Regardless of whether your project includes replacing a concrete driveway, a roof, or a walkway, you might need to purchase concrete slabs to complete it. Depending on what project you are working on and what type of finishing you are trying to achieve, you will have to look for different concrete slabs that vary in their structure, size, thickness, and price. Before running to a store to buy materials, it is important to plan out the project and budget all necessary expenses associated with the project. Depending on what type of project you are working on, you may require different materials.
When it comes to concrete slabs, some types of slabs work better with certain projects than others. There are many different types of concrete slabs that can be very unique to fit the purpose of the project. It is important to understand what type of concrete slabs you need because some of them may not be a good fit for your project. This will help you calculate how much concrete you need and estimate your budget more precisely. Some of the most common types of concrete slabs used in construction are listed below.
● Flat Slab
Flat slabs are one of the most popular concrete slabs used in residential construction. These slabs can be used for various projects, and they are simple to make. A flat slab is simply a rectangular slab without any modifications. These slabs can be used for flooring, driveways, roofs, and walkways. Of course, depending on the project, you may need slightly different slabs. For example, flat slabs for a driveway may require reinforcement installed, while flat slabs for a walkway may need certain decoration on the front side.
It costs around $670 – $930 to pour a 10 by 10 feet flat slab. Unless you can do it yourself, you may need to hire a contractor to pour the slab for you. It is important to contact multiple contractors and get quotes from multiple sources before choosing one to avoid excessive expenses. If you are looking for decorated slabs, you may find them in construction stores because they are usually pre-made and laid out during construction. The price for decorative slabs usually ranges from $18 to $25 per square foot, depending on the design.
● One-Way Joist Slab
This slab consists of a flat concrete slab and concrete ribs that are usually uniformly distributed across the whole area of the slab on one side. It is often used as floors for large buildings that require a lot of support. The ribs on one side of the slab provide extra strength to the slab in an efficient way, which allows it to withstand large weights even when the slab is not supported throughout the area. Since these slabs are one-way, they must be placed with the ribs being perpendicular to the support because there is no benefit from the ribs otherwise.
This type of slabs is difficult to find in a store because they are often required to be made using specific parameters. Because of that, they are often manufactured specifically for a project. The prices for the slabs may vary drastically depending on the size of the slabs and the weight it has to withstand.
● Waffle Slab
A waffle slab is a type of slab that has holes underneath. On one side, it looks like a waffle because of the holes. It is usually used for floors with open spaces. It is very durable and relatively light because of the reinforcement the waffle-like structure provides. It is specifically used for open spaces because of its durability. Similar to a one-way joist slab, a waffle slab can handle heavy weights even if it is suspended on supports. It is also often reinforced with steel bars located in the ribs for extra strength.
Waffle slabs are often preferred to flat slabs even when extra strength is not necessary because it does not require as much material. Since it is hollow for most of the part, it requires much less concrete than a flat slab. On the other hand, it is much more difficult to make a waffle slab on your own, so you may have to order them from a supplier.
● Precast Slabs
Precast slabs are used in unique cases when a project requires very specific slabs that cannot be made without proper tools and skills. As the name suggests, they are made by a supplier and delivered to the buyer. These slabs are often used for walkways and driveways for decorative purposes. Depending on the producer, these slabs can be purely decorative, or they can be reinforced for strength. Just like with contractors, it is important to get quotes from multiple producers before choosing one. It might also be beneficial to see some reviews that may help determine the quality of the product.
Precast slabs usually cost between $20 and $30 per square foot, but the price may range greatly depending on the slabs ordered, delivery location, and producer. Since precast slabs are produced on a plant, they must be delivered to the construction site. The delivery may also contribute to the cost, especially if the construction site is far away from the plant.
Depending on what type of concrete slab you choose, your price for the job may change too. Unless you have a specific project with a design in mind that requires an unusual structure, you should consider working with the constructors or designers to see what techniques and types of materials they use and get ideas from them. It is also important to remember that concrete slabs are not the only items required to complete a project. Make sure to list all expected expenses including labor costs if applicable. This will help you to create a budget and have a better insight into how much your project will cost.