HomeBlogEventsMat Versus Piling Foundations

Mat Versus Piling Foundations

Before building any structure — whether it’s a residential home or a commercial establishment, the construction team determines what type of foundation to use. This will determine whether the rest of the structure remains stable for years to come, despite the weight it bears and its constant exposure to elements.  To understand better which foundation to work with, you can always talk to your construction suppliers.

Construction Suppliers Explain Mat Versus Piling Foundations

Picking the right foundation for your project depends on multiple variables, including environment, building load, and soil type. The surface soil may appear solid, but the succeeding layers could be loose. Conversely, loose surface soil could be covering rocky or hard layers underneath.

You also need to consider the type of structure you’re building. For skyscrapers, you need a stronger and deeper foundation because the building itself is tall and heavy. If the structure is only a floor or two — like a bungalow, then there’s no need to dig too deep for the foundation. The building will spread the load across a bigger patch of ground.

Mat Foundation

A mat foundation is exactly what you would imagine it looks like. It’s a layer of concrete that sits on the ground or just slightly below it. It’s a very shallow foundation that’s perfect for lighter buildings — like a residential home or a steel building. You will often see this method used if the consistency of the soil is poor and in places where basements are common.

To makes sure the the structure is sound, the wall loads and heavy columns are strategically distributed across the building. This lowers the contact pressure and makes it more stable. Depending not the design, mat foundations are usually cheaper than pilings, especially if it is at floor level. That means you won’t need a slab-on-grade.

On the downside, mat foundation can actually be complex to design because you have to account for column placements and coordinate it with where that mat is. You also have to stick to a regular layout, so it’s easier to distribute weight. Else, you’ll have to reinforce specific regions.

Pile Foundation

This is another straightforward name for what it is because this foundation is all piles. In contrast to a mat foundation, piles are embedded deep into the ground and are meant to support taller, heavier and bigger buildings.

These columns are made from strong materials and can be cast in place or pushed into the ground. They’re installed in a tripod formation to keep the foundation sturdy. That’s how piles are able to withstand uneven volume distribution. For this to work, the layers of soil under the surface have to be uniform and able to support the piles.

Was this blog helpful?  Let us know in the comments below!



JD Fields Construction Group

JD Fields Construction Group

Prior to founding J D Fields & Company, Jerry Fields gained decades of experience in construction products and piling applications managing equipment rentals, material sales, and product operations. Coupled with his oil and gas experience, Jerry built a rock solid foundation of industry knowledge and relationships that allowed him and his partners to start the company in 1985. Incorporated in Houston, Texas, JDF quickly diversified into multiple construction markets and applications. Today, it is a premiere international source for natural gas pipe and piling products. Strategically positioned at the Port of Houston corridor, our flagship stocking facility has 40 acres of laydown area with steel processing and fabrication capabilities. We carry more than 50,000 tons of pipe and piling inventory throughout the states to serve North America, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and other international markets.