by Don Vandervort, © HomeTips
Flooring sets the tone for the look and feel of a room. But beyond appearance, the choice of a certain flooring material should be based on how a room is used. If you must walk through a room from the front door to get to the rest of the house, the flooring in that room should stand up to heavy foot traffic—including the possibility of tracked-in mud. If you like to cook elaborate meals, the kitchen’s flooring should be kind to your legs.
There are two main types of floors: raised floors that are wood framed and floors built on concrete slabs. Beneath a raised, finished floor there is generally a subfloor, supported by joists and beams, posts, and, in a two-story house, bearing walls. Joists may have solid or diagonal bridging between them to provide extra strength. A slab is just a flat, thick surface of concrete poured on the ground.
If you are installing new flooring, you may need to know what kind of subfloor you have. A raised subfloor is typically constructed from 1-by-4 or 1-by-6 lumber or 4-by-8-foot plywood panels. With a lumber subfloor, boards are laid diagonally across joists. A plywood subfloor’s panels are nailed to the joists and laid with the ends butted together. On a concrete slab, a plywood subfloor is typically laid over wood 2-by-4s that are fastened to the slab.
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