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What is Magnesite Flooring | MJ Engineering Projects

як Engineering Projects Projects (2023-08-03)

Magnesite Flooring: Understanding the Dangers and the Role of Remedial Engineering



Magnesite flooring, once a popular  Magnesite flooring  choice for apartment buildings between the 1960s and 1980s, has now become a cause for concern due to its potential to cause concrete cancer or concrete spalling in the underlying concrete slabs. In this blog post, we will delve into what magnesite flooring is, the issues it poses, the importance of remedial engineering, and how it plays a vital role in assessing and rectifying the problems associated with this type of flooring.

What is Magnesite Flooring?

Magnesite flooring, also known as magnesite concrete or simply magnesite, is a type of flooring material that was widely used for leveling and finishing apartment floors in the mid-20th century. It is composed of a mixture of magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, and various fillers. When mixed with water, it forms a creamy slurry that is poured over the concrete substrate, creating a smooth and level surface.

The Appeal of Magnesite Flooring

During its heyday, magnesite flooring was favored for several reasons. It offered a cost-effective and relatively quick solution for leveling uneven concrete surfaces, making it an attractive choice for many builders and property owners. Additionally, it provided a seamless and aesthetically pleasing finish, enhancing the overall appeal of the indoor spaces.

The Downside: Issues with Magnesite Flooring

Unfortunately, over time, magnesite flooring has revealed significant drawbacks, especially when it comes into contact with water or moisture. When wet, magnesite flooring can absorb the water, leading to an expansion of the material. This expansion can exert considerable pressure on the underlying concrete slab, causing it to crack and delaminate. The moisture trapped beneath the magnesite layer initiates a corrosive reaction with the concrete, leading to concrete cancer, commonly known as concrete spalling.

Concrete Cancer and Its Ramifications

Concrete cancer refers to the deterioration and disintegration of concrete due to various factors, such as moisture ingress, environmental exposure, and chemical reactions. When magnesite flooring exacerbates this condition, it can weaken the structural integrity of the building, posing serious safety hazards for the occupants. The consequences of concrete cancer can be extensive and costly, necessitating immediate attention and remediation.

The Role of Remedial Engineering

Remedial engineering plays a critical role in addressing the issues associated with magnesite flooring and concrete cancer. Remedial consultant engineers are professionals with expertise in diagnosing, assessing, and providing solutions for building defects and structural problems. When dealing with magnesite flooring, these engineers are entrusted with the task of thoroughly inspecting the affected areas and determining the extent of the damage.

The Remedial Process

Inspection and Assessment: Remedial engineers begin by conducting a comprehensive inspection of the magnesite flooring and the underlying concrete slab. Using non-destructive testing methods and their expertise, they identify the areas of concern and assess the severity of the concrete cancer.


Preparation of a Detailed Specification: Based on the findings of the inspection, the remedial engineer prepares a detailed specification outlining the necessary repairs and rectification methods. This specification serves as a roadmap for the restoration process, ensuring that the repairs are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Supervision and Quality Control: Remedial engineers play a crucial role in overseeing the remediation works. They ensure that the repairs align with the provided specification, adhere to industry standards, and meet all safety regulations. Regular site visits and quality control checks help maintain the integrity of the restoration process.


Magnesite flooring, once hailed as a convenient flooring solution, now poses serious challenges for building owners and occupants. Its interaction with moisture can lead to concrete cancer, causing structural damage and compromising safety. In such situations, What is magnesite flooring remedial engineering emerges as a reliable and essential solution to assess, plan, and execute the remediation process. By engaging the expertise of remedial engineers, property owners can safeguard their buildings, restore structural integrity, and ensure a safer living environment for everyone.


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