Published at Friday, July 28th 2017. by Lundy in Flooring.
Most commonly installed are interlocking sheathing panels. This type of sheathing is generally 5/8" thick, and manufactured as either plywood or aspenite (commonly referred to as "chipboard") in 4` x 8` sheets. The sheets come with the long edges designed to interlock with a tongue on one edge, and a grove on the opposing edge. They are installed by simply pushing or pounding the sheets together, and nailing or screwing them to the joist work, in the same manner as raw sheathing. It is often the cheapest to install.
Another good flooring for wet areas is the vinyl tile. Typically it is manufactured in much the same way as sheet vinyl, but is much more rigid and comes as 12"x12" square units. They are installed in the much the same way, but require skilled tradesmen, familiar with proper installation. A good installer will start from the middle of the room to ensure that all cut tiles are equal in width at opposing walls. One advantage to this type of flooring, over sheet vinyl, is that it is can be installed, without danger of joint separation, over large areas. For this reason, it is often used in commercial buildings where large rooms are the norm. Vinyl tile can also be easily installed directly to concrete floors. Like vinyl sheets, it too is resistant to water, and tends to be installed in the areas of a building, prone to water accumulations. Tile, can be easily cleaned, is relatively maintenance free, and one of the cheaper finished floors to install.
This shrinking action pulls the floor together, adding strength to the overall system. The advantages of this type of sub-floor are its strength and durability. One important note, homeowners are often disturbed by the small 1/4" wide gaps, generally left between the individual planks after the wood dries out. Although disturbing to see during construction, upon completion, the spaces are not noticeable, and really have no impact on the sub-floor components at all. Strip floors are designed to be interlocking, through lapping or spacing of joints.
Carpet is probably the most common floor covering that is used in residential homes. It comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. Carpet consists of woven fibers, which protrude upwards, glued or woven into a foam or jute backing. Often an underpad of pressed foam is installed below it or the backing can be integral with the carpet, adding to the softness and providing a much more comfortable surface for walking on. Carpet is installed by either gluing the carpet to the sub-floor, or the use of carpet tack around the perimeter. A good carpet will has a close weave, which will not show the backing material when separated. To reduce project costs, some contractors will opt to install a high quality underlay, with a low or medium quality carpet. This provides the soft surface, with equal durability, giving the homeowner the benefits of high quality carpet, at a reduced cost.
Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4", 6",8" or 12". They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called "thinset adhesive"), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2" normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called "cement board", which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.
Moisture is definitely a no-no when it comes to your hardwood floor. Even though you know that trees are grown from a major ingredient of water, you also know that water aids wood in changing its shape. Just for kicks, ask yourself this question: Would you wash down your intricately etched wood and antique finished dresser, curio or bedroom suit with any type of water solution? Your wooden floor needs that same type of care and attention in order to yield many years of comforting wood floor sheen, elegance and beauty.