All joists must extend at least 1-1/2" on to a bearing assembly, of either a beam or full height wall, unless metal hangers are installed to provide proper bearing support against other structural components. Beams, which support the floor joists over greater spans, are constructed in the form of laminated joists often referred to as built up beams, or one piece solid load bearing beams, cut from logs or manufactured. Electricians and plumber may often cut or drill into the joist work to install utilities, and this is accepted, so long as they do not remove more material than what is required by codes. This type of floor system is usually the cheapest to install.
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.
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.
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