slab formwork construction

Understanding Concrete Slab In Construction

From sheds to new homes, whether you’re working on large-scale construction projects or residential builds, concrete slabs are an absolute necessity.

While it’s purpose is quite obvious – understanding the different types of concrete slabs, how thick they should be and the formwork needed to deliver a quality slab everytime can be more complex. Read on to learn more about the process.

What are concrete slabs used for?

Concrete slabs have become an incredibly common structural element of modern buildings. Concrete slabs provide a foundation for any building, offering thermal comfort and lifestyle advantages.

Types of concrete slabs

We deal with a range of slabs including conventional, monolithic and elevated slabs. A slab-on-ground, or conventional slab, is the most common type of concrete slab. Conventional slabs are poured directly into the excavated trenches in the ground and rely on the existing ground for support, which means the ground must be strong enough to support the concrete slab.

Unlike conventional slabs, suspended, or elevated slabs, are not in direct contact with the ground. They form floors or roofs above ground level and are supported by either two or four sides.

How thick should a concrete slab be?

The thickness of a concrete slab depends on the size of the building. The standard thickness for a concrete slab in residential construction is four inches. Five to six inches may be advantageous if the slab will receive heavy loads, such as a motor home.

What’s the difference between a cement slab and a concrete slab?

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. A mixture of paste and aggregates, concrete contains sand, gravel or crushed stone.

Cement is made from about 10-15% of the concrete mix and through the process of hydration, the cement and water harden and bind into a rocklike mass. This hardening process continues on for years, making the cement stronger as it gets older.

How long does a concrete slab last for?

Concrete slabs can last for 10-50 years depending on a range of factors including placement, reinforcement and care. Concrete reacts to environmental variables, such as temperature.

When concrete begins to honeycomb or crack, these could be signs that there are more severe issues with the slab, such as concrete cancer. Poor workmanship is typically the reason why issues may arise with a concrete slab.

Start with the framework

Want to ensure a properly laid concrete slab? Start with the framework. Made from high quality zinc-plated steel, MSB Form can help to improve efficiency and safety. It can also lead to reduced labour costs, ensuring a cost-effective business model. Faster, stronger and greener MSB Form provides a systematic approach to slab on ground construction.

For more information on our extensive product range in addition to application uses, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today. Use our online contact form and someone will be happy to assist you further or provide you with a quote.