When starting the construction of a house, a careful owner plans for centuries and strives to get the maximum possible even from a small plot of land. Therefore, most of the projects include basements, mansards, attics, two or even three residential floors, and therefore the overlap between them. Let’s talk about how to choose the right ceiling for your house.
The device of strong, low-noise and preferably inexpensive ceilings is a very important task. After all, these structures not only divide the house into floors, taking on all the loads – furniture, appliances, equipment and residents, but also act as elements of rigidity, ensuring the stability of the building.
The choice of floors depends on their purpose and degree of load in the future, as well as on the material from which the house is built. It is not necessary, for example, to separate the floors in a house made of solid timber with the help of concrete slabs, as well as to lay wooden beams between the garage and the basement.
In order to avoid mistakes, choose floors that meet the basic requirements for strength (that is, the ability of the structure to withstand its own weight and the entire mass of the structural elements of the building, equipment, furniture and residents), rigidity or resistance to deflection, which depends on the width of the inter-floor element, as well as in terms of sound and heat insulation, fire resistance, with an optimal combination of weight and thickness.
To meet all these requirements, the market offers a variety of constructive solutions. Firstly, floors are wooden, monolithic and reinforced concrete, and are also divided into basements, basements, mezzanines and attics.
Between heaven and earth
If the house has a basement, the greatest load is borne by the overlap between the basement and the living floor. It is pressed by the weight of the internal and load-bearing walls with all the loads falling on them. On the first floor, as a rule, the heaviest interior items are installed: fireplaces, large household appliances and massive furniture. In addition, the basement floor ensures rigidity of the building structure as a whole. The own weight of this floor usually does not play a special role, since the load from it is taken by the foundation.
If the basement is unheated, then reliable thermal and vapor insulation is required for this floor. In rooms with high humidity, waterproofing is provided.
If there is no basement, then a basement floor is installed in the house, which separates the living floor from the foundation. It also has no weight limit.
But for floor coverings, weight is of great importance. It is necessary to choose a structure in which the weight of the floors and the load-bearing capacity of the walls are combined in the best way. It may be necessary to install additional load-bearing walls or supports under the floor to reduce the length of the span or reduce the load. There are special requirements for sound and waterproofing. A similar approach to mansard ceilings.
Attic ceilings separate the living floor from the attic, and the main requirement for them is heat protection complete with waterproofing.
Ceilings are also divided by the method of construction: beamless, beam, caisson, arch and tent. The last three options are rarely used in private residential construction due to the high cost and complexity of the design, so let’s focus on the most typical projects. There are beamless ceilings: prefabricated, monolithic and combined.
Precast beamless ceilings are mounted from hollow reinforced concrete panels. They have high strength, fire resistance, are easy to install and have many standard sizes with a length limit of nine meters. However, the installation of such ceilings is carried out only with the help of special equipment, which causes difficulties with siding replacement.
To create beamless monolithic floors, neither ordering parts from the factory, nor special transport, nor renting complex equipment is required. All works are carried out by pouring concrete into formwork or on corrugated board. This allows the technology to be used to replace outdated wooden structures. However, concrete during the construction process requires complete drying, so the work time increases. Such ceilings are usually used as a basement or basement building element. According to their shape, they are divided into ribbed, beam, slab and with inserts.
Beamless prefabricated monolithic ceilings combine the technical and technological advantages of two types. They are obtained by pouring a concrete layer into the hollow blocks placed between the floor beams. And the beams can be any. Among the obvious advantages of this type: installation without the participation of special equipment, reducing costs by almost two times, high speed of work and the possibility of creating complex architectural configurations.
Beam ceilings are divided depending on the materials used. Yes, wooden beam ceilings are the most common solution for suburban construction. It is easiest to create them with your own hands. The advantages of the design are the availability of materials, good sound and heat insulation characteristics and low cost.
Beam metal ceilings are also widely used for suburban housing, but more often for basement or basement partitions. These structures are more reliable, durable, have smaller dimensions with the same parameters of load-bearing loads compared to wooden counterparts, but they are inferior to them in thermal insulation, and in addition, they are prone to corrosion. As a beam, channels or I-beams are used, which are laid in steps of 0.5-1.5 m, and non-standard reinforced concrete slabs, usually of small size, are mounted on top.
Beam reinforced concrete floors have a lot of weight, which makes it necessary to hire special equipment for the work. In addition, the load on the foundation increases, and this must be taken into account when creating a project. And finally, reinforced concrete suffers from low sound and thermal insulation performance, is poorly processed and laborious during installation.