Concrete ceilings are popular in apartment blocks, residential houses, factories, warehouses, and commercial offices. These are robust, raw, and blend with contemporary and industrial aesthetics.
Why Build a Concrete Ceiling
- The property of concrete keeps the temperature in the house well regulated.
- Concrete ceilings have a thermal mass. It thus absorbs and stores heat. eeConcrete takes a lot of time to heat up and similarly takes a long to cool down.
- The fixtures and pipes for water and lighting are incorporated in the concrete before it is laid. These wires and pipes are thus concealed in concrete, which provides the ceiling with a mess-free finish. The builder can alternatively expose the pipes and ducts, especially in industrial constructions. All these make concrete versatile.
- Concrete offers rigidity to support more weight. In addition, it is durable and robust.
If concrete is your choice to build the ceiling, you can DIY the construction. Let us take you through the steps of how to make a concrete ceiling.
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Steps to Build a Concrete Ceiling
Before you begin the project, here are a few facts that you need to be aware of.
- Concrete is expensive, but it does have its advantages which is why it is preferred over wood.
- Pouring concrete is not easy, and at times, it is best to get professional help.
- The concrete thickness is proportional to the weight that it needs to support. Building a sturdy structure is a must.
Proper planning is the key to build a concrete ceiling. You need to start with the correct building specifications from a pro. The project is challenging, so you may ask a few friends to help you.
1. Safety is Priority
The gravity of this project should be understood before you step into DIY. All the safety precautions should thus be adhered to. Make sure that you wear proper safety gear, gloves, glasses, helmets, and boots.
Clean the tools properly after you complete the project. Also, ensure that the formwork is level.
2. Build a Formwork
- You need a formwork first to build a concrete ceiling. For this, pressure-treated lumber is a must. These are necessary to support the reinforcing bar and the concrete.
- Use 4×4 lumber to build the first frame. It is recommended that you also use the 2×4 tego plywood boards. Tego plywood board makes the ceiling bottom straight.
- A level used when building the formwork ensures that the ceiling is horizontal. If not, you will end up wasting time and money later working on the flaws.
- The idea is to install 4×4 posts at every 15-inch space in all directions. This will support the concrete as well as the weight of the reinforcing structure.
- The 4×4 posts should be plumb. You will need a level to ensure it. Also, take care to fasten the post thoroughly to the ceiling structure.
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3. Construct The Reinforcing Structure
After the formwork is built, it is time to work on the reinforcing structure. Again, you need plenty of rebars. It is because the concrete ceiling is floating with support just from the pillars and walls.
If you use wooden boards to build the formwork, place a polythene foil on the entire surface, not letting the concrete leak.
4. Pour Concrete
You will need several hoses and a concrete pump to pour concrete on the ceiling. Reach out to the concrete supplying company to send you the concrete you need as per the structure’s plan. There are several kinds of concrete, so make sure to choose the right one.
Start pouring concrete from the far corner to not dirty the house. After pouring concrete, vibrate it so that no air pocket is left behind. Then use a bull float to give it a finish. The surface should be level. Finally, leave the concrete to dry. In most cases, you will have to pour screed after the concrete dries up to level the ceiling.
You can then remove the formwork and begin with the rest of the house construction.
Take care to keep sprinkling water on the concrete lest the ceiling cracks. At times the gaps are so deep that you may have to redo the entire work again.
A concrete ceiling needs extra support because of its weight. Structural adjustments are thus a must. In addition, it would help if you had proper beams to prevent the entire structure from collapsing.
5. Painting The Concrete Ceiling
Unfinished concrete ceilings are a common sight in most urban constructions.
Concrete is mainly used as a ceiling material, but it is not aesthetically appealing. Its gray tones have a rough texture and look dull.
It is thus vital to understand how to paint a concrete ceiling. Of course, painting needs preparation, and you also need to ensure safety because there are harsh chemicals involved here.
Paint drips are a considerable concern when painting ceilings. First, remove all furniture from the room and cover the items with a cloth. Use a painter’s tape to get a neat line.
Do not start the job without proper gear. Always wear goggles and hats. Also, keep the room ventilated so that you do not inhale the vapors.
A concrete ceiling cuts down on the damage risk caused by fungi, fire, termites, or water damage. In addition, homes built with concrete are usually salvageable. Concrete ceilings also cut down your insurance premium.
Even though there is a price tag attached to the concrete ceilings, their advantages outweigh their cost.
While you may not be able to save a lot on the material cost, our step-by-step guide on how to build a concrete ceiling makes the project pocket-friendly.
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