Sunken Slab Uses, Application, Advantages, Disadvantages

Sunken Slab Uses, Application, Advantages, Disadvantages

In construction, a sunken slab, also referred to as a depressed slab or sunken ground, includes putting it underneath the standard floor degree in bathrooms, toilets, laundry areas, and kitchen spaces for putting in drainage or piping systems. We Explore in Detail Sunken Slab Uses, Application, Advantages, Disadvantages.

Sunken Slab Uses, Purpose, Advantages, And Disadvantages

Why Sunken slab is provided

Sunken slabs are a commonplace choice in regions such as lavatories, kitchens, or laundry rooms to facilitate the set up of drainage or piping systems. They help prevent water spillage onto surrounding floors.

Sunken slabs effectively contain moisture within a designated area, preventing it from spreading to other parts of a building. This aids in reducing potential damage caused by moisture to flooring or nearby structures.

Sunken slab vs Normal slab

Sunken Slabs: Sunken Slabs: Intentionally decrease than surrounding flooring, sunken slabs are strategically positioned in precise areas, along with bathrooms and kitchens, to facilitate drainage and prevent water spillage. They offer both functional advantages and architectural interest.

Normal Slabs: Standard and uniformly level with the surrounding floor, normal slabs are the typical flooring used throughout most buildings. They provide a flat and level surface for everyday activities without intentional variations in height.

Depth Difference of Sunken Slab

Here’s the depth difference of a sunken slab from a normal slab height as per different standards presented in a table:

Standard Depth Difference Down from Normal Slab
ASTM 4 to 6 inches (100 to 150 mm)
EN 4 to 7 inches (100 to 180 mm)

This table outlines the depth difference specified by ASTM and EN standards for a sunken slab in comparison to a normal slab.

Why We Used Sunken Slab

A sunk slab prevents water from spilling over from the surface under it onto the surrounding slabs. It is vital to address the construction of these slabs with greater care due to the vulnerability of the areas where they’re placed to moisture and water leaks.

Purpose of Sunken Slab (depressed slab)

A depressed slab works by creating a low spot to collect water. This collected water can then be directed away through a network of pipes and drainage channels. Making a sunken area in the slab effectively channels water towards the drainage system. It helps prevent flooding and water damage in the surrounding areas.

Applications of Sunken Slabs

Sunken slabs are used in different parts of a building

  1. In bathrooms and wash areas.
  2. In the middle of stairs for more space.
  3. In porches, creating a flat surface with special beams.

What Alternatives for Sunken slab

  1. Raise the Floor: Lift the floor a bit to make space for pipes without digging down.
  2. Accessible Spaces: Create easy-to-reach areas under the floor for simpler fixes.
  3. Slabs Above Ground: Use slabs that sit higher up, making it easy to get to for maintenance.
  4. Higher Foundation: Build the foundation a bit higher to avoid the challenges of sunken slabs.
  5. Open Layouts: Choose designs with visible pipes for straightforward access and flexibility.

Technical Considerations

  • Structural integrity: Ensure the slab design accounts for imposed loads (fixtures, people) and potential seismic activity.
  • Reinforcement: Utilize steel bars or mesh for reinforcement to prevent cracking and maintain structural integrity.
  • Slope: Create a slight slope towards the drain (1-2%) to ensure proper water flow and avoid pooling.
  • Expansion joints: Consider incorporating expansion joints in large slabs to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Soundproofing: Utilize soundproofing materials within the slab or between the slab and the floor above to minimize noise transmission.

Advantages of Sunken slabs

Sunken slabs, also recognized as sunken panels or sunken flooring, involve lowering a portion of the floor below the surrounding area. Sunken slabs may provide the following advantages:

1.) Improved drainage

Creates a natural slope for water to flow towards drains, preventing pooling and potential water damage.

2.) Improved lighting

A lowered section created by sunken slabs can enable additional natural light to enter a room by accommodating glass or other transparent materials.

3.) Noise reduction

The sunken slab can act as a sound barrier between floors, reducing the amount of noise transmitted between levels.

4.) Improved temperature control

Sunken slabs can help regulate the temperature of a room by taking advantage of the natural cooling properties of the ground.

5.) Accessibility

Sometimes, sunken slabs are made like a ramp or a gentle slope. This helps people get to places that might be hard to reach otherwise.

6.) Energy efficiency

Creating a thermal mass with the sunken slab, can help reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs.

7.) Privacy

Sunken slabs can make a secret spot, like a cozy place to talk or sit that’s a bit hidden from view.

8.) Versatility

People use sunken slabs in various locations such as homes and buildings, and they can adapt to different looks and styles.

Disadvantages Sunken slabs

  1. Hard to Build: They need skilled workers and careful planning.
  2. Moisture Problems: Being below ground, they might have dampness or mold issues.
  3. Tough Maintenance: Fixing things under a sunken slab is tricky, making repairs harder.
  4. Expensive Fixes: If issues come up, repairing a sunken slab can cost a lot due to the complexities involved.
  5. Not Flexible: It’s challenging to make layout changes or modifications because sunken slabs are fixed.

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