What is Pre Stressed Concrete?


In basic terms, prestressed concrete is concrete in which high strength steel reinforcement is stretched and anchored to improve the structural capacity. The internal stress created by the embedded steel reinforcement greatly improves the performance and service of the product.

Why/when is it necessary to “STRESS” concrete?

In general, concrete does not have good tensile strength, however, it performs well under compression. A traditional analogy often used to explain the concept originated with Dr. Mangel who likened prestressing to stacking books side by side and placing pressure on both ends. The pressure exerted on the books creates so much strength that the books could be lifted as a single unit and could also support great loads on top without breaking apart. The very same concept is repeated with prestressed concrete products.

How does the process of PRESTRESSING occur?

The process of prestressing involves high strength steel tendons or “strand”, typically of low relaxation 270 kps type steel to be pulled to a predetermined, engineered spec and then concrete is cast over the strand and allowed to harden or cure. The strand is then cut at each end releasing the prestressing force into the product by way of its “bond” with the concrete. The internal force then allows the concrete to span greater distances and be loaded with greater weight.

What are some of the benefits of PRESTRESSING concrete? 

  • Allows for the reduction in mild reinforcement

  • Aids in controlling cracking

  • Allows for longer spans in a single piece instead of the need for multiple pieces

  • Allows for greater load carrying capacity

What are some types of products that utilize PRESTRESSING?

  • Concrete beams

  • Double Tees

  • Wall panels

  • Bridge girders

  • Concrete piles

  • Roadway pavement slabs

Constructing on Black cotton soil in Kenya



Constructing on Black cotton soil in Kenya.

Black cotton soil is found abundantly in most regions in Kenya.

Black cotton soil tends to soak water during the rainy season and expand and shrink during the dry season.

This expansion and shrinkage creates up and down movements on the ground floor slab, resulting to cracks, wall paint peel off , due to moisture some ceramic tiles discolor and Vinyl floor (mkeka wa Mbao ) get black spots on Surface .

To prevent this cracking, the black cotton soil is either excavated at a minimum depth of 1m or the building foundation raised and suspended above the ground level.

1.5m minimum depth.

Generally, if the black cotton soil is more than 1.5m in depth, its uneconomical to excavate it.

This requires a suspended type of foundation whereby columns are dug till solid rock and protrude slightly above the ground level.

BBF flooring (beam 2 beam flooring system ) is the way to go to cover the suspended foundation .

BBF flooring eliminates

☀️zero Timber  (no form works)

🌟zero Rebar use

🌟No 21 days curing ( BBF flooring system installed within hrs / day and start plastering works and brick works .

🌟Saves water .

Savings up to 50%

To learn more visit https://www.floordecorkenya.com/beam-2-beam-flooring-system-bbf/

BBF Suspended Foundation ideal for black cotton soil

BBF flooring

Introducing Beam 2 beam flooring system (BBF)




Beam-to-beam flooring (BBF) can be described as an economic, safe and functional system currently being utilized in slab construction both locally and internationally. It comprises of high performance pre-stressed concrete beams, concrete hollow blocks and a topping that work together to result in a robust slab. The pre-stressed concrete T-beams have a 100mm wide and 50mm deep flange with a web that is 50mm wide and 100mm deep. It is these T-beam joists that work in tandem with the concrete hollow blocks to support the 50mm topping and all manner of design loads imposed on them. 

How it works

The hollow blocks used in this system have a high compressive load i.e. 7N/mm2 thus function as structural elements unlike your typical hollow blocks that function as “fillers” meant to achieve required structural depth. These hollow blocks lock by 100mm on either side of the pre-stressed concrete beams. The load path is therefore from the topping to the hollow blocks to the pre-stressed beams to the reinforced concrete beams of that particular floor to the columns and finally to the foundations. 


The pre-stressed concrete T-beams are cast in a pre-stressing yard where all the necessary design parameters are controlled to achieve a high quality product. A concrete mix design that achieves class 60 i.e. a compressive load of 60N/mm2 is used. 5mm tendons are stretched between stable end-anchorage points and concreted over a casting bed before being allowed to sufficiently cure. The tendons are released after the concrete has achieved minimum desired strength. The length requirements for each beam is determined prior to casting to avoid wastage. 

Usually, all stresses induced by loads on reinforced concrete structures are mainly carried by reinforcement bars. However, in pre-stressed members such as the beams in BBF the stresses are induced in the entire member. The end result is a structural product that is better at managing vibrations and shocks compared to conventional concrete. 


Pre-stressing is typically used to allow for longer spans and/or minimize the structural depth of beams and slabs. Pre-stressed elements are commonly used in the following areas, span being a major consideration; floor beams, bridges, water tanks, runways, roofs, railroad ties, poles etc. A key benefit is that pre-stressed concrete elements can more economically span longer distances than conventionally-reinforced concrete elements. This is of benefit in infrastructure e.g. bridges as well as in buildings with respect to beams and slabs.


The benefits of utilizing BBF system are:

    1. Foundation excavation – The system minimizes mass excavation that would have otherwise been performed underneath the ground slab for sites situated in areas with predominant expansive soils such as black cotton soil. This means that it minimizes labor cost that would have been incurred for doing the actual excavation and consequently backfilling of the same. Transportation for hauling the excavated material to a dumpsite is also eliminated.
    2. Steel fixing- BBF system realizes a time and labor cost saving that would have been incurred in cut and bend for reinforcement bars of the slab and concreting for the same.
    3. Construction material – BBF system eliminates the need to use BRC mesh in the topping but rather uses fibre mesh. This saves cost for the client as fibre mesh is significantly cheaper compared to BRC mesh. It also eliminates labor that would have been incurred in handling BRC mesh on site. 
    4. Shuttering and propping – It reduces the traditional use of shuttering and props because the concrete hollow block lock onto the pre-stressed beams that in turn rest of reinforced concrete beams of a building’s floor. Essentially, only the reinforced concrete floor beams remain propped. 
    5. Increased head-room – There is an increased floor to floor height because the floor system rests on top of the reinforced concrete beams of the building’s frame. 
    6. Sound insulation – The concrete hollow blocks help in insulating the slab by breaking sound waves resulting in buildings that are quieter.
    7. Fire rating – The pre-stressed beams in BBF help in increasing the fire rating of buildings due to the large cover provided for the tendons. 
    8. Assembly time – There is time saving realized with BBF system because the elements are pre-cast. Assembly takes a very short time resulting in faster construction timelines. This positively impacts program of works.
    9. Structural benefits – The pre-stressed beams minimize potential cracks, decreases the risk that would have been presented by reinforcement corrosion and also lengthens the service life of a building.


Sub-standard goods threaten floor products

Professional Floor Installation and Its Value

Six ideal Areas for Our Acoustic Flooring Options

Six ideal Areas for Our Acoustic Flooring Options
Acoustics is an important consideration when specifying flooring and should be evaluated based on the needs of a particular environment. An environment with good acoustical control supports the activities and goals of that space. Noise is typically defined as unpleasant and unwanted sound.
Along with being virtually waterproof, durable, low-maintenance, and soft underfoot, Mkeka wa Mbao™ and Marmoleum offer a less-known benefit: peace and quiet! a sound absorbent co-efficient of between 19 and 20 dB. Acoustically-friendly floors grant a more peaceful experience for a variety of situations and settings
The two most important acoustical factors to consider when specifying flooring are the product’s sound absorption and noise reduction capabilities. While many people focus solely on the floor’s appearance and basic qualities, it is also worth paying attention to the acoustic performance of the flooring you are considering.
Sound treatment is a key design consideration for almost every building, regardless of industry, in order to reduce noise disturbance and enhance sound quality. Selecting acoustic flooring materials is crucial to effective sound treatment.
Let’s take a look at the top 6 settings that could greatly benefit from soundless acoustic range of Mkeka wa Mbao™ and Marmoleum flooring.
Offices and Businesses
Have you ever walked into a business set in a large room with tile floors where you could hear every footstep and voice echo? Along with being unforgiving on feet, tile floors bounce sound waves and can lead to that echoing sensation. Our flooring options help absorb sound and create a more inviting, peaceful business atmosphere.
Whether you are remodeling or building a new home, most people desire an inviting, functional, and quiet environment. Footsteps overheard at night when you are trying to sleep, music thumping through the ceiling, or hearing someone cough even though they are upstairs are all signs that your home’s flooring needs an acoustic upgrade.
It goes without saying that libraries are expected to be quiet! Picture an expansive library outfitted entirely with tile floors. What a cold, loud atmosphere that would be!
Recording Studios
For recording studios, hard flooring is the gold standard. Carpet causes problems since it wears out quickly due to heavy foot traffic and absorbs high frequencies, thereby negatively affecting sound production and quality.
Hospitals and Aged Care Facilities
Hospitals and aged care facilities can be noisy. From beeping machines to patient interactions to staff discussions, these settings can be places of significant unrest.
Loud, echoing footsteps and voices in a school? Not a good mix. To learn, students need a safe, quiet atmosphere.
The right flooring choice can have a major impact on the overall function and atmosphere of your setting. With their high durability, pleasing aesthetic appeal, and acoustic-friendly features, our range of flooring might make the ideal choice for your home or professional setting.

What’s the difference between linoleum and vinyl flooring?

It’s no secret that there are a large variety of flooring options available, which can make it easy to get lost in the specifics of how one type of flooring differs from another. One common flooring question we often receive from consumers is: what’s the difference between linoleum flooring and vinyl flooring.
The vinyl flooring vs. linoleum comparison is one filled with many similarities. There is however a few key differences between the two flooring options that should definitely not be ignored.
Linoleum is a mix of renewable natural materials: primarily linseed oil, which comes from flax seeds, plus other natural ingredients such as jute, cork powders, wood flour and tree resins. The design is not on a separate image layer, but is embedded throughout the materials.
Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a synthetic product that is made up of vinyl, a combination of chemicals including ethylene and chlorine, and other additives (like felt, fiberglass, and dyes).
Life Span & Durability
Speaking of life spans, linoleum flooring can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years, while vinyl flooring typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Because of this, linoleum is considered more durable than vinyl as it has similar properties to ceramic flooring and hardwood.
Look & Style
The difference in design versatility between vinyl flooring vs. linoleum is astounding. Linoleum is extremely limited in its design options. Unlike vinyl, which authentically replicates the natural look of wood and stone, Linoleum doesn’t have the same style versatility in terms of mimicking other flooring types. However it can be great for creating large patterns, embedded designs or blocks of color. Linoleum is colorfast, which means that the patterns and hues are not just printed on the surface but are dimensionally present through the entire piece. This allows the flooring to wear down without fading, as the colors are true all the way through the material.
Scratch, Stain and Dent Resistance
Both vinyl and marmoleum floorings have hardened wear layers designed to provide maximum scratch and stain resistance both are designed for superior dent resistance from things like cleats, heavy appliances and dropped objects.
Vinyl flooring is considered to be the easier option out of the two (especially if you’re looking for a DIY flooring project). While linoleum flooring installation is typically not considered a complicated process, certain precautions are needed.

Both Vinyl and Linoleum requires extremely low maintenance. Considered one of the easiest flooring types to clean, both flooring can withstand normal sweeping and vacuuming as well as mopping. You won’t have to worry about damaging the floorboards as they are not affected by moisture, mold, or mildew.
While linoleum flooring isn’t expensive, it typically costs more than vinyl, fairly head to head.
Both vinyl and linoleum flooring are ideal for almost any commercial design project thanks to their multi-faceted and cross-purpose functionality.
Whether you decide to go with linoleum or vinyl tile flooring, there are plenty of beautiful, high-quality options for both types of flooring material. Because they’re both considered types of resilient flooring, and are great choices for homeowners looking for affordable, comfortable and practical flooring products.

Forbo® Marmoleum Linoleum Flooring Helping to win the fight against Hospital Acquired Infections

Healthcare is among the most challenging environments for the Admission and Discharge community to service, and with good reason. Interior finishes must be hygienic and provide for the health and safety of patients, visitors and staff. The flooring must be tough enough to withstand the daily, around-the-clock pounding from rolling and foot traffic and still be easy to maintain.
When designing healthcare facilities, we think of safety, function and aesthetics, sterile environments are meant to be safe and germ/bacteria free. Marmoleum Linoleum is a floor covering that meets these criteria and is no stranger to designers. Introduced more than a century ago, today’s linoleum is harkening a new generation of specifiers as a durable, all-natural alternative to resilient flooring.
Marmoleum ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria stems from the natural raw materials that go into its production, namely linseed oil,pine resin ,wood floor and jute . An inherent property of the product, the anti-bacterial qualities of Marmoleum won’t diminish over time, giving peace of mind and constant protection from the moment it is installed.
Marmoleum Linoleum has received the British Allergy Foundation’s Seal of Approval due to the fact that they do not harbour bacteria or dust mites, contributing to healthier indoor environments.
The major attribute of marmoleum that makes it applicable to medical centers and hospitals is its sheet production. The sheet application allows for minimal seams and, therefore, offers less opportunity for bacteria to hide in grout lines or floor seams. Additionally, this allows for better maintenance options than other flooring.
Linoleum is made from natural materials such as linseed oil, jute, cork powders and tree resins. The product is antistatic, hypoallergenic and does not emit potentially harmful VOCs, so it contributes to good indoor air quality.
Similar to other resilient floors, linoleum comes in multiple fresh hues, and the color and pattern extend through the entire thickness of the product. When specified in roll goods, marmoleum allows for flowing designs and adds natural influences to otherwise harsh environments. Like resilient and rubber, marmoleum can be waterjet cut with intricate patterns and inlays.
Forbo® Marmoleum flooring is considered to be an asthma and allergy friendly flooring choice. In fact, Marmoleum flooring is the only floor covering that is certified to be allergy and asthma friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America® (AAFA), making it is safe for adults, children, and pets with allergies or asthma.
Floor Décor Kenya offers a full portfolio of products suitable for use in general circulation areas within healthcare establishments. From reception areas and corridors which are subject to heavy footfall, to canteens and family waiting rooms that require a more relaxed atmosphere we have a range of products to meet your needs.

Professional Floor Installation matters – the performance of a new floor depends on it.

You have a host of choices when it comes to new flooring – material, style, color, and more – really, the only limit is your imagination. Whatever flooring you choose for your home, who installs it makes all the difference.
Doing it yourself may seem like a great way to save money (and they do make it seem so easy on the home improvement shows), but the time spent and risk of mistake can be costly. This also goes for warehouse or discount dealers; they often take shortcuts or use inexperienced installers, so achieving the look you want or long-term value can be a costly proposition.
A professional accredited flooring technician has years of experience. YouTube videos may be helpful, but they aren’t going to provide you with the details necessary for completing such a difficult project. Only a professional has the knowledge and experience to guarantee a job well done.
Even the most elegant Laminate ,vinyl Mkeka wa Mbao or Linoleum flooring can appear cheap if the installation isn’t completed properly. Rather than settling for a mediocre installation, rely on professionals to make sure that your home looks its best.
There are many steps during a flooring installation that need to be completed correctly and skillfully for a successful outcome. We are committed in providing the installers with the best training so they in turn, will provide customers with the highest standards of workmanship.
A professional team can ensure that your flooring is installed correctly the first time. You won’t have to spend money on fixing loose ends or replacing mismanaged flooring. Rather, you can enjoy your perfect flooring for years to come.
How important is proper installation? So important that your warranty depends on it! Manufacturers know that Vinyl, or laminates can only perform as well as it is installed.
Safeguard your investment
Flooring investment is a major investment when installed properly, it can increase the overall value of your property. This is no small consideration.
As you can imagine, we’ve seen some pretty shoddy work over the years, which is why we feel so strongly about recommending an accredited professional installer.
At Floor Décor Kenya we are immensely proud of our Accredited Installers. We invest on training them on all products sold at Floor Decor outlets this signifies and acknowledges our high standards of reputable, fairly priced work. You can rest assured that they will offer you the best pre installation advice and a top-class installation to go with it from start to finish.
For all Products sold at Floor Decor Kenya showrooms we share with our clients a list of accredited installer make sure you contact them after purchase for a professional installation.