How to make a floor slab yourself

DIY concrete floor

A person always strives for comfort and convenience, and this desire forces people to improve their living conditions. And what is one of the main factors in the comfort of life? The majority will answer that the living conditions and home comfort. This is what determines the continuous desire of many people to improve their living conditions or optimize their existing housing. And if, with the improvement of living conditions by purchasing a new apartment, it has two main criteria, it is the availability of money and desire, then the optimization of living space, which consists in a major reconstruction, requires the desire and knowledge of some technologies used in construction. Such knowledge allows, firstly, to independently plan the conduct of such construction robots, and secondly, to achieve significant savings in money. One of the useful technologies widely used in “large-scale” construction is the technology of monolithic erection of structures, the essence of the technology lies in the “pouring” of concrete into molds made using formwork. This technology has recently gained wide popularity in the construction market, this growth in popularity is due to the ease of construction of buildings in all aspects. The use of the technology of monolithic construction is also possible in the “home” construction conditions, and sometimes it is its application that will not only save money, but also significantly simplify any reconstruction.

One of the areas of application of technologies for monolithic construction in the repair or reconstruction of a house, an apartment is the manufacture of floors between floors. In general, all floors between floors can be divided into two large groups, the first is the installation of ready-made floor slabs, and the second is the manufacture of such a floor using various materials. Installation of ready-made slabs has a number of advantages; it is quite simple installation. The disadvantages include the need to use special equipment for installation, the high cost of the slabs themselves, the regulated dimensions (the slabs are made according to GOST and have strict dimensions), the need for a reliable foundation that can withstand the load, and most importantly, such slabs can be installed only during the construction itself but not during reconstruction. Floor slabs can be made on site using various materials, including wood, iron and combined options, clay with a wooden frame. But all materials tend to collapse under the influence of time and negative external influences, while the service life is limited to tens of years, one exception to the general rule is concrete, which has a service life of an order of magnitude higher, to be more precise, at least 50 years under normal conditions.

So, if you need an overlap, but there is no way to use a crane, there are non-standard sizes, there are problems from the financial side, but you need a strong, reliable overlap, the only option is to use monolithic construction technologies.

The entire construction of the floor is divided into three components. The first, of which is preparatory, is followed by the pouring of concrete and the final adjustment to “condition”.

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Any construction work should always be started with preparation and planning. When planning the pouring of a concrete floor, it is necessary to take care of the availability of materials. You will need wooden boards for the construction of formwork, iron rods and pipes for reinforcement and the constituents of concrete (sand, cement, crushed stone) themselves. In the future, we determine the estimated width of the planned overlap, while taking into account the fact that pouring a layer less than 12 cm can have unpleasant consequences for sound insulation and strength. If the premises are non-residential, then 12 cm will be enough, if living rooms, then you need to increase the thickness of the concrete floor to 15 cm and immediately provide for additional sound insulation.

The dimensions of the overlap are 250 cm by 300 cm, as the basis of the future structure we use metal beams thrown from one wall to another, while fixing the distance between the beams (we use a channel as a beam, a used one is suitable) of 150 cm., After formation “Frame” of three beams, we proceed to the equipment of the formwork.

Formwork manufacturing

Formwork is the most critical part of the whole process using monolithic construction technology. The formwork consists of wooden panels and supports. For the manufacture of wooden boards, we use boards 20 mm thick or more, cut them to the required length and knock them together, four boards measuring 125 cm by 150 cm were used to make the formwork of the given sizes. Such dimensions allow you to easily mount the formwork, and then not cause disassembly problems. We use wooden beams and boards with the required height as supports, while it is worth noting that any materials can be used as supports, the main criterion is only the need to keep the weight of concrete.

Therefore, we install at least 6-8 supports on each shield; when using denser supports, their number can be reduced. Due to the fact that the concrete has a liquid consistency, and the overlap should be even, we install thin plywood on the inside of the boards, which will not allow the mixture to spill and will immediately form a fairly flat surface. The installation of the formwork itself is carried out taking into account the already installed frame, that is, the formwork should be at a distance of 4-5 cm from the lower edge of the previously installed beams.

Board for floor slabs

After installing the formwork, we proceed to the reinforcement. Reinforcement is necessary to stiffen the structure. As reinforcing materials, we use a fine mesh for plaster, an iron rod and old iron pipes (all reinforcing iron, except for the mesh, was purchased at the nearest scrap metal collection center).

On top of the installed formwork we put a grid for plaster, after pouring it will additionally “pull together” the inner sides and will not allow the concrete to burst and crumble during the entire service life. We cut iron pipes (of different diameters) into pieces of 150-140 cm (depending on the actual dimensions between the beams) and weld them to the installed iron beams with a distance of 60 cm, as a result of which a lattice is formed. In parallel with the beams themselves, we begin to install metal rods, with a distance of 15-20 cm, screwing them to the installed pipes. We install the rods from the bottom of the pipes, this is due to the fact that the greatest pressure falls on the lower part and it is better to reinforce the lower layers of concrete. For knitting, it is necessary to use a soft, steel wire, the option of welding the rods with electric welding is possible, but this takes a long time and at the exit may not give the required strength of the connection. This completes the reinforcement process..

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The next stage is the actual pouring of concrete into the finished form. We make concrete in the proportion of one bucket of rubble, two buckets of sand and a bucket of cement. In the manufacture of large floor slabs, expanded clay can be used, which will significantly reduce the weight of the structure itself, but the cost of this material is quite large, therefore, it is better to use crushed stone in small products (which is several orders of magnitude cheaper). We mix the solution in a concrete mixer with the addition of water. For the initial stage of pouring, the produced concrete must be “liquid”, with a consistency reminiscent of cream, which will allow the so-called “pouring” to be performed. “Spilling” is the first pouring of concrete into the formwork, and it is this consistency that allows the mortar to easily fill all internal cavities and crevices. When pouring, it is worth remembering that you should not make sharp blows or pouring out, pour out the solution slowly and evenly in order to avoid distortions in the formwork. Having made a “spill”, that is, when the first layer is ready, you need to walk and “wiggle” with a shovel or other tool, but without sharp blows. This operation allows air bubbles to escape and closes the shells. After that, we repeat the operation and top up the concrete slab to a level of 9-10 cm, leaving a gap of 2-3 cm to the calculated slab thickness. And let the concrete “grab”, which takes one, two days, and only after that we proceed to the final pouring.

Filling the floor slab

We set the “beacons” to the required level and complete the filling with the solution. For the final process, we use a solution in the ratio of one bucket of cement to three of sand, without adding rubble, we make the solution of medium density. We install the lighthouses in length with a distance of 150 cm to the width of the existing rule. When pouring, immediately stretch and level the floor to a smooth surface using the rule and slow, forward movements from side to side. To give strength, we additionally lay a plaster mesh in the top layer, which will provide rigidity and prevent the concrete from bursting. This completes the manufacturing process of the concrete floor itself..

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The last step is to ensure the normal hardening of concrete. Due to the fact that one of the main features of concrete is that when it cures, a large amount of heat is released, plus the more moisture, the stronger the concrete itself becomes. Therefore, after the initial solidification, it is necessary to carry out regular wetting for one or two weeks. Two or three buckets were poured onto the prepared plate at a time. This is especially true in hot weather, when rapid drying leads to cracking of all cement mortars..

Self-leveling floors

To give a perfect look after complete drying, you can buy self-leveling floors and additionally fill the floor. Technologically it looks like this, we take a primer (primer is required), open the floor and fill it with a diluted mixture on top to level the floor. In this process, the main two factors are the first is the use of exactly the amount of water that is written in the instructions and the second is to use a special roller for smoothing. The spiked roller not only evens out, but also removes air. Also remember that the mixture must be evenly poured over the entire surface, from one place it will not even out itself. 3 bags of the mixture will be enough for the manufactured slab, and at the same time a cover thickness of 3 mm will be achieved. After that, the floor will be perfectly smooth and look perfect. The main thing is to let the concrete dry.

Removing the formwork

The formwork can be removed no earlier than a week after the last pouring out, while it is necessary to observe basic safety measures, the fall of the shield on the head is a very real way to get to the hospital. This completes the entire construction of such a floor. In general, the cost of real time from the start of work to the receipt of the finished slab, excluding the time of final solidification, will take no more than 4-5 days, while 2-3 people are employed in construction.

In terms of the cost of investments, the cost of self-production will be equal to the cost of purchasing used concrete slabs, taking into account installation and installation, and if you do not involve a team of builders, then it will be three times cheaper. The most important thing to remember is not to save on reinforcement, especially since metal can be bought on scrap metal.

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