Underfloor screed for underfloor heating is a popular alternative to traditional radiators, offering a warmer, more efficient and aesthetically pleasing option. However, problems with underfloor heating systems can occur if the system isn’t designed and installed correctly. This is particularly the case with the screed layer, with cracks in a heated floor often seen as a result of poor installation or inadequate screed mixture.

The smooth surface of a good quality screed acts as an effective heat transfer medium for underfloor heating. It allows the UFH pipework to be laid underneath, and it also helps to absorb warmth from the piping and radiate it into the floor surface, helping to minimise warm-up times. It also helps to reduce energy use and running costs.

Finding a Telehandler Course Near You: Location and Options

Traditionally, sand and cement screeds are used for UFH systems, and these can be either ‘dry’ or’self-levelling’. The latter is often used in commercial settings, as it’s much quicker to lay and provides a more consistent finish.

Self-levelling screeds are made from calcium sulfate (along with sand and various additives) which are poured or pumped on the floor to create a smooth, even finish. They are generally easier to work with than dry mixes and can be laid more quickly, though they may take a little longer to cure. They are often topped with an insulation such as cellular foam or polythene, which should be fitted around any service and column penetrations in the floor.

UFH overlays like those from Fermacell are another quicker alternative to traditional screeds, as they’re pre-routed and ready to accept the heating pipes, and simply lay on top of the existing insulated floor. However, they’re usually only a couple of millimetres thicker than a traditional screed and don’t provide the same level of heat transfer efficiency.