The Basics of Floor Assembly in a House


Concrete capping is sometimes laid to prepare the subfloor for tile or radiant heating pipes. Ductwork for the forced air system and other plumbing and electrical lines will be installed using this arrangement.

Plane of the Floor

There are three primary types of flooring utilized in contemporary buildings. The manufactured joist and framed-floor truss systems fall under this category.

Framed floors are the most widespread type of flooring system. The term “floor joists” refers to the dimensioned lumber that rests on “load-bearing walls” or “load-bearing beams” located both within and outside the building. The joists for the floors are typically set at 16″ intervals. The perimeter is completed with rim and trimmer joists, which are fastened to which the floor joists. Strapping or bridging prevents the joists from twisting in their bearings. Sub-flooring is sometimes glued to the posts as installed to avoid this kind of twisting. Unless metal hangers give sufficient bearing support against other structural components, all joists must extend at least 1-1/2″ onto a bearing assembly consisting of a beam or an entire height wall. Supporting the floor joists across longer distances are beams, which may be laminated joists, sometimes built-up beams, or one-piece solid load-bearing shafts manufactured or hewn from logs. It is common practice for electricians and plumbers to make cuts or drill holes in joists while installing pipes and wires, and this is permitted as long as no more wood is removed than is strictly necessary. This flooring option typically has the lowest initial cost.

All truss flooring is made out of trusses. Small pieces of lumber are used in their construction, and metal or wooden plates are used to join them in a latticework pattern. Sometimes the trusses are constructed at the site, with plywood plates hooking the webwork. They are typically spaced 24 inches apart, mounted on bearing walls or beams, or framed with plywood rim joists. Strapping is attached to the underside to stop the typical problem of deep truss parts twisting in situ. Bearing lengths of at least 3 inches is commonplace in the context of long-span truss work. Trusses can span the width of a complete building, unlike framed floor assemblies, which can only cover the width of one wall. They cost the same as framed floor assemblies and give duplicate square footage, but they are far more robust and don’t budge or “bounce” when walked on. The structural system’s webwork components also allow for the easy installation of utilities. Truss members are explicitly designed for the loading conditions they will experience throughout the building’s lifetime. Hence no alterations must be made to them by the trades.

The manufactured joist is a novel product that mimics the structural steel I-beam found in more significant buildings but is made from cheaper materials. This means the post has a thicker top and bottom border and, typically, a vertical span of interlocking aspenite. These systems are so sturdy that they can usually span the whole length of the structure. The joists on this type of floor need to be hung in a particular way, either from other posts or from beams or bearing walls, which can be costly to have custom-made. Because of their low price, decreased labor time, and sufficient support, manufactured joists quickly replace traditional flooring systems. Builders must get familiar with its installations, however, as improper installation can damage the posts significantly. An uncut top chord on a three-point, center-bearing joist increases the risk of failing or pulling apart at the load center.


Three primary kinds of sub-flooring are typically used to protect and span an existing floor. The entire foundation will be laid atop this. Raw sheathing, interlocking, and strip subfloors are all options. It is used to prevent the building from twisting or being torqued and provide a surface for installing interior finishes. Loads can be distributed using the joist framework, supported by the sub-floor. Sub-flooring is frequently attached to the posts to avoid creaking floors and keep the floor joists from turning.

Sheathing in its raw form is typically erected as 4-by-8-foot plywood panels measuring 3/4 inch in thickness. Sheathing of this type can be used to bridge joists up to 24 inches apart. The sheathing is installed so that no two edge joints are parallel in adjacent sheets. The installation process is quick and painless. Nails or flooring screws of 1-1/2″ in length are used to secure the sheets at a distance of about 8″ apart. Backers or supports under joints, between sheets that run perpendicular to the framed floor assembly, are a good idea even though they are not strictly necessary.

Interlocking sheathing panels are the most often used type of installation. This sheathing is typically 5/8″ thick and comes in 4′ × 8′ sheets made of plywood or aspenite (sometimes known as “chipboard”). The sheets’ long edges feature a tongue on one side and a grove on the other, allowing them to lock together securely. Like raw sheathing, these panels are erected by squeezing or hammering the sheets together before nailing or screwing them to the joists. It is commonly the least expensive to set up.

Once upon a time, subfloors made of strips were the norm. However, its use has decreased as manufactured sheathing alternatives have become more widely available. Strip flooring is made of 1″ by 6″ or 8″ boards arranged in a diagonal pattern over a structural system of floor joists. It demands skilled professionals and comes at a higher cost. Non-kiln-dried lumber with a reasonably high moisture content is required to install such floors properly. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true that wood contracts as it dries out. The pulling together of the floor due to the contracting motion strengthens the structure. The strength and longevity of this subflooring material are a benefit. In particular, as the wood dries up, small gaps, about 1/4 inch wide, are frequently left between the individual planks, which can bother homeowners. While these gaps may have been unsettling during construction, they will be utterly undetectable after laying the floor. Strip flooring is made to be interlocking, either by overlapping the joints or leaving some space between them.

Completed flooring

What we see and walk on every day is the finished floor. This is one of most homeowners’ most crucial elements of the flooring system. The structure is essential, but after the building is completed, the only thing that will be seen is the floor. Carpets, vinyl sheets, tiles, ceramic tiles, wood strips, wood parquet, and wood parquet are some of the most frequently used floor coverings.

Vinyl sheet flooring, often known as linoleum, is frequently used in domestic settings like the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and foyer. This flooring is made of a vinyl composite with a coating on top, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns in 12-foot-wide sheets of varied lengths. Covering, typically mahogany or particle core sheets 4’x4′ in size, is applied over the subfloor, and then the vinyl is bonded to it. It is also compatible with basements and other locations with concrete floors. While the width of a room is more than 12 feet, especially while going under a doorway, it is common practice to join two sheets together. Sheet vinyl is a beautiful material for flooring in wet areas like those found around bathroom faucets and entryways. It lasts a long time and requires little upkeep. One of the least expensive flooring options is linoleum.

Vinyl tile is another water-resistant flooring option. It’s made similarly as sheet vinyl, but it’s much stiffer and typically sold in 12-by-12-inch squares. They both have similar installation processes. However, the latter needs trained professionals. A skilled installer will always begin in the center of the room to ensure that all tiles are the same width at opposite walls. The joints are less likely to come apart with this flooring than in sheet vinyl, making it a good option for larger rooms. This is why it is common in institutional settings, where spacious rooms are the norm. The same simplicity of installation applies when laying vinyl tile directly on concrete. Similar to vinyl sheets, it can withstand moisture and is typically used in high-moisture regions of a building. Tile is one of the cheapest options for a finished floor because it is durable, simple to maintain, and easy to clean.

Ceramic tile is one of the most long-lasting options for flooring, so it’s often used in high-traffic areas like foyers and bathrooms. However, homeowners typically exclude bathrooms and kitchens from receiving this floor treatment because of the expensive installation expense. Standard sizes for ceramic tiles are 4 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches square. However, there are other interlocking pieces available. Either a heavyset bed of 1-1/2″ regular mortar base or a thin mortar bed (called “thin-set adhesive”) that behaves similarly to glue are the two most common techniques of installation. To prevent tiles or grout from cracking, the floor must be strengthened before ceramic tile may be laid. The term “cement board” refers to a substance commonly used by installers that resembles drywall but is comprised of glass fibers and cement. In any event, be sure your tile installer provides a warranty against cracking and lifting. Even though they are low-maintenance, homeowners often regret using high-gloss tiles in their bathrooms because of the danger of slipping on wet tiles.

Wood strip flooring is one of the oldest kinds of flooring that is still widely used today. It is installed by nailing or gluing interlocking wood strips to the subfloor. Most of the time, the strips won’t need any further sealants or varnishes after installation. This type of flooring is not only pricey but also requires a lot of work to install. The end product, however, is a warm, long-lasting floor that needs hardly any care or repair. Wood strip flooring greatly diminishes the bed’s deflection (or “bounce”), making the base sturdy.

Parquet tile is the most popular type of wood flooring. Simply put, they are constructed from square pieces of wood that are locked together using glue and metal wires. Their typical dimensions are 6″x6″ or 12″x12″ with a thickness of roughly 1/4″. They adhere to the subflooring underneath, and their strength allows them to span minor imperfections. The wood is often prefinished and requires little care. If you’re looking for a warm, long-lasting floor that won’t break the bank, consider a parquet floor instead of strip flooring.

It’s safe to say that carpet is the most typical flooring material for homes. It is available in many different tones and finishes. Woven fibers are glued or woven into a foam or jute base to create carpet, which has a protruding surface. A pressed foam underpad is commonly added below it, or the backing might be an integral part of the carpet, making for a very comfortable walking surface. The carpet can be adhered to the subfloor using carpet glue or tacked down using carpet tacks around the edges. The backing material won’t be visible when the carpet is split if it has a tight weave. Some builders use high-quality underlay but low- or medium-quality carpets to decrease expenses. This gives the homeowner the plush surface and long-lasting qualities of high-quality carpet without the hefty price tag.

Manager Julian Arhire works for, a supplier of HVAC products such as Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Robertshaw, Jandy, Grundfos, Armstrong, and more. The company’s website, located at, lists more than 35 thousand of these items.

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