The History of Liquid Screed

If you’re a liquid screed Oxford contractor or developer in the UK, you might have heard about the growing popularity of liquid screed applications for residential and commercial properties. Property managers in the UK and beyond have been drawn to the numerous benefits of flowing screed over traditional screening.

This is partly because of the rapid drying and self-levelling properties of liquid screed, making it an excellent choice for smooth commercial finishes, residential underfloor heating, and more. But where exactly is this innovation, and what makes it a superior alternative to traditional concrete screening?


Let’s find out.

The Invention of Screed

The first era of screening was a concrete and sand-based composition. It is commonly used in-situ over a structural base. It is designed to achieve a smooth surface that flooring such as wooden, carpeting and flooring finishes can be applied over.

Concrete screed is generally made up of a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4:5 cement and sharp sand. The composition is manually mixed and levelled out over the substrate surface. The concrete screed must then be levelled out with a screed bar or power screening tools to achieve smoothness. This is necessary to remove moisture and bubbles as cement is prone to cracking and shrinking.

This meant a great deal of time and effort had to be spent to estimate potential shrinkage and measure the right level of humidity and temperature needed to get a professional finish. As such, concrete screening was a labour-intensive task, often taking weeks to complete. But not just that…

The Problems of Concrete Screed

In particular, in residential properties with underfloor heating, the weight and flow of the concrete screed presented additional problems.

Unfortunately, heating systems are often part and parcel of the substrate the screed must cover. This meant that the heaviness of the concrete could bend piping. Moreover, since the concrete was prone to air bubbles, heat could become trapped inside, reducing the thermal transfer efficiency. Finally, concrete is very thick and difficult to pass through in terms of insulation. Thus it was not an optimal choice for such projects.

Another concerning feature of concrete screed is how it is produced. At present, concrete is responsible for 7% of global CO2 emissions. With growing environmental concerns about air quality in the UK, concrete has been recognised as a critical driver of climate change. Concrete is created through a process called decarbonisation. This means that when breaking down some aspects of the components of concrete, large amounts of carbon are released. In fact, for each tonne of cement created, as much as 622kg of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere.

Problems Liquid Screed Fixes

This is where liquid screed shines through. Liquid screed emits far less CO2 emissions than concrete (as much as 20% less); it takes less heat to produce. Additionally, often liquid screed is composed of partly recycled materials. The binder, for instance, is derived from 98% recycled materials. This makes it a popular eco-friendly alternative to traditional screed.

Moreover, liquid screed requires far less effort to cover the substrate when it comes to labour and time efficiency. Since liquid screed is self-levelling and more easily flowing, it can quickly cover an area without extensive levelling tools. This is because the liquid density pushes out air bubbles independently and can spread into the crevices of a room with ease. As such, Liquid screed can take less than 20 minutes to cover a 25m2 area from start to finish. Drying time can be as little as 8 hours to be dry enough to walk.

Another benefit of liquid screed is for underfloor heating applications. Since air doesn’t get trapped like a concrete screed, thermal conductivity is far better with a liquid screed. In addition, the screed amalgamates around the piping without damaging it, reducing gaps between the screed and the heating system. As a result, heat transference can occur much quicker, making it a good choice for residential insulation.


As discussed, the innovation of liquid screed has much to offer.

If you have a liquid screed Gloucestershire project or beyond, why not see what floor screed Newbury services and benefits you can get for your project today?

If you need more proof, take a look at what our customers have to say.