Floor Screed and underfloor heating systems have become a highly popular duo over the years due to their compatibility with each other. Together, they offer the best of both and allow you to create a warm and comfortable environment in your house. They represent the best example of the amalgamation of latest technology and traditional methods.

In our blog, we have explained the benefits of this incredible duo. We have also described the types of screeds and some useful screeding tips to help you.

What are Underfloor Heating Systems?

Underfloor heating systems are the latest advancement in the heating realm that sit quietly beneath the floor and provide an evenly warm and cosy environment throughout the space. They are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency, utility and other numerous benefits.

What is Floor Screed?

A floor screed or screed is a mixture of cement water and aggregates that are poured on a floor to provide a smooth and even finish. Screeding requires a much simpler method and can be carried out quickly. It also has less final setting time as compared to concrete, which means the surface will be ready to use much sooner than the alternative.

Floor screed is a popular surface option for underfloor heating systems because it has a thinner layer and can offer better thermal conductivity.

Different Types of Floor Screed

There are two types of floor screed available:

Dry Screed

Dry screed is the most commonly used screed option for underfloor heating systems. It is a mixture of water, cement and sand. It is a thin, concrete-like substance and can be squeezed into different shapes. This type of screed is used in over 78% of screed projects in the UK due to its affordability. It can also be used to create uneven surfaces and is highly suitable for wetrooms and bathrooms.

Liquid Screed

Liquid screed is a more fluid like substance that is used to create an even and smooth surface over an underfloor heating system. It has a thinner layer as compared to the traditional screed and offers a much simpler and time-efficient pouring method. It is growing in popularity for underfloor heating systems because it is thinner and allows you to use a thicker layer of insulation underneath your underfloor heating system.

Screed with Underfloor Heating System

Why is Floor Screed Important for Underfloor Heating Systems?

Floor screed offers a number of benefits when it is combined with underfloor heating systems, which has made it a popular choice in the UK. These benefits include the following:

  • Owing to its thinner layer, it allows you to opt for thicker insulation beneath the UFH system to reduce heat losses.
  • It provides good thermal conductivity all across the surface and reduces the chances of cold and hot spots on the floor.
  • It is compatible with most of the flooring surfaces, including carpets, wood and tiles. You can choose the best suited flooring option for you.
  • It requires less time to set as compared to concrete, which allows you to utilise your heating system much sooner.
  • It provides a protective shield to underfloor pipes of electric cables and prevents any damage, which reduces your maintenance and repair costs.

What to Look for Before Screeding Your Floor?

Even though screed offers a simpler and faster installation process, there are a few things that need to be taken into account before starting the procedure:

The Type of Screed

Make sure you select the most suitable type of screed according to your requirements. While liquid screed offers thinner layers and a smooth surface, the dry screed will provide better thermal mass and can be used to create uneven surfaces.

Thickness of Screed

The thickness of the screed is an important factor to consider. Keep in mind that if the surface is too thick, it may provide less room for insulation as well as low thermal transmission. It can also reduce your flooring options due to headroom limitations.

Thickness of Insulation

Insulation is extremely important to prevent heat losses through the soil and ensure that your heating system only radiates the heat upward. However, the thickness of the insulation can affect the thickness of the screed layer. So make sure you plan the procedure by taking insulation into account.

Expansion Joints

Make sure you provide enough expansion joints in the screed to prevent cracking due to thermal expansion and contraction. Expansion joints provide adequate space for the screed to expand and contract without compromising the structural integrity of the floor.

Screed with Underfloor Heating

Preparation of the Surface

Make sure that the water pipes or electrical wires are fitted properly and do not move during the procedure. If not, take your time to fix them into proper positions to enjoy an even warmth in your room.


It is important that you provide proper curing time to the screed to ensure it reaches its maximum strength. If you turn your UFH too soon, the screed may start to crack due to abrupt thermal expansion. Generally, it takes about 3-4 weeks of curing for the screed to achieve its maximum strength.