Prepare a 1:3 cement: sharp sand mix, using only a little water, until it is of the consistency of brown sugar. First, mix the sand and cement dry thoroughly, make a hole in the middle of the heap and add water sparingly.
You need some sections of straight timber, l.85mm long x 50mm x 25mm to provide screed rules. These are used to set out the screeding area in bays or sections, and are laid at intervals of about l.85m. Place one rule along one wall, at your working height, or datum point; mark the height of this point, so that all levels are the same, around the room.
The rules should represent the height of the screed, so pack screed beneath the first to bring it to the correct height. Do the same with the second rule and check, with a spirit level, that this is level with the adjacent rule. If the level is short, rest this across a straight edge.
Next, fill up the bay with screed and, with a section of straight-edged timber, plane the screed smooth, using a to-and-fro action, with the timber rested on the rules. Work, section by section, towards a door or window, so that you do not find yourself trapped at the wrong end of a newly screeded floor! Use a plank at least 1.85m wide, laid across the screed rules, to work from.
Work over short distances of about l.85m. After finally checking levels, lift out each screed rule in turn and fill the holes left with screed.
Plane the screed surface overall with a wood float and finally polish smooth with a steel plasterer’s or screeding trowel. Keep the blade damp to stop the surface from dragging, but take care not to make it too wet. The secret of a good finish is to keep the screed just damp.
Work across the room, returning to the starting wall for next and subsequent rows, completing the final section from outside a door or French window.
Allow at least a week before allowing light traffic. The surface may be dusted with sharp sand, which prevents the surface pulling up if it is walked on while still slightly tacky.
10. November 2011 by admin
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