This article is about the floor of a room. For other uses, see Floor (disambiguation).
A floor is the walking surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces using modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal, or other material that can hold a person's weight.
The levels of a building are often referred to as floors and are described in the article story. This article describes the structure of floors.
Floors typically consist of a subfloor for support and a floor covering used to give a good walking surface. In modern buildings the subfloor often has electrical wiring, plumbing, and other services built in. Because floors meet many needs, some essential to safety, floors are built to strict building codes.
Special floor structures
Where a special floor structure like a floating floor is laid upon another floor then both may be referred to as subfloors.
Special floor structures are used for a number of purposes:
Floor covering is a term to generically describe any finish material applied over a floor structure to provide a walking surface. Flooring is the general term for a permanent covering of a floor, or for the work of installing such a floor covering. Both terms are used interchangeably but floor covering refers more to loose-laid materials.
Materials almost always classified as floor covering include carpet, area rugs, and resilient flooring such as linoleum or vinyl flooring. Materials commonly called flooring include wood flooring, ceramic tile, stone, terrazzo, and various seamless chemical floor coatings.
The choice of material for floor covering is affected by factors such as cost, endurance, noise insulation, comfort and cleaning effort. Some types of flooring must not be installed below grade (lower than ground level), and laminate or hardwood should be avoided where there may be moisture or condensation.
The sub-floor may be finished in a way that makes it usable without any extra work, see:
Carpet is a floor covering woven or felted from natural or man-made fibers. Fitted carpet is attached to the floor structure, extends wall-to-wall, and cannot be moved from place to place. An underlay can extend carpet life and improve comfort.
Laminate is a floor covering that appears similar to hardwood but is made with a plywood or medium density fiberboard ("MDF") core with a plastic laminate top layer. Laminate may be more durable than hardwood, but cannot be refinished like hardwood. Laminate flooring is available in many different patterns which can resemble different woods or even ceramic tile. It usually locks or taps together.
Rugs are also woven or felted from fibers, but are smaller than the room in which they are located, have a finished edge, and usually lie over another finished floor such as wood flooring. Rugs may either be temporarily attached to the flooring below by adhesive tape or other methods to prevent creep, or may be loose-laid.
Many different species of wood are fabricated into wood flooring in two primary forms: plank and parquet. Bamboo flooring is also available. While bamboo is technically not a wood, bamboo flooring is installed and functions much like wood flooring. Reclaimed lumber has a unique appearance and is green.
Ceramic tile includes a wide variety of clay products fired into thin units which are set in beds of mortar or mastic with the joints between tiles grouted. Varieties include quarry tile, porcelain tile, terra cotta tile, and others.
Many different natural stones are cut into a variety of sizes, shapes, and thicknesses for use as flooring. Stone flooring is usually set in mortar and grouted similar to ceramic tile.
Seamless chemical flooring
Many different seamless flooring materials are available. These are usually latex, polyester, or epoxy compounds which are applied in liquid form to provide a completely seamless floor covering. These are usually found in wet areas such as laboratories or food processing plants.
Main article: Sustainable flooring
Sustainable flooring is produced from sustainable materials (and by a sustainable process) that reduces demands on ecosystems during its life-cycle. It is thought that sustainable flooring creates safer and healthier buildings and guarantee a future for traditional producers of renewable resources that many communities depend on.
Special tools used for flooring include:
Types of Floors
Relatively, Cement-Concrete Floors are easy to make, cheap, durable and can be made of variable designs.
There are a number of special features that may be used to ornament a floor or perform a useful service: