Self-levelling flooring screeds are an essential component to form a level surface so that tiles, stone, and wood floorings can be evenly applied. Screeds are often used as a finishing product on top of hard/concrete bases and can also be used to encase underfloor heating pipes.
In this blog, we look at the power of self-levelling flooring, explaining what it is, how it works, and how our fibres can help improve mixtures to make flooring jobs easier and less stressful.
What is Self-Levelling Flooring?
Self-levelling flooring is a type of flooring designed to automatically correct irregularities in the surface, making it a popular choice for residential and commercial applications as it results in a smooth, level surface with minimal effort.
Self-Levelling Flooring Screeds
Screeds come from several materials, including sharp sand, concrete, cement, and water. Screeds are commonly used for levelling poor substrates to achieve a finer tolerance for installations, including tiles and carpets.
The self-levelling screed can also be used as a finish for flooring for additional strength and resistance against abrasion.
Applying Self-Levelling Floor Screed
The screed can be applied to new floors for a seamless and smooth finish or to level out existing floors. Mixtures are normally made up of around one part cement and four parts of water using a wooden or plastic float and completed with a trowel or power float.
The final mix should be smoother than concrete mixtures and contain enough concrete to ensure the mixture holds itself together.
For the mixture to level itself independently, the screed must be applied to an even surface, allowing gravity to help level the mixture out.
How Our Fibres Improve Self-Levelling Flooring Screed
Shrinking, curling, and cracking lead to long-term issues with flooring. Fibres are normally added to screed mixtures to improve structural properties, including reducing stress, enhancing strength, and improving resistance to impact and abrasion. Fibres also help to prevent cracking and shrinkage during the drying process, helping to achieve that smooth, self-levelling effect.
Fibre-reinforced screed is widely known for its ability to withstand high temperatures, which is why screed is used for a wide range of purposes, including underfloor heating, bonding, floating screed, and covering insulation in commercial and residential properties.
We supply fibres to manufacturers of flooring supplies, screeding, tiling and adhesives. Whilst we have more than one type of fibre suitable for strengthening self-levelling floor screeds, evidence from our case study proved that our KDY17/30 3mm modacrylic fibre was the most successful. The results showed that our modacrylic fibre provided greater ease of application, improved abrasion and strength, and greater product flow and working time, as shown below:
We recommend using 0.1-2.0% by weight of our modacrylic fibres to achieve the best results. By doing so, you can achieve the double benefit of having a longer working time (time to apply the screed before it begins to set and imperfections are set), as well as ultimately a faster drying time (increasing the speed of the job), greater resistance to cracking, resistance to delamination, and maximum cost-effectiveness.
Our fibres will improve self-levelling flooring applications in several ways, including:
- Easier to spread and level
- Resistance to cracking and wear and tear
- Improve the adhesion of the flooring screed to the substrate, making it more resistant to delamination
- Easier installation and less maintenance
- Improved flexural strength and flexural fatigue resistance
- Faster setting and hardening to make light foot traffic possible after a few hours
- Greater bond to difficult substrates
Depending on the client and their product, we sometimes recommend N3/40 4mm nylon fibres as an alternative to improve the strength of floor levelling screeds.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our modacrylic fibres for self-levelling flooring screeds, why not contact us? Alternatively, you can order some samples or put in a request. We are happy to tailor it to your specific needs and requirements.