How To Polish A Floor Screed?

Can you polish a floor screed?
Can You Polish A Floor Screed?

If you’ve freshly discovered that you have a floor screed in your home or business premises, you’ll probably have stared at it and thought ‘my, that is ugly’, and you would not be wrong! After all, floor screeds are not really designed to be seen. The burning question is can you polish a floor screed?

A floor screed is usually hidden beneath tiles, timber flooring or a nice thick carpet. But when exposed, they look drab, dusty and often dirty. They look unfinished, like there is something missing.

Screeds cry out for a thorough polishing, to be completed and made whole with the application of a concrete overlay or microcement. Without these further enhancements they just seem so bland and lacking. What a sorry state to be in!

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Key Points

  1. Floor screeds are designed to be covered
  2. You cannot polish a floor screed as is
  3. You need to determine what type of screed you have
  4. Cementitious screeds pose fewer complications
  5. We have products to cover and overlay a screed
  6. Using an overlay allows you to alter the look of the floor

What Kind Of Screed Do You Have?

So may I ask you, what kind of screed do have? Is it an old sand and cement screed that was laid painstakingly by hand, recently found beneath a carpet or tiles? Or one of the new liquid screeds that was pumped through a hose and completed in what seemed like just a few seconds?

The most important factor we need to determine is, is it a cementitious (containing cement) screed? Liquid or not, a cementitious screed offers a lot less complications from our experience. The anhydrite or hemihydrite screeds whilst new, economical and easy to install pose far too many complications when overlays and toppings are to be applied.

There are a few ways you can determine the difference between a sand/cement screed and a liquid screed. If the floor was recently laid I was ask the contractor about the product and its makeup, they should have a record of what they ordered.

Failing that, if you look at the surface a sand cement screed will often look like sandy old concrete that dusts easily and is relatively easily damaged with something like a screwdriver. Running the implement across the surface will release dry dust and debris.

An anhydrite screed looks more plaster like, lighter in colour and usually free from sandy dust. A fine film of laitance is often visible and the same screwdriver test will produce a result of damp dust scratching away, the dust is similar to fine talc quite tightly bound to the surface.

There are cementitious liquid screeds these often show the same consolidated surface texture but are more grey in appearance than the oatmeal coloured anhydrite screeds.

A Screed Just Does Not Cut It

A Floor Screed Is Designed To Be Covered Not Polished
A Floor Screed Is Designed To Be Covered Not Polished

Unfortunately in its current uncovered state, a screed cannot be polished.

Simply put, they are not strong enough to resist the abrasion from diamond tooling, so they cannot be mechanically polished. All the sand and fines?? of the screed mix simply fall out and you are left with a sand paper like surface that breaks apart and thirstily absorbs dirt.

Applying a thick sealant or resin also does not work well either; screeds are so porous that they simply drink the applied product and leave a semi gloss finish that is easily damaged – neither practical or aesthetically pleasing.

All Is Not Lost Though, We Have A Solution

Fortunately there are products that can be used to cover a cementitious floor screed, products that can transform the look and feel of said humble screed. The bare sandy surface that spreads dust and traps dirt can be banished with the application of an overlay or topping.

What are these magical products I hear you ask? Overlays and toppings are broad terms for products such as our CARRcrete PROtop concrete overlay and CARRcrete MicroFloor microcement.

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You Could Use A Concrete Overlay Over Your Floor Screed

Overlay A Floor Screed With PROtop For A Polished Surface
Overlay A Floor Screed With PROtop For A Polished Surface

A concrete overlay is applied at around 10mm in thickness and pours down like thin liquid concrete that binds to the surface and dramatically improves the surface strength. A PROtop overlay can be coloured and textured with aggregates and diamond polished to matt, satin or gloss finishes.

Or Maybe A Microcement To Create A Different Look?

You can polished a screed with a protop loft overlay applied
Apply A Microconcrete Topping Like Our PROtop Loft For Stylish New Look

A microcement is around 2-3mm in thickness and applied in multiple layers with a small hand trowel to create a seamless surface that is reminiscent of a power trowel concrete floor finish like our InfinityFloor Cream. A microcement inherits most of its compressive strength from the substrate below.

You Can Polish A Floor Screed By Using Our Products

Change The Look Of Your Floor With A Carrcrete Overlay
Change The Look Of Your Floor With A Carrcrete Overlay

Both of our products were designed by myself and are still manufactured to order in the UK using a unique blend of cementitious binders, recycled media and premium polymers. In short they are the most advanced and eco friendly concrete overlay products currently available on the market today.

My team and I at CARRcrete apply both products to both new and existing floors that meet our suitability criteria. If you submit an estimate request or contact Simone we will be able to guide you the process of covering a screed with our overlays.


A floor screed whilst pretty boring to look at still needs love. Our PROtop and MicroFloor products are more than willing to offer your dusty floor screed the much needed love, care and attention it so desperately needs.

Our overlays also give you the chance to redesign your floor, create new textures and tones and choose a colour that you like. Add sparkle with glass chippings or throw in some marble, granite or limestone to create a terrazzo like finish.

The benefits of polishing a floor screed through the application of our concrete overlays and toppings is more than just aesthetics, both products increase the compressive strength and abrasion resistance of the screed surface. The stain resistors that are applied offer easier maintenance and cleaning whilst still retaining breathability of the whole floor structure.

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