What Type Of Screed Should Be Used for UFH?

With a rising surge in popularity, underfloor heating systems in the UK are being specified and used more often than ever before, in new builds, refurbishments and fit outs. What you may not already know is that UFH systems are greatly affected by the type of screed material that they are contained within and that they may not work to their full potential unless the correct products are specified in conjunction with them.

In this blog, we will explore why liquid screeds are the ideal choice for underfloor heating projects. We will discuss how liquid screeds work to encapsulate the heating pipes, ensuring optimal heat conductivity and system efficiency. Additionally, we will highlight the reduced drying times of cement-based liquid screeds like Cemfloor, allowing for faster application of floor coverings.

By understanding the advantages of installing the correct screed(s) on a project it is possible to maximise the performance and energy efficiency of underfloor heating systems while delivering exceptional results for your clients.


The Benefits of Liquid Screeds for Underfloor Heating

When it comes to underfloor heating (UFH) installations, all types of screed can technically be used but liquid screeds offer distinct advantages that make them the preferred choice for optimal performance.

Here are the key benefits of using liquid screeds, such as Cemfloor, in UFH applications:


Full Encapsulation of Heating Pipes:

Liquid screeds have a significant advantage over traditional screeds as they fully encapsulate the heating pipes. This means that the screed flows around and under the pipes, creating complete contact with the pipe and so maximising heat conduction. Traditional materials simply cannot do this and will leave up to 40% of the pipe effectively “insulated” by not being in contact with the screed.

Unlike traditional screeds, liquid screeds ensure that 100% of the pipe is effectively utilised and therefore maximising heat transfer.


Reduced Thickness

Liquid screeds can be used at much thinner section in conjunction with UFH than traditional screeds are capable of. Typically flowing screed will require only 25mm cover to the pipes meaning that it will be approximately 40mm thick instead of the 75+ that a traditional screed would require. Clearly if there is less screed to heat up, and less thickness for the heat to pass through, then this is yet another aspect of flowing screeds helping the UFH to be more efficient and quicker to respond.


Exceptional Thermal Conductivity:

Liquid screeds, especially cement-based variants like Cemfloor, boast exceptional thermal conductivity. This adds further to the benefits of the reduced thickness to efficiently transfer heat from the underfloor heating system to the floor surface and to reduce the response time.

Improved system efficiency, which can also lead to better energy costs for the end-user is obviously a plus for flowing screeds. Perhaps an even greater benefit though is that the system “response time” will be dramatically improved. This means that from switching on to achieving the correct operating temperature at the floor surface a system with a liquid screed can reduce the time taken to a quarter or even less.

The result? By choosing a liquid screed that is thinner, makes far better contact with the pipes and has exceptional thermal conductivity, specifiers can improve efficiency and running costs as well as providing a faster responding, more controllable system.


Reduced Drying Times:

Compared with traditional screeds, liquid screeds are thinner and offer improved drying times as standard. Cement-based liquid screeds, such as Cemfloor, offer even better drying performance than liquid screeds based on anhydrite. Liquid screeds can also be force dried after, typically, 7 days if even greater speed is required.

This accelerated drying allows for faster application of floor coverings, reducing project timelines and minimising disruptions on projects, allowing works to be carried out sooner.

The result? With shorter drying times, contractors can proceed with the next stages of the project, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.


Compatibility with Cement-Based Adhesives:

The advantages of liquid screeds have been apparent for a long time but there has also been something of a distrust of anhydrite screeds and much of this relates to perceived difficulties of applying floor finishes such as vinyl. Certainly, most anhydrite screeds (and all of them until quite recently) have required the removal of a film of “laitance” from the surface prior to installation of a covering. If this is not done, then there will be a problem with the floor finish.

There have also been some concerns over the compatibility between anhydrite screeds and the cement-based adhesives and levellers etc that we want to apply over them. This should not really cause a problem if preparation and priming are carried out correctly but, nonetheless, it has on occasion done so.

Cement based flowing screeds, such as Cemfloor, completely avoid both of these potential problems by firstly not having laitance to remove and secondly by being completely compatible with the cement-based systems that we want to apply on top of them.

The result? Cement-based liquid screeds minimise the risk of bonding issues between the screed and floor coverings and so making application of floor finishes easier and with a far lower risk of debonding or other failure.



In conclusion, choosing the right screed for underfloor heating (UFH) installations is essential for optimal performance. Liquid screeds, like Cemfloor, offer key advantages such as full pipe encapsulation, reduced drying times, compatibility with adhesives, and exceptional thermal conductivity.

These benefits ensure efficient heat transfer, faster floor covering application, seamless installation, and lower running costs.

By utilising liquid screeds, screed installers can provide their clients with reliable and energy efficient UFH systems. Embrace the advantages of liquid screeds to elevate your UFH projects and deliver superior results.


Cemfloor Approved Installer Program

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 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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