Flooring protects the slabs on the different floors in building and provides suitable finish of floor surfaces. Flooring materials are also an integral part of your interior design of the house. The choice of material depends on
- ease of installation,
- exposure conditions
- Function of the floor
- Kind of maintenance it needs.
Different types of flooring materials have its unique qualities, functions, benefits and disadvantages. Few major types of flooring are discussed below.
Types of Flooring Materials and their Applications
Cement Concrete Flooring Material
Concrete is the most widely employed flooring material as it is suitable for any type of construction and is cheaper as well as durable than others. Cement Concrete mix of 1:3:6 to 1:5:10 or lime concrete with 40% 1:2 lime sand mortar and 60% coarse aggregate is used as base course. After hardening, 1:2:4 cement concrete mix with 40 mm thick layer is laid as topping. In industrial buildings, granolithic finish is given to get a hard wearing surface. Granolithic finish is acquired from rich concrete with tough quality coarse aggregate mix.
Bricks Flooring Material
Bricks can be utilized for flooring purposes but they are not suitable for public or residential buildings. These brick floorings are normally used in vague rooms like workshops, godowns, warehouses etc. The bricks which are well burnt are preferred for this type of flooring and they should be of uniform size and same colour. It provides a non-slippery and fire resistant surface.
Marble Flooring Material
Marble is a type of metamorphic rock and is widely used for floorings in commercial buildings, bathrooms, kitchens etc. This type of flooring are stain proof and easily cleanable. Therefore they are employed where extra cleanliness is required specially in bathrooms. Marbles can be turned into beautiful flooring, if they are properly given a finishing. These are the most sophisticated flooring to install at home.
Glass Flooring Material
Glass is used as flooring material when there is a need to transmit light from upper floor to lower floor etc. These are not very common, but can be used in aristocratic buildings both residential and public particularly to have smooth and pleasing surface. Glass flooring is generally resistant to bacteria and dirt. It provides beautiful appearance but it’s costly to employ.
Ceramic Flooring Material
Ceramic is an inorganic material which is used for flooring. Ceramic tiles are famous flooring materials which possess properties like good compressive resistance, brittleness and hardness.
Plastic Flooring Material
Plastic tile flooring or poly vinyl chloride (PVC) tiles are commonly utilized nowadays which are placed on the concrete base. These tiles are available in different shapes, sizes and colors. Plastic tiles are of slippery nature and not fire resistant and therefore can be easily damaged.
Mud and Murram Flooring
Mud is just moist earth which is being catered as flooring material since a very long time. It has good thermal insulation property. To prevent from cracking, chopped straw is mixed with it. It is commonly constructed in villages. It is fairly impervious, easy to construct and easy to maintain.
Murram is also direct nature product which is obtained from the disintegration of rock. It also has similar properties like mud and can be used as flooring material like mud.
Wood Flooring Material
Wood or timber is one of the most common method of flooring. It is mostly utilized in hilly areas where it is cheaply available. Timber blocks are provided as flooring covers. Cleaning wooden floors involves the application of polishing shine solution while scrubbing from time to time and mere sweeping. Wooden floors are most suitable for dance floors, auditoriums etc.
When the linseed oil from gum, resin, pigments cork etc. is oxidized, Linoleum is extracted. It is available in sheets which is generally used as covering for concrete or wooden flooring. The sheets may be plain or design printed.
Asphalt Flooring Material
Asphalt is highly viscous liquid form of petroleum. When asphalt and sand are mixed in 1:2 proportion, it is called asphalt mastic which is poured on concrete base as flooring cover. When sand is substituted by marble chips, it is called as asphalt mosaic. Asphalt tiles are also available which are produced from inert materials, asphalt fibers and mineral pigments.
Rubber Flooring Material
Rubber tiles are available for flooring purposes. They are developed from pure rubber which is mixed with cotton fibers, asbestos fiber. Suitable adhesives are used to fix the rubber tiles with concrete or wooden base. Rubber flooring is noiseless, comfortable in walking, and very durable. The initial cost of rubber flooring is a little bit high but gives excellent wearing surface.
Precaution taken before flooring:
Before constructing the flooring, levelling should be done and marking should be done on wall at 30 cm above from required level. Hence, spirit level or mercury level should be used.