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A durable and good floor is one of the most important elements of any interior, determining the comfort of using the rooms. In this article, we will discuss the types of flooring available on the market, how to choose the best one, and the benefits of using foam concrete for warm floors.

Styrofoam Flooring – Why It’s Not Worth It

In Poland, styrofoam is the most commonly chosen subfloor material. Unfortunately, it is an unstable and difficult material to lay, creating thermal bridges and keying on uneven surfaces. Moreover, styrofoam has low load-bearing capacity and poor resistance to compression and mechanical loads. Over time, it shrinks and sinks. Additionally, pests and rodents love to nest in styrofoam, and chemicals (e.g., solvents) or fire can quickly degrade a styrofoam floor. In contrast, a floor with a foam concrete subfloor is even, strong, rigid, and fire-resistant, with thermal insulation only slightly lower than that built on styrofoam, especially when considering the absence of thermal bridges in foam concrete. The thermal conductivity (lambda) of foam concrete is 0.05 W/mK.

Why Is Foam Concrete the Ideal Solution?

Foam concrete is a poured cellular concrete characterized by numerous advantages, making it perfect for use on any floor because:

  • It is used both indoors and outdoors.
  • It is applied in apartments, houses, halls, industrial buildings, warehouses, etc.
  • It provides excellent thermal insulation.
  • It offers effective acoustic and water insulation.
  • It creates a well-leveled base for the final flooring material.

Foam concrete is not a passing trend in the construction market. So far, this solution has gained the favor of users and contractors in many Western European countries, displacing previously used methods of floor construction and filling. In Poland, foam concrete has been used for over 30 years.

Foam Concrete – Floors on the Ground, Ceilings, and Renovation of Old Ceilings

Filling a warm floor with foam concrete has numerous indisputable advantages. Firstly, foam concrete is non-flammable. The time required to carry out the work is also reduced since such a floor is poured very quickly. Due to its excellent properties, foam concrete is recommended for floors on the ground, ceilings, and for renovating old ceilings in apartments and commercial buildings.

Floors on the Ground

Foam concrete is a common solution for floors on the ground in houses and buildings without basements. Using this method, the ground floor is constructed directly on the ground. This construction guarantees excellent insulation of the building from cold and moisture.

Floors on Ceilings

Foam concrete perfectly levels existing ceilings and protects all the installations laid on them. It provides appropriate thermal insulation and soundproofing. Underfloor heating systems can be directly laid on the material, and the leveling screed can be reduced in thickness due to the strength and rigidity of the foam concrete subfloor.

Renovation of Old Ceilings

During the renovation of old ceilings, foam concrete is often the best solution as it features a monolithic surface and fills all available spaces and irregularities tightly. At the same time, it does not load the old ceilings as concrete floors do.

Types of Floors and Their Properties

A new floor should be precisely matched to the characteristics and needs of the place where it will be used. To choose the best option, it is worth analyzing the features of different types of floors and their construction methods. Below we present popular solutions and types of concrete floors.

Self-Leveling Cement Screeds

The technology of self-leveling cement screed allows for a perfectly even surface without the need for manual leveling of the floor. The unquestionable advantage is the ease of use, although it is not a variant without flaws. Such concrete screeds with a standard drying time dry within several hours. However, they are fully ready for further processing after a much longer period, which can be several weeks.

Anhydrite Screeds

Anhydrite screed is created by applying a liquid self-leveling screed based on anhydrite binder. These floors visually resemble resin floors and can be used almost everywhere. They do not require prior complicated substrate preparation.

Floors with a Top Layer

Floors with a top layer are mainly used in places and on surfaces where increased floor resistance and the appropriate degree of abrasion are required. The top layer is a concrete additive acting as a hardener for the substrate. Such floors are most often used in places with increased load, such as warehouse halls or staircases.

In our opinion, foam concrete is the best subfloor available on the construction market today. It is not only an excellent option for achieving a warm concrete floor in an apartment; the material is also suitable for much larger construction projects – commercial, service, and retail. Foam concrete can be used on both indoor and outdoor surfaces and is recommended in places where the lightness of the structure is an important factor. This applies particularly to older houses, apartments, and old buildings where modernizations and reconstructions are planned. The production of foam concrete is environmentally friendly, which is of great importance today. Additionally, the price per square meter of industrial concrete flooring is competitive compared to other building materials.