Floors in an apartment or a private house are perhaps the most important element of interior design. The floor covering sets the tone for the interior of the entire room, it can create a feeling of lightness in the room or form a formal formal style. If the material for the floor is selected in compliance with all requirements, then the floor covering will serve for a long time and with high quality. The main thing is to choose it taking into account the intended use of the premises. For example, natural parquet should not be laid in a room with a high level of humidity, and heavy loads on the floor surface will be detrimental to even the most durable and high-quality linoleum.
Types of flooring materials
The construction market is ready to offer consumers a fairly large number of options for installing floors in both private homes and industrial premises. All modern materials for flooring can be divided into hard, synthetic, natural, wood and carpet. Before choosing anyspecific coating, it is necessary to evaluate the purpose of the room, the expected load and the desired interior.
Tile, brick and stone are all tough flooring materials. Tiles used to be used only for flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Such a coating is quite durable and is not afraid of moisture. Tiled floors can be washed with detergents. When the tile gets tired, it can be removed and laid another. With the advent of the possibility of installing underfloor heating with water or electric heating, it became possible to arrange a tiled floor in living rooms or halls.
For the manufacture of stone coatings, marble and granite, syenite and quartzite, dolomites and dense limestones, slate, gabbro, labradorite are used. If funds allow, you can lay floors of jasper, malachite or rhodonite.
Synthetics on the floor
Quite often, owners use synthetic material. For the floor in the apartment, builders suggest using vinyl, metal, concrete or rubber.
Vinyl is an inexpensive flooring that is practical. Installation can be carried out on any flat and well-dried surface (with constant humidity, the vinyl coating may swell).
Concrete is a mixture of sand and cement and has good plastic properties, but is sensitive to high humidity, temperature fluctuations (especially upwards). Subject to chemical and mechanical influence.
Rubber floor material is a mixture ofrubber, cement, chalk, cork and marble chips. Such coatings have a lot of advantages, the most pronounced of which are flexibility, strength, resistance to temperature extremes and shock loads.
The most commonly used metal coatings are aluminum and steel (anodized or stainless).
Sisal, cork, jute, burlap and, oddly enough, linoleum can be safely attributed to the group of natural materials for the floor. The fact is that initially this material was really made from natural ingredients: a hot mixture of linseed oil, beeswax, and resin is applied to the fabric.
Such materials can be quite expensive. The installation process also has its own characteristics. However, these floors are environmentally friendly, do not accumulate static electricity and look very impressive.
Magic of natural wood
Wood floor materials are made from a variety of wood species. Oak is considered the most durable and representative candidate, but also the most expensive. Oak flooring is able to withstand heavy loads. Maple, beech, elm and ash are also hardwoods that make a durable and hard wearing floor. Softwoods, from which flooring is also made, include linden, birch, cherry, and pine. The disadvantages of floors made of such wood include susceptibility to the influence of the biological environment (rotting) andhigh level of hygroscopicity (moisture absorption).
One of the varieties of wooden floors is laminate - a multilayer material, the top layer of which consists of wood. This floor covering is protected with a special fireproof varnish. The material is easy to install and requires much less financial investment than natural parquet, regardless of the type of wood.
The floor material such as carpet is also widely used today. In the section, you can see that the material consists of a pile, a base (primary liner), a fixing layer and a secondary liner (usually latex). According to the quality of the fibers, carpets can be divided into synthetic (nylon, acrylic) and natural (wool or silk). A big plus of such a coating is the ease and simplicity of laying and replacing when abraded. The biggest disadvantage is that in areas of "high traffic" the material tends to rub off. And the myth that “carpet is harmful because it collects dust” can be interpreted differently: by collecting dust, carpet significantly (almost twice) reduces its content in the air we breathe.
Preparing the floor for finishing
Before finishing the floor, it must be prepared, leveled, i.e. poured with a screed that will work as a kind of base or foundation. For the bulk of floor coverings, fluctuations along a horizontal surface up or down should not be more than 2-3 mm in a 2-meter segment. On visual inspectionthe human eye identifies such a surface as absolutely flat. Floor screed material is of two types. This can be a ready-made cement-sand mixture or a building composition, which is a dry mix. The binder component in most of these mixtures is cement. The role of the filler is usually performed by sand of various fractions (coarse, fine, medium fraction) and various additives. They, in turn, are also divided into chemical and, in fact, into simple fillers. The first include plasticizers, various hardening accelerators, the second - fiber, reinforcing fibers, lightweight fillers such as expanded clay, foam crumbs.
Heat insulation for underfloor heating
The "warm floor" system can act as both an additional and the main heating element of the room. Today, three main types of “warm floor” systems exist and are successfully used for space heating: water, electric and infrared. Underfloor heating materials are a concrete screed over the heating element (hot water pipes, electrical wires, etc.) and various types of thermal insulation under it. Expanded polystyrene, polypropylene, cork, metallized lavsan film are in the widest demand as heat insulators. The use of these materials significantly reduces heat loss due to the fact that the floor elements and structures below the level of laying the "warm floor" are not heated.
The choice of material for the thermal insulation layer for the floor depends on what will bea "warm floor" system has been chosen and the expected loads that the floor covering may be subjected to in the future are necessarily taken into account.
Modern technologies: self-leveling floor
Seamless flooring is called a seamless flooring, which can be used with equal success both in a private dwelling and in an industrial building. Self-leveling floor materials are special polymer compositions adapted to high loads and mechanical damage. Depending on which polymer composition is used, self-leveling floors can be divided into several types.
With the use of methyl methacrylate resin, floor coverings of the same name are mounted. With the use of other polymer compositions, epoxy and cement-acrylic self-leveling floors are created, the optimal places for which are industrial premises.
However, experts consider the polyurethane self-leveling floor to be the most versatile for all types of premises. Such a floor covering looks very aesthetically pleasing, while having a sufficient margin of safety and durability, they are characterized by good adhesion (adhesion) to any base on which they are mounted. The absence of seams makes this flooring an insurmountable barrier to aggressive biological environments (fungi, mold), so it can be installed without any doubt on a balcony, loggia or bathroom. Moisture resistance, non-toxicity and hygiene are also characteristic of this floor. The negative points are quitea labor-intensive process of preliminary preparation of the base, which includes careful repair of cracks, filling and leveling of the surface.