH) is involved, it is essential to follow specific guidelines to facilitate proper screed drying. Gradual heating of the UFH system is recommended to prevent rapid drying, which could lead to cracking.
  5. Moisture Testing: To accurately determine when the screed is dry enough for subsequent flooring installation, moisture testing is essential. Moisture meters and hygrometers can be used to measure the moisture content and ascertain if the screed meets the required moisture levels for the chosen flooring material.
  6. Accelerating Drying: In situations where time is of the essence, certified installers can employ various techniques to expedite the drying process. These may include using dehumidifiers, providing adequate ventilation, or utilizing fast-drying screed formulations.

By understanding the factors influencing screed drying time and employing appropriate measures, certified installers can effectively manage this critical aspect of floor installation.

Careful consideration of environmental conditions, screed type, and testing procedures ensures timely and successful completion of projects, meeting both the installer's and the client's expectations.


Selecting the Right Screed Type for Underfloor Heating (UFH)

Underfloor heating (UFH) systems have gained popularity due to their efficiency and ability to provide comfortable and consistent heating throughout a space.

However, selecting the right screed type is essential to ensure optimal performance and compatibility with UFH systems. In this section, we explore the key considerations for certified installers when choosing the appropriate screed for UFH applications.

Thermal Conductivity:

The screed's thermal conductivity directly impacts the efficiency of the UFH system. It is crucial to select a screed with high thermal conductivity, as this allows for effective heat transfer, ensuring even and rapid distribution of warmth across the floor surface.


Low Thermal Resistance:

The screed should have low thermal resistance to minimize heat loss into the subfloor. A screed with low thermal resistance ensures that more heat is directed upward, maximizing the system's energy efficiency and reducing operational costs.


Fast Drying:

To accelerate project timelines and enable earlier commissioning of the UFH system, choosing a screed with fast-drying properties is advantageous. Rapid-drying screeds allow for earlier floor covering installations, reducing overall project duration.


Compatibility with UFH Pipes:

The selected screed should be compatible with the UFH pipes to ensure proper close contact and prevent air gaps. Certain screed formulations are designed specifically for UFH applications, offering excellent adhesion and coverage around the pipes.


Self-Levelling Properties:

For ease of installation and to ensure a smooth and even surface, opting for self-levelling screeds can be beneficial. These screeds flow easily into place, reducing the need for manual intervention and achieving a level floor, ideal for UFH systems.


Thickness Considerations:

The thickness of the screed layer should be carefully determined to strike the right balance between thermal performance and screed usage. A thinner screed layer with high thermal conductivity can sometimes provide better results than a thicker layer with lower conductivity.

By considering these factors when selecting the appropriate screed for UFH installations, certified installers can ensure optimal performance, energy efficiency, and client satisfaction.

Properly matched screed and UFH systems create a harmonious combination that enhances the overall comfort and functionality of the space while delivering long-term reliability and even lead to savings on energy costs.


Ensuring Screed Compatibility with Adhesives and Floor Materials

When installing flooring, the compatibility between the screed and adhesives, as well as the floor materials, is crucial to achieve a successful and long-lasting flooring system.

In this section, we explore the key considerations for certified installers to ensure seamless compatibility and avoid potential issues during and after the installation process:

  1. Subfloor Preparation: Properly preparing the subfloor before installing the screed is essential for achieving compatibility with adhesives and floor materials. Ensuring a clean, flat, and well-bonded subfloor creates a stable foundation for the entire flooring system.
  2. Adhesive Selection: The type of adhesive used for securing floor coverings depends on the screed type and the chosen floor material. Certified installers must carefully match the adhesive's properties, such as flexibility, drying time, and bonding strength, with the specific screed and flooring materials to ensure a secure and durable bond.
  3. Drying and Curing Periods: After the screed is installed, it is essential to allow sufficient drying and curing time before applying adhesives and laying floor coverings. Following manufacturer guidelines for both the screed and adhesive ensures that the floor system sets properly and minimizes the risk of problems in the future.
  4. Moisture and pH Levels: Excessive moisture or unsuitable pH levels in the screed can adversely affect adhesive performance and lead to flooring failures. Certified installers should conduct moisture tests and pH level assessments to ensure that the screed meets the requirements for the chosen adhesives and floor materials.
  5. Compatibility Testing: In some cases, conducting compatibility tests between the screed, adhesives, and floor materials can provide valuable insights into potential issues. This step can help identify any adverse reactions or performance concerns before the full installation takes place.
  6. Manufacturer Guidelines: Always adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for both the screed and the chosen adhesives and floor materials. Manufacturer instructions provide essential information on compatibility and application procedures, ensuring the best possible outcome for the project.

By carefully considering screed compatibility with adhesives and floor materials, certified installers can deliver flooring systems that not only look aesthetically pleasing but also offer exceptional performance and durability.

Following industry best practices and adhering to manufacturer guidelines enhances the overall quality of the installation and contributes to satisfied clients who can enjoy a reliable and long-lasting floor.


Become A Certified Liquid Screed Installer Today

We understand how hard screed installers like you work to stay up-to-date with the latest industry best practices. That's why we created the Cemfloor Approved Installer Program, aimed at assisting screed installers in consistently delivering success and quality to their customers through Cemfloor products.

Tailored to your needs, this 1-hour training course focuses on essential guidelines for installing Cemfloor's cement-based liquid screeds and meeting manufacturer standards time and time again.

Cemfloor has built a strong reputation as a trusted manufacturer and provider of screeds, specialising in high-quality cement-based liquid screeds for projects ranging from domestic to commercial sites.

With Cemfloor products and our unwavering commitment to quality, installers like yourself can confidently install floors, knowing that the product is always of the highest standard, carrying both UKCA and CE marks.

Join the Cemfloor Screed Installer Program today and become part of a growing community of skilled professionals dedicated to delivering quality-driven projects to their clients.



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