Flooring Question

Should i totally remove an old screed floor before fitting a new kitchen?

I have an 1965 house in which we're totally gutting the current kitchen (4m x 2.7m approx.) and starting again.

I have removed layers of old flooring (two layers of old vinyl tiles) to reveal the original 48 year old screed. In places, this had turned to powder so I have removed it. In other places, the screed sounded hollow when tapped so, again, I have removed it. This has left large patches where the concrete subfloor has been exposed. The remaining screed is pitted and covered in old bitumen in places.

Where the old screed has been removed at the edge of the room, it has revealed a gully in the concrete subfloor about 3" wide and 2" deep running along the edge of the room. If anyone knows the purpose of this gulley, I'd be interested to know.

Where the old screed has been removed by the outside back door, it has uncovered a low inner brick course running parallel to the door in line with the inner wall with a gulley either side, similar in dimensions to the one described above.

The remaining screed appears to be between 10mm and 20mm in depth.

We have thought about having a polished concrete floor but, unfortunately, this is cost prohibitive. So, we'll have to resort to ceramic tiles or vinyl.

My questions are:

o Should I attempt to remove the remaining old screed and start again?
o If so, should this be replaced with another sand & cement screed or a self-levelling compound, bearing in mind that at the edges, the screed/compound is going to be in excess of 3" deep (assuming the gullies are filled)
o Has anyone had any experience of using a company like "screed.it"?
o Should the gullies be filled first before relaying the screed/compound?
o If advised to leave the old screed in place, what should be used to fill and repair the floor?
o I don't want to get involved in replacing the floor myself so should I approach a builder, floor fitter or plasterer (which some people have advised to approach) to replace or repair the floor?

Many thanks in advance for anyone's help.

1 Answer

Best Answer

Hi there.
1st I would have the whole floor up as it sounds like it's crumbled and past its use by date.
Also you mention black tar/ bitumen so that was acting as a damp proof system.
I suggest hack it all up, bitumen the floor for damp proofing purposes provided its on concrete. Most floors are 6 inches thick with 4 inches of concrete then a screed mix of 2 inches.
If the floor is just soil underneath the screed then take the level down enough to allow for insulation then concrete over a DPM [damp proof membrane] then screed, and the reason for the small trench could have been for old cables or pipework running through the screed.
Hope this helps.

If you're fitting a new kitchen, it really needs installing on a good floor surface then you'll have the choice of floor finishes, trying to work with an old floor that sounds like its seen better days is a waste of time.
There are companies that specialize in this work and with the correct experience.
It sounds like a lot of work but isn't and from the size you give should be a couple of days work for a skilled guy and 1 labourer.

Best Regards

Andy

Answered 11th Nov 2013

A.M.H.Quality Building.

Member since 18 Jul 2013

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