How Long Does Screed Take to Dry?
  • Competitive Prices - Never beaten on price
  • Fast & Flexible Delivery Times
  • Very Responsible Staff
  • Local To Your Project
Concrete Supply

In a recent survey to our construction clients, 96% were highly likely to recommend us

Concrete Calculator

How much concrete do I need?

Use our calculator below to get an accurate calculation and never over-order!

How Long Does Screed Take to Dry?

Concrete screed is a quality building material that is frequently used in the construction industry. Chiefly, screed is used when manufacturing concrete floors as they help to provide a consistent and smooth finish.

When using screed, it’s important to understand how long it takes to dry so you can estimate accurate project timelines and know when it is suitable to continue work on the floor. 

At Concrete Supply UK, we’re experts in the supply of leading floor screed products, making us experts in the material and how it is used.  

In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘how long does screed take to dry?’ providing you with everything you need to know about the process.

Read on to find out more. 



What is screed?

As mentioned above, screed is one of the most common building materials around, specifically when it comes to manufacturing industrial or concrete floors.

Often, screed is installed prior to the final flooring application, helping to create a level surface which can be built upon later on. While, sometimes, people may opt not to use screed, it’s always recommended as without it flooring can become bumpy or uneven which will create problems in the future. 

While other flooring types are commonly placed on top of screed, it can also be left exposed as it offers a great industrial finish in its own right. 

These screed floors are commonplace in several industrial environments including:

  • Warehouses 
  • Factories
  • Supermarkets
  • Garden centres
  • DIY stores
  • Logistics halls
  • And more 

Essentially, in environments where a lot, or heavy, footfall is expected, they are always a great choice.  


Different types of screed

There is a wide range of different screed products available on the market, all of which can be supplied by the team here at Concrete Supply UK. 

This includes:

Bonded screed 

This type of screed is fully bonded to a concrete sub-base by using a suitable bonding agent or primer. Usually, bonded screed is applied for those who require a thinner screed mix.

Unbonded screed 

In contrast, unbonded screed is laid over the top of polythene sheeting or damp proof membranes. This means the concrete base is separated from the final layer of screed. Typically, unbonded screed is applied to older concrete sub-bases. 

Floating screed

As the name suggests, floating screed is placed above a damp proof membrane in order to separate it from an existing concrete sub-base. This gives it a ‘floating’ effect and it will also be laid on top of thermal insulation.

Underfloor heating screed

Underfloor heating screed is laid on the top of underfloor heating pipes and systems. It’s often considered as an alternative to other insulating materials, and it is a very similar choice to floating screed.

Liquid screed

One of the most reliable and innovative screed options available, liquid screed is different to conventional screed options as it is thicker and is poured directly from mixing trucks to the area of your site where it is required.  


How long does floor screed take to dry?

On average, floor screed takes between 24-48 hours to dry. This process can sometimes be sped up to around 12 hours if certain additives are included in the screed mix. 

After a 24-48 hour period has passed, the floor screed has usually dried sufficiently enough that you can walk on it. 

However, if you need the final screed product to withstand heavier foot traffic or heavy furniture or machinery is going to be on top of it, you should give it more time to dry. You should leave it between five and seven days in these instances.  


Screed drying times 

Let’s give a bit more detail on the screed drying times mentioned above. 

The first 24-48 hours 

Once the screed has been poured, screed should be left untouched for at least 24 hours, but possibly up to 48 hours depending on its condition. During this time, you should make sure all doors and windows are closed and under no circumstances should people be allowed to walk on it. Once the drying has been completed, open your windows to allow evaporation to take place as this will aid any final bits of drying. 

After two to three days 

For two to three days after the screed has dried, light foot traffic should be ok but heavy foot traffic should still be avoided. If it is absolutely necessary, you can temporarily protect the area by laying down plywood sheets. 

After one week 

If you have underfloor heating systems installed, these should not be used for at least one week after the screed has dried. 

Curing the mix 

A similar process to drying, curing allows for concrete and screed to harden over time. Technically, the curing process never ends and your screed floor will continue to harden for the duration of its life. This is one of the advantages of using concrete and screed. However, after about 28 days the mix can be considered ‘fully cured’ by which it will have the majority of the properties it will need for its lifespan. 


Benefits of drying screed faster 

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to speed up the screed drying process by using additives. Speeding up screed drying (the term for accelerating the drying process) has several benefits including:

  • Reduced construction time – Faster drying times mean that subsequent construction activities, such as laying floor coverings like tiles or carpets, can happen sooner. This accelerates the overall construction schedule, potentially saving time and money.
  • Minimise disruption – Quicker drying times minimise the disruption to other trades and activities on the construction site. This can be particularly advantageous in projects with tight timelines or where multiple trades are working concurrently. 
  • Cost savings – By reducing construction time, speeding up screed drying can lead to cost savings associated with labour, equipment rental and overhead expenses. Additionally, quicker project completion may result in earlier occupancy or revenue generation for the building owner. 

Here at Concrete Supply UK, we take pride in providing customers across the UK with leading concrete products – including quality screed. For more information on our range of products and services, contact our team today.

Ready To Order Concrete?

No matter the type of concrete you need, the amount or your location we can provide the perfect mix of concrete for you. Simply contact us today.

Types of Concrete Areas We Cover Order Now Call us today on: 020 3740 9990

* denotes required field


This website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and deliver personalised ads. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

More Information Accept All Cookies