Wet Screed vs Dry Screed: What You Need to Know

Wet Screed vs Dry Screed: What You Need to Know

Welcome to Screeds Direct, your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about screeds and flooring. In this article, we will be discussing a critical topic that is bound to spark interest for both home DIY enthusiasts and professional builders alike - Wet Screed vs Dry Screed.

Understanding the difference between wet and dry screeds is vital as it can significantly impact the quality of your flooring. Each type comes with its unique pros and cons, and the best choice varies depending on your specific project requirements.


What is Screed?

First off, it's important to understand what screed is. Simply put, screed is a layer of material applied to a concrete base or subfloor to provide a smooth, flat surface that flooring finishes can be applied to. It also helps to distribute loads evenly across the base and provides a level to install underfloor heating systems.


Wet Screed

Wet screed, also known as traditional or cement-sand screed, is a semi-dry mixture typically consisting of cement, sand, and water. It has been the standard choice in the UK for many years, particularly for larger scale and outdoor projects. Link for Wet Screed - https://screedsdirect.co.uk/products/cemfloor-therm-rtu-25kg


Advantages of Wet Screed

Versatility: Wet screed can be used in various settings, including external works and on surfaces with irregular shapes.

Cost: Wet screed tends to be a more cost-effective option, especially for larger areas.

Durability: This type of screed is known for its strength and durability.

Disadvantages of Wet Screed

Drying Time: One of the primary drawbacks is the long drying time, typically taking around 5 days per centimetre of thickness, which can delay the project's completion.

Labor-Intensive: Wet screed is labour-intensive to install, requiring significant effort and time to achieve a smooth and level finish.


Dry Screed

Dry screed, otherwise known as screed boards, gypsum fibre or anhydrite screeds, is a more modern alternative. These are often made of calcium sulphate or gypsum and come pre-mixed, ready to use, and are perfect for indoor applications. Link for Dry Screed - https://screedsdirect.co.uk/collections/cement-dry-screed-boards


Advantages of Dry Screed

Speed: Dry screed boards can be laid quickly and walked on within 24-48 hours, significantly reducing downtime.

Less Labour-Intensive: Dry screed is generally easier to handle and install than wet screed, making it a more user-friendly option.

Great for Underfloor Heating: It is a superior choice for underfloor heating because of its excellent thermal conductivity.


Disadvantages of Dry Screed

Cost: Dry screed is generally more expensive than wet screed, which can make it less suitable for larger projects.

Not Suitable for External Use: Unlike wet screed, dry screed is not appropriate for use in external applications.



Choosing between wet and dry screed largely depends on the specifics of your project. Wet screed might be better for larger, outdoor projects or those on a tighter budget, while dry screed may be more appropriate for smaller, indoor projects or those incorporating underfloor heating.

No matter your screed needs, we at Screeds Direct are here to help. Our team is always ready to offer expert advice on all your flooring and screeding questions. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today.

Stay tuned for more helpful tips and tricks from your trusted experts in the screeding world.

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