The Blue Tones Flooring

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Home Improvement

Choosing a Conservatory Design to Compliment Your Home

Conservatories provide a practical solution for homes lacking in indoor space. They can be used as extensions of the living room, turned into a garden, or whatever else the homeowner has in mind. There are endless variations enabling people to find just the right mix of elements to build the ideal structure for them. Below are some of the factors that must be considered when choosing a conservatory design to compliment your home:
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Standard or Bespoke

Builders will usually offer standard designs for their clients to choose from. These represent the traditional styles that have dominated this kind of construction for centuries. Those who have older properties will find these quite suitable in terms of aesthetics. Modern homes, on the other hand, might be better served by units with contemporary styles. These are often bespoke to ensure that the needs of the homeowners are precisely met. Note that these customisations tend to drive the cost up but the results are worth it.

Glazing and Roofing

A common facet of conservatories is that they use large glass windows and walls all around. This design is meant to let as much sunlight in to combat the gloomy English weather. It is best to get double glazing with low emissivity glass for increased energy efficiency. These features ensure that light passes through with ease while maintaining good insulation between the indoors and the outdoors. Thermal leakage is minimised as heat is reflected back inside. The roofing, on the other hand, can also be made of glass with self-cleaning options being ideal for reduced maintenance work. Polycarbonate is preferred if glass proves too heavy for the structure.

Heating System

Hydronic or electrical underfloor heating may be used to keep the space warm and comfortable despite the cold temperatures outside. Radiators may also be installed if there are low walls where they can fit. Experts recommend that the thermostat and circuitry be kept separate from the rest of the house. This way, the settings may be tweaked depending on the needs of this distinctive unit.

Planning Permission

When choosing a design, we aware that a planning permission will be required in some cases. One of the criteria is if the total house volume will be increased by greater than 15%. An extension of 70 cubic meters will trigger the requirement as well. The same is true if the conservatory will not be built at ground level, the house has already been previously extended, or the property is within a conservation area.

Building Regulation

A conservatory may be exempted from review if it is at ground level, has a single storey, is not above 30 square meters, and is built for a domestic dwelling. There are also glazing and boundary criteria that must be met. Discuss the specifics with the builder to create the best design with minimal hassle.
For all your Conservatory in Southall needs, Contact Advance Glazing.

 

Reduce Hassles and Stress With Solar Lighting

It can be tricky to find the right lighting for your home or property, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Until recently, there haven’t been many affordable and reliable lighting options readily available to most people, but a new lighting trend has emerged that is starting to change the way people illuminate their homes. Solar lighting is an exciting new technology that is both durable and easy to install, and it is surprisingly affordable to use. Here are a few reasons why shopping for solar lights online is a great option for people everywhere:

  • Most online solar lighting distributors offer free delivery and installation of their product. Therefore, you do not ever need to leave your home to set up your new, clean power system.
  • Finding reputable companies and service providers can be much easier on the Internet than by running around town to brick and mortar stores. Peer review pages and sites can be great roadmaps to insuring that you find the highest quality product and service.
  • Using online businesses can provide significant savings because online companies do not have the same overhead costs that brick and mortar stores have. By reducing their fixed costs online companies can almost always provide discounted prices that physical stores cannot.

Add a Distinct Style to Your Home With Solar Lights

Likewise, aside from saving you money and time, solar lights offer a wide array of options for adding style and personality to your home. You can choose from various different solar lights to use for numerous areas on your property, from easy to install and powerful tree lighting for your garden to mood lights for your deck or porch. Solar lights can be your best friend when decorating a new space, as they are simple to set up and can adequately light any area around your home. Luckily, finding solar lighting is easy and convenient as well, so you won’t need to waste time in your busy schedule to find decent lights for your home.

Order Online to Find the Best Lighting Options Available

Solar lighting is becoming increasingly popular worldwide, so it won’t be difficult to find a quality company to help you procure and install your new solar light decorations. There are plenty of excellent companies and products to choose from online, such as the renowned solar lights by Red Robin Solar or another similar reputable solar panel supply and installation service in your area. When you order online, you’ll have quality solar lighting installed before you know it, so you can make sure that your home will be well lit for years to come. Here are just a few more of the reasons why people everywhere are choosing to install solar lights in their homes:

  • Solar lights last much longer than normal lights, and require little maintenance throughout the year.
  • You can easily control all of your solar lights with a straightforward and user-friendly interface.
  • Many installation companies offer lifetime technical support, so you can fix your lights should you experience any issues.

If you want to save some money and add unique design ideas to your property, try purchasing and installing solar lights around your home. With solar lighting by your side, you’ll be the talk of the town in no time!

What Do Lenders Assess when You Apply for a Mortgage? Let’s Find Out

Taking out a mortgage for buying property has become the standard for many of us. After all, not many of us can really afford to pay for property with cold, hard cash, can we? The best alternative, therefore, is to take out a mortgage which you can pay off over a number of years. But if you are thinking of applying for a mortgage, there are several considerations you should think carefully about – one of which is how likely it will be for a lender to accept your application. So what exactly do lenders check and assess when reviewing your application? Let’s find out.

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Your earnings

The first aspect lenders will look at is your earnings – in other words, your income. They will look at your basic or standard income (the money you receive every month) as well as your other income or earnings, such as earnings from commissions, overtime pay, bonuses, and other jobs or freelancing work. Lenders will also look at potential income from investments and pensions, as well as income from ex-spouse financial support and child care or maintenance.

As proof of your income, it will be your responsibility to provide the lender with bank statements, pay slips, and the like. If, however, you are a self-employed individual, then you need to come up with accounts you use for your business, bank statements, and income tax payments.

Your expenses

Lenders will also check your outgoings or expenses. This will include expenses such as repayments on credit cards, other credit contracts or loans you have acquired, expenses on maintenance, your utility and Council Tax bills, and your insurance expenses, including building insurance, contents insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, etc.

Many lenders will also ask for specifics on other types of expenses, such as clothing expenses, recreation expenses, and the cost of caring for children, if you have any.

Any future change in interest rates, circumstances, and the like

Aside from checking your income and expenses, mortgage firms like Flagstone.co.uk confirm that lenders will also usually make an assessment based on future events or circumstances and see whether or not you will still be able to make your re-payments if there is an increase in interest rates, if you or your spouse/partner lose your job, if you become ill, or if you have a change in lifestyle (such as a change in your career or having a child).

Mortgage specialists like Flagstone.co.uk also recommend making sure you have enough savings to deal with changes – savings to cover three months’ of expenses should be a good start. Make sure you are protected from any future change so you don’t have to worry about fending for yourself and your loved ones (as well as making your mortgage payments) if your circumstances change.

Image courtesy of ponsuwan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Benefits of Quartz Worktops

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Quartz worktops are extremely popular for use in the kitchen and in bathrooms also. This engineered worktop material offers various benefits over natural stone such as marble and granite. The term ‘engineered’ comes from the fact that quartz is manufactured using quartz crystals which are bound together using a special resin compound.

The good news, according to quartz worktops London firm JR Stone, is that the finished quartz worktop looks surprisingly similar to more expensive natural stone worktops such as granite and marble, but comes with a much more accessible price tag.

Quartz is extremely attractive

Part of the appeal of quartz for worktops is the fact that the colour of quartz tends to be more uniform in the finished slab than natural stone such as granite or marble. This makes matching worktops with appliances and other installations much easier as the colour can be changed simply by varying the pigment used in the production process. In contrast, natural stone tends to have more random colouring features as a result of its extended period of formation underground.

Highly durable and heat-resistant

Quartz is incredibly strong and does not crack or chip as easily as natural stone materials such as slate, marble and granite. This makes it an ideal choice for areas which get a lot of heavy daily use such as in the kitchen and bathroom. Its impressive heat-resistant properties also make it able to withstand hot pots, pans and oven dishes easily – without staining or marking. It’s also highly resistant to chipping and scratching caused by everyday kitchen utensils, although it’s still recommended to use a chopping board when using knives and cleavers in the kitchen.

Easy cleaning

Quartz offers a big benefit in terms of cleaning because it is not porous like marble and granite and other natural stone materials. Quartz provides a clean, hygienic food preparation surface which is naturally resistant to bacteria buildup and impermeable to spills such as wine, oil and citric juices which easily stain natural stone worktops. Simply wiping the worktop down with a clean, damp cloth is enough to keep it looking lustrous and gleaming, and it will maintain its good looks for decades.

Zero maintenance

Another major benefit of installing quartz worktops in the kitchen or bathroom is the fact that there is no maintenance required such as having to seal and polish them regularly as in the case of granite, marble and other natural stone materials.

So if you’re attracted to the idea of stone worktops or accents in your kitchen or bathroom – quartz offers a wide range of colours to choose from in terms of matching with existing installations, excellent heat-resistance properties, exceptional durability, and great looks – all for less cost than natural stone alternatives.

Determining When It is Finally Time to Move

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There are a lot of reasons why you have to move from one place to another. It could be because of new job opportunities waiting for you in another place. It could also be because of the rising cost of living in your area and you can no longer keep up. Either way, thinking about leaving is not easy. You have loved your home and it has witnessed your ups and downs through the years. It is even more difficult when you have kids. You have to consider their feelings too.

 

If you live in Gloucester, it is not easy to say goodbye since the place is so peaceful and relaxing. There seems to be no other place on earth that would make you feel at home. However, when it is really time to leave, you have to make a decision and let go.

 

Securing a better future

When you think about moving, you need to first think about the future. Will your decision to move give you a better future? Will the new job offer really make a substantial difference and let you save a lot of money? If you say yes to both, then perhaps it is time to accept that job offer and move. You need to think about your family’s future too. If this job can provide your kids with better education or sustain a better lifestyle for everyone, then you have to go for it.

 

Easy access to key places

In Gloucester, you can easily access all key places. The area is not that big, so you can find hospitals, markets and churches easily. By moving to another place, you might not have the same luxury. Moving from one place to another might be a long drive. It is true especially if you decide to move to a very rural town. If access to key areas like hospitals would be difficult, then you might have to rethink this decision to move.

 

Safety of the family

The most important thing that you need to think of before moving is the safety of everyone in the family. You need to move to a peaceful neighbourhood where the crime rate is low. There must also be no records of violence. If this is something you can’t guarantee, then you should stay in Gloucester. On the other hand, if after assessing the new place it all seems great, then perhaps you should move.

Moving out

It is easy to contact a removal company in Gloucester. You just have to decide first when to move and what kind of vehicle you need to transfer all your items. Then, you can contact the company for removals in Gloucester and discuss the details. When you have agreed on the price, then you can prepare to move. You can also visit www.andrews-removals.com to find out more ideas.

 

Image: Stuart Miles at Freedigitalphotos.net

Get the Perfect Cabin Décor

For the individuals why should arranging do a home make over, there are numerous things that you can manage without spending excessively. Picking a decent cabin decor is restricted for you to do it. Be that as it may, before you begin with your decorating, you have to precisely arrange it and not simply decorate your place without arranging it. It includes arranging, cash and exertion. The notice of a cabin invokes pictures of a hideaway tucked in the forested areas or in the mountains. They are spots one can escape and cooperative with nature. They can be expansive or little, yet one thing they have in like manner is their rough, rural look. This ought to be the premise on which cabin decor is chosen.

The Perfect Cabin Decor:

If you are the woodsy sort, cabin decor is ideal for you! The shades of nature alongside wildlife and provincial accents make cabin decor a look any open air partner will need in their own cabin or home. This look can without much of a stretch be accomplished by utilizing highlights connected with chasing and angling. Numerous individuals use bear skin carpets on the floor, alongside mounted deer and wild ox heads on the divider. These are the ideal touch for the cabin decor look. No matter how little or how huge your house is you need it to be as agreeable and beautiful. Obviously who might not need that? Purchasing the right furniture and other comparative things are fundamental since they can spell the difference between a comfortable home and one that is most certainly not. For instance, basic wooden casings for seating on which comfortable pads are set would be perfect, as opposed to chic cutting edge couch sets. You may likewise consider bringing so as to go additional tough in solid wood stumps to sit on, for example by the flame.

 

Alongside wood floors, you might likewise have uncovered unpleasant wood roof pillars and rural dividers. The expansion of shadowboxes containing angling things, for example, baits is additionally a great option. Anything connected with the woodland, lakes and mountains will add to the casual sentiment cabin decor. A cabin floor will in all probability be a wooden one or one overlaid with stone tiles. Normal fiber mats and covers like woolens would look best on such floors. Another fitting alternative for cabin floors is the thick mats produced using creature covers up, for example, bear carpets.

Get it online:

This is the most ideal approach to discover awesome things. Go online and look at stores and different sources supplying cabin decorations. The web is the best source in giving you a wide cluster of alternatives. You can locate a decent store by looking at them. Remember to analyze the costs too. This will permit you to save money on your financial plan. Another decorating choice to make is the manner by which the windows will be dressed. Once more, the controlling element ought to be effortlessness and nature. If the windows have outside shades, you can even leave the windows unadorned. For a better option, just try out cabin place sales.

Tips to Consider When Ordering a High Quality Bathtub Online

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You might be used to buying items online. From shoes to accessories, everything that you need can be ordered with just one click. Shipping these items has also become a lot faster these days. However, when it comes to bigger and more expensive items, you might have second thoughts. You don’t want to take the risk and rather buy them from a local store. For instance, you can order appliances online, but you would rather have them from your local stores.

There are instances though in which the choice in local stores is not enough. Bathtubs for instance are limited when you check them out locally. There are not so many designs available. Some of them are also too big for your bathroom. Therefore, if you want a perfect tub, you might have to go online and order one.

If you have not tried buying a bigger item online before, there are techniques to find the best choice.

 

Stick with trusted brands only

It is easy to be fooled by beautiful looking tubs in photos that are sold at a low price, or you have not heard of the brand before. You have not even seen great reviews. If this is the case, then you might have to drop it from your option. You don’t want to partner with a brand that has not proven its worth yet. On the other hand, there are trusted high quality brands just like the Carron bath panel range. It is thicker and more durable than normal panels. Thus, you can expect it to last for a long time.

 

Read reviews

If you have no idea about which the trusted brands are, then just read what other people have to say. Reviews help a lot. Some reviews about certain items are good and the reviews seem useful too. Some others are not. Thus, you need to widen your readings so you can easily compare and contrast the options.

 

Look for promotions

Of course, you don’t want to spend a lot for a tub since you also have to consider the shipping fees. For bulkier items like a tub, you might have to spend more. Add to that the fact that you still have to pay for installing the tub. Therefore, you need an affordable item. If there are coupons you can use to get discounts or if there are promotions available should you buy the item before a certain date, then grab the opportunity.

 

Read the warranty

Anything that you buy online should give you a guarantee that your money will not go to waste. First of all, the shipment must be on time. It should be within the timeframe promised to you. If you have not received it on time, then there should be a clause explaining if the supplier will pay a penalty. When the product malfunctions or if there are delivery-related issues, you need to find out how to get your money back or at least have the bath exchanged for a better option.

With these tips, you can get your beautiful tub or other bathroom products like the Carron bath panel in no time.

Classy Laminated Flooring Gives a Designer Feel

Flooring of the premises has always been of a vital concern. Everyone wants to have a polished and attractive looking floor that is shining. Laminated flooring is a type of flooring that gives you the desired effect and look. Laminated flooring is fake wood-like flooring, i.e. it gives impression of a real wooden floor though it is not made of wood. Laminated flooring is made from synthetic materials combined with natural ingredients and decorated with appliqué. Such floorings have a smooth finish and they look highly attractive. Laminated flooring is just perfect for every type of premises.

Nothing can be much better than having budgeted flooring for your office or home. Laminated flooring is the right choice for this purpose. It is lighter than the actual wooden flooring and cheaper too. You can experience the feel of having a real wooden floor. These floorings are lighter in weight, which can be used in homes or offices. It comes within budget and you can avoid the heavy expenditure in buying real wooden flooring. Another advantage of applying laminated flooring is that, it is more durable and easy to remove.

Well, everyone wishes to have flooring that looks immaculate and has a designer feel. People want that visitors should praise their choice of flooring of their premises. Laminated flooring is the best choice to have as it gives a designer feel and that too within the stipulated budget. Such floorings are designed with fiberboard and plastic materials. You are on the gaining side with laminated floorings as they do not fade in the sunlight. Even the shine lasts for a long time. Moreover, good laminated flooring cannot be easily differentiated from real wooden flooring.

Laminated flooring gives you an option of a variety of designs and colors. You can have different shades of laminated floorings and these shades may range from light ones to dark ones. An array of beige and brown can be a wonderful choice from the shade card. You can select the color of the flooring according to the color of your walls and ceilings. Laminated flooring gives an artistic touch to the entire room or premises. In fact, the demand for this type of flooring is gaining day by day. It is because laminated flooring gives a rich finish to your premise, within the budget.

Cleaning of laminated flooring is also an advantageous feature of this form of flooring. Using a vacuum cleaner can solve your problem of cleaning the dust. Other then this, you can use a piece of cloth dipped in warm water to retain the shine of laminated flooring. Neutral cleaners can also be used to remove the paint stains or other markings on the floor. Certain things have to be noticed in the matter of cleaning laminated flooring. In order to maintain the shine and grace of laminated flooring, you should avoid using wax or polish or cleaning chemicals. After all, everyone wants to retain the original effect that if found in laminated flooring.

Laminated flooring adds a touch of class to the appearance of the entire room. These floorings are glued with concrete or vinyl to the floor. Being cheaper, laminated flooring has got wide acceptance among the public. Availability of so many designs has made laminated flooring as the first choice for people. These floorings are resistant to burns and are becoming a part of every household. If you are planning to have budgeted and classy flooring, switch to laminated flooring.

Home Decorating Tips: Fun with Flooring Ideas

The wide range of flooring options available today probably makes your head buzz every time you contemplate getting a new floor. At the same time, it also means you can find the perfect flooring idea for your home or office/place of work. Thus you can take your pick of wood or wood laminates, ceramic tiles, slate/stone, vinyl flooring, carpets, stone and marble, etc.

And then there are the sub-sections: if you choose wood, what is it to be, maple, oak, pine or teak? Do you like black, white, Connemara, rough finish, or polished marble? Of course, a lot depends on your budget and individual taste, but here’s a ready guide to the broad categories of flooring available on the market:

    • Laminate: Provided you cannot install a solid wood floor, wood laminates are a great substitute. They are available in as many colors and species as wood, and in as many styles, but the way they are constructed makes them last longer and withstand moisture and traffic better than wood. That makes it an excellent flooring idea for the bathroom
    • Linoleum: Linoleum, the flooring of choice for the disco era, is well on its way back. An all-natural flooring material made from linseed oil, cork, stone and natural resins, linoleum is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, and it is as durable as they come. What’s more, exposure to sunlight, which fades most other flooring materials, actually makes the colors in a linoleum floor richer. So you have a flooring option that is easy to care for, wears extremely well and lasts forever
    • Vinyl Tiles: Perfect flooring idea for kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms. Inexpensive, easy to install, and available in a vast range of colors and patterns, vinyl tiles also wear well, and are easy to maintain
    • Ceramic Tiles: No longer confined to bathrooms, ceramic tiles today come in rich tones, and include a range of patterns that is hard to incorporate on any other material. They can still provide excellent flooring ideas for the bathroom, but are not at all out of place in the kitchen, the patio or by the poolside
    • Slate Tiles: Slate looks like stone – well, it is stone – but has a number of advantages over stone floors. For one thing, its smooth surface holds a glossy finish well and is comfortable underfoot. Besides, it is available in its natural colors and is a great natural flooring idea
    • Wooden Flooring: Time-tested, beautiful and stylish, wood floors suit any decor. What’s more, with proper care, a wood floor lasts a lifetime, and gives you numerous flooring ideas courtesy its variety of patterns
    • Parquet Flooring: This is a particularly elegant and stylish flooring idea. Different colors, types or species of wood are cut and stained and fitted to create a pattern. The pattern may be overall, or it may be used to accent a border, corner or center of the floor
    • Stone Floors: Marble, slate, limestone and travertine are flooring ideas that are growing in popularity. Marble is, of course, particularly popular in public buildings
    • Carpets: Wall to wall carpets will always be in fashion. Modern choices include natural wool or cotton, acrylic, olefin and nylon, as well as jute and other natural fibers
  • Rugs: Floor and area rugs can brighten a dark space. They can also add a touch of luxury or elegance, depending on color and style. They go particularly well with wood and stone floors

Tips Before You Buy Your Flooring

    • Draw an outline of the room or rooms. Indicate where the entrances are placed
    • Measure the room accurately with a measuring tape and write down its width and length. Remember, smaller print patterns can make the room seem a lot bigger
    • Take into account adjoining rooms and the flooring on those rooms and make sure you harmonize the new flooring with the old
    • If too much natural light enters the room, you might consider a laminated floor, and vinyl, ceramic or porcelain tiles
    • Coordinate the color and style of your flooring with your furniture, curtains and wallpaper
    • The foot traffic that a room gets should dictate your flooring idea. A room with a high volume of traffic needs more durable flooring
    • Similarly, a room used mainly for leisure activities can accommodate relatively delicate flooring materials
    • Remember, pets may damage flooring, so factor that in. equally, the number of children in the house will also impact flooring
    • Lighter colors make rooms seem bigger
  • How much will the new flooring cost? Is sub-floor preparation part of the quoted price? Also, is the quoted price inclusive of the installation? Make sure all the necessary materials are included in the quoted price

Now you have your flooring ideas in place, go play!

How Home Floor Construction Works

postSometimes a capping of concrete is installed over the sub-floor, to allow for the installation of tile, or radiant floor heating pipes. It is through this assembly that the forced air system ductwork will be installed, as well as miscellaneous plumbing and electrical lines.

Floor structure

There are three main types of floor structures, generally used in modern construction. These include framed, truss floors and manufactured joist systems.

Of all, the most commonly installed flooring system are framed floors. They consist of dimensioned lumber, bearing on exterior and interior load bearing walls or beams called “floor joists”. Generally the floor joists are installed, spaced 16″ apart. Installing rim and trimmer joists, to which the floor joists are nailed, finishes the perimeter. Bracing, usually in the form of bridging, but often installed as strapping, prevents the joists from turning in place. One other method used to prevent this type of turning is to glue the sub-flooring to the joists, as the sub-floor is placed. 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.

Truss floors are simply that. They are constructed from small dimensioned lumber, interconnected in a webwork pattern by the use of metal or wood plates. Occasionally, the trusses will be built on site, utilizing plywood plates to connect the webwork together. Generally they are installed 24″ apart, either suspended on bearing walls or beams, or installed with plywood trim or rim joists around the perimeter. Strapping is installed on the bottom side, to prevent turning in place, which is a common ailment for deep truss components. 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.

The manufactured joist, which is a relatively new product, is often manufactured from low cost materials in the shape of an I beam, similar to steel beams in larger buildings. What this means is that the joist is constructed with a thicker top and bottom edge, and generally interlocking aspenite vertically spanning between the two. These systems are very strong, often capable of spanning the entire width of the building. One drawback is that this type of floor requires special hanger systems designed for the joists, to enable them to be hung from each other or against beams/bearing walls. Manufactured joists are becoming a popular flooring system, for they are relatively cheap, reduce labour time and provide adequate support. However, builders need to familiarize themselves with its installations, for poor installation can cause severe structural damage to the joists. A good example is a three point, center bearing joist, left with the top chord uncut, which can potentially fail or pull apart, over the center bearing point.

Sub-floors

There are three main types of sub-flooring installed to cover and span the floor structure. It is over this that the finished floor will be placed. The sub-flooring types include raw sheathing, interlocking and strip. It is utilized not only to provide a surface for the interior finishes to be placed on, but also to prevent twisting or torque forces placed on the building. The sub-floor also allows load sharing within the joist framing system. Often the sub-flooring is glued to the joist work to eliminate creaking floors and to prevent the floor joists from turning.

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.

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.
Strip floors, were once the most popular type of sub-floor installed. But with the introduction of manufactured sheathing products, it has become less utilized. Strip floors consist of 1″ by 6″ or 8″ boards, placed diagonally over the floor joist framing system. It is slightly more expensive to install, and requires experienced tradesmen. To install such floors properly, the lumber should be non-kiln dried, with a relatively high moisture content. This may seem odd, but in reality, as the wood dries out, it will shrink. This shrinking action pulls the floor together, adding strength to the overall system. The advantages of this type of sub-floor are its strength and durability. One important note, homeowners are often disturbed by the small 1/4″ wide gaps, generally left between the individual planks after the wood dries out. Although disturbing to see during construction, upon completion, the spaces are not noticeable, and really have no impact on the sub-floor components at all. Strip floors are designed to be interlocking, through lapping or spacing of joints.

Finished floors

Ah the finished floor, what we see and walk on everyday. For homeowners, this tends to be one of the more important aspects of the floor system. Yes the structure is a consideration, but the look and texture of the floor is what all that will be visible after construction is completed. The most common installed floor finishes include: vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, wood strip, wood parquet, and carpet.

Most popularly used in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas and entryways are vinyl sheet, or linoleum floorings. This type of flooring cones in a vast array of colors, textures and patterns, in sheet sizes of 12 foot widths with varying lengths, and made from a vinyl composite, covered with a surface coating. It is installed by applying covering over the sub-floor, usually mahogany or particle core sheets 4’x4′ in size, to which the vinyl is glued to. It can also be installed directly onto concrete floors, in areas such as basements. Joining two sheets together is a standard practice when the room width exceeds 12′, or under doorways. Sheet vinyl is a good flooring in areas where water tends to accumulate, like around bathroom fixtures or at entry ways. It is fairly durable, and often maintenance free. Linoleum is one of the cheapest types of flooring to install.

Another good flooring for wet areas is the vinyl tile. Typically it is manufactured in much the same way as sheet vinyl, but is much more rigid and comes as 12″x12″ square units. They are installed in the much the same way, but require skilled tradesmen, familiar with proper installation. A good installer will start from the middle of the room to ensure that all cut tiles are equal in width at opposing walls. One advantage to this type of flooring, over sheet vinyl, is that it is can be installed, without danger of joint separation, over large areas. For this reason, it is often used in commercial buildings where large rooms are the norm. Vinyl tile can also be easily installed directly to concrete floors. Like vinyl sheets, it too is resistant to water, and tends to be installed in the areas of a building, prone to water accumulations. Tile, can be easily cleaned, is relatively maintenance free, and one of the cheaper finished floors to install.

Ceramic tile is probably the most durable types of flooring and is typically installed in entry areas, where sand scuffing and water accumulations are the norm. Bathrooms and kitchens often get this type of floor treatment as well, but due to the high cost of installation, homeowners tend to not include these areas. Ceramic tile are typically a square tile, although interlocking units are on the market, in standard square measurements of 4″, 6″,8″ or 12″. They are installed by one of two primary methods, either set into a thin mortar bed (called “thinset adhesive”), which also acts like glue, or a heavyset bed of 1-1/2″ normal mortar base. For all ceramic tile installations, the floor must be built up to ensure the strength required to prevent tile or joint cracking. Often, installers put down a material called “cement board”, which is much like drywall, but is made of glass fibers and cement. In any case, ensure that your installer will offer you a guarantee against future cracking or uplift of tiles. Ceramic tiles require little maintenance, but beware, water on glossy floor tiles can be very slippery, and many a time, a homeowner has resented the installation of a high gloss tile, over a bathroom floor area.

Wood strip flooring is one of the oldest types of flooring still popular in the modern age. It consists of wood strips, usually interlocking, which are either nailed or glued to the sub-floor. Often the strips will be prefinished, requiring no post applications of sealers or varnishes. This type of flooring is very labour intensive for installation, as well as being quite expensive to purchase. However, the results are a warm, durable floor surface, requiring little maintenance or upkeep. Wood strip flooring significantly adds to the strength of the support system, reducing the deflection (“bounce”) and gives the floor a very solid feel to it.
Of all the wood flooring, the most often installed is the parquet tile. They consist of square interlocking wood strips, held together with glues and/or metal wires. Often they come as single 6″x6″, or multiple 12″x12″ square tiles, about 1/4″ thick. They are glued directly to the sub-flooring, and are strong enough to span small deviations in it. The wood is often prefinished, and requires little maintenance. Parquet floors are a cheaper alternative to strip flooring, providing the same warm, durable surface.

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.