What is plinth protection, and why is it important?

plinth protection

The plinth is often considered to be the foundation’s visible face. Hence, it holds a vital role in architectural design and construction. Serving as an interface between the building structure and the ground, the plinth not only provides aesthetic value to a building but also provides the primary structural strength required for a building. This is why plinth protection should be a priority in any structure. Beyond its functional significance in preventing moisture and distributing loads, it is also a significant transition element that restricts the base of a structure and influences the visual impact of the structure as a whole. Wondering what’s its importance and how to protect it? Well, here is everything you need to know about what is plinth protection and what is a plinth and plinth level.

What is Plinth?

A plinth or a plinth level is a significant structure that connects both the superstructure and the substructure. The primary purpose is to safeguard the building or the structure from any dampness, moisture, and the entrance of rainwater and stormwater. The plinth height is usually measured from the natural ground level, and it typically ranges from 300 mm to 450 mm. Conversely, the minimum height of 150 mm plinth level is maintained from the road level to prevent any dampness or moisture from affecting the structure. To further ensure that dampness doesn’t ever affect the structure, DPC is installed over the plinth level, which creates a moisture barrier against the water that could otherwise enter.

What is Plinth Protection?

Now, what is plinth protection, and how do you check for it? Well, plinth protection is nothing but offering an extra size or extra thickness at the bottom of the beam or below the foundation of a building. In the most basic terms, the plinth could also be said to be the base that helps load the distribution of the structure into the soil. Also, since some of the soil contains chemicals and minerals that could develop a solid concrete structure, a protection layer such as a plinth is necessary. Many times, a plinth needs to deal with external sources of water apart from also handling termites and tree roots from growing, which may affect the plinth and weaken it. This is also one of the reasons why plinth protection is essential.

Types of Plinth Protection

Plinth protection is quite essential since it is the foundation of the building. Not to mention, various types of plinth protection can be used to keep your plinth beam safe. This could help in the long term to save the plinth beam from erosion, water seepage, and impact. Here are a few ways in which you can keep your plinth protected and ensure structural integrity.

Concrete Plinth Protection

This is one of the most common types of plinth protection where you lay over a level of cement around the base of the building such that it will prevent water from entering the structure while also providing stability. Some of the advantages you get when you use concrete plinth protection can be provided as follows:

  • Concrete is a highly durable material, especially when we consider the various impacts of environmental conditions.
  • Concrete can be easily moulded into any shape to fit the needs of the client’s foundation.
  • Concrete is fire-resistant, which protects the building’s foundation from fire.

Stone Plinth Protection

In this type, a layer of stones will be stacked over each other around the plinth area. This tends to act as a moisture barrier, which can easily block off any water from entering. It is also most commonly found in places where stone is mainly used in construction. They are also highly preferred due to their durability factor. A Few of the reasons why people opt for stone plinth protection can be provided as follows:

  • Stone is a sustainable and natural material with lower environmental impact, making it one of the perfect choices.
  • Stone is quite strong and can provide protection against pests or rodents trying to burrow into your foundation.
  • As stone does not rot, corrode, or warp, it actually has low maintenance costs.

Bituminous Plinth Protection

Bituminous plinth protection is a great way to protect the plinth level by creating a barrier around the building foundation by using bitumen-based materials. Bitumen is also commonly called tar or asphalt and is a viscous liquid that also acts as a waterproofing material. A few of the advantages of using bitumen for protection are:

  • It provides long-lasting protection and durability.
  • It has a high degree of flexibility.

Plastic Membrane Protection

Most modern buildings usually use a lot of waterproofing membranes, which are typically made of EPDM or PVC, which is a plastic membrane protection sheet. These help provide superior protection when it comes to the penetration of water into structures. Using plastic membrane protection can actually offer a lot of benefits, such as follows:

  • It is affordable, which makes it one of the good choices for a lot of people.
  • Plastic membranes are available in various thicknesses and grades, which helps ensure all-around protection for the plinth.

Gravel or Crushed Stone Protection

Gravel or crushed stone plinth protection is a method that provides stability and drainage around the foundation of the building. It is also an approach where a layer of crushed stone or gravel is placed between the foundation walls and the surrounding soil, which acts as a protection to the lower level. A few of the advantages of using gravel can be provided as follows:

  • Allows better drainage, hence no mould growth
  • Better stabilization around the foundation in the soil
  • It won’t allow the soil to splash onto the exterior walls.

Plinth Beam- Significance

The plinth beam, which is a structure above the ground providing a proper foundation, is one of the most significant parts of any construction. Here are a few other reasons why it is essential to include a plinth beam in your construction plan:

  • The plinth beam helps prevent differential settlement and allows all the loads to be equally spread out on the foundation.
  • These plinth beams tend to bind all the columns.
  • These beams also prevent any excess moisture from entering the structure, primarily through the foundation.
  • It prevents cracks from occurring near the foundation.
  • The beams present will prevent the building from collapsing in case there is an earthquake.

Importance of Plinth Protection:

Plinth protection is essential not just to maintain the structure but also for various other reasons, as follows:

  • Plinth protection is necessary as it prevents water leakage into the earth.
  • It also prevents water from directly entering the soil near the foundation, which is usually done by placing a plain precast slab.
  • The purpose of a frame structure is to help connect the plinth beam to all the columns present, reducing the slope of the columns.
  • Weld beams are used to allow for reinforcement of the structure.
  • Another reason why the plinth is to be protected is because it can single-handedly keep the structure upright.


In conclusion, plinth protection is crucial since it acts as a safeguard for your building’s foundation. Not to mention the plinth also helps the building’s foundation to be saved from water, erosion, and environmental wear and tear while making it stand firm for years and years. Hence, by understanding what plinth protection is and why it is essential, you get to understand the importance of plinths in various construction plans. For a detailed understanding of how we can help protect your property from moisture-related issues, please visit our dampness inspection page.


What is the ideal plinth level?

The ideal plinth level is between 300 and 600 mm. However, 450mm is the most commonly used. Places that can quickly flood will, however, use a plinth level of 600 mm.

Why are plinths used?

The plinth allows the distribution of weight outwards while making sure it is spread out evenly on the ground floor level.

What material is a plinth?

The plinth can be made of multiple materials, such as:

What is the standard size of a plinth beam?

Although there is no set standard size for a plinth beam, most builders keep it between 9 inches and 18 inches based on multiple factors, such as the number of floors or other factors that affect the structure.

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Download Sample Report
Download Checklist
Book Free Pilot Inspection

New Brochure-Param

This will close in 20 seconds