What is a Monolithic Slab? (Definition and Pros & Cons)

Not sure what a monolithic slab is or how exactly monolithic slab foundations work? Do you want to know the various pros and cons of monolithic slab foundations? If you need a brief crash course on monolithic slabs, then this article is for you.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair game since 2015. We’ve serviced hundreds of foundations in Southern California and Arizona, conducting monolithic slab crack repair, monolithic slab underpinning, monolithic slab polyurethane deep injection, and more.  

This article covers the definition of a monolithic slab foundation, how they work, and the various pros and cons associated with this specific type of foundation.

What is a Monolithic Slab?

In the foundation repair industry, monolithic slabs are referred to as an all-in-one pour or single pour foundation. Monolithic slabs are “slab on grade” foundations that are poured in one (mono – single) application. In short – monolithic slab foundations are comprised of a single pour cement application, with thicker areas of concrete around the perimeter and areas supporting load-bearing walls.   

The etymology of monolithic can be traced back to ancient Greek and is derived from the word monolithos, meaning – made of one stone.  

Monolithic slabs tend to be 6-8 inches thick and are one of the most popular foundations in the United States of America due to their cheap installation cost and long-term durability. Monolithic slabs are the perfect option for climates that don’t freeze during the winter or temperatures that don’t get too hot during the summer months.

How Do Monolithic Slabs Work?

Monolithic slabs provide a flat, stable, and secure surface area to build the framing and, ultimately, a structure upon. The thicker perimeter edges help provide more reinforcement and stability, as a good portion of the home’s load will be redirected outward. In short, monolithic slabs attempt to disburse the home’s load as evenly as possible.

Monolithic Slab Foundation Pros

Monolithic slabs offer many great features to homeowners:

  •   Monolithic slabs are energy-efficient – requiring less energy to heat and cool your home than a stemwall or post-and-pad foundation because there is no open space underneath the foundation and home
  •   Monolithic slabs provide a strong and durable foundation
  •   Monolithic slabs are low maintenance (particularly when compared to stemwall foundations and/or post-and-pad foundations)
  •   Monolithic slabs are quick to install and dry faster than any other cement foundation type

Monolithic Slab Foundation Cons  

Monolithic slabs also have their disadvantages:

  •   Monolithic slab repairs can prove quite expensive – unlike post and pad foundation repair, slab on grade foundations are less easily accessible, making their repairs more costly
  •   Monolithic slabs also pose more of a flooding risk than raised-foundation homes

Don’t Know What Kind of Foundation You Have?

In this article, you learned what a monolithic slab foundation is, how they work, and the pros and cons of monolithic slab foundations.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has over 100 years of combed foundation repair experience. We believe educated homeowners make the best decisions, which is why we produce loads of educational content.    

If you’re not certain what type of foundation you have, we suggest you read our article 5 Types of Residential Foundations Popular in America: A Brief Foundational Overview to help you determine what kind of foundation is beneath your home.

Or, if you know what kind of foundation you have but believe it may be suffering from foundation settlement, be sure to read our article 5 Signs and Symptoms of Foundation Issues (Foundation Settlement & Foundation Heave) and/or book a free foundation repair inspection.

If you live in Southern California or Arizona and would like to book an inspection through us, click on the link below –


Brian Dalinghaus

Brian is one of the Co-Founders of Dalinghaus Construction. He has been in the foundation repair industry since 2005. During his career, he has been associated with helping over 4,000 homes and structures throughout California and Arizona.

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