Raw sheathing comes in 4`x8` sheets, most often installed as 3/4" thick plywood panels. This type of sheathing is adequate for spanning joist work spaced up to 24" apart. The sheathing is lain with the joints staggered in such a matter, that no two edge joints line up with adjoining sheets. It is very easy to install, requiring the least amount of labour. The sheets are fastened with either 1-1/2" flooring screws, or 2-1/2" nails, spaced about 8" apart. Although not required, it is a good idea to provide backers or supports under the joints, between sheets which run perpendicular to the framed floor assembly.
In the case of long span truss work, bearing lengths of at least 3" are quite common. Trusses span greater distances than framed floor assemblies and can be designed to span the entire building, eliminating center load bearing supports. They are moderately more expensive than framed floor assemblies, but provide a remarkably strong floor with little deflection or "bounce" to it. Another advantage to this type of structural system, is that utility installations can be run between the webwork components. Never allow trades to cut or drill into the members of a truss, for they are manufactured precisely for the loading conditions they will undergo during the life of the building.
So, a top quality oak engineered flooring will look the same but will it actually last as long?. How long a floor will last is mostly down to something called its `wear layer`. The part of the floor that is classed as the wear layer is from the surface of the board down to the tongue and on a solid oak board this would be around 5-6mm. Now, the wear layer on engineered wood flooring is the top layer of oak. So if you purchase an engineered oak flooring which has a 5-6mm solid oak top layer it will result in the flooring lasting just as long. In conclusion if you want an engineered flooring that is going to last as long as a traditional solid oak floor then make sure it has a nice thick top layer of wood, ideally 5mm+.
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