knowing the difference between screed and concrete

Here at Easycrete, we have a reputation across the South East as the region’s foremost concrete supplier. As well as both volumetric concrete and ready-mixed concrete solutions, our clients in Sutton and beyond can benefit from a number of products that many other concrete suppliers in the region simply don’t provide.

One of those products is a high-quality screed Sutton, specially formulated to match the requirements of any given construction job. An essential part of many building projects, screed has much in common with concrete, being a cement-based construction material. However, they have fundamental differences in terms of appearance, composition, and application that bear pointing out.

As Sutton’s number one screed and concrete supplier, we have put together the following list of ways to tell the two materials apart.


Both materials are made of the same key ingredients: cement, water and aggregates. The main difference lies in the last ingredient. Concrete utilises coarser aggregates to impart strength and durability, while screed employs finer aggregates for a smoother finish.

Appearance and Texture

To the untrained eye, looking at a batch of fresh screed and a batch of fresh concrete is much the same. Of course, if you know what you’re looking for, it becomes easier to differentiate the two. When wet, you can see that the aggregates used in concrete tend to be much larger – anywhere up to 2cm in many cases. This coarser aggregate gives greater strength to the concrete throughout the curing process. By comparison, screed aggregates are normally a quarter of the size or less, a mere 4-5mm. Once the two materials are cured and dried, the difference is more apparent thanks to texture, rather than appearance. Screed is smoother by far, thanks to the smaller aggregates, with concrete being much rougher to the touch.


As anybody in the Sutton construction industry will already know, both volumetric concrete and ready-mixed concrete Sutton are widely used in building projects across the region. They offer the necessary strength and stability to create a wide variety of construction features from foundations and sub floors to walls and landscaping surfaces. By comparison, screed is used almost exclusively to finish internal floors. It’s smooth and attractive finish makes it the ideal material for this, as well as the fact that it can be applied directly onto the concrete subfloor. Whether used as the top layer of floor itself, or as an adhesive for setting down a further layer of tiles or slabs, screed only has the one main function, but it does it well.

Method of Application

Volumetric concrete tends to be coarse and requires a mechanical mixer to get the strength and viscosity that you require for the job. Even ready-mixed concrete can be difficult to pour and apply without the necessary equipment and experience to get a flawless finish. Generally speaking, screed is made up of finer aggregates, which results in a smooth mixture that is easier to apply and requires little in the way of specialist equipment. Indeed, a high-quality finish can be achieved with little more than a trowel and a steady hand.

Whether you’re looking for the finest quality screed, or construction grade concrete in Sutton or further afield, make Easycrete your first point of contact. Speak to a member of the team today on 01342 893 289. They’ll be able to go through your requirements with you and recommend the best material for the job, as well as providing you with a free, no-obligation quote.