A suspended concrete floor is created when the floor is placed over a space such as a garage or lower level, or often is used in multistory buildings. More common in commercial rather than residential uses, suspended floors are created in several ways depending on the structure. Weight and bend are always a concern with suspended floors, and they must be structurally engineered for the specific use by a qualified expert.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Structural blueprints
- Concrete block
- Metal slab pan
- Steel tensioner cables and connectors
- Precast concrete panels
Construct the supporting walls for the floor according to the structural blueprints. Concrete block is often used for this application but poured walls with steel are also an option. An inner wall, an outer wall and a so-called sleeper wall, or the wall that supports the floor, must be constructed. The walls must be built with specific supports such as steel beams or poured columns with engineered weight-distribution points.
Place the forms for the slab itself. For a poured-in-place concrete floor, a metal pan that is filled with the concrete and becomes part of the floor can be used. Another method is utilising a system of preformed concrete panels.
Install the engineered support system such as steel cables and connectors anchored in concrete walls or columns, or the preformed concrete beams and supports. The type of support system is critical and will depend on the overall structure and use of the floor, and will be based on the overall engineering plan.
Pour the concrete slab with the specific mix prescribed for the floor in the structural design plans. In a suspended concrete floor the concrete itself is a critical step as it needs to be of a grade that will withstand the weight and load-bearing pressure for its application and resist cracking.
Cure the floor and remove any forms that are not a permanent part of the structure.
Tips and warnings
- A suspended concrete floor must be designed and constructed by qualified specialists due to safety issues involved in the potential failure of this type of floor.
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