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ICF in place of slab

HI, I am not a builder and I am getting confused. Are these ICF products like Quadlock and AMdeck being used instead of a slab or on top of a slab? I don't want a crawl space or a basement and I want to have decorative concrete floors with radiant heating. I thought that if ICF could be used instead of concrete slab as the foundation, i could have great insulation, places for pipes and wiring, and a decorative concrete overlay with the radiant heat in between. Is this just wrong thinking?

Asked by Linda Ingalls
Posted Nov 2, 2012 3:49 PM ET


5 Answers

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ICFs are used for walls. They can be used for crawl space walls, basement walls, or above-grade walls.

They can also be used for frost walls for homes with slab-on-grade foundations. Once the frost walls are complete, the footprint is filled with compacted gravel and a slab is poured.

If you want a slab foundation, ICFs are unnecessary.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Nov 2, 2012 4:07 PM ET


Tank you. Now i don't understand what the quaddeck and amdeck icf flooring is really about.

Answered by Linda Ingalls
Posted Nov 3, 2012 1:52 AM ET


Linda, ICFs are foam forms used with concrete to insulate. Walls, and floors etc but mostly used for walls as Martin stated. Read up via searches.

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted Nov 3, 2012 6:29 AM ET


You are correct that Quadlock and Amvic make rigid insulation forms that can be used to make suspended concrete floors. Here are the links:



Suspended concrete floors are expensive, however, and are an unlikely choice for residential construction.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Nov 3, 2012 7:29 AM ET
Edited Nov 3, 2012 8:17 AM ET.



It sounds like what you are wanting is an insulated slab. ICF floor decks wouldn't be a good choice for that.

If you were going to have a basement, you could use an ICF floor deck for the main floor of the home. That would, as you stated, enable you to "have great insulation, places for pipes and wiring, and a decorative concrete overlay with the radiant heat in between."

I am just finishing the design phase of a home with an ICF floor deck. In addition to the benefits you listed above, it will also be integral to the storm shelter in our basement.

Answered by Mike Collignon
Posted Nov 4, 2012 2:47 AM ET

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