One of the greatest benefits of a liquid screed floor is that it can be poured very thinly and, as a result, minimise the amount of time you spend waiting for it to cure.

Allocating the right amount of time for your liquid screed installation will ensure that you are able to keep on schedule with your overall project, and complete it without unexpected setbacks. Although the exact drying time is dependent upon a number of factors such as site conditions, screed thickness, and the type of liquid screed you choose to use, here is a general guide to the drying times for liquid screed floors.

General Rules
It’s impossible to know how quickly your screeding will dry before your experienced floor screeding contractors are able to ascertain the quantity needed for your project, there are some general guidelines for drying times. Typically, a liquid screed floor that is less than 40mm thick will dry at a rate of 1mm per day. If it’s over 40mm, then this will decrease to 1mm every two days.

A liquid screed with a cement binder will be dry enough to walk on within twenty-four hours of being poured, and a screed with a calcium sulphate binder can sustain light foot traffic within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

The Types of Liquid Screed
Just as you need to know the quantity of screeding used before you can calculate drying times, you also need to know what type of liquid screed you are working with.

A bonded floor screed, which is the most heavy-duty option, is the thinnest option, and can be poured as thinly as 25mm – although this is contingent upon the site conditions. Similarly, an unbonded screed – which is poured on top of a damp-proof membrane – can be poured at a minimum of 30mm. At the other end of the scale, a commercial floating liquid screed will usually be around 40mm thick, which means a longer drying time.

Cement Based Liquid Floor Screed
Cement based screeds offer an innovative option for flooring, with drying times more than twice as fast as screeds bonded with calcium sulphate. The full drying time generally falls between fourteen and twenty-one days, making it an excellent option for projects with a tighter timeframe.

Don’t Forget: Moisture Testing and Laitance Removal
When planning your project’s timeline, it is important that you also remember to set-aside some time to perform the final steps necessary to creating a durable and smooth finish on your screed floor.
Moisture testing will be performed to ensure that the screeding is ready for you to add the final floor covering, such as carpet or wood. Your floor screeding contractors will tell you how soon after the screed is poured that this test can be carried out. Similarly, laitance removal is the final vital step needed to make sure that your floors will adhere to the screeding.

Setting a realistic timeframe for your liquid screed installation will ensure that your building project remains on schedule, and that you get the best possible results out of your concrete screed.