Learn how wood floors are built and what materials are commonly used in their construction.
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If you are renovating an older home, you may peel back carpet to reveal wood planks and decide to leave this structural floor exposed. Concrete and wood are the most widely used floor structures. Typically wood joists are covered in plywood. Concrete floors, such as a garage floor, may be painted and new concrete can be dyed.
A platform-framed wood floor is the most common method of construction above ground-floor level. The floor is constructed using wood joists resting on double plates. The method of securing these in place is dependent on a floor’s age and local building codes.
Depending on where you live, you may have building codes that dictate the type of framing you have to use for your home.
Floor joists are supported by exterior walls (the interior section in cavity walls) as well as interior load-bearing walls. Smaller sleeper walls are often used to add support below suspended wooden floors at ground level. The floor surface is constructed by laying wooden boards or chipboard sheets across the joists.
These are made out of solid lumber and vary in size. They are typically 2" x 6" or 2" x 8" in cross-section (Image 1).
Modern versions of sawn lumber, joists are made of laminated layers of wood, and are lighter than sawn lumber (Image 2).
Rather than using plywood, these are the traditional covering for joists and are available with flat edges and with tongue-and-groove edges (Image 3).
Chipboard Floor Sheet
This is available with tongue-and-groove edges and in moisture-resistant forms (Image 4).
Used to brace floor joists by adding diagonal support (Image 5).
Joist hangers attach directly to the wall face (Image 1).
This type of hanger is designed for use with joists (Image 2).
Modern version of a wood strut. Used to brace floor joists (Image 3).
Brick or Block Hanger
This hanger's top section is installed into the mortar (Image 4).
Lateral Restraint Straps
Used for bracing joists and floor structures (Image 5).
Sawn Lumber Connector
Used to connect two joists together in order to give greater support (Image 6).
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009