How to Install Precast Concrete Flooring
Precast concrete floors are an excellent choice for any industry that needs durable and strong surfaces. Their resistance to water and fire makes them an ideal flooring choice for areas prone to moisture or heat. They easily support heavy equipment and large numbers of people moving around in a hurry on your average day at work. This makes them perfect for workshops and wash bays where things get hectic sometimes.
Concrete floors are also easy to clean and maintain, which is vital in industries where hygiene is a priority. Many choose reinforced concrete floor slabs for these advantages, particularly durability and versatility. What about their installation procedure? How long does it take? This article discusses all this and more to help you lay out your project timeline and prepare accordingly.
Without wasting any time elsewhere, let’s jump right into the installation procedures for concrete flooring.
Modular Flooring Installation Procedures
You may find the installation process for modular flooring pretty daunting and stressful. We’re here to avoid that and ensure your project moves ahead on schedule. Let us walk you through the steps involved in installing concrete flooring, from preparing the surface to sealing and finishing.
Here are 5 straightforward steps to install modular flooring.
Step 1: Marking the onsite area for assembly
The first step in the installation process begins with marking your desired area, using a suitable machine, and placing floor slabs close to where you would like them installed. Making sure there is enough space for safe handling during loading/unloading and assembly can help prevent potential safety hazards from arising when putting together these precast installations.
Step 2: Preparing the base area
The construction equipment is an incredible machine that prepares and compacts the base area to comply with required standards. Use suitable dirt with a minimum 50mm thickness of final quality trim for best results.
Step 3: Lifting and placing the panels
Once you build the base and trim it down, you need a crane to lift the precast concrete panels from the laydown area to the installation area. The initial placement of the concrete panel at the corner establishes a well-defined starting point. Therefore, the approved person must ensure that all working drawings and specifications convey the deliberate and accurate requirements of the placement geometry.
Step 4: Setting the formation of other panels
After successfully installing the first precast floor slab, you can place the remaining slabs to establish the complete formation of the floor plan design. While installing the second panel, maintain extreme precision to place it at a right angle to the first panel. Once the panels are bedded, they may be welded together or have fixed plates installed per the engineer’s requirements.
Step 5: Sealing, backfilling, compacting
Once the concrete panels are set into position, the final step is to seal the joints with a waterproof sealer along the panel joints using a caulking gun. The gun helps use the sealant effectively, closing gaps between the panels.
Finally, backfill the concrete flooring and compact any gravel surrounds to site requirements using a wheel loader or bobcat. Once the concrete panels compact completely, they recover their maximum strength properties. Note that it’s also essential to follow any specific installation instructions provided by the manufacturer or supplier.
Installing Concrete Floor Slab Sections Onto Steelwork
Here are some key points to note if you’re installing reinforced concrete floor slab sections onto steelwork.
Securing All Steelwork
Before installing any precast flooring units, check to see if the steelwork is fully secured. This includes all steelwork above. Fully securing all your structural work will ensure safety for you and those around you who may come into contact with lifting equipment or accessories while working on site.
Conforming to Design Standards
The minimum bearing length provided for the precast unit is 75 mm to allow for manufacturing and construction tolerances. It’s always best to check your local building codes for specific requirements.
Facilitating Safe Installation
When installing flooring units on shelf angles within beams or a slim floor system, it is important to treat the ends with notchings so they can be safely installed. This could include making notches at either end and/or sloping them downward slightly for stability when placed against other structures in the building.
Checking Clearance Gaps
The length of each unit should be designed with 25 mm clearance gaps between them and the supporting steelwork. The calculations for worst-case load positions are important when assessing this type or design, as they will allow you to know if there is enough space needed at your building’s foundation level before installing anything else.
Time Taken To Install Precast Concrete Flooring
Though a beautiful concrete floor is suitable for many industries and in various scenarios, installing one can be arduous. The installation timeline for a project can vary depending on the size and scope. For example, smaller projects typically take a couple days, while more complex jobs may require up to 10 working days or more because they involve detailed preparation before finishing touches are added.
The quality and condition of your space significantly impact the time required for project completion. For example, if your area is already prepared, the process goes relatively quickly unless there are issues with surface preparation. However, if cracks or surface imperfections need addressing before finishing this part, it could take up another day.
Here are the key factors that influence the installation of a concrete floor:
- Project size
- Complexity level
- The condition of the existing floor
- Concrete repair needs
- Protection needs of the surrounding surfaces, such as walls and baseboards
- Dry times required between each step, such as between stain coats and sealers
Installing precast concrete flooring is considered a potentially high-risk activity, so let’s check out some considerations and measures regarding safety during installation.
Safety Measures and Considerations
Installing precast concrete floors is not without risk. The installation process should be carefully planned because every step is important to ensure your project goes smoothly. Make sure to take the appropriate precautions to avoid future complications or accidents. In particular, you need safety protocols to address the following activities:
- Accidental slipping, tripping and falling
- Manual and mechanical handling
- Risk of falling objects or personnel
- Working with heavy machinery like cranes
- Handling heavy precast concrete floor panels
- Structural stability
Installation of precast flooring components is dangerous as it involves heavy machinery and personnel working at height. Therefore, ensure that all your installers, foremen and supervisors have the skills, knowledge, training and experience to carry out their roles safely.
Pay attention to the on-site practices of handling precast units and their installation sequence. Your concrete floor slab sections must be designed and detailed to allow for adequate and safe handling. This includes safe means of removing lifting tools after placement. Ensure that there is sufficient clearance to place the unit whilst still achieving the minimum end bearing required when the unit is in its final position.
The stability of any supporting structure must not be negatively affected by installing precast flooring and components, including temporarily stacking materials on it. If removal or installation requires the partial loss of one structural member to accommodate these layout changes, then have your team maintain structural stability throughout. Develop a safe work system where stability isn’t guaranteed, such as in the event of temporarily propped or jacked floors.
Your Complete Precast Concrete Flooring Solution
Concrete flooring offers various benefits, but as you can see, there are plenty of considerations and decisions to be made to safely and effectively install them. You could blunder greatly if you’re not used to doing all this by yourself. Even if you do have experience, setting it up and overseeing every little detail is time-consuming and a hassle. That’s where we come in!
If you’re looking for concrete flooring options for your workshop, wash bays, or any other structure, DALLCON is your complete precast modular flooring solution. We are a leading Australian manufacturer offering a comprehensive range of precast solutions for the construction industry.
Whether you need precast concrete floor slabs for a small project or a large one with complex delivery and manufacturing requirements, we have the experience and ability to meet your needs. Most importantly, we can handle everything from manufacturing to delivery and also installation if required.
Call 1300 325 526 or contact us to discuss your requirements in detail with one of our specialists. We’ll happily help you achieve your goals within the required timeframe, without any comprise on quality.