Let’s make wooden floors…! Why wooden, because of the wonderful properties of wood as a building material.
Using wood for interiors bring you closer to nature and creates a warm, comfortable environment. These days when the temperatures are dropping drastically in continents far and near, wood becomes an ideal choice as a mode of construction.
Before seeing how wooden flooring is done, lets brush up its history.
To create some more interest on the topic, let’s first have a glimpse of the history of wooden flooring. Like everything, flooring inside a home had a very simple beginning.
Only the wealthy could afford something clean and posh like stone flooring or flooring out of slate or other naturally available local stones. The Royalties were found to have the luxury of wooden flooring. These floors were scraped by hand and sanded.
The laborers would arrange the rough hand-hewn planks of timber and then scrape them by hand using the tools available then, and then sprinkle sand over them to polish them until the timber was smooth enough.
It was a laborious task which only the wealthy could afford and knew about the wooden flooring installations.
However, in this era, things are way too different and easy going. Wood being in abundance brought the use of wood planks flooring to the common man during the Colonial era. Slowly the Americans gave way to the warmth and luxury of wooden floors, moving off from the earthen floors.
From 1800 to the early 1900s wood was used in the simplest way as flooring except the rich which would try innovative designs in them. For Residential spaces, wooden flooring was the most in-demand.
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Wooden flooring can be done in a variety of species of wood e.g. Oak, beech, hard maple, birch. Also, there are various ways or methods involved in wooden flooring. Sometimes softwood flooring is used, but hardwood flooring surpasses its advantages to another level. Oak is very popular for flooring as compared to the other types of woods available in the market.
A typical wood frame floor consists of an array of trusses, also called joists, at a measured spacing sheathed with wooden panels on the top surface. The wooden flooring system also incorporates beams, girders or headers to support the trusses.
The beams form the primary support member for the wooden flooring framework and are made by joining different pieces of wood.
Installation of wooden floors can be done in three methods and the basis of choosing which method suits you depends on the type of flooring required i.e. engineered wood, solid wood or either laminate. Let’s see the description of the three methods of wooden flooring installations and their appropriateness.
It’s one of the most demanding methods of laying or installing a wooden floor and requires highly skilled people with specialized tools like a foot-nailer and so one needs to be a qualified professional. This method is possible only when there is a wooden sub-floor as nailing in concrete is practically not possible.
This kind of method is used mostly for laying solid wood floors. This is because solid wood is thicker and more prone to expansion and hence a glue-down method is not ideal for it. However, engineered wood is also favorable to the nail down method. Laminate flooring is unsuitable for this method.
One important thing to remember, for us is, that is the flooring is done over floorboards, the planks should be laid in the direction opposite to the floorboards to enhance its stability. A poly-foam underlay is recommended beneath in order to avoid squeaking and provide sound and thermal insulation.
The key to this method is laying the sub-floor on co-ordinates of stability and sound, other than successful installation. It incorporates the use of specialist adhesives, also called bonding agents to glue the wooden boards to the sub-floor.
One important note in this method of wooden flooring system is that we should only use flexible adhesives, as wood, be it any variety, has a property of expanding or contracting. For the same reason it is advisable to leave expansion joints around any fixed installation of wood.
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This one is like a breather for those who believe in DIY kind of jobs, as it is the simplest form of wooden floor installation. Though it involves ‘Do it yourself’ propaganda, one needs to be really good at measuring and cutting.
Rather than fixing the floorboards to the sub-floor, you fix the panels or boards to each other and keep them floating. It is done by tongue and groove joinery, but this joint is fixed firmly by using a PVA adhesive.
There is also a click-lock system, where we don’t need an external adhesive as the boards get locked together. SO when the boards expand, the entire wooden floor expands as a whole unit. For this reason, an expansion gap is left around the periphery of the entire room, to accommodate any differences caused.
Ideally, Laminate flooring can be done using Floating floor installation technique. But, engineered wood is also possible using this technique. However, it is not a good option for solid wood flooring.
A wooden floor can be tailor-made and customized as per your prerequisites and available resources. We can make endless options and be innovative in our approach with respect to a color, texture or look. And so, this is how wooden flooring is done!
So, let’s go for it…!!