FLOORS & FLOOR COVERINGS
FEBRUARY | BUILDING PRODUCTS
heating system with liquid screed, showed that the
differences in installation costs were negligible.
However, when combined with force drying
and taking into account the cost benefit of the
resulting time saving, the overall cost of installing
and commissioning underfloor heating was
This study proves there is no reason why
specifiers should not opt for underfloor heating
for any kind of housing. Liquid gypsum screed
flooring combined with force drying makes
underfloor heating systems economical to install.
In addition, liquid gypsum screeds have excellent
conductive properties making underfloor heating
systems more efficient and economical to run.
This clearly enables developers to offer a superior
Another advantage of flowing liquid gypsum
screeds is that they can be laid more thinly than
sand and cement – typically 50mm for the liquid
screed as opposed to 75mm for sand and cement.
On a multi-floor project, this can add up to a
significant height saving which is clearly a benefit
to architects looking to deliver as much space,
and therefore value, from the project. Thinner
flooring of course also means savings on overall
Sustainability is a major consideration for
developers and a further advantage of liquid
screeds is that they are significantly more
environmentally friendly than sand and cement.
Liquid gypsum screed comprises 98% recycled
waste material, requires less energy to produce
and, because it is thinner, it uses less material. As a
result, a 50mm gypsum screed contains 20Kg less
embedded carbon per m2 than a 75mm sand and
The latest force drying technology combined
with flowing gypsum screeds is clearly the modern
way to prepare a building for floor coverings.
of building in a UK climate does not match the
screed manufacturer’s guidelines, the smart specifier
will include force drying as an integral part of
the project plan, allowing build schedules to be
forecast with far more accuracy.
The developers of Barts Square in the City
of London specified force drying across all 91
apartments to aid what was an extremely tight
build programme, and guarantee certainty in regard
to timing and quality control of floor installation
In the case of London’s two tower Hoxton Press
development, the build programme was at risk of
over-running, due to the 60 day drying times stated
in the screed manufacturer’s guidelines not being
met. Force drying was implemented across all 198
dwellings in both towers; typical drying cycles of 21
days were achieved, and the build project was able
to proceed on schedule.
Underfloor heating is generally perceived to be
a luxury specification, only appropriate for highend
properties. As a result, specifiers will often opt
for radiators instead for lower cost dwellings, such
as the affordable housing element of a project.
However, underfloor heating systems with liquid
gypsum screeds are quick and economical to
install and can be an economically viable solution
for all types of property – including affordable
housing – given the right approach.
A recent study, comparing the costs of a
radiator-based heating system with an underfloor
Liquid gypsum screed
can be force dried
quickly and safely