In simple terms, the main difference between screed and concrete is the strength; concrete achieves a very high strength, whereas the smoother, weaker screed material is often used for just a top layer finish. To help you distinguish clearly between screed and concrete, we will be comparing the two materials based on their composition, appearance, texture, uses, and method of application.

What is the difference between screed and concrete?


Both screed and concrete are made from three core ingredients: cement, water and aggregates. The key to their difference lies in the type of aggregates used. Concrete is known for its impressive strength and durability, and this is largely due to the incorporation of coarse aggregates into its mix. Screed is mixed with much finer aggregates than concrete, giving it a far smoother quality. This makes screed more suited to finishing surfaces than for the structural uses of concrete.

Appearance and Texture

At first glance, screed and concrete look fairly similar and it may be a challenge to identify which one is which. However, differentiation is much easier when you know what to look for, and it is sometimes simpler to make this judgement when the materials are still in liquid form. Concrete will have a rougher texture and the presence of larger aggregates, some of which can reach 20mm. Screed has a far smoother look, and consists of aggregate pieces that are generally around the 4 or 5mm mark.


Widely used in the construction industry, concrete’s high strength makes it useful for creating walls, floors, building structures, landscaping surfaces, and many other construction features. The most desired trait of screed is its smooth, aesthetically-pleasing finish and this makes it ideal for finishing internal floors and can be laid over the top of concrete – when combined, these two materials offer a winning combination of sturdiness and polish.

Method of application

Thanks to its fine quality that lacks aggregates, screed can be applied easily and evenly with a trowel and needs very little skill to complete a job successfully. In comparison, because of its coarse structure, concrete requires specialist equipment to mix and apply, and will almost always require a skilled individual to complete a job with total safety, efficiency and quality.

Only pay for what you use with EasyMix Concrete. Whether you’re seeking high-strength concrete or flawless floor screed, we are a leading supplier in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and beyond. You can change the volume and specification of your ordered product at any time, thanks to our totally flexible service with no delivery charge. Get in touch today to discuss your project.