Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Thin structural toppings for timber floors

At a glance

Funding body: BRE Trust
Principal investigator: Richard Harris
Co-investigator: Pete WalkerKevin Paine and Julie Bregulla
Researcher: Jonathan Skinner
Industry partner: BRE Trust
Dates: 2010-2013


Thick cementitious toppings have already been shown to improve the strength and stiffness of timber floors. Additional benefits include improved diaphragm action, enhanced acoustic and thermal performance and simple construction. However the use of timber-concrete composites in the UK is not widespread. This research project addresses the problem of upgrading and refurbishing existing timber floors by applying a thin cementitious topping. Serviceability rather than strength has been identified as the key performance upgrade and in particular the vibration performance of the floor.

The aim of this research project is to develop sustainable floor upgrades based on thin structural toppings applied to existing timber floors. This aim is being realised through experimental and analytical study of test floors and shear connections under static and dynamic loading, together with the development of analytical models to broaden the parametric study and contribute to design guidelines. Primary technical issues being addressed include, defining the composition of the structural topping and suitable shear connectors.