How to Lay A Concrete Floor
Concrete is a fundamental building material that is used for a wide range of construction projects and applications.
As anyone who works in the concrete industry will be well aware, there are very few projects that do not use concrete in some form. Favoured due to the excellent longevity, strength and structural integrity that it can provide, it’s no surprise that concrete can be found being used on projects across the country.
As well as standard concrete mixes, concrete floors are another popular choice that is often used in commercial and industrial environments.
A concrete floor is typically a flat slab of concrete which is either poured in-situ or in a factory environment. At Concrete Supply UK, we can tailor concrete floor mixes specifically to your needs including offering reinforced options where necessary.
While concrete floors are common, they require a specialist pouring process. In this article, we’ll explain how to lay a concrete floor, providing you with a comprehensive concrete floor laying guide. Whether you’ve laid concrete floors before or are doing so for the first time, you’ll be able to refer to this guide to help you create a concrete floor that is extremely effective and offers unrivalled longevity.
Read on to find out more.
Where Are Concrete Floors Used?
Concrete floors are an extremely popular choice in a whole host of environments. As mentioned above, they’re frequently used due to the robustness, longevity and great strength they provide and they are regularly used for:
- And much more
While concrete floors can be used in both domestic and commercial environments, they are typically preferred in the latter, particularly in industrial places. This is because these places are more likely to experience greater footfall and heavy traffic from vehicles and so require a stronger surface.
Benefits Of A Concrete Floor
Concrete floors offer several benefits in various applications, both residential and commercial. Some of the key advantages of using concrete flooring include:
- Durability – Concrete is well known for its strength and durability. It can withstand heavy loads and is resistant to wear and tear, which makes it a long-lasting flooring option, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Low maintenance – Another great benefit is that concrete floors are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are usually sufficient to keep them in good condition without any further maintenance required. Additionally, concrete floors do not harbour dust or allergens, meaning the overall air quality of a room is enhanced.
- Cost-effective – Another reason why people often opt for concrete flooring is because it is extremely cost-effective compared to other flooring options such as hardwood or tiles. The longevity and low maintenance it also provides contribute to this cost-effectiveness.
- Versatility – Concrete floors can be easily customised to suit every style and functional preference. They can be stained, polished or stamped to achieve various patterns, textures and colours. It’s this excellent versatility that makes concrete a suitable option for both traditional and contemporary aesthetics. At Concrete Supply UK, we always provide our customers with bespoke mixes that perfectly align with your unique requirements.
- Resistant to water damage – Unlike some alternative flooring choices, concrete flooring is resistant to water damage and is not susceptible to issues such as mould or rot. This means it is a practical choice for areas that are prone to moisture such as basements and even bathrooms.
- Environmentally friendly – In general, concrete is regarded as an environmentally friendly material and this is the case for concrete flooring. It is often produced with locally sourced materials and the long lifespans reduce the need for frequent replacements. Furthermore, in some cases, they can even be more energy efficient as they don’t require additional artificial lighting.
These are just some of the great benefits that concrete floors can bring, and if you’re considering having the application installed at your property we can advise on the best options for you.
How To Lay A Concrete Floor
Now that we thoroughly understand what concrete floors are and the range of benefits they can provide, let’s turn our attention to laying a concrete floor.
Usually, this kind of task will be carried out by a professional construction company but, by following the correct steps, it can also be conducted by non-professionals in certain circumstances.
There are number of key steps that need to be followed when laying a concrete floor, and we’ll go over each one below.
Prepare Your Site
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the site you’re working with is in the appropriate condition.
If you have not prepared correctly, then it is likely going to cause problems later on in the process so it’s imperative that this step is not skipped.
First of all, make sure the area you’re working with has been properly measured. To do this you need to use the formula length x width x height which will provide you with the volume you will need.
Next, if you happen to be laying a concrete floor on soil, it is important that you properly compact it. This is to ensure the base is strong and suitably level for the concrete floor. This will help the ground not crack, and so it’s clear to see how important this process is before concrete floor laying gets underway.
Lay The Base Layer
The next step is to sort out your base layer.
A base layer will sit between the soil and the concrete floor that will be laid later on. An aggregate will be used for this base layer and the quantity will depend on the type of soil you are building on. On average, around two to four layers of aggregate will need to be laid for the surface to be suitable for the concrete.
Install Reinforcement Bars
This step is optional, but if you intend to use the concrete floor to withstand heavy loads, it might be preferable to install some reinforcement bars which can offer additional strength.
If significant amounts of weight are going to be placed on the floor, then reinforcement bars become more of a necessity so it’s important you access the specific requirements you will need. If it is a large structure, you will likely need permission for this but in smaller projects, this won’t be required and ten rebars that are placed 600mm apart will do the job.
Pour The Concrete
Now, you will be ready to pour the concrete for the concrete floor.
Irrespective of the type of concrete you’ve selected to do the job, it’s important that the mix will be completely fresh and malleable. For example, if you are using readymix concrete you should make sure it is poured within two hours of arriving at your site.
Pour the concrete slowly but steadily, and have a rake on hand to even out the concrete as required. A bull float can also be used once the entirety of the concrete has been poured to make sure it is completely level.
However, if you do decide to use a bull float, you should wait until the moisture in the mix has risen. This is to ensure the mix can efficiently provide all the traits you need from it.
Once the concrete has been poured, the curing process can begin.
Curing is the process that sees hydration develop within your mix that allows the concrete properties (such as strength and durability) to properly form.
It is not a quick process, and curing actually never stops, but it takes around 10 days for a mix to cure to a level which means you can start to place things on top of the surface and use it during your day-to-day operations.
Once these 10 days have passed, you can use your concrete floor for whatever you need it for.
At Concrete Supply UK, we provide our customers with a whole host of concrete and screed products that are ideal for the creation of concrete floors. We take a bespoke approach to everyone we work with, ensuring our customers always get custom products that provide them with the desired results.
In addition to ensuring the right type of concrete is always delivered on time and on budget, we will also guarantee that you right concrete grade and get the quantity you need. We’ll take the time to get to know you and your needs, ensuring you never over order or under order.
For more information on our range of concrete floor mixes, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team today.