Beauty, strength, and comfort make concrete floor and roof systems a solid choice for your home.
With the increased use of concrete wall systems for homebuilding, more homeowners are demanding the strength, comfort, and beauty of concrete for the floors and roof of their new homes. Concrete floor and roof systems are the perfect match for insulating concrete forms, concrete masonry, autoclaved aerated concrete, and other concrete wall systems.
There are many ways to build your concrete floor and roof system: Stay-in-place foam forms Conventionally formed concrete Concrete on steel deck Concrete on steel joists Concrete on fiber glass joists Precast hollow-core plank Autoclaved aerated concrete Radiant Heating
All of these systems share the same solid benefits of concrete - beauty, strength, durability, low maintenance, energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and peace and quiet. Which concrete building technique is right for you depends on the labor force and predominant building practices in your area. Whatever your choice, you can rest assured that your beautiful concrete home is built to last.
When I'm at home, I want peace and quiet. My concrete home keeps things quiet. I can't hear the neighbor's lawn mowers and my floors don't squeak. That's why I chose concrete walls, floors and roof of my new home.
Not only that but my architect was able to create longer floor spans using concrete for a more open feel. She was able to use many different finish materials - hardwood, tile, and carpet. I told her I wanted something spectacular in the entrance - so she used color and texture cast into the concrete to give the look of stone.
And I can rest easier knowing that my concrete home provides additional protection against the ravages of mother nature - tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, rot, and pests. The mass of the concrete and air tightness translates into energy savings too. My home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. I put a radiant heating system into the concrete floor which provides me with even more comfort and savings. With low maintenance year after year, concrete was the most economical and worry free choice.
There's just no limit to the beauty of concrete.
For more information on the versatility of concrete floors, click here.
Conventionally formed concrete
Slabs made by placing ready mixed concrete on conventional reusable formwork made of plywood, steel, aluminum, or fiberglass are common in commercial construction and can be used for residential applications. Forms can be flat or ribbed to form shallow beams 2 to 3 feet on center. Forms are arranged and shored (or braced), reinforcing bars secured in the proper location, and concrete pumped onto the forms. After the concrete reaches adequate strength (usually 7 days or longer) the forms are removed.
Stay-in-place foam forms
Forms designed to stay in place are usually made of rigid foam insulation. Polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam insulation is combined with steel ribs or joists to form flat or ribbed forms for the concrete. The forms are arranged and braced, reinforcing bars are secured in place, and concrete pumped onto the forms. The concrete hardens to form the structure and the forms are left in place to provide insulation. Stay-in-place forming systems like Lite-Deck combine the strength of concrete with the superior insulating qualities of rigid foam.
Concrete on steel deck
Steel deck made from plain or galvanized steel sheet rolled into various ribbed profiles can be used to form concrete floor and roof slabs. Ribs are typically three inches deep, approximately six inches wide, and spaced at 12 inches on center. Steel deck can serve strictly as a form for the concrete, or it can be fabricated to bond to the concrete so that the concrete and steel act together as a composite section. For composite deck, no additional reinforcement is typically used. When non-composite deck is used, reinforcing bars are placed in the slab.
Generally, two to three inches of concrete is placed over the ribbed deck to form a total slab thickness of five to six inches. Spans of 15 feet or more can be achieved with with this system depending on the thickness of the steel used for the deck and the amount of reinforcement placed in the slab. For a list of steel deck manufacturers contact the Steel Joist Institute:
Steel Deck Institute
P.O. Box 25
Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0025
(847) 462-1930 / Fax: (847) 462-1940
Concrete on steel joists
Several manufacturers offer concrete floor systems designed to work in conjunction with steel bar joists. They use cast in place concrete, precast concrete, or concrete masonry to form the slab. Depending on the system, steel bar joists are placed 16 inches to 8 feet on center. Spans exceeding 40 feet can be achieved depending on the depth and size of the joists used.
Concrete on Fiber Glass Joists
This method of forming can significantly reduce high labor and materials costs. With the use of sophisticated flying systems has come the demand for forms that can be secured together and moved - in complete grid format - from floor to floor. In addition to standard forms, custom forms can be made in almost any shape. The cost is relatively low and the shape possibilities are limited only by the designer’s imagination.
Precast hollow-core plank
Precast hollow-core planks are typically four feet wide and six or eight inches thick depending on the desired span. As the name implies, they have evenly spaced cores running the length of the slab reducing the weight of the panels and can function as a chase for electrical and mechanical utilities. Most systems are reinforced with prestressing wires between the cores. They are manufactured in large precasting plants and transported to the site by truck and placed on the supporting walls with a crane. In some cases a cast-in-place topping is placed over the planks. There are many companies in North America that manufacture hollow-core plank. Contact the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute to find a manufacturer in your area.
Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
209 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60606-6938
(312) 786-0300 / Fax: (312) 786-0353
Autoclaved aerated concrete
Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) floor and roof systems consist of large planks manufactured in plants using special lightweight concrete. AAC is made with all fine aggregates, nothing more coarse than a grain of sand, cement and a natural expansion agent that causes the concrete to rise like bread dough, with countless small air pockets. The factory can mold it and cut it into precisely dimensioned units. While block-size units for walls are most common, it can also be cast into reinforced panels for walls, floors and roofs. There several companies in the United States that produce AAC.
One major advantage of using a concrete floor system is that you can easily install a radiant heating system - one of the most efficient ways of heating a home. Most systems use flexible tubes embedded in concrete. A special heater pumps water through the tubes and heats the slab. Heat radiates from the slab resulting in a quiet, comfortable home. For more information, or to find a dealer/contractor in your area, contact:
Radiant Panel Association
P.O. Box 717
Loveland, CO 80539
(800) 660-7187 or (970) 613-0100 / Fax: (970) 613-0098
The listing of organizations and information resources constitutes neither an endorsement nor recommendation by the Portland Cement Association (PCA). PCA disclaims any and all responsibility for the selection of organizations listed and the products they represent. PCA also assumes no responsibility for errors and omissions in this list.