One of the trends in construction today is focusing on ways to achieve greener infrastructure. Since cooling and heating accounts for a significant amount of energy consumption, one of the ways to make buildings more energy-efficient is by installing underfloor heating. Whether it is for commercial or residential construction, this type of heating method finds a suitable application.

One of the critical steps involved in installing radiant heating for floors is the screed. The relationship between these two will determine whether the installation is successful or not. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the essential details involved in screeding and underfloor heating.

Types of liquid screed

In general, there are two different kinds of liquid screed – hand-applied semi-dry screed and free-flowing liquid screed pumped using a machine. Contractors like supply the second type of liquid screed for all sorts of projects.

But regardless of which type of screed you use in underfloor heating, the application process is primarily the same. The last step involves curing the surface and then installing the floor finish on top. In an underfloor heating installation, it is critical to ensure that the screed cures completely while at the same time gradually testing the heating equipment. After completely curing the screed, you can proceed with the floor finishing material.

How to ensure a successful floor screed application

When applying floor screed for underfloor heating, these are essential key considerations to ensure success:

  • Before installation, you need to make sure that the surface is flat and smooth. This way, the heating insulation remains level, and you can achieve the correct screeding thickness before combining the two.
  • Make sure to determine the correct liquid screed specification, which depends on the thickness and heat output required. The size of the floor is another factor that impacts this process as well as selecting the right type of flooring material. Differences in underfloor heating design may also affect the type of screed used. Always consult with the manufacturer to find out the most suitable specification.
  • The liquid screed manufacturer often provides application instructions. Make sure to follow these correctly.
  • During the design stage, you need to carefully plan for expansion joints as these are critical in preventing the screed from cracking.

In addition to these critical points, one of the most significant challenges is the limited knowledge of how liquid screed reacts to varying heat output. Unfortunately, when the building owner and contractor have varying opinions as well as requirements, the resulting project can fail.

It is clear then that preventing screed issues is more ideal than finding a solution when the problem ultimately arises. As such, the design stage should take into account all possible factors which can impact the performance of the screed and the heating appliance.

The building contractor, underfloor heating expert, as well as the liquid screed supplier, should be able to work out all the potential issues which may arise before, during, and after installation. The success of underfloor heating and screeding depends on a collaborative effort between all stakeholders involved.

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