There are a number of different methods that can be used when constructing the ground floor of a building or residence. Of course, the classic method of using a concrete slab is one method that is simple enough to do and that is still in widespread use, but there are a number of new technologies that have come into use over the past ten years, including precast concrete slabs, rot resistant wood and other types of synthetic flooring surfaces, many of which can provide some specific advantages over a conventional ground floor construction method that may have been originally specified.
One of the oldest methods for constructing a ground floor has to be the concrete slab. This method is simple and fairly inexpensive – the ground is scraped and leveled, forms are built and then concrete is poured into the forms, smoothed, and allowed to cure, at which time walls and other surfaces can begin to be constructed. This method can lead to some water coming up through the floor if the ground water level is too high, and this method can also be problematic, limiting the types of flooring that can be used inside.
Pre-Cast Concrete Slab
A second method of ground floor construction involves pre cast concrete slabs that are brought in already cast and cured and that are set into place over scraped and leveled ground and then either sealed between each slab or filled with concrete in the joints to make one single concrete floor. This method is easier than conventional concrete slab construction and it is cheaper in some cases. In addition, since the slabs are pre cast, they are already cured, and it is a time savings over conventional concrete slab ground floor construction methods.
Dowelled Joint Concrete Floor
For larger projects, reinforced or dowel jointed concrete construction is used. This uses pre-cast slabs with metal rebar dowels that protrude and that fit into holes in other slabs, leading to a support method that can help join the two slabs together without cracking and that can be filled with elastomeric sealant in between to prevent water and vapor intrusion into the finished space.
Other methods of ground floor construction include synthetic wood, made from plastic and other composite materials that are resistant to insects and water infiltration and will last longer than wood floors.