Archive for January, 2016

2 x 4
In the flurry of life, it’s easy to forget to be curious about what we see; when’s the last time you wondered about who built your desk, or in what nation your blender was created? A similar question could be asked about your floors; how exactly are they constructed? This article will tell you a little more about that.

Before you can create the floor of a house (let’s assume it’s the first floor), contractors have to ready the site by removing any trees or foliage adorning the land and leveling the ground to the best of their ability.

Then the builders must create the foundation of the building. This could be done in a number of fashions and is generally done as is customary in whatever the region where the house is being constructed. The three most common foundations created are the basement, the slab, and the crawl space.

If the crew opts into the slab, the floor is basically already created. Most of the time concrete floors are then covered up by the more comfortable and temperature-insulated materials, but the basic shape is there.

If they make a basement or a crawl space, they’ll need to build a floor on top of the area they’ve dug out and supplied concrete floors, walls, and supports to. Often this involves creating a sill-plate made of pressure-treated lumber that makes direct contact with the bricks or cement of the crawlspace or basement wall. Sometimes these sills are not even connected to the foundation in any way which apparently doesn’t create problems.

The floor is then crated on top of the sill using 2 x 10 lumber or something of the like. Long beams must be supported that run down the center of the house, so there’s generally some aspect of the foundation there to hold them up. These center beams are generally also constructed from 2 x 10 lumber ad tend to be three pieces thick.

The 2 x 10s in the floor are called joists, and they all meet at this large center beam. Once the floor framing has been completed, it is covered with 1/2 or 5/8-inch plywood OSB. OSB stands or oriented strand board.

hardwood installationAt that point, you’ve got the bare necessity for a floor; you can stand on the plywood and it will hold your weight securely. However, you may have noticed that most houses don’t have plywood floors (or concrete, for that matter). That’s because it’s nice to insulate a house by adding another layer of material, and it generally looks cleaner and more homey to do so.

You may opt into getting hardwood floors installed, which just means putting thin strips of wood across the plywood. Carpet can also be glued or stapled down. Many home owners opt for both. Tile and linoleum are more common floor materials in American homes and work well in laundry rooms and bathrooms.

It may not seem so complicated, but it’s good to see how things get to be the way they are in this world and understand how the house you take for granted actually came to be.