Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!
clay tile flat arch
a floor framing system using hollow terra-cotta blocks; developed as a lighter, more economical alternative to the solid brick fireproof system commonly used in the 19th century
It is common to find clay tile flat arch systems when restoring or renovating late 1800s and early 1900s buildings. One example of the clay tile flat arch system is the side method arch, shown in the figure below. The top figure, (a), shows the original version of the side method (a. I-beam, b. skewbacks, c. thin tile, d. tile blocks, e. wood nailing strips, f. concrete g. flooring) and the bottom figure, (b), shows a improved, stronger version of the method (a. skewbacks, b. lower flange, c. arch block, d. key block, e. wood nailing strips, f. concrete). (Source: A Treatise on Architecture and Building Construction Vol2: Masonry. Carpentry. Joinery., 1899)
Clay tile flat arch systems were found throughout the Kansas Statehouse during the restoration of the capitol. Below is clay tile flat arch found in the historic Supreme Court Chamber.
This image shows the typical floor/ceiling construction of the Statehouse's North and South Wings.