DIY: renew soil made easy

Floors are trampled over for years. However, this takes its revenge at the latest when stone floors become stumbling blocks, wooden floorboards creak and the heat and sound insulation from the day before yesterday is. If the problems are deeper than just superficial flooring, you need to lower your remedial measures and renew the entire floor. That means in plain language: a solid and well insulated substructure must come from!

In general, floor surfaces must be level, clean, dry and stable. But you should also comply with the state of the art in terms of sound and heat protection. In order to bring the substructure in order, there are various options that can be taken as a hobby-handyman also yourself. A key role is played by the term screed. What is it? We dedicate you to the secrets! 

What is screed?

For the layman, the word screed sounds pretty technical - but in a nutshell, it merely refers to a seamless floor. The best proof of this is dry screed, which describes boards made of different materials, which are laid mainly in old buildings. 

Screed layers are laid directly on the substrate, often made of concrete. Or the screed is laid on intermediate layers or insulating layers.  

Screeds are distinguished according to their binders. So there are e.g. Cement screed, mastic asphalt screed, synthetic resin screed, calcium sulfate screed or magnesite screed. They all describe different compositions.

In which cases screed makes sense?

Only in very rare cases (for example, when planks are to be laid on beamed ceilings), no type of screed is used. It is laid on the shell or on the ceiling slab - both uneven and unsightly. A further floor layer of screed ensures a level surface, so that the floor covering can be laid directly on it. This is not only practical, but also something for the eyes! 

The aim is also to distribute the pressure evenly to the underlying insulation with such a bottom layer. Also with floor screed certain ground heights can be achieved. 

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These different types of screed are available

How is the floor constructed and what material is used? After these questions one differentiates the respective types of screed: 

Cement screed probably knows every hobby handyman. The mixture of cement, gravel and water is simple and inexpensive to produce, easy to handle, insensitive to moisture and offers every desired degree of hardness. The problem: It takes an extremely long time to dry and cure. For the garage, such a layer is sufficient but e.g. already without bottom plate. 

Mastic asphalt screed bypasses the long dry season as a heated mixture of grit, stone powder and sand with bitumen. But it is used more in commercial space. 

Resin is only used in special cases, because then the flooring will be expensive. However, he also has a short drying time and a high dynamic load capacity. 

What types of balancing plates are there?

To get the perfect straight floor, screed screed offers. Its consistency is such that it flows almost by itself and forms a broad, flat surface. This saves the handyman a lot of work when removing the screed with wooden slats and guideworks. In contrast, dry screed is used when moisture is inadmissible, as is often the case in old buildings. 

Floating screed does not come into contact with either the raw floor or the wall. It is applied to a foil over the heating layer, which is located on the shell, but only if the walls are also provided with an insulating layer. So no heat should be lost.

Most common mistakes

Probably the most common mistake when renovating the floor is impatience. Depending on the used screed mortar the drying time lasts from two hours up to 30 days. Only when the substrate has completely dried may the flooring be laid. Likewise, it often happens to the inexperienced that one uses too much or too little mass. If there is too little, the floor will not stand up to the pressure, too much will cause tensions within the screed and it can rupture. 

In addition, screed must be given some room to breathe or expand. The leveling compound, which is necessary for the groundwork laying work, must not run into the screed joints at the edge. It compensates for last bumps. Before applying, all cracks in the screed must be removed. All residues and dust should also be removed. The screed joints must remain free. Only then can the screed expand sufficiently. 

When to let a specialist to work

A specialist, in this case a floor layer, is especially in demand when it is completely renovated and static issues have to be clarified. Renewing the floor on a floor ceiling is especially complicated for the layman, if one can not assess whether the existing floor slabs are still usable or if new ones have to be produced. Similarly, a specialist should be consulted if special screed variants, such as those with synthetic resin to be laid. 

If the existing screed is infested or cracked by mold and you yourself are not sure how much you need to replace it or just seal it, a specialist will help you. 

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