Interiors

FLOORING – TYPES, USES & MATERIAL APPLICATION

By January 10, 2017 One Comment

There are so many types of Floor designs you can choose from that it seems extremely hard to match every detail if you are not working with an Interior Designer. The great news is that every style and budget can be met. This post ensures a starting point in your search for the perfect floors.

EVOLUTION OF FLOORING:

  • Prehistoric flooring

Prehistoric life was a charm! You hunt, you eat, you sleep, you repeat, actually things haven’t changed much. Prehistoric times flooring was pretty much what it was, dirt, stones and all that other good stuff. It later evolved to hard packed dirt, topped with a thin layer of straw for warmth and comfort. Almost all peasants housing had earthen floors. It was predominant in most houses until the mid-14th century in Europe.

  • Roman flooring

Romans brought a whole new level of details to flooring with their fancy Mosaics. The Romans were trendsetters in modern living and obsessed with building roads.

  • Medieval flooring

Medieval life was a time of great innovation and talent. Gone were the dirt floors and in were the tiled and stoned floors that can be seen in castles and abbeys around the world today. If your castle didn’t have tiled or stone flooring, you probably had no chance of ever slaying a dragon.

  • Modern flooring

Today we love our flooring and with good reason it’s really really good. With such a wide range of choices from tiles to laminate, the only thing we’re missing is the good old mosaic. All we need is a time machine and we can get some Romans on the job. Hail Caesar!

  • Futuristic flooring

In the future I doubt we’re even going to have flooring! Everyone will probably just hover around in a virtual world. But in the event we do have flooring, it will probably look metallic and shiny while being soft and comfy, and probably have a name like ‘Aluflexafoamamaze’ and be made by Apple.

INSTALLATION:

A base coat of 100mm thick mortar is laid in the ratio of 1:8:16 (Cement: Fine sand: Brick blast) or in the ratio of 1:4:8 on compacted earth under the floor. The base is same for all types of floors.

TYPES:

  • STONE

This is formed deep beneath the surface under intense heat and pressure. This heat and pressure created massive blocks of natural stones like Marble, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine used then and now as flooring. Enormous blocks of Limestone and Granite were used to construct Djoser’s Step Pyramid in Egypt, the oldest remaining structure created entirely out of Natural Stone.

Specs: Stone is generally available in 20mm and 30mm thick slabs and from these thicknesses different techniques can be employed to achieve the desired look. Every stone has its own unique markings, pattern and texture, offering an individual and timeless look.

  • CONCRETE

When you initially think of concrete floors, you might probably find it cold or industrial. But with its ability to take on colour and a polished sheen, coupled with its many benefits, Concrete may become your new favourite on new projects. It is a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement and water, which can be spread or poured into moulds and forms a stone-like mass on hardening. It is the most versatile of all construction materials. The ancient Romans used a material that is remarkably close to modern cement to build many of their architectural marvels such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon.

Specs:It is possible to pour the concrete and level it off by eye, but it is far more accurate to use a screed board. Concrete floors are gaining popularity in retail stores and commercial buildings since they provide a low cost yet highly durable flooring surface.

  • CARPET

This is a floor covering made from thick woven fabric. Carpets were primarily used to decorate walls or tables until Persian rugs became popular in the early 17th century.

  • VITRIFIED TILES

Vitrified tiles are composed of a mixture of clay and other materials like Silica, Quartz and Feldspar baked at high temperatures. They are similar to Ceramic tiles, but better. Generally coated with an external glaze, these tiles have a low water absorption rate and are durable. Vitrified tiles are available in glossy, matte and anti-skid finishes. This type of flooring is an affordable option suitable for both interior and exterior use. One of the biggest benefits of these tiles is that they are very easy to clean and maintain.

Specs: Vitrified tiles are generally 10 to 12mm thick. Being machine made products; they are consistent in size, shade and thickness unlike the variable sizes and shades of natural materials.

  • HARDWOOD

A high maintenance but nonetheless popular option, hardwood flooring is available in strips, planks and parquet patterns. Hardwood as the name implies, means that each flooring board is made from one solid piece of wood. It got its start as unfinished planks supported by wooden joists over dirt or stone but developed style and elegance during the Baroque Era. Hardwood floors are available in different natural shades and can complement a variety of décor themes. While this is relatively expensive compared to other options, it’s still a popular choice in terms of aesthetics. Wear and tear can sometimes cause noises, creaks and squeaking.

Specs: Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of thickness typically ½”, 5/8”, and ¾” thick. They can be installed on any level of your home and are available in multiple constructions to allow for installation flexibility over different sub floors and to mitigate moisture.

  • ENGINEERED WOOD

This is a layered combination that combines a hardwood veneer and plywood substrates. Engineered wood flooring started as wood carpeting involving wood strips glued onto heavy canvas. The flooring we now know began in the 1960s and was quickly considered more versatile than solid wood flooring. Once installed, an Engineered wood floor can be difficult to distinguish from a solid plank floor. These floors can be more resistant to moisture and tend to be more stable.

Specs: They range in thickness from 3/8” to ¾”. Each plank is made from a top layer of hardwood supplemented with plywood and MDF layers sandwiched together underneath.

  • LAMINATE

It is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Laminated flooring is an environmentally friendly product made to look like solid wood but made with less costly wood fibers.

Specs:Laminates vary in thickness but most average one range between 5/16” and 3/8”. Installation of Laminated flooring may require laminate boards to snap together manually while others may require a slight tapping using a rubber mallet and tapping block.

  • BAMBOO

This is a type of flooring manufactured from the Bamboo plant. Bamboo has been used as an alternative for flooring because of its physical similarities to true hardwoods. Bamboo floor manufacturers and sellers promote its strength, durability, its eco friendliness and its natural resistance to insects and moisture.

Specs: The thickness of Bamboo flooring may vary between

  • VINYL

This is another versatile option that is available for people who want aesthetics at an efficient cost. Available in designs that simulate hardwood and stone finishes, Vinyl is one of the relatively inexpensive options in India. These floors are quite durable since it is stain and water resistant. However special care must be taken to protect the floor from scratches. People looking for a warm material which replicates the appearance of cold flooring materials like Hardwood and Stone find this to be the ideal choice.

Specs: Vinyl flooring thickness varies between 1.1mm to 5mm

  • MARBLE

Marble is a naturally occurring material which is a metamorphic rock and hence is suitable for polishing to enhance its shine. The material is highly porous and fairly easy to maintain, sometimes lasting more than 25 years, when cared for properly. Because of its natural occurrence and limited availability, this is priced steeply and hence sort of serves as a status symbol for many Indians.

Specs: Marble flooring consists of 20mm to 25mm thick marble slabs laid over 20mm thick base of cement sand mortar of 1:3 ratio and joined with white cement slurry mixed with pigment to match the shade of marble. The marble stones/slabs used in flooring are cut according to the size and shapes to suit site dimension of the room and desired pattern.

  • GRANITE

Granite is a naturally occurring stone like Marble and can bring a note of sophistication to any setting. Due to its high stain resistance and durability, Granite is fairly easy to maintain and keeps cool for most parts of the year. Granite has a variety of speckled colours resulting from the melded stones within it – namely Quartz, Feldspar, Biotite Mica – and comes in numerous shades and tones.

Specs:Granite flooring consists of 10mm, 20mm and 30mm thick tiles

Author muthu

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