The integrity of a concrete basement floor is imperative to the structural integrity of a home. Concrete floors must be installed correctly. If the frame of a home rests on the concrete floor, then the floor must bear the weight of the structure.
The preparation of the ground beneath the floor is critical. Here you will find information on the process by which the concrete floor is installed. Ultimately, this should be done or overseen by a professional to achieve the performance needed from such a floor. Follow these steps to complete the installation of your concrete basement floor.
Step 1 - Cover Stone
The ground should be leveled and compacted as tightly as possible. A gravel bed should be laid over the ground and leveled to provide drainage for any moisture. Sand is the next layer, and it should also be leveled.
The sand will provide additional material for a level surface and will allow for a more even surface on which the concrete is poured. Over the sand is placed thick vinyl sheeting to provide a moisture barrier between the ground and the concrete.
Step 2 - Build Forms
Forms need to be built to provide a contained space in which to pour the concrete. Without forms, the concrete will spread haphazardly. Generally, 2x4-inch boards are set on their sides and staked in a square or rectangle to create the form. Plumb lines are used to ensure that the forms are level. Additional lumber is needed to level the concrete when it is poured.
Step 3 - Pour Concrete
Concrete is mixed in the amounts needed. Concrete comes dry and is mixed with water to the right consistency. If it a large quantity of concrete is needed, a concrete mixing truck can be utilized to mix large batches of concrete.
Concrete is poured into the form from a chute on the truck that can be directed to the correct area. Fill the form to the brim with concrete. Shovels are used to spread the concrete around the form.
Step 4 - Level Concrete
The concrete is leveled by dragging a piece of lumber across the top of the form. The concrete is typically leveled even further by using hand towels to ensure a flat, even surface.
Step 5 - Install Foam Board
Foam board or insulation board is installed once the concrete is completely dry and set. The curing process of concrete will vary in the time it takes, depending on how thick the slab is, and how large of an area it covers. The foam board is secured directly to the concrete slab and to surrounding walls (toward the bottom at least) with special concrete fasteners or screws.