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Slab vs. crawl space

Hello. I seem to have written my question incorrectly previously. I am preparing to build a 1,300 sq. ft. home in northwest Montana.

Around here crawlspaces and basements are the norm. I am researching using block frost walls (no basement) and a slab. Most of my builder friends are counseling me against this.

I want to have some wood floors and some tile. Wood floor area would be poured at a lower elevation. I would lay down treated sleepers and plywood to attach the 3/4 flooring to.

Does anyone have any good information to layout a pro and cons list? The alternative is ICF frost wall with top of joists set 1 1/2 above top of the ICFs.


Asked by Mike Koness
Posted Jul 10, 2018 5:27 PM ET
Edited Jul 11, 2018 6:20 AM ET


3 Answers

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Not sure if you need a subscription (I have one) but Journal of Light Construction has an article this month with a slab on grade project then a floating floor over EPS. It looked rather ingenious.

Why are the locals against your idea? Lack of experience?

Answered by Sean Cotter
Posted Jul 10, 2018 8:33 PM ET


You can install engineered flooring over a slab—especially if you insulate the slab and slope the grade away from the home. That said, you usually don’t want to force your builder and subs out of their comfort zone.

Answered by Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia
Posted Jul 10, 2018 9:49 PM ET


As long as your slab is above grade, you can install any kind of flooring you want above a slab. Flooring manufacturers provide installation instructions. You and your builder can do some online research to figure out the requirements for flooring installation.

For example, here is information from the American Hardwood Information Center: Installing a hardwood floor over a concrete slab.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Jul 11, 2018 6:26 AM ET

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