The formulation of self-smoothing cementitious screeds primarily originated from the market demand for a more cost effective, efficient fast track flooring compound as an alternative to the traditional resin based flooring. Over the last 15 years, the use of such materials for refurbishing and renovating old, damaged concrete floors has increased in magnitude, as the actual time the floor area is out of use can be restricted to an absolute minimum. Such systems are designed to have a workability of approximately 20-30 min, from which point the development of the cementitious microstructure is then accelerated. Subsequently, the screed rapidly gains strength over the next few hours, enabling the surface to support foot traffic in as little as 3-4 h after application. In order to promote rapid strength development within the first 24 h of screed application, a combination of high alumina cement and Portland cement is used in conjunction with an effective accelerator such as lithium carbonate. By using a controlled quantity of synthetic anhydrous calcium sulphate (Andricite) the drying shrinkage is reduced to a negligible level. The incorporation of a retarder such as tri sodium citrate and superplasticisers enables optimum workability to be achieved. The resultant strength and setting characteristics of such screed materials are governed by the type and proportion of high alumina and Portland cement utilised. The colour of the latter obviously influences the resultant colouration of the screed and its ability to be pigmented. 9 refs.