Timber flooring is one of the most popular and attractive types of flooring. But, they are not good in fire resistance and damp resistance.
In India, timber flooring is not used very much, as its price is much higher than other floorings, and is often not possible due to lack of fair quality wood.
This floor is to be best suited for the areas where the timber is easily available. This is why in our country this floor is mostly used in hilly areas.
They are also used for specific purpose made halls like dancing halls, auditoriums etc. This floor, as far as possible, should not be used for ground floors but if they have to be, a cover of an impervious material should be provided throughout the area of the buildings below the ground floor in order to prevent dampness.
Read Also: Characteristics of a Good Timber
Methods of Construction
Timber flooring can be provide in the following methods:
- Wooden block floors
- Strip flooring
- Wall plates and sleeper wall flooring
1. Wooden block floors
In this method of construction, at first, a layer of concrete around 15 mm thick is prepared. After base concrete has fully set and hardend, it is left to dry completely.
Now the concrete base is covered with a layer of mastic asphalt or bitumen and then, the short wooden blocks somewhat thicker like brick are laid over this prepared base.
Generally, the size of the wooden blocks varying from 200 mm*80 mm to 300 mm*80 mm, and the thickness of these blocks are ranging between 20 mm to 40 mm.
In order to bind the wooden blocks together and also to impart resistance to the surface, hot bitumen is poured over the wooden block pavement. The hot bitumen will penetrate the wooden blocks and keep them binded.
2. Strip flooring
In this case, base of cement concrete 15 cm thick is laid. While laying concrete layer, wooden strips trapezoidal in section are embedded in it by maintaining top level of the strip slightly above the surface of the concrete layer. While embedding, wider face of the strips is kept embedded. This measure does not allow the strips being dislogged. Once the cement concrete has fully set, timber planks are nailed straightway to the embedded strips.
While fixing the wooden planks some open space is left between under-side of the planks and upper surface of the concrete layer. This open space should be ventilated properly either through the air bricks or in a different way.
3. Wall plates and sleeper wall flooring
This type of floor is provided where chances of rise of damp are very likely. Timber boards are supported on timber joists which in turn remain nailed to wall plates.
In case the room is very large, intermediate, dwarf walls are constructed to support the joists. Intermediate walls are termed as dwarf-walls or sleeper walls.
A longitudinal timber piece is fixed on the top of the sleeper walls and timber joists are nailed to this piece. The sleeper walls are generally 10 cm thick and are honey-combed.
In order to prevent the dampness from rising , a 15 cmm layer of cement concrete is applied covering whole of the area of the floor. D.P.C is applied throughout the width of the wall immediately below the wall plate.
The hollow space between the flooring and the concrete is kept properly ventilated by keeping openings in the main wall above ground level.
These openings are fitted with wire netting to prevent rats and vermins from getting access into the hollow space. Planks used for the boarding may be jointed to each other by tongued and grooved joints, rebated joints, or through simple butt joints. Timber to be used for flooring should be of the best quality, well-seasoned, and free from cracks, knots, and other defects.