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Screed structure – get to know your floor

Screed is a seamless, resilient and flexible floor for residential, commercial and industrial areas. Depending on the material, sealing and laying, it is possible to achieve various purposes with the screed structure, for example as heated screed, sloped screed or as protection against aggressive chemicals. The adjustment of the screed construction height also allows a precise level adjustment.

Layer by layer from the shell to the finished floor

The load-bearing layer for your floor is formed by the floor slabs or ceilings of your building. The unfinished floor is often uneven, rough and difficult to distribute loads. A top layer of screed evens out such unevenness. This wear layer is suitable for covering living spaces with parquet, tiles or carpet. In basements, garages and modern lofts, the screed often remains as a good-looking screed or visible screed. Depending on the application, the screed structure can be laid floating, gliding or in a fixed bond with the subsoil. The finished floor is then the entirety of raw ceiling, insulation, screed and an optional floor covering.

Bonded screed – for heavy loads and high power transmission

The bonded screed offers the optimal conditions to withstand the strongest permanent loads. The screed structure consists solely of the raw ceiling, the selected screed and an optional covering. For the composite screed, your screed layer selects a screed with similar deformation properties to the underlying floor slab and ensures a strong and permanent connection. This results in optimal power transmission over the entire contact area.

The typical screed construction height is quite slim and is only about 20 mm for mastic asphalt screed and about 25 to 30 mm for cement screed. Bonded screed does not offer any impact or sound insulation and is therefore mainly used for industrial areas, underground car parks or heavily used basements.

Sliding screed – strong for basements and terraces

If the load requirements are low or if the substrate does not allow for an adhesive bond with the screed, then a sliding screed is a good idea. The screed structure consists of the raw ceiling, a slippery separating layer, the screed and an optional covering. The one- or two-layer separating layer made of plastic-impregnated paper, raw glass fleece or thin polyethylene film reduces friction with the substrate. In this way, the screed can safely compensate for minor deformations and movements when subjected to loads from the sliding movement.

Since the separating layer is hardly noticeable, the screed construction height is primarily determined by the thickness of the screed. The minimum thickness for sliding screed according to DIN 18560 (screeds in construction) is 45 millimeters for cement screed and 15 millimeters for synthetic resin screed. Sliding screed offers only minimal sound and heat insulation and is mainly used in residential construction for basement rooms, terraces and balconies.

Floating screed - ideal for all living areas

With the floating screed, the processed screed has no contact with the raw ceiling or protruding components at any point. The screed structure consists of the raw ceiling, an insulating layer lined with barrier layers, the screed and a floor covering. Expansion joints insulate the floating screed from the walls and prevent sound and thermal bridges. As a result, this processing achieves very good heat and footfall sound insulation.

The screed thickness for cement screed is about 40 to 45 millimeters. The thickness of the insulation, the floor covering and an optional underfloor heating are added to the total screed construction height. If the floating screed serves as an even heat distribution for underfloor heating, experts also speak of a heated screed.

As a screed layer, we are happy to support you with your planning, the selection of suitable screed types and the determination of your screed construction height for the level adjustment. The same applies to the selection of suitable insulating materials. Feel free to share this article with fellow builders who would also like to find out more about the screed structure.

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