Concrete slab floor construction

While most houses of this era had timber floors, some architect-designed homes had concrete slab floor construction.

While concrete had been used as a construction material before 1900, the years following World War 2 saw the establishment of ready-mix concrete facilities. With ready-mix concrete able to be delivered to the site, the entire concrete foundation and floor slab could be poured in one operation. However, its use did not become widespread until the 1970s.

Concrete slab floors were easy to place, and eliminated the need for high foundation walls. From the design perspective, all rooms could open directly to outdoors without the need for steps, they were vermin-proof, and they were considered to be warmer, quieter and less draughty than suspended timber floors.

Floor slabs were typically 4” (100 mm) with edge thickening and footings for the loadbearing exterior walls and were placed over hardfill and a damp-proof course. Insulation was not considered necessary or installed under concrete floor slabs and the surface was covered with cork tiles, linoleum, tiles or carpet.

From the late 1960s embedded electric floor heating systems such as Pyrotenax were available.