You may think that floor screeding is as simple and straightforward as pouring ordinary cement with water and aggregates to a floor base. But the truth is, it’s far more complicated than that. Screeding is the process of laying down a layer of material that will offer a flat surface upon which you can lay your preferred flooring.
The reason why it’s not an easy job is because of the steep price you have to pay if you make even a single mistake during the process. If applied incorrectly, your screed mix will negatively affect the quality of your floor and become very expensive to repair. However, if you’re confident enough in your DIY skills and determined to get the job done, then here’s a step by step guide on how to make the perfect screed mix using your Soroto Mixer.
As with any DIY task, it’s very important that you don’t overbuy the tools. Making screed mix is more about knack and less about having expensive equipment. However, it doesn’t hurt if you have the best tools in the market including the following;
–Soroto Forced Action Mixer (40, 65, 80, 100, 120, 200 or 300-litre capacity depending on task)
-Tape Measure (for measuring room size to calculate mix capacity)
-Straight Edges (Timbers)
-Trowel (to move screed in place and smoothen it)
-Protection (Gloves and knee protection to avoid cement burns)
With an entire host of screed types and brands in the market, it can be tough to know what it is that will suit your project best. Below are some of the most popular types and where they excel best.
a)Traditional Screed – Basically sand, cement, water and aggregate mixed in the ration of 1:3-5 to create a solid surface for placing wood flooring, tiles, vinyl among other flooring surfaces. This type has to be levelled manually which requires a more careful and precise touch.
b)Free Flowing Screed – Incredibly great helper that actually levels itself without needing any assistance. It is especially popular in huge sites such as industrial halls. However, it does not go well with surfaces that can get wet.
c)Fast Drying Screed – While traditional screeds dry about 1mm per day according to industry benchmark, quick drying screeds dry in just a fraction of that time. This means your screed will be ready for final installation in mere days.
Another crucial aspect of getting the most appealing results is to get the mixing process right. When it comes to the correct blend, you will hear all manner of ratios. However, you can’t go wrong with an average of 4 parts sand to 1 part cement.
As per Australian standards, most construction experts recommend mixing 3 to 4 parts Plasterer’s sand with 1 part Portland cement in your Soroto Mixer. To add extra strength to the mix, professionals actually let the screed set for a full 24 hours before mixing in Black Label or Plastinex Red and 5 parts water. Due to the smooth consistency of this mix, you could easily apply it via watering can, spray system or just tip your Soroto Mixer into the area.
Your decision should basically be affected by the location, available time frame as well as how much space you’re working with. Since you are using a Soroto Mixer, the mixing should be extremely fast and produce a very high-quality screed with zero air entrapment. Another benefit of using a forced action mixer as opposed to hand mixing is that small, medium and even larger jobs can be well accommodated. The final step is where you’ll need to be very careful to avoid making some rookie mistakes.
If you haven’t prepared your floor or surface, now is the time to do it. Hopefully, you already measured the area to get the quantity of screed mix just right. Next, you need to check if the floor is level using the spirit level. Any high spots could stick through the screed and cause an uneven floor surface. After you’ve placed all your wedges and timber edges in place, it’s time to get down and dirty.
Depending on the type of screed you are using, the methods for pouring and laying it will vary significantly. We already looked at using spray systems to pour smooth, self-levelling screeds. However, you might want to bust out your trowel and flatten traditional tillers screed over the surface. Once all the mix has been laid and turned into a smooth, flat surface, it’s time to make sure it stays that way. Cover it with a polythene sheet to hold moisture and hasten the curing process. After about 7 to 10 days, remove the paper to begin the drying process which should take months or weeks for traditional screed and days for fast drying screeds.
-Never use brickies sand; it contains too much clay that initially expands then shrinks causing delamination and cracking
-Using too much water leads to a soft screed with cracking and shrinkage problems
-Screeding vast and expansive areas may cause cracking problems in between batches. As such, always try to screed in one fell swoop
-Don’t forget to include movement joints, especially in larger screed jobs
You can buy the perfect tilers screed mixer here