What is granolithic flooring?

Granolithic flooring is a type of concrete surface that's usually found in factories, warehouses, paving and pavements. This type of flooring is an extremely hard and durable surface that resists wear due to weight loads and abrasion. Also, because of its visible composition, this flooring may be used as a decorative element in homes and offices with or without modifications to the type of stone used.


Granolithic flooring is concrete -- that is, cement, sand, water and stone -- that's formulated with granite or other igneous or metamorphic chipped or crushed stone. The type of stone used is what lends the compound its durable structure and surface, making it ideal for industrial use or areas of heavy wear and tear. This flooring is also denser than conventional cement or concrete because the construction method involves extracting much of the water used during its formulation.


This flooring surface can be laid in two ways: as a screed, finished atop a cement surface, or as prefabricated slabs or paving stones. To maximise bonding, a screed finish needs to be applied while the cement under layer is still wet. Once the granolithic screed is poured and levelled, special absorption blankets are placed over the mixture and a powdered absorption compound spread over these to draw out the excess water. Depending on location, prefab slabs may be fitted into recessed cement beds or, for outdoor use with less heavy-duty traffic, paving stones may be placed upon softer surfaces like firm sand or soil. The surface layer for either method will need to be a minimum of 1 cm thick, depending on the expected load.

Non-industrial uses

Industrial-chic styled flooring for home or office can be achieved with polished cement floors but aggregate flooring -- like granolithic concrete -- adds an extra element of earthiness to those environments. As they will not be subjected to the rigours of factory flooring, more decorative stone, like marble or agate, can be incorporated into the floor, and even softer, sedimentary stone such as limestone or sandstone may also be used.

Quiet and warmth

Granolithic floors -- like cement or stone -- can get pretty cold underfoot, and it would be a pity to install one just to have it covered by carpet. Radiant heating elements - whether water or electric - incorporated during the installation will solve this. Depending on the insulation of the structure, radiant heat flooring can be used as the primary heating for your home or office. Area rugs, aside from looking nice, will reduce much of harsh sound bouncing off the floor, as will heavy fabrics used throughout the rest of the space.

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About the Author

Allan Kelin is an Argentina-based writer and translator for publishers and PR firms. Near-fluent in Spanish, he specializes in media reports and travel translations. Kelin has written and translated for De Dios Editorial and Identia PR, both in Buenos Aires. He has a B.A. in psychology from Hunter College, City University of New York.