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When it comes to constructing or renovating a building, the importance of a solid foundation cannot be overstated. One essential element of creating a robust foundation is the use of floor screeds. Floor Screeds are essentially a layer of material that is applied to the base floor to create a smooth and level surface. While screeds play a crucial role in providing a stable foundation for various types of flooring, the addition of additives can enhance their properties and improve their performance. In this article, we will explore the different types of floor screeds additives, their benefits, and how they contribute to the overall quality of the floor screed.

What are Floor Screeds Additives?

Floor screeds additives are substances that are mixed with the screed material to modify its properties. These additives can be organic or inorganic compounds, polymers, fibers, or even chemicals that enhance the characteristics of the screed. By incorporating additives into the screed mixture, builders and contractors can achieve desirable properties such as increased strength, improved workability, reduced drying time, and enhanced durability. Let’s take a closer look at some of the commonly used floor screed additives.


Fibers, such as polypropylene and steel fibers, are often added to floor screeds to enhance their tensile strength and reduce the risk of cracking. Polypropylene fibers improve the overall durability of the screed by minimizing the formation of shrinkage cracks. On the other hand, steel fibers provide added reinforcement, making the screed resistant to impact and heavy loads. The addition of fibers not only increases the strength of the screed but also enhances its resistance to wear and tear.


Plasticizers, also known as water-reducing admixtures, are additives that improve the workability of floor screeds by reducing the amount of water needed for the mix. By lowering the water content, plasticizers increase the strength and density of the screed, resulting in a more compact and durable finished surface. The reduced water requirement also helps in accelerating the drying time, allowing for faster installation of subsequent flooring materials.


Accelerators are additives used to speed up the setting and curing process of floor screeds. They are particularly useful in cold weather conditions or when a fast-track construction schedule is required. Calcium chloride is a commonly used accelerator that can significantly reduce the drying time of screeds, allowing for quicker access and installation of flooring finishes. It is important to note that the dosage of accelerators should be carefully controlled to prevent any negative impact on the overall strength and performance of the screed.


Retarders, as the name suggests, are additives that slow down the setting time of the screed. They are useful in situations where extended workability or longer drying times are desired, such as in large-scale projects where screeds need to be transported over long distances. Retarders provide more flexibility during the installation process and ensure that the screed remains workable for an extended period, reducing the risk of premature drying or cracking.

Bonding Agents

Bonding agents are additives that enhance the adhesion between the screed and the substrate, ensuring a strong and reliable bond. These agents are particularly useful when the screed is being applied to existing surfaces or in situations where the substrate has poor bonding characteristics. Bonding agents improve the overall bond strength, reduce the risk of debonding or delamination, and promote a more secure and stable flooring system.

Benefits of Using Floor Screeds Additives:

  1. Increased Strength: Additives such as fibers and polymers enhance the tensile and flexural strength of the screed, making it more resistant to cracking, shrinkage, and deformation.
  2. Improved Workability: Plasticizers and superplasticizers improve the flow and workability of the screed mixture, making it easier to install and level. This results in a smoother and more even surface finish.
  3. Reduced Drying Time: The use of accelerators can significantly reduce the drying time of the screed, allowing for faster installation of subsequent flooring materials. This is particularly beneficial in time-sensitive projects.
  4. Enhanced Durability: By incorporating additives that improve adhesion, bonding agents ensure a strong bond between the screed and the substrate. This enhances the durability and longevity of the flooring system.
  5. Customized Solutions: Different additives can be combined to achieve specific performance requirements. For example, a combination of fibers, plasticizers, and accelerators can be used to create a high-strength, fast-drying screed for heavy-duty industrial applications.

In conclusion, floor screed additives offer numerous benefits and are essential for achieving high-quality, durable flooring systems. By understanding the different types of additives available and their specific advantages, builders and contractors can make informed decisions and tailor the floor screed to meet their project requirements. Incorporating the right additives, in the appropriate proportions, and following recommended application techniques will result in a strong, level, and long-lasting foundation for various types of flooring materials.

Floor screeds additives play a crucial role in improving the performance and quality of floor screeds. Whether it’s enhancing strength, workability, drying time, or adhesion, the right combination of additives can significantly elevate the overall performance and longevity of the floor screed. By understanding the different types of additives available, builders and contractors can make informed decisions and choose the most suitable additives for their specific project requirements.

It is important to note that the selection and dosage of additives should be done carefully, considering factors such as the type of flooring material, environmental conditions, and project specifications. Consulting with experts or manufacturers can provide valuable guidance in determining the appropriate additives and their proportions for achieving the desired results.

Additionally, it is crucial to follow proper mixing and application techniques when incorporating additives into the floor screed. Adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines and industry best practices will ensure the optimal performance and durability of the screed.

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