How to Lay Wood Floors on Liquid Screed

Liquid screed provides a quick drying and energy efficient substrate on which any floor can be laid. Whether you choose wood flooring, carpet, tile or vinyl, the application of any subsequent layers of flooring is made much simpler by the even, smooth finish liquid screed provides.
If you have chosen to bond your dried liquid screed with a wooden floor, then there are a few steps you need to follow in order to achieve lasting and attractive results. Read more about ensuring that your substrate is dry, smooth, primed, and bonded with the right adhesive — as well as working around your water underfloor heating system.

1. Perform a Moisture Test
Your liquid screed should be suitably dry before any top layers of floor are added on top. If not, you could face a number of issues, from condensation to delaminating, which will be costly and time-consuming to fix. Any residual moisture will undermine wood flooring, which could cause it to ‘curl’ or ‘buckle’, and spoil the look of your floors.
Your floor screeding contractors will be able to perform this test as part of the installation process, to ensure that you are safe to continue with work.

2. Remove Laitance
Laitance is an expected byproduct of liquid screed installation. It is a fine layer of sediment and dust that forms as the screed dries and, if not removed, can cause subsequent floor layers to delaminate, and the dried screed to crack.
Laitance removal is a significant part of liquid screed installation, and your floor screeding contractors will complete it typically within one to two weeks of pouring.

3. Protect Screed from Moisture
Any spills can be ‘absorbed’ by the dry liquid screed, which will set you back in your work as you wait for the flooring to dry out again. Once the moisture test has been performed, remain cautious, and do not allow any liquids to splash onto the floor.

4. Introduce the Wood Flooring into the Room
It is often recommended that you allow the wood to ‘acclimatise’ to the room before installation. This should only be done after the liquid screed has fully dried.

5. Switch Off Your Water Underfloor Heating System
If you have installed water underfloor heating, then it should be given ample time to cool down before any more layers are added onto your floors, to ensure that adhesives can work properly.

6. Prime the Substrate
A primer will bind with any residual dust, and help any subsequent layers to bond successfully. It should be given ample time to dry before any adhesive is added on top.

7. Use a Flexible Adhesive
Using a flexible adhesive to bond your wood floors with the liquid screen will ensure that natural movement is possible. As seasons change, the boards will expand and contract very slightly, and finding an adhesive that permits these minor shifts will ensure the longevity of your flooring.

8. Allow the Adhesive to Dry
Wait at least forty-eight hours before switching on your water underfloor heating system again, in order to make certain that your wood floors have dried fully.