Floor construction is an important element in the design of any building. It is the structural support for the floor and the occupants of the room. There are many types of floor construction, including solid and suspended floors, as well as poured concrete and laminated timber floors. Each type of flooring has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best method to use will depend on its intended use. The sub-base of a floor can be well-compacted building rubble or a loose stone-based material.
A slab is the smallest part of a floor, so it should be constructed with as little concrete as possible. The beams are typically inverted T-beams, which are set perpendicularly into the inner-leaf blockwork of the supporting walls. They are installed at a 600mm interval. The beams are then laid parallel to each other to provide a ledge for the infill blocks. The assembled floor is then covered with a DPM vapour barrier, and a sand-and-cement screed can be applied to achieve a level, smooth surface.
There are several types of concrete that are commonly used in new constructions. Precast concrete slabs are typically used in steel frame structures and are supported by secondary steel beams. Composite beams are also a common option. Because they are lightweight, precast slabs can be built quickly on site and lifted into position. The precast concrete slabs can be made with a non-structural or structural topping. The former includes a screed, which allows diaphragm action and transfers lateral wind forces back to the bracing. The last three layers, namely the core and the screed, are made with a sand and cement mix and are topped with a finished surface.
A slab with a defined movement has tight tolerances for surface regularity, as is a cellular floor. However, a free-movement slab may be more rigid than a bonded slab. For this reason, the use of a defined-movement floor is recommended. A thick slab will be more likely to crack, and a lower tolerance will allow it to withstand the movement of the car over time. It is important to note that a concrete structure will not always be stable, so a DPM will help avoid the possibility of problems in the future.
Another type of floor construction is shallow floor. This type of floor is achieved by placing the slab and beam within the same zone. A steel beam can be wider at the bottom than the top flange, which allows the slab to sit on the lower surface of the beam. A slab can be either a precast concrete or composite slab with metal decking. A DPM will protect the upper surface of an assembled floor from moisture and heat, and it will also help it maintain its shape.
A floor with a jointless system is constructed with concrete that is placed in a continuous pattern across the floor. These floors are built using a jointless system, but they are not perfect because the joints can cause cracks to form. Nonetheless, there are some important aspects to consider when planning a floor. You should take into account the location of the building where the floor will be placed, the area of the space in which it will be installed, and the height and width of the supporting wall.