Why was cement poured in two layers

bcarlson78248August 11, 2014

I am cutting through the basement floor of my 1940 colonial to relocate some of the plumbing and also add a sump pump as part of a bathroom renovation.

When I chipped through the floor I found it had two cement layers. The lowest layer is about 4" of very hard cement and in very good shape. The upper layer, which varies from about 1/2" to 1" is softer cement that seems to have a fairly high sand content. In several areas it is not strongly adhered to the concrete underneath. The height of the closet flange appears to line up with the top layer, so it looks like the both layers may have been poured before the fixtures were installed.

Under the cast iron pipes I also ran into a charcoal black layer of dirt. At first I thought it was discoloration from contact with the pipe, but it seems more like it might have been something to bed in the pipes before pouring concrete. However, I can't figure out what the material is.

Any suggestions about why they used two layers of concrete, and/or would that have been common? Could it have simply been a way to level the floor?
Also, any suggestion about the what the black material would have been under the pipes?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They added the top layer to level the unfinished basement floor when they added the toilet.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The pipes were laid in cinder fill.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 7:18AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Strip flooring with unusual cross section
(Cross posted from Flooring forum) I'm renovating a...
Good afternoon, I just wanted to introduce myself,...
Rule of thumb on recreating hardwood floors?
I'm recreating the peg and groove oak hardwood floors...
Need your ideas for a new-old home,...
We are planning to build a home that appears to be...
Stripper for stripper-resistant paint?
I'm having a tough time removing multiple layers of...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™