Traditional vs. Calcium Sulphate Screeds: The Complete Comparison

Traditional vs. Calcium Sulphate Screeds: The Complete Comparison

Welcome to an information-packed article on Screeds Direct, your one-stop source for everything screed-related! Today we're delving deep into the world of screeds, highlighting the difference between traditional screeds and calcium sulphate screeds, their features, pros and cons, and their specific uses.


Understanding Screed

In the world of construction, screed is a vital material used to create a smooth, level surface prior to laying floor finishes. It essentially acts as the foundation for your floors, so it's important to understand the different types available and how they impact your project's success.


Traditional Screed

Traditional screed, often referred to as sand and cement screed, is a mix of sand, cement, and water. The ratio is usually 1 part cement to 4-5 parts sand. Link for Traditional Screed -

Let's look at its advantages and disadvantages:



Versatility: Traditional screed can be applied in both residential and commercial areas. It is suitable for floating, bonded, or unbonded applications, making it a versatile choice.

Economical: Compared to other types, sand and cement screeds are more affordable, making them ideal for projects on a tight budget.

Robustness: They offer good strength and durability, making them an excellent choice for areas of heavy use or high footfall.



Drying Time: Traditional screed can take up to 110 days to dry completely, potentially slowing down your project schedule.

Cracking: Due to its composition, traditional screed is prone to cracking if not installed properly.

Limited Application Thickness: The traditional screed can't be laid too thin, as this may compromise its strength. This could limit design options in some cases.

Cemfloor Therm RTU 25kg

Calcium Sulphate Screed

Calcium sulphate screed, also known as anhydrite or gypsum screed, is a more modern solution, gaining popularity for its unique features and benefits.


Calcium Sulphate Screed

Calcium Sulphate Screed, also known as anhydrite or gypsum screed, is a modern, high-performance screed solution. Made from a mixture of calcium sulphate, sand, and water, it's known for rapid drying times, thin application layers, minimal shrinkage, and compatibility with underfloor heating systems. Link for Calcium Sulphate Screed - 



Fast Drying: Calcium sulphate screeds can dry much faster than traditional screeds, often in as little as 40 days.

Flexible Application: They can be applied in thin layers without compromising strength, offering more design flexibility.

Less Prone to Cracking: Due to its unique composition, calcium sulphate screed is less prone to shrinkage and, therefore, less likely to crack than traditional screed.

Larger Surface Coverage: This type of screed is ideal for larger areas as it can be pumped, allowing for a quicker and more efficient application.



Cost: Calcium sulphate screeds can be more expensive than traditional screeds.

Water Sensitivity: These screeds are not suitable for areas prone to prolonged moisture exposure as they are sensitive to water.

Preparation Required: Calcium sulphate screed requires the application of a sealant before the final floor covering is applied to protect it from moisture.



Choosing the right screed is a crucial part of your construction project. While traditional screeds offer cost-effective versatility and robustness, calcium sulphate screeds stand out for their speed of application, flexibility, and reduced propensity for cracking.

However, your choice should depend on the specific requirements of your project, budget, and timeline. It's always advisable to consult with a screeding specialist to ensure you're making the best decision.

Here at Screeds Direct, we offer both traditional and calcium sulphate screeds, using the highest quality materials to ensure a flawless finish every time. If you have more questions or need expert advice, don't hesitate to contact us!

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