Roger Bisby talks through the beam and block floor stage of building an extension.
Generally speaking there are two options for constructing ground floors. You can opt for a solid floor which involves laying wet concrete directly onto your ground surface or you can choose a beam and block floor which is also known as a suspended floor which allows you to achieve a low cost concrete floor.
Beam and block
Beam and block flooring can also be used for suspended flooring to subsequent levels and can even be used to support partition walling.
The advantage of a beam and block floor is that you don’t have to prepare the oversite saving time, materials and money because no hardcore or oversite concreting is required. If you’ve got an oversite which is a bit rough or spongy and you don’t want to compact concrete onto it you can simply put these beams over the top of it and it doesn’t matter what the ground does underneath so it’s great in clay or in made up ground.
It’s also a good system to use because it’s fairly cheap and as demonstrated it is quick and easy to install.
Other advantages of a concrete floor include a high thermal mass which can help reduce a building’s energy consumption as well as noise-reducing properties and fire-resistant properties.
This episode includes:
- Raking out the oversite ready to lay the weed barrier and vapour barrier which stops the moisture coming up through the ground to the underside of the beams
- Inclusion of air blocks underneath the beams
- Putting the block into the beam – it’s important to clean the snots off the beams, sometimes you might need to use a brick hammer to scrape through
- Why you need to run grout over the blocks, which is basically wet sand and cement which will fill in all the little gaps and tightens the floor up
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