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Flowing Screeds Association to tackle skills gap

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The UK’s recently formed Flowing Screeds Association (FSA) has identified a potential skills deficit in the construction sector when it comes to the installation of flowing screeds.


Tackling this deficit will be one of its core aims, and FSA intends to achieve this by establishing a programme of training, including practical courses to drive up standards in the sector.

Many jobs involving flowing screed, whether of the gypsum type or cement-based, provide the ideal surface for the laying of a top layer, whether this is tiling or any other type of floor covering.

However, if the correct procedures are not followed, things can go wrong, meaning that it may not be possible to satisfactorily install a final floor covering without further remedial work.

Inadequate project planning, incorrect screed specification for the job being undertaken, incomplete preparation of the concrete substrate, an incorrect mix (or incorrect amount of water) or inadequate drying or curing can all lead to screed failure and subsequent debonding of the final floorcovering.

The FSA believes training and accreditation would be invaluable, as this would help address the need for adherence to the relevant British Standard, BS 8204. Such training would ensure that individuals entering the industry would acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to expertly perform their job.

This approach would not only benefit clients by ensuring reliable services, but also enhance the overall perception of the flooring industry as a skilled trade. By establishing a structured training and registration process, the industry can elevate its reputation, emphasising the importance of expertise and quality craftsmanship.

It should also be stressed that main contractor and client education is of great importance. Inevitably the installation of floor coverings comes at the end of almost any project. It should be the last job carried out on site – after drylining, painting, electrical, etc.

Unfortunately, this is precisely the time when budgets come under the most pressure, increasing the temptation to cut corners, to meet amended cost and time constraints. It is therefore important for main contractors to understand the importance of firm and realistic project scheduling at the outset. 

If you shave some days off a screed drying time, for instance, the risk of project failure as a result is real!

The path to improvement includes the provision of training courses and the production of technical datasheets and other materials, designed to raise standards and industry awareness of flowing screeds and the issues around their installation.

Flowing screeds have many advantages for both residential and commercial applications, being simple to install, quick to dry, and ideal for underfloor heating systems. The FSA believes that the way to promote the technique further is by offering training, to drive up skill levels in the sector and encourage more companies to get involved and more specifiers to see the benefits that flowing screeds can offer for their projects.”

To support its work, the FSA is looking to recruit new members. All members have access to training courses, technical documentation, a free listing on the FSA website, free advertising through FSA channels, networking opportunities, and use of the FSA logo on vehicles and marketing materials. 

The FSA currently has a strong core membership of fully committed companies but is still keen to grow, maximize the services that it can provide to members, and improve the impact it can make in the market, driving up skill levels and putting flowing screeds front of mind. So, it continues to invite all interested high-quality screed installers to become members of the Association. 

The FSA’s long-term goal as a trade association is to offer member benefits and industry expertise to the wider construction sector, although its initial intention is to help improve generally the profile and quality of flowing screeds as installed on sites today.

Membership is open to both manufacturers, including binder and system manufacturers, and screed contractors and applicators. There will also be an associate membership category.

Anyone interested should email the FSA membership officer


Guest Blogger
Keith McGrath
FSA chair, Keith McGrath

Keith is the director of Cemfloor by McGraths (UK & Ireland) and has been heavily involved in the running of the McGrath family business from a young age, and was a driving force behind the introduction of Cemfloor to the UK and Irish market. As one of the founding members of the Flowing Screeds Association, Keith brings a wealth of expertise and commitment to excellence to the liquid screed market.

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