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Frequently Asked Questions
Lite-Deck Insulated Concrete Forms

Lightweight. Versatile. Superior Sound Retention. These are characteristics Lite-Deck can offer. Lite-Deck is the solid concrete alternative for conventional floor and deck applications in residential homes, commercial buildings, and safety structures. The results? A quiet, secure concrete structure that is sustainable and energy-efficient.



1. How wide is a Lite-Deck section?
Standard sections are 24-inches wide and feature 2 steel stiffeners, 12-inches apart. Sections can also be provided which are 48-inches wide (4 steel stiffeners). They reduce the amount of handling at the jobsite. Because of weight, the 48-inch sections are not recommended for lengths over 30'.

2. How long is a Lite-Deck section?
Sections are provided in custom lengths (+ or - 1/4 inch) as ordered. Lengths up to 53-feet can be shipped on commercial flatbeds.

3. How far can Lite-Deck clearspan?
Clear (unsupported) spans of 40-feet and more can be engineered. Most short spans (up to 12 feet) can be accomplished with 6-inch deep sections. Spans of 30 to 40-feet are accomplished with 16-inch deep sections.

4. Can I cut a Lite-Deck section?
Yes. The form and steel stiffener can be cut with a reciprocating saw.

5. What is the R-value?
The R-value will vary, depending on the thickness of the sections. The polystyrene has an overall R-value of 4.5 per inch. So, 6-inch deep sections have a nominal R-value of 27 prior to interior and exterior finishing. The insulating value for the load-bearing joist portion is an R-9.

6. Does Lite-Deck have to be covered on the interior?
Nearly all building codes require that exposed polystyrene be covered with a fire-resistant material. If Lite-Deck is being used as a home's floor or roof, insulation exposed to the living area can be covered with drywall (gypsum board). Some commercial or institutional applications may require that the sections be covered with a commercial grade coating such as polyurethane.

7. How much concrete is poured on top of Lite-Deck? To get the full strength of the load-bearing joist, the concrete cover must be a minimum of 2-inches. Engineers may require covers of 3" or more, for special applications.

8. How do I run plumbing and electrical lines? Blockouts should be cut into the forms as they are being placed. Lengths of plastic pipe will serve as a blockout. Blockouts should be located between the joists and steel stiffeners.

9. Must all of the concrete be placed in one operation? No. Concrete can be placed into the joist portion only and be allowed to cure. The concrete cover can then be placed in a separate operation. Leave shoring or bracing in place, for both operations. A 2-stage placement may not be appropriate for some projects. Consult with the project's structural engineer for their guidelines on placement.

10. Can the concrete cover be colorized or stamped? Yes.

11. How do you finish the Lite-Deck floor in a home?
The concrete cover can be troweled to a smooth finish or a skin coat of lightweight concrete can be placed, for a finished appearance. When applying finishes or materials directly to the concrete cover, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper application. If the floor is being carpeted, 1/2" plywood should be placed, anchored directly to the concrete with mastic or masonry nails.

12. What is used to seal a Lite-Deck roof?
Commercial roofs can be sealed with an Elastomeric coating applied directly to the concrete cover. Rubber Membranes or Steel Rib systems can also be applied directly. More conventional finishes (such as residential shingles) can be installed over furring strips which are anchored directly to the concrete cover. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper applications.

13. Do you have to use special concrete? Typical concrete specs: 4,000 to 5,000 PSI - 4 to 6 inch slump - 1/2 to 3/4 inch aggregate. Structural engineer or local building codes may require slightly different specs.

14. Can I use plasticizers?
Yes, water reducers can be used to increase workability.

15. Can Lite-Deck be vibrated?
Yes. Vibrator should be used by an experienced operator.

16. How much rebar (reinforcing steel) do I need?
That is determined by the Structural Engineer for the project. Rebar is placed in the joist and the cover. In addition, rebar is used to structurally tie the Deck and walls together.

17. Do I have to use a concrete pump?
No. However, the installer should avoid accumulating concrete in one spot. This can overburden the shoring and cause it to fail. A concrete pump is preferred because delivery can be closely controlled.

18. Does Lite-Deck provide structural engineering specs?
No. That must be provided by a structural engineer who is licensed for the type and location of the project. The engineer's specs will show the best joist depth and the rebar needed, to support the dead and live loads of the deck or floor.

19. Can the forms be removed?
No. They are designed to stay in place and provide insulation protection. Research is being done on removable, re-usable sections.

20. How much does Lite-Deck cost?
Form costs vary from region to region. To get a realistic estimate, CLICK HERE for a Directory of Lite-Deck suppliers and regional manufacturers...they will be glad to provide general prices or an estimate for a specific project.

21. What is Nominal STC (Sound Transmission Class)?
The STC rating will vary, depending on the thickness of the sections. Based on field studies and tests for flat concrete panels, the calculated Nominal STC rating for Lite-Deck ranges from STC-45 to STC-55 for the most popular sizes of Lite-Deck.

22. What is the Nominal IIC (Impact Insulation Class)?
To date, no clinical tests have been conducted to determine Lite-Deck's IIC rating. However, the following ratings have been acheived for similar concrete floor/ceiling designs:
Flat 6" concrete slab - No covering: IIC 34 / With wood sheathing, pad and carpet: IIC 81
2" slab w/14" T Joists - No covering: IIC 24 / With carpet and pad: IIC 72
4" slab No covering: IIC 20 / With 1" Gypsum Board: IIC 35
5.75" slab No covering: IIC 27 / With 1" Gypsum Board: IIC 27

The presence of closed-cell EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) in Lite-Deck's forms do not significatly change the IIC ratings of the concrete floor/roof.

21. Can I construct a sloped or gabled roof with Lite-Deck?
Yes. The Lite-Deck forms can be structurally engineered to produce sloped roofs. The techniques for concrete placement can be modified to insure a consistent concrete cover. This type of construction is preferred for concrete homes with "vaulted" or open ceilings.

Didn't find the answer to your question?
Call: 800-551-3313 (US and Canada) and ask for a Lite-Deck Service Representative or e-mail your question to:

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