Hot Tip #156 Monolithic Washroom Trenches

Readers question:

“In a recent Hot Tip, it was recommended that all new washroom trenches be poured monolithically,
what does that mean?”

Monolithic means it is made from a single pour of concrete. Usually when the term monolithic is used, it is because the concrete footings and slab are poured at the same time. Sometimes footings are poured separately, but when you pour the footings and slab at the same time, it is always stronger. A monolithic pour eliminates a cold joint (or a break) between the base of the trench and the walls of the trench.

Old Methods and its Disadvantages:

In the past, washroom trenches were constructed such that the floor (raft) was accomplished in one pour and then the walls were poured after the raft had hardened.

Therefore a new method has evolved which is commonly known as “monolithic concreting” in which walls, up to about 4 feet in height, are also poured along with the raft. This avoids a cold joint, a source of leakage, at the trench raft level.
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