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When the height above floor level becomes more than 1.50 m, temporary erection is needed to
support a number of platforms at different levels for the convenience of workers. Scaffold enables
the mason to work at various stages of a building and to lift the materials for their immediate use at
different heights.
Terms used in Scaffolding
1. Standard. Vertical member is known as standard.
2. Ledgers. The horizontal member parallel to the wall is called
3. Putlog. It is the transverse piece which is placed on the ledgers and which supported on the wall
at one end. It is at right angles to the wall.
4. Thansom. It is putlog supported on ledgers at their both ends.
5. Brace. It is diagonal or cross piece fixed on the standards.
6. Guard Rail. It is a rail fixed like a ledger at the working level.
7. Bridle. It is a piece which is used to cover an opening in a wall and it provides support to one
end of the putlog at the opening.
8. Toe Board. It is a board fixed parallel to ledgers and supported between the putlog It is given as
a protective measure on the working platform.
9. Raker. An oblique support is known as raker.
Types of Scaffolds. The following are various types of scaffolds commonly used:
1. Single scaffold or bricklayers scaffold.

4. Suspended scaffold.

2. Double scaffold or masons scaffold.

5. Trestle scaffold.

3. Cantilever scaffold. 6. Steel scaffold.

Single Scaffold.
It is very common type of scaffolding used widely in the construction of brick work. It consists of
vertical members firmly in grounds at 2.5 to 3.0 m apart. These standards are connected to each

other by ledgers at every rise at 1.3 to 1.6 m. They are provided on the building side of the
standards and are fixed in position by rope lashings. Putlogs are lashed on the ledgers at one end
and into the holes into the wall at the other end. Putlogs are 1 m in length and are placed 1.2 m
apart. They are provided to support the working platform. In very high scaffolding cross braces are
employed to stiffen the structure
Double Scaffold.
This type of scaffold is more stronger than the single scaffold. Since it is difficult to leave holes in
the stone masonry to provide bearing for the putlogs, in double scaffold two frames of standards,
ledgers and braces are used. One is placed close to the wall and the other at a distance of about 1.5
m from the first. Hence the double scaffold is completely independent of the wall.

Reinforced Brickwork
Brick masonry is weak in tension and cannot carry appreciable amount of tensile stresses. Though
reinforced cement concrete is a versatile material for use in all types of constructions, but it is very
costly material, hence it cannot be recommended for smaller works such as lintels, slabs, beams,
etc. Steel reinforcement is provided in between the mortar joints of the brick masonry. Reinforced
brick work can take up tensile and shear stresses upto reasonable amount. Following are the
advantages of reinforced brickwork construction:
(a) It is cheap, strong and durable.
(b) It is fire-proof construction.
(c) It is easy to construct.
(d) It can resist appreciable amount of tensile and shear stresses.

Typical constructions in reinforced brickwork

(1) Walls. Reinforcement in wall may be provided either in the form of expanded metal mesh or
sIeei bars. Many types of patented expanded metal meshes are available in different widths and
different gauges in the market. Mortar is evenly placed on the required course of the brickwork and
the steel fabric is stretched flat on it and pressed uniformly. The next course of bricks is further
built over it.
The flat steel bars of section 25mm. x 2 mm. known as hoop iron are also used to reinforce the
walls. They are hooked at corners and junctions as shown in Fig. 1.79. The hoop iron is dipped in
hot tar and immediately sanded to increase the resistance against rusting. Special bricks are used to
provide vertical reinforcement in walls (as illustrated
(2) Columns. Special t of bricks is used for the construction of reinforced columns. Vertical
reinforcing bars are placed between these bricks. The steel plates of about 6 mm. thickness are
provided at every fourth course and the steel bars are fixed in the foundation concrete block.
(3) Lintels. Steel bars of 6 to 12 mm. diameters are provided longitudinally in between the
vertical, joints of brick lintels. lb take up the vertical shear, 6 mm. diameter steel stirrups are used
at suitable intervals.
(4) Slabs. For laying reinforced brickwork slabs, the centering is erected at the required level.
Generally, a platform of wooden planks supported on beams and posts is used for this purpose. It is

covered with well beaten earth and fine sand is sprinkled over it. Slabs of definite depths such as
10, 20, 30, 40 cm. etc. can only be constructed. The reinforcements are placed as per specifications
and bricks are laid to fill up the spaces. Joints are filled up with mortar in such a way that
reinforcement is fully embedded in mortar. The slab is properly cured for 2 to 4 weeks. The
centering is removed only after 28 days and the surfaces of the slabs are smoothened.
(5) Beams. Reinforced beams are constructed inlhe same way as RB. slabs. In case of RB. beams
steel bars upto 25 mm. diameter are used as reinforcement.

Maintenance of Brickwork
(1) Cleaning. Brick masonry may be cleaned with steam or hot water jets. This is useful for fihe
textured and hard burnt bricks. Sand blasting is also used for cleaning brickwork but it spoils the
texture of the bricks as well as damages the pointing done in the brickwork.
(2) Removal of Efflorescence. Magnesium, sulphate, calcium sulphate, sodium and potassium
sulphate etc., being soluble in water are deposited on the brickwork surface as efflorescence as a
result of alternate drying and wetting of the brickwork by rain and sun by rise and fall of ground
water table. In fact, salts come in the brickwork along with water from below and are deposited on
the brickwork in layer after evaporation. Since moisture movement is one of the causes for efflo
rescence, it can be reduced to a great extent by suitable damp preven tion of the building.
Efflorescence is removed by scrubbing the wall with water and hard steel brush. A 10% solution of
muriatic acid is also used sometimes instead of ordinary water. The wall is washed with pure water
im mediately after this treatment.
(3) Repointing old brickwork. Old pointings get damaged due to wind, rain, heat, freezing and
other weathering agencies. Repointing is done to improve the appearance of an old brickwork. It is
done as follows:
(a) The old mortar is removed from joints to a depth of at least 3 mm. The old mortar is loosened
with small hammer and removed out with steel brush to make the surface clean.
(b) Water is sprinkled over the joints and the new mortar is put with the trowel. It is finally finished
with the pointing tool to give the desired shape.

(c) Proper curing is done for 2 to 3 weeks.

(4) Repainting. Repainting is required for the surfaces which were earlier painted and have been
damaged by weathering agencies. The old paint is removed by hard steel brush and water or steam.
Then the new paint is applied in the desired colour and tint.

Defects in Brickwork
Following are the common defects that occur in brickwork:
(a) Use of weaker materials. Use of weaker materials forn small depressions with nodules of
friable materials at the joints. creates expansion and cracking in brickwork.
(b) Sulphate in mortars. Sulphate attacks the mortar causii expansion of mortar joints and finally
resulting in cracking of bric work, spalling of brick edges, and damage of mortar. The failure is di
to chemical reaction between sulphates present in bricks and ti aluminium ingredients of portland
cement and it is accelerated in ti presence of moisture. Bricks free from suiphates should be used ai
proper damp-proofing should be done to check this type of defect.
(c) Corrosion of iron and steel. Exposed iron and steel are corroded when they come in contact
with water or moisture. The volume of corroded iron and steel is increased and hence cracks in the
brick masonry are formed. Therefore, it is advisable to give a protective cover of 1 to 2 cm. cement
mortar over reinforcing steels. For partially embedded steel, paint of bitumen should be applied in
the unbonded portion.
(d) Crystallisation of salts. It forms white deposit on the surface of the brickwork and may cause
disintegration of brickwork. The salts may come from the bricks used, with the soil contact, with
sea-water, or other weathering agencies.
(e) Linear changes due to variation in moisture contact. Shrinkage cracks develop in the brickwork
due to the first long spell of dry weather after the construction. The stepped cracks appear on the
surface but they never-continue below damp-proof course. Good quality bricks should be used in
the construction and the work should be protected from rain during the construction, to avoid this
type of defect.

t) Frost action. The volume of water is increased when it is frozen. Due to this phenomena, the
cracks are caused in the brickwork. This defect is considerably reduced if the water accumulation
is prevented.

The plastering is a method of covering uneven surfaces with a plastic material to get an even,
regular, smooth, clean and durable surface. Sometimes it is used to develop decorative finish. The
main object of external plastering is to cover the surface to protect it from rain and other
weathering agencies besides concealing defective work manship and inferior materials.
Terms related to plastering
(1) Background. The prepared surface to which first coat of plaster is applied.
(2) Cracking. It is development of one or more fissures in the plaster.
(3) Crazing. This is the appearance of a series of haphazard hair cracks on the finished plastered
(4) Blistering. It is appearance of one or more small local swell ings on the finished plastered
(5) Dado. The bottom most part of the plastered wall where special treatment is given to plaster to
give a smooth and resistant finish.
(6) Dots. They are small patches of plaster laid on the background for fixing screeds, etc.
(7) Dubbing out. It is a method of filling in hollow spaces in a solid background before applying
(8) Flaking. In absence of proper adhesion with the previous coat, some patches of plaster fall
down and this is known as flaking.
(9) Gauging. The process of mixing the various ingredients of plaster is known as gauging.
(10) Hacking. The process of making the background rough to have suitable key for plastering is
known as hacking.

(11) Keys. These are indentations on the surface of under coat or background to form a mechanical
bond between the plaster applied and the prepared surface.
Peeling. It is removal of plaster from the background.

Preparation of surface for plastering

Besides the quality of the mortar, its adhesion with the back ground also affects the durability of
plaster. This makes the preparation of surface of prime importance. All the projections more than
13 mm. from the general face of the wall are removed to get a uniform surface and to reduce the
amount of plaster. To get good key of the plaster with the wall surface, the mortar joints in the
brick masonry are raked out to a depth of 13 mm.
The joints and surfaces are cleaned with hard wire brush to remove loose mortar and dust.
Efflorescence, greasy spots and other patches are also scrapped and cleaned. If the old wall is
smooth, the surface is roughened by hacking it with some tool. The surface is washed with water
and it is kept wet till applying plaster.
To maintain uniform thickness of the plaster and a true surface, patches of plaster (known as
screeds) 15 cm x 15 cm are applied horizontally and vertically at about 1.8 m. apart over the whole
surface. Mortar is applied on the surface of the wall between screeds with trowel. Types of Plaster
Following are the various types of plaster commonly used:
(a) Lime plaster (b) Cement plaster (e) Plaster on lath.
(c) Stucco plaster (d) Water-proof plaster
(a) Lime Plaster. Fat lime or hydraulic lime may be used for plastering. Fat lime provides best
plaster. Hydraulic lime produces. harder and strong plaster, but it may consist of unslacked
particles, which will cause blistering in the plaster after some time. Hence as a precaution, the
hydraulic lime is ground dry with sand and left exposed to the atmosphere for about 2 to 3 weeks
and then reground before use.
Lime mortar contains equal volume of lime and sand, and the mixture is nicely ground in a mortar
mill. Sometimes small quantity of cement is also added to the lime mortar to increase its strength.
lb prevent the appearance of cracks on the plastered surface, Gugal (a kind of fragrant gum) and

chopped hemp are added at the rates of 15 kg. and 9 kg. to every 10 cubic metre of mortar
respectively. The prepared mortar is kept for 2 days before use and it is turned once in day to make
it more uniform and homogeneous.
(b) Cement Plaster. Cement mortar comprises of one part of cement to 3-4 parts of clean, coarse
and angular river sand, The materials are thoroughly mixed in dry condition on a water-tight
platform before water is poured to it. The mortar of one full cement bag is prepared at one time and
it is consumed within 30 minutes after adding water.
Generally, cement plaster is applied in one coat but when the thickness of plaster is more than
16mm. plaster is applied in two coats.
When plastering is to be done in one coat, cement plaster is applied on the background surface
between the screeds with trowel. The surface is smoothened by wooden float and straight edges
and finally it is polished with trowel.
When plastering is to be done in two coats, the first coat is applied as discussed above but the final
polishing is not done. The surface of the first coat is roughened with scratching tool, to make a key
for the second or finishing coat. The finishing coat is applied over the first coat within 48 hours. It
is finished smoothly. The proper curing is done for 2-3 weeks after 24 hours of applying the
cement plaster.
(c) Stucco Plaster. Stucco plaster is a decorative type of plaster with elegant finish like marble
finish. It is usually applied in three coats and total thickness of the plaster is about 25 mm. The
first, second and third coats are known as the scratch coat, the finer coat or the brown coat, and
white coat or finishing coat respectively. Stucco plaster can be applied for exterior and interior
surfaces. Each coat is allowed to dry before next coat is applied.
Stucco for exterior walls. The mortar for the scratch coat consists of cement in 1: 3 ratio and the
hydrated lime is added 10% by weight to this mixture. The thickness of this coat is about 12 mm.
The brown coat has the same composition as the scratch coat but its thickness is 10 mm. This
thickness of the finishing coat may be 3 to 6 mm. and the mortar is made up of 1 : 2 cement and
sand. White or coloured cement is used in finishing coat to obtain the desired tint.
Stucco for interior walls. The scratch coat is 12 mm. thick and it consists of lime plaster. The
brown coat is richer in lime and it is lime plaster of 10 mm thickness. The finishing coat is 3 mm.

thick and contains a mixture of finest lime and well ground marble of quartz stone. This coat is
carefully polished with lime, moist chalk and oil. The surface obtained is very smooth and bright.

Water-proof plaster. The mortar of this type of plaster

consists one part of cement, two parts of sand and pulverized alum at the rate of 12 r cubic metri of
sand. Iii one lifi water
a ou

gin of soft soap is dissolved and this soap water is used to

prepare the mortar for plaster.

(e) Plaster on lath. Lath is used as base to the plaster work. It is mainly used for the construction
of ceiling or partition work, by fixing it to timber supports or steel works. Laths may be broadly
classified into two classes, i.e. (i) metal laths and (ii) wooden laths.
(i) Metal laths. Various types of metal laths are available in the market such as (I) Plain expanded,
(2) Ribbed expanded.(3) Perfora ted,(4) Dove-tailed, etc. The plain expanded metal lath is widely
used (Fig. 1.112). The metal laths are fixed and stretched tightly with 9 to 12 mm. diameter steel
rods or steel channels. Plaster is then applied on both sides. It provides a strong and solid base for
plaster work and it is fire-resistant construction. All sheets should have an overlap of not less than
25 mm, at the sides and ends. Overlaps should always rest on solid supports. When metal lath is
fixed to timber supports, only galvanized Special materials used in plastering
(1) Plaster of Paris. It is obtained by heating Gypsum. Plaster of Paris forms paste with water and
it sets quickly. It has better adhesion with wood, metal lath, masonry and other plastering surfaces.
It is generally used with ordinary lime to fill up the small holes and other defects in the plastered
surfaces. It is not used in external works as it is soluble in water.
(2) Keens Cement. It is the hardest and strongest form of gypsum plaster. It has pure white colour
and can take good polish. It is employed for ornamental work and decorative plastering.
(3) Martins Cement. It is obtained by calcinations of pearl ash plaster of Paris. It sets quickly and
produces a hard and white
(4) Barium Plaster. It is produced from barium sulphate and applied as a final coat of plaster. This
is specially used in the plastering of X-ray rooms.

(5) Acoustical Plaster. It is used to prepare the surface of the auditorium or hail to provide
acoustical treatment. This plaster is a gypsum mixture and used as a final coat of plaster. It is
applied in two coats of 6 mm. thickness each.
(6) Asbestos-marble plaster. It is a mixture of asbestos, cement and finely crushed marble. This
type of plaster provides elegant mar ble-like finish to the surface.
(7) Snow-crete and colourcrete cements. These are patented cements and are employed on
external walls to improve the appearance.
(8) Granite Silicon plaster. It is a quick setting material and very elastic. Hence, there are lesser
possibilities of developing cracks over the plastered surface.

Defects in plastering
(1) Cracks. They appear on the plastered surface in the form of hair cracks or wider cracks.
Following are the reasons for the develop ment of cracks:
(a) When thick coat of plaster is applied, too much of shrinkage takes place; thus causing cracks on
the plastered surface.
(b) Due to movement of backing on account of shrinkage of the backing materials.
(c) Due to movement in the plaster itself because of expansion or shrinkage of the plaster coat
during drying.
(d) When old surface is not properly dressed.
(e) Due to bad workmanship and defective method of application of the plaster.
Efflorescence. Sometimes soluble salts are present in plaster-making materials or bricks. They on
the plastered surface in whitish patches and produce ugly appearance. Efflorescence is re moved
by brushing and washing the surface several times. In brick work, a solution of zinc sulphate and
water is applied to the surface containing efflorescence and then the surface is brushed and
(3) Blistering of plastered surface. Small patches swell out beyond the plastered surface like boils.
When partially slaked lime is used for plastering, the unslaked particles of lime slake causing


blistering in the plastered surface, Thus, properly slaked lime should be employed in the plaster
work to avoid blistering.
(4) Falling out of plaster. The following reasons n be listed for falling Qut of plaster:
(i) Due to excessive thermal variations in the backing or plaster.
(ii) Due to inadequate bond between the successive coat of the plaster.
(iii) Due to imperfect adhesion of the plaster to the background.
(iv) If the backing material absorbs too much of water, the strength of the plaster and bond
between plaster and backing gets reduced.
Pointing is the process of finishing the mortar joints with a separate material in brick masonry or
stone masonry. The mortarjoints of the masonry are raked out to a depth of 13 to 20 mm. and the
fresh mortar is inserted in the raked spaces to form the desired shape.
Pointing is generally recommended for the finishing of exposed external walls. Its initial cost is
less but it requires replacement after few years. The use of pointing is avoided as far as possible.
Following are the advantages of pointing:
(a) The pointing protects the joints from the adverse effect of atmospheric actions.
(b) It hides defective workmanship.
(c) It imparts better appearance to the exposed surface of the structure.
Mortar for pointing
Pointing can be done in cement or lime mortar. The lime mortar is prepared with equal parts of fat
lime and fine sand which is clean and free from any organic impurities. The mixture is ground
thoroughly in a mortar mill. The cement mortar is prepared by mixing cement and sand in
proportion 1: 1 or: 1:2. The cement should be standard portland cement and sand should be clean,
fine and free from any organic impurities. The materials are first mixed in dry state on a watertight


Dampness in building leads to unhealthy conditions and unsafe from structural point of view.
Therefore, one of the essential require ments is that the structure should be dry as far as
practicable. lb check the entry of water or moisture into a building, damp-proof courses are placed
at various levels. Now-a-days, all the buildings are provided with damp-proof course to prevent
dampness from affecting a building or the persons living in the building.
Effects of dampness
The main effects of dampness are as follows
(1) It c; es unhealthy conditions for the occupants of the building.
(2) It causes efflorescence which may finally result in the dis integration of bricks, tiles etc.
(3) Plasters become soft and crumbled.
(4) It causes warping and decay of timber.
(5) The metals used in the construction of building are subjected to corrosion.


Floors are provided to divide a building into different levels for creating more accommodation one
above the other within certain limited space. The bottom floor near the ground level is known as
ground floor and other floors above it are termed as upper floors or 1st floor, 2nd floor 3rd floor,
etc. If there is any accommodation constructed below the natural ground level, it is known as
basement and the floor provided in it is known as basement floor.
A floor may consist of two main components:
1. A sub-floor which provides proper support to floor covering and the superimposed loads are
carried by it.
2. Floor covering which provides a smooth, clean, impervious and durable surface.
Ground floors or basement floors which rest directly on the ground do not require the construction
of a sub-floor. Floor covering may be directly placed on a well compacted base. But it is essential
to make suitable arrangements for proper drainage for the floor. A porous layer of inert material
like sand is provided to check the rise of subsoil water into the floor. Special types of treatments
are given to the base for using various types of floor coverings.

In top floors the construction of properly designed sup-floors is essential for the structural safety of
the floors. Any suitable type of floor covering is placed over the sub-floor to get the desired type of
The following factors govern the selection of suitable type of floor construction:
1. Initial cost. The cost of construction widely varies for different types of floors and floor
coverings. Marble floors and special clay tile floors are most expensive type, whereas terrazzo
flooring, linoleum flooring, etc. afe moderately expensive. Concrete floor is the cheapest
Type of floor construction. Hence the selection of the suitable floor will be restricted by the fund
available for its construction.
2. Appearance. Decorative value and architectural appearance of the floor in conformity with
building needs proper attention while selecting suitable type of floor covering.
3. Clealiliness. A good floor must be easily cleaned. It should be non-absorbent and joints should
be water-tight. Marble, terrazzo and tiles floors are easily cleaned and useful for the floor
construction of hospital, public buildings, etc.
4. Noiselessness. Sometimes it is required that any movement on the top floors should not disturb
the persons working on the other floors. The suitable flooring is provided which is somewhat
noiseless when traveled over. Rubber flooring, cork flooring, asphalt flooring, etc. are such types
of floor coverings.
5. Durability. Resistance to temperature changes, wear humidity, disintegration and decay should
be carefully considered while selecting suitable type of floor covering as the life of the floor is
dependent on these factors.
6. Damp. Proofing. Dampness and damp-proofing are the important factors which require careful
consideration, especially in the construction of ground floors. A damp floor creates very unhealthy
environment in the building.
7. Indentation. In superior types of floor coverings, no indentation mark should be formed on it by
the movement of loads on it.


8. Maintenance. Certain types of floors require regular and careful maintenance and hence the
maintenance cost is high. Tile, marble, terrazzo and concrete floors require less maintenance cost
than wooden, cork, mastic floors.
Types of floors
The various types of floors commonly used are as follows:
1. Basement or ground timber floor.
2. Single joist timber floor.
3. Double joist timber floor.
4. Framed timber floor.
5. Filler joist floor.
6. Jack arch floor.
7. DOuble flagstone floor.
8. R.C.C. floor.
9. Flat slab floor.
10. Hollow tiled ribbed floor.
1. Basement or ground timber floor. Timber floors (Fig. 4.1) are constructed on ground floors,
generally in the theatres where dance and drama performances are held. Several sleeper walls or
dwarf walls

Basement or Ground Timber Floor.


walls and sleeper walls to support the joists supporting the floors. The joists are provided at a
distance of about 30 cm. and the timber planks are closely fitted over the joists to provide the floor.
The arrangement for proper air cireulatjon is made in the floor, otherwise timber will be attacked
by thy rot. The following precautions are recommended:
(a) Well-seasoned timber should be used in the construction of such floors.
(b) 10 cm thick plain cement concrete (1: 2: 4) is provided over the soil beneath the timber floor.
(c) The empty apace between the floor and the concrete base is filled up with sand.
(d) The damp-proofing courses are placed in the external walls and at the top of the sleeper walls.
2. Single joist timber floor. This type of floor is used for residential buildings where spans are
comparatively small and the

loads are lighter. The wooden joists are placed at about 30 cm centre to centre spaning the rooms in
the shorter direction. Wooden planks are laid over these joists. The timber joists are supported on
wall plates of 10 cm x 7 cm to 12 cm x 7 cm. Corbels may be required to support the joists if the
width of the wall is not sufficient. Joists must be strong enough to withstand the loads and at the
same time they should not deflect too much. When the length of the joist is more that 3.5 metres,
the struts are provided in the joists to check side buckling. Herring bone type of struting is the best
suited. The wooden planks are about 4 cm. thick and 10 to 15cm. wide. Rebatted joints are
generally used to join the planks but tongued and grooved joints are superior to it. Wooden planks


are planed to get level and smooth surface after they are fixed in the position. Finally they are
rubbed with sand paper and then waxed or polished (Fig. 4.2).
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of construction:
(a) Single joist timber floors are simple to construct.
(I) They require less initial cost.
(c) Distribution of loads on the wall is more uniform as the joists are spaced closely.
(a) The joists may sag and hence cracks will develop in the ceilings.
(b) They are not sound-proof.
(c) Deep joists are required for larger spans which increase the weight and construction cost of the
(d) The loads are transmitted on the openings, such as window or door lintel because of evenly
spaced joists.
(e) They require wall plates for supporting the joists.
3. Double joist timber floor. Double joist timber floor (Fig. 4.3) is stronger than the single joist
timber floor. They are used for longer spans for 3.60 to 7.50 metres and prevent the travel of sound
waves to a great extent. Intermediate supports, called as binders, are placed for bridging the joists.
Binders are spaced at a centre to centre distance of about 2 metres. The ends of binders are kept on
wooden or stone blocks and they should not be embedded in the masoniy Ceilings may be fixed to
the bottom of the binders by fixing ceiling joist to the binders. Lathing is fixed to the ceiling joist.
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of the construction.
(a) The loads are transmitted to the wall at certain specified points and hence door and window
openings may be avoided.
(b) This is more rigid type of flooring and hence there is less chance of developing cracks in the
plastered ceiling.

(c) It is more sound-proo!

(d) The use of additional binder near the walls can eliminate the need of wall plates.
(a) More labour is required.
(b) The depth of floor is considerably increased and thus the head room is reduced.

4. Framed timber floor.

This type of timber floor is used for span more than 7.5 metres. Girders are placed between the
walls and the binders are put on the girders and the bridging joists rest on the binders. The spacing
between girders depends on the type and size of the girder and the size of the binders. Binders are
staggered and connected to girder by tusk and tenon joints. The ends of girders are put on stone or
concrete templates in the wall. Ceilings are fixed directly to the binders or ceiling joists may be
employed (Fig. 4.4).

5. Filler joist floor. Small sections of rolled steel joists are encased in the concrete. The joists are
supported on walls or on steel beams as illustrated in Fig. 4.5. The joists are placed at a centre to
centre distance of 60 to 90 cm. and act as reinforcement in the concrete. The rolled steel joists and
beams should be completely encased in the concrete.


6. Jack arch floor. Bricks or concrete may be used for the construction of jack arch floor. The
arches are provided between the lower flanges of rolled steel joists at centre to centre distance of
not more than 1.5 metres. The rise of the arch is generally 1/12th of the span.

Mild steel ties are provided in the end spans to take up the tension developed due to the arch action
of the floor. The diameter of tie rods are 18mm to 25mm and their spacing is 1.8 to 2.4 metres and
they are rigidly fixed in the walls. The haunch filling is done by lime concrete and the desired floor
covering is provided. Plain ceiling is not obtained in this case and it may be considered as a
shortcoming of such construction (Fig. 4.6).


Method of construction of brick Jack arch floor. The centering of the arch is made with 38mm.
thick timber segmental piece with a chord length equal to the span of the arch. The curved portion
of the arch forms the soffit of the arch. The centering board is laid with the curve portion pointing
upwards on the lower flanges of the rolled steel joists. The special bricks on ed are placed on the
centering board from both ends of the arch. The end bricks are cut in the required shape to fit in the
joists properly. The key brick is laid in the stiff mortar and put in the centre of the arch tightly, The
centering board is advanced further by hammer blows to the new position which is 20 cm ahead
and the second arch ring is constructed. Similarly, all other successive arch rings are constructed.
The newly constructed work is cured for a period of at least two weeks. The haunch filling is done
with lime concrete and finally the desired type of floor covering is provided over compacted lime
concrete. The following precautions are taken in the construction of this type of floor:
(a Only well-watered 1st class bricks should be used.
(b) The steel joists should be rigidly fixed before starting the construction of arch. *
R.C.C. Floor.
Reinforced cement concrete slab is being more commonly used in the construction of modern
buildings. For small spans and comparatively lighter loads, a simple R.C. slab is suitable. If the
ratio of the length andwjdth of a room is more than 1.5, the slab is designed to span along the
shorter direction. The main reinforcement is provided along this shorter dimension of the room.
The thickness of the slab is guided by the superimposed loads, span and type of concrete used. The
end of the slab rests on the wall. When the building is constructed in reinforced concrete frames, it
is essential to construct the slab monolithic with the supporting beams.
For larger spans and greater loads, R.C.C. beams and slab construction is adopted in the
construction of buildings. The slab acts as flange of the beam and is cast monolithic with the
beams. In this case the size of the beam is greatly reduced. Over the R.C. floor, suitable covering is
laid to get the desired finish (Fig. 4.8).


Fig. 4.8. R.C.C. Floor with Beam.

9. Flat slab floor. Flat slab floor is directly supported on the columns without providing any
intermediate beams This type of construction is adopted when the use of beams is forbidden. The
(a) More clear headroom is available for use.
(b) Even for quite heavy loads, thinner slabs are required.
(c) No projections of beams are to be seen and, therefore, the need of false ceiling is eliminated.
(d) It is convenient to make lighting arrangements.
(e) The frame-work and construction of flat slab is simpler.
Flat slabs are commonly used in commercial buildings, factories and warehouses, etc. But it is not
economical for lighter loads.
Hollow tiled ribbed floor. lb reduce the weight of a solid floor structure, a hollow tiled ribbed floor
is constructed. In this type of construction hollow blocks of clay or concrete are used. These
hollow blocks or tiles are placed at about 10cm apart. In this space of 10 cm. mild steel bars of 8 to
12 mm. diameter are placed. The surfaces of the hollow tiles are kept rough to develop a better
bond with the surrounding concrete. A minimum cover of 8 cm. is provided at the top of the tile.
The empty spaces are filled up with the concrete as illustrated in Fig. 4.9. These floors are fireproof; sound-proof; damp-proof, light and economies. A properly designed floor of this type can
carry considerably heavy loads.

Floor coverings
Floor coverings are provided to improve the appearance, cleanliness, noiselessness and dampproof of the floors. Various types of materials are used and different treatments are done. The
following types of floor coverings are generally employed:
1. Brick floor covering.

2. Stone floor covering.

3. Tiled floor covering.
4. Thrrazzo floor covering.
5. Asphalt floor covering.
6. Concrete floor covering.
7. Wood-block floor covering.
8. Mosaic floor covering.
9. Linoleum floor covering.
10. Cork floor covering.
12. Plastic floor covering.
13. Rubber floor covering.
14. Glass floor covering.
15. Magnesite floor covering.

1. Brick floor covering. It is employed for cheap construction such as godowns, sheds, stores,
barracks, etc., and where good bricks are available. Over well compacted and levelled ground a
layer of lean cement concrete mix (1 : 6: 18) is laid in 10 cm. thickness. Over this beddin bricks
are placed in proper bonds on their edges. They are joined in cement or lime mortar. Sometimes
the joints are pointed to obtain a better appearance. The only draw-back of brick floor covering is
that it absorbs water.
2. Stone floor covering. Square or rectangular slabs of stones are used as floor covering. Generally
20 to 40 mm. thick stone slabs of zes30cmx30cm,45cmx45cm,60cmx60cm,45cmx60cm,etc., are
used. The stone should be hard, durable, tough and of good quality. The earthen base is levelled,
compacted and watered. On this surface a layer of 10 to 15 cm thick concrete is laid and properly
rammed. Over this bed the stone slabs are fixed with thin layer of mortar. Before fixing the stone
slabs in position, they are dressed on all the edges and the joints are finished with cement. The
stone surfaces may be rough or polished. Rough surface is provided in rough works like godowns,

sheds, stores, etc. and polished surface is provided in superior type of works. A slope of 1 : 40
should be provided in such type of floor coverings for proper drainage.
3. Concrete floor covering. This is the most common type of floor covering and it is also known
as Indian Patent Stone flooring. On the earthen surface sand cushion 15cm is provided. It is
watered and rammed thoroughly. Over this sand cushion about 10 cm thick concrete bases is laid
to i the topping. The top surface of the concrete base is roughly finished to develop good bond
between the base and the topping. Lime concrete or lean cement concrete is used for the
construction of concrete base.
The surface of the base concrete is cleaned with a stiff wire brush and it is moistened with the
water Square or rectangular panels are made on the base with wooden battens laid on mortar beds
in the desired level and slope.
The cement grout is applied to the base and before laying the topping concrete is poured into the
alternate bays at a time. After 3 days, the rest of the bays are concreted. The top layer is beaten and
made in a uniform line and level, and finally it is smoothened by toweling. Dry cement should not
be sprinkled on the surface to facilitate trowelling.
The newly constructed floor is protected from sunlight winds and rain for at least 12 hours.
This is cured for at least one week. Sometimes colored cement is used in the topping to get the
desired tint in the floor covering.
4. Tiled floor covering. Clay tiles of different sizes, shapes, thickness, colours are prepared and
they are used as floor coverings.
They are placed in position on a concrete base with a thin layer of mortar When these tiles are to
be fixed on timber floors, special of emulsified asphalt and Portland cement are used.Sometimes
hollow tiles are also used to construct the floor. This acts as a base and is covered with a layer of
5. Wooden floor covering. This type of floor covering is the oldest type but now-a-days it is only
used for some special purpose floor, such as in theatres, auditoriums, hospitals, etc. It possesses
natural beauty and has enough resistance to wearing. Wooden floor covering may be carried out in
one of the following three types:


(a) Strip floor covering. This is made up of narrow and thin strips of timber which are joined to
each other by tongue and groove joints.
(b) Planked floor covering. In this type of construction, wider planks as employed and these are
joined by tongue and groove joints.
(c) Wood block floor covering. It consists of wooden blocks which are laid in suitable designs
over a concrete base. The thickness of block is 2 properly joined together with the ends of the
grains exposed.
6. Terrazzo floor covering. Thrrazzo is a mixture of cement and marble chips and the surface
polished with carborandum stone to obtain a smooth finish at the top. The base for this type of
floor covering is concrete and laid in the ordinary way. On the 3 cm concrete (1: 3) base, a thin
layer of sand is sprinkled evenly and it is covered by tarred paper. A layer of rich mortar is spread
over it and then terrazzo mixture is placed over it evenly. Marble chips of 3 mm to 6 mm are mixed
with white or coloured cement in proportion 1: 2 or 1: 3 to get the terrazzo mixture. Dividing strips
of metal 20 gauge thick are inserted into the mortar base to form the desired pattern and in these
small bays the terrazzo mixture is laid alternatively. The terrazzo is levelled in position by trowel.
If required some additional chips are also added at the surface so that about 70% of the surface
area is covered by the marble chips.
When the terrazzo has hardened, the surface is rubbed by coarse. and fine carborandum stones
respectively to get a smooth finished surface. It is kept wet with water while rubbing. The surface
is cleaned with water and soap solution and then wax polish is applied to the surface. This type of
floor covering is very costly and is used to obtain clean, attractive and durable surface in public
buildings, hospitals, bath rooms, etc.
7. Mosaic floor covering. Marble slabs or tiles of different thickness are used. They are available in
various shapes and colours. This type of floor covering is commonly used in operation theatres,
temples, bathrooms and in costly buildings.
A concrete base is constructed for laying the floor covering. Over this base lime surkhi mortar is
placed to a depth of about 6 cm and it is leveled p. A layer of cementing material about 3 mm in
thickness is spread. I he cementing material consists of two parts of slaked lime, one part of


powdered marble and one part of pozzolona* Alter 4 hours of laying this cementing material, the
marble slabs of tiles are laid in.