Metal deck can be used for a variety of applications in construction. Composite deck and form deck, for example, are typically used for applications in flooring. While both can be used for flooring systems, it is important to choose the right type for your project. This often leads to the question: When do I use metal composite deck vs. form deck?
In this guide, we will discuss the differences in the two types of metal deck, and when they should be used.
Metal Composite Deck
Composite metal floor deck has embossments designed to interlock with concrete slabs. The combination of floor deck and concrete serves the dual purpose of permanent form and positive reinforcement.
It is a strong but lightweight metal floor deck that is designed to provide extra strength for flooring systems without additional weight.
There are three common types of composite deck: 1.5 inch, 2 inch, and 3 inch.
1.5 Inch Composite Deck
1.5 inch Composite Deck, sometimes called Type B, is used for applications in outdoor flooring. It is the lowest profile type of composite deck, and is best used for short spans.
2 Inch Composite Deck
Compared to 1.5 inch, 2 inch composite deck is much stronger. It can hold up very thick concrete slabs, and is most often used for medium to long span applications in outdoor flooring.
3 Inch Composite Deck
3 inch composite metal deck is the deepest and most durable type of composite floor deck that is widely used in construction. It is typically used for long span applications in flooring.
Metal Form Deck
Form deck serves as a permanent steel base for poured, reinforced concrete floor slabs.
Unlike composite deck, it does not have embossment. Additionally, instead of being interlocked within the concrete, form deck is used to support the weight of wet concrete that is poured on top of it to create flooring systems.
The three most common types are 9/16 inch, 1 inch, and 1.5 inch form deck.
9/16 Inch Form Deck
9/16 inch form deck is the lowest profile form deck. It supports the least amount of weight out of all widely used decks, but it is also the least expensive, making it a common choice for many contractors.
1 Inch Form Deck
1 inch form deck supports more weight than 9/16 inch, but it is not the most durable type of form deck. It is typically used for projects along the East Coast of the United States.
1.5 Inch Form Deck
1.5 inch form deck is the deepest of all types of form deck. It can hold up a much larger weight than the 9/16 or 1 inch form deck, making it an incredibly sturdy choice.
When to Use Composite Deck vs. Form Deck
When you compare composite deck vs. form deck, there is one major difference. Composite floor deck helps to strengthen a flooring system, while form deck does not.
When lightweight composite deck interlocks and bonds with concrete, it increases the strength of the floor without adding additional weight to it.
Form deck, on the other hand, simply supports concrete that is poured on top of it. Because it does not bond with the concrete, it cannot support as much weight, and it does not increase the strength of the flooring system.
Generally, we recommend using composite floor deck for projects that require a very durable concrete floor, such as outdoor flooring, as composite floor deck systems are unlikely to be damaged or need replacing.
We recommend using form deck for applications in lightweight flooring, as it will not be able to support as much weight.
Metal Floor Deck Offerings at CSM
Contact us today to get started on your order of metal deck. Once we receive your initial request, our estimators will submit a quote.