Exposed screed or floor coating – which floor is right for me?
Germany’s floors are experiencing a new trend. The elemental look of exposed screed and large-area floor coatings is increasingly meeting the taste of German tenants and homeowners. But what is it about industrial flooring that makes it so appealing for residential use as well? A quick look at the pros and cons might explain the success.
Industrial look for living areas
Exposed screeds and hard-wearing floor coatings offer great benefits wherever floors are subjected to heavy loads. In addition to production halls and warehouses, they can be found in stores and administrative buildings with public traffic, in hospitals, schools and kindergartens, as well as in parking garages and sports halls.
Exposed screed is a screed that can do without a floor covering due to its sanded and sealed surface. The appearance of this utility screed is mainly characterized by the aggregates or colorings used.
In contrast, floor coatings usually consist of a thin layer of synthetic resins such as epoxy or polyurethane resins, which seal the underlying concrete or screed. Applied as a liquid or paste-like mass, the floor coating hardens as a large-area and uniform floor.
The trump cards from the visible screed
The two biggest advantages of an exposed screed are its low-cost production and its long service life. Even in large warehouses and lush lofts, the screed layer uses it to create an economical floor that has a refined and modern appearance. Exposed screed is extremely resilient, durable and resistant to wear and abrasion.
Due to its good heat capacity, exposed screed is often used as a heating screed in connection with underfloor heating. In addition, the jointless screed installation is ideal for creating barrier-free rooms, which are moisture resistant with appropriate sealing and allow easy cleaning. For individual design, the market now offers a lush selection of colored and interesting aggregates that give free rein to creativity.
Difficult on the visible screed is the need for careful planning. Urgently needed expansion joints should always be made by an experienced screed contractor to avoid uncontrolled cracking. As professionals, screed layers also take care of the appropriate choice of materials and the prevention of troublesome air holes.
This is where the floor coating scores
While exposed screed is excellent at distributing large compressive loads, floor coatings show their full potential when exposed to loads from children playing, athletes, public traffic or the hustle and bustle of warehouses. Depending on the material, the floor coating, which is only a few millimeters thick, hardens either elastically or firmly.
The thin, seamless and durable synthetic resin is an excellent flooring for indoor and outdoor use. It can be easily applied to new buildings, renovations and refurbishments and allows enormous design freedom in terms of color, from colorless transparent to brightly colored RAL colors. In addition, the screed layer adjusts the surface finish of the floor coating to the specific need. Insulated impact sound and increased walking comfort, liquid-tight and resistant to chemicals or as an ESD floor to dissipate electrostatic discharges – there is a solution for every application.
In terms of heat resistance and recyclability, however, the floor coating loses a few points. Likewise, a UV-resistant topcoat should be chosen for strong sunlight to prevent unsightly yellowing. Synthetic resins with the AgBB seal (Committee for Health-related Evaluation of Building Products) are characterized by low outgassing. Mechanical damage is quite easy to repair. However, for the sake of a uniform appearance, these should definitely be carried out by an experienced professional.
Resilient industrial look or durable color scheme
As a conclusion remains to summarize: The exposed screed is resilient, durable and is characterized by a modern and simple industrial look. The floor coating, on the other hand, is durable, can be color-matched to an existing room design and easily repaired if damaged. Both variants are suitable for creating an open and modern sense of space that enhances residential, commercial and public areas.
As a screed company, we will be happy to help you choose suitable materials and advise you on the planning and implementation of your floor renovation.
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