Green Flooring Alternative

David,I am in the preliminary stages of determining cost of a very efficient, contemporary duplex. The goal to is make this affordable and durable. As a newly married couple my wife and I intend on locating this duplex near a local college campus and renting out the other unit, perhaps down the road…
both of them. So, durability is key.
The duplex will be VERY compact, a two car (stacked) garage, with two floors above that (3 total). Is concrete over floor sheathing feasible on the two floors above the garage? How can this best be executed?

Photo courtesy of MAXXON Inc.

And would something like this blow a tight budget? Would something exposed like this be a 1.5″ lightweight Gyp-Crete or a thicker re-enforced system?

The name “light weight Gyp-Crete” makes me think that it could deteriorate over time… not a durable as “real concrete”? Thanks for any insight you may have!

Evan”

Evan,

Your question is a timely one since concrete is becoming increasingly popular as a “green” flooring alternative.

“Gyp-Crete” is actually a trademarked product made by Maxxon Corporation although there are similar gypsum-concrete products made by other companies. They are a mixture of gypsum and concrete used to increase fire resistance, decrease sound transmission, and as a leveling compound. Gypsum-concrete is not a finished floor; it is an underlayment below other more durable finish materials such as tile or carpet.

For a finished floor, you would need to install a layer of reinforced, regular concrete. This can be done at a reasonable cost, but the sub-floor and framing must be stiff enough to help prevent cracking. There are lightweight concrete mixes which may be suitable for your application, and I would suggest talking to a concrete contractor who specializes in slab work.

Good luck with your project,

David Moore, AIA
Original Home Plans

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