Terms of the Trade: What Is a Screed?

The term screed has several different meanings, but the one we're addressing here is a flat board or aluminum tool to smooth out or flatten materials like concrete, stucco, or plaster after they've been applied. The screed is pulled across the material to pull off any excess and smooth out the finish. Generally screeds are a specific tool you can find at a home improvement store; making your own may result in a less-than perfect or more rustic finish.