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Guide » Remove screed - That's how it's done!

Remove screed - That's how it's done!

Difficulty: Medium | Costs: approx. 10-30 euros per m² | Workload: approx. 30 minutes per m²

Table of contents

1. Remove screed - Small introduction

Screed is a building material that is used as a substrate for floor coverings such as tiles, carpet or parquet. The task of screed is to level the floor, improve sound and heat insulation, evenly distribute the loads of the building. Made from a mixture of sand, cement and water, it is poured onto the ground in a liquid form where it hardens to form a solid surface. Screed removal can be a challenging task, especially if you don't have the experience or the right tools. In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of screed removal, from the reasons for removing it to the best methods and tools for the job.

Crumpled screed floor with a hammer and chisel

2. When does screed need to be removed/replaced?

There are various reasons why screed needs to be removed or replaced. This includes:

  • Damage caused by moisture, eg water damage
  • Cracks or fractures in the screed
  • Unevenness that prevents a new floor covering
  • Refurbishment or renovation of a building
  • Laying underfloor heating

3. Remove screed - time required

The time required to remove screed depends on various factors, such as the size of the area, the type of screed and the tools used. As a rule, removing screed is a time-consuming and tiring job that can take several days.

4. Remove screed: You should pay attention to this!

4.1 Clothing and Protection

Removing screed creates a lot of dust and dirt. It is therefore important to equip yourself with suitable protective clothing, such as work gloves, safety shoes, safety goggles and a respirator.

4.2 Tool selection

There are various tools for removing screed that can be used depending on the type of screed and the scope of the work. This includes:

  • chisel and hammer
  • sledgehammer
  • crowbar
  • shovel and bucket
  • industrial vacuum cleaner

A diamond grinding wheel mounted on an angle grinder for grinding screed and concrete floors

It is important to select the right tool for the task at hand and to find out about handling and safety aspects in advance. For larger projects it is worth renting electric tools such as demolition hammers or concrete grinders / concrete cutters.

4.3 Working steps

With these steps you can successfully remove screed and prepare the subfloor for further renovation work or the installation of a new floor covering:

4.3.1 Wear down screed:

Start at an edge or corner of the room to wear down the screed with a sledgehammer and chisel until it cracks or breaks.

4.3.2 Breaking up the screed:

Once the screed is worn down, use a pry bar to break open the screed and break it up into smaller pieces.

4.3.3 Vacuum up dust and dirt:

Use an industrial vacuum to remove the dust and dirt that comes from breaking up the screed. This prevents dust from getting airborne and obscuring vision.

4.3.4 Remove pieces of screed:

Scoop up the larger pieces of screed and dispose of them properly. It is important to properly dispose of the removed screed to minimize environmental impact.

4.3.5 Clean screed surface:

Thoroughly clean the exposed substrate by removing any remaining screed residue, dust and dirt. This is important to create a clean and level surface for the new flooring or screed.

More guides for screed processing

5. Remove screed costs

The cost of removing floor screed will vary depending on the size of the project, the type of floor screed, the tools used, and whether you want to do the work yourself or hire a contractor. In general, the cost can range from 10 to 30 euros per square meter. For larger projects or the commissioning of a specialist company, the costs can be higher. When hiring a specialist company, we advise you to obtain several cost estimates in order to find a suitable offer.

6. Remove carpet adhesive from screed

Carpet adhesive can be removed from the screed using special solvents or scrapers. Apply a suitable solvent or special adhesive remover to the remaining carpet adhesive, following the manufacturer's instructions and recommended exposure time. Then use a spatula or scraper to scrape the carpet adhesive off the floor as much as possible. Be careful not to damage the screed. It is important to ensure that the room is well ventilated and to wear protective clothing.

7. Remove tile adhesive from screed

Tile adhesive is best removed from the screed with an electric demolition hammer, a concrete grinder or a floor scraper. Make sure that the screed is not damaged during sanding and that it is always sanded evenly to get an even surface. It is important to clean the floor thoroughly afterwards with an industrial vacuum cleaner. For thorough instructions on how to grind screed using a floor grinder and a diamond cup wheel , you can read our "Screed grinding" guide.

8. Remove screed how deep?

The depth at which the screed has to be removed depends on various factors, such as the condition of the screed, the type of new floor covering and any unevenness. As a rule, the screed is removed down to the raw concrete.

9. Remove screed for underfloor heating?

To lay underfloor heating, the existing screed must be removed and replaced with a special heating screed. This enables optimal heat conduction and ensures an even temperature profile in the room.

10. Remove screed - Conclusion and FAQs

Removing screed is a demanding and time-consuming task that can be both physically and technically demanding. Choosing the right tool, paying attention to safety considerations and taking the right approach are critical to a successful outcome.

11. Frequently asked questions about screed removal

1. How long does it take to remove screed?

The duration of the screed removal depends on various factors, such as the size of the area, the type of screed and the tools used. It can last from one day to several days.

2. Can I remove screed myself or should I hire a professional?

    Although it is possible to remove screed yourself, it may be advisable to hire a professional, especially for larger areas or complicated cases. A professional has the necessary know-how and the right equipment to do the job efficiently and safely.

    3. What happens if screed is not properly removed?

      If screed is not properly removed, it can result in bumps, voids, or residual adhesive residue. This can cause problems when installing the new flooring and affect the life of the floor.

      4. Does the entire screed have to be removed if I want to install underfloor heating?

        To install underfloor heating, it is necessary to remove the existing screed and lay a special heating screed. The heated screed enables optimal heat conduction and ensures an even temperature profile in the room.

        5. How do I dispose of the removed screed?

          Removed screed should be disposed of properly as it is considered construction waste. In many cases, the screed can be taken to a recycling center where it will be sorted and recycled. It is advisable to find out in advance about the disposal options in your area.

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