Some think of interlocking tiles and immediately think of ugly, heavy, rubber flooring used in the industrial sector. This could not be further from the truth. While interlocking tiles were initially created to serve the industrial sector, they have come a long way since that time. Interlocking floor tiles are now available in an array of finishes and material types. They can be purchased in rubber, plastic, vinyl and porcelain, among many other high quality materials. Virtually any tile material that can be used in a traditional installation can also be used in interlocking floor tiles.
Of all the wood flooring, the most often installed is the parquet tile. They consist of square interlocking wood strips, held together with glues and/or metal wires. Often they come as single 6"x6", or multiple 12"x12" square tiles, about 1/4" thick. They are glued directly to the sub-flooring, and are strong enough to span small deviations in it. The wood is often prefinished, and requires little maintenance. Parquet floors are a cheaper alternative to strip flooring, providing the same warm, durable surface.
Strip floors, were once the most popular type of sub-floor installed. But with the introduction of manufactured sheathing products, it has become less utilized. Strip floors consist of 1" by 6" or 8" boards, placed diagonally over the floor joist framing system. It is slightly more expensive to install, and requires experienced tradesmen. To install such floors properly, the lumber should be non-kiln dried, with a relatively high moisture content. This may seem odd, but in reality, as the wood dries out, it will shrink.
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