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A Guide On Using Beam and Block Flooring For Extensions

Traditionally, when it came to planning a domestic build, the choice of floor structure was a straight shootout between timber joists and poured concrete. A third option entered the fray and has since become the most popular form of flooring for new build domestic construction.

Known as ‘beam and block’ flooring, in this article, we provide insight into what it is and why it’s the popular choice for new floor extensions.

What are Beam and Block?

T-beams, made from pre-stressed concrete and resembling train tracks, are cut to length and laid out on a damp-proof course at the proper distance from each other to allow standard-size concrete blocks (100mm) to fill in the gaps between.

Blocks are added one-by-one until the entire area between all the beams is covered. The structure is then grouted with a sharp sand and cement mix. So why is this method of construction preferred?

Let’s consider all three construction methods, especially in regards to an extension on an existing home.

Benefit #1: Time

The most immediate advantage of beam and block flooring over its timber joist and concrete slab cousins appears in the construction phase.

Issues that could arise with these methods and delay the job significantly, such as rot, fire, and the weather, are no match for beam and block. The technique is completely dry, with no mortar or adhesive and no waiting for concrete to cure before continuing.

Besides, because beam and block immediately provide a safe, stable working platform, follow-on trades can continue the build immediately, saving even more time overall.

Benefit #2: Ease

Raised flooring initially came to prominence as a solution to the problem of sloping, uneven ground, allowing building projects to bridge any gaps rather than having to fill them. This can be particularly relevant when erecting extensions into a garden.

Installing beam and block floors requires very little to no ground preparation, eliminating the need for any additional landscaping or other groundwork prior to the main build.

T-beams are pre-cut and positioned so that the concrete blocks can be laid straight in without any additional planning, and this is why beam and block is a fantastic option for anyone considering building an extension themselves, or at least with minimal hired help.

We all love to save money, and the beam and block method cuts down on labour which is typically the largest cost of home construction, including renovations.


Benefit #3: Quality

Suppose you’re thinking of building an extension. In that case, you’ll undoubtedly be hoping that the new room becomes your favourite in the house, or if you’re lengthening another room, that no sacrifices in quality will have to be made to facilitate more space.

Unlike timber, both the beam and block elements are inert materials and are rot, frost, damp, fire and vermin-resistant. Also, because of their materials’ density, beam and block floors offer excellent thermal insulation, increased acoustic insulation, and no creaky floorboards whatsoever.

Do your research and choose the method that resonates with you.

For example, you will find out that beams and blocks will need a crane and someone ready to put them in place.

Summing Up

As the old saying goes, you can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. Getting the flooring right is crucial to the success of your extension as a whole.

With beam and block, you can rest safe in the knowledge that your build will not only be taking place in a swift, easy manner but will ultimately provide you with a sturdy, long-lasting new space for your home.

Do you want to read another article on how flooring can add value to your property?

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