The Construction of Floors For Residential Homes

A floor is a horizontal structure which carries both dead and live loads in a building and divides the building into stories. Some buildings may have one, two, three or even four stories. These are important considerations when you are looking for an apartment to buy in Jamaica.

Floor is classified into two main categories, the ground floors and upper floors. There are two types of ground floor:

1. Solid Ground Floor

2. Suspended Ground Floor

The functions of the ground floor are:

i. To withstand the loads that will be imposed on them

ii. To prevent damp penetrating the building

iii. To be reasonably durable so as to reduce the amount of maintenance or replacement work to a minimum

iv. To provide an acceptable surface finish which will meet the needs of users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety, cleanliness and associated matter.

The functions of the upper floors are:

i. To support their own weight, ceiling and imposed loads

ii. To restrict the passage of fire

iii. To restrict the transmission of sound from one floor to another, particularly where this may seriously interfere with activities being undertaken.

iv. To possess an adequate standard of durability

v. To be capable of fairly quick erection

vi. To accommodate services readily

vii. To provide an adequate surface finish which will meet the needs of the users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety cleanliness and associated matters.

The principal materials for a floor are concrete, timber and steel.

The Floor Construction

To build a solid ground floor, the construction is essentially comprised of a combination of some of the following: plain or reinforced concrete bed, hardcore, blinding, selected marl fill and sand bed.

The concrete bed can be either reinforced or plain in-situ concrete, four or six inches thick. The concrete mix batching, mixing, transporting and pouring require careful observation so as to ensure good quality concrete. The reinforcement can be a fabric of welded mild steel or mild steel reinforcing bar. Reinforcement must be free from rust; wire brush to remove any scales. The water for the concrete must be clean. Though this principle is not always followed and a Jamaica real estate investor must be cognizant of this when searching for cheap apartments for sale in Jamaica.

The purpose of the hardcore ground floor is to make up the levels under the floor, to provide a firm working surface, prevent contamination of the lower part of the wet concrete during placing and compaction and reducing the amount of rising ground moisture.

Hardcore materials are rock waste, gravels, coarse sands, river shingles, block rubble, stone rubble and tile rubble. These materials should be hard, durable, must not react with any other materials, drain easily, consolidate quickly, be free from harmful substances and not attack concrete or block work mortar.

The blinding ground floor is needed to even off the surface of hardcore and provide a true surface from which reinforcement can be positioned. The composition of blinding floor generally consists of a layer of fine sand and weak concrete.

To build a ground floor with fine aggregates, that is sand or crushed gravel, the fine aggregates must be well graded, not uniform, free from dirt, salt and silt, free from excess fine and dusty particles and free from chemical impurities.

When building with coarse aggregates, that are gravel or stone chippings, the coarse aggregates must be durable, not be liable to any shrinkage, swelling or decomposing and free from organic impurities.

An important factor to note when building floors, the water for the concrete should be potable, clean and covered if stored in open drums. We encourage builders to take this in consideration when developing Jamaica real estate.

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