I'm looking at buying a condo built in 1972 and was curious about the
floor structure underneath the wall-to-wall carpet. I was hoping some
conclusions could be drawn about the floor structure from this info:
The brick building has two stories, 4 condos per story. The bottom condos
are on a concrete slab. The second floor is reached via a very solid steel
stairway onto a concrete landing. Once inside the condo, there is no
vibration on the floor at all, even when jumping up and down. The outdoor
deck off the living room is concrete.
Would it be reasonable to think that the second floor condos are on a
concete slab like the landing and deck? The carpet is relitively new and
I can't pull it back and, so far, have not found anyone yet who knows
what's underneath. I hope to speak to the owner this weekend to get more
facts but was hoping someone here could make an educated guess.
If built in 72, doubt it is all-brick- most likely brick veneer over frame
construction, in which case the upper floors are probably a thin layer of
concrete over over wood, to meet fire break requirements. Even if it is an
upscale building and actual brick construction, the upper floors are
probably concrete over corrugated metal, using light I-beams or welded
trusses as joists. Highly unlikely the upper floors are actual reinforced
concrete slabs like an old building or modern parking ramp- that style of
construction is way too heavy and expensive for non-industrial applications.
The landing and deck are very likely precast slabs, flown into place via
crane as the building was framed. If they were formed in place, you could
likely see mold marks or woodgrain patterns on he bottoms of them. Can you
thump the ceiling of one of the downstairs units with a broom handle, and
figure out how thick it was by measuring up from the top of the front door
on inside and outside? If second floor is a slab, 1st floor ceiling will
either be rock-hard, or there will be a false ceiling to give mechanical
space and sound deadening. If joist lines, nail pops, etc, are visible in
first floor ceiling, it is likely conventional stick framing.
On Tue, 07 Nov 2006 09:15:53 +0000, aemeijers wrote:
That was spot on, aem. Thanks for that. I found out the building is indeed
brick veneer and the floors are a "plywood/concrete composite".
Would you reckon that this concrete layer, in your experience, be
suitable to polish/tint and use as a primary flooring surface
(with rugs) in place of carpet?
ceiling, it is likely conventional stick framing.
Not in my experience, no- it is usually far from smooth, and has cracks at
the doorways and often in the middle of the field. But if the existing
carpet is shot and has to come up anyway, you may want to give it a look. A
lot will depend on how good the original installation crew was, and how much
the builiding has flexed or settled over the years, and how thick a layer of
crete they put down. The apartment-building company I worked for back then
was cheap scum, and always used the cheapest material and crews they could
get away with, so a building built by a real builder may look better. Even
if it does look good, you will have to add or lower the shoe mold to get rid
of the crack, and spot-fill the ramset holes where the tack strip for the
carpet was nailed down.
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