All About Flooring – Carpets, Linoleum and Concrete (Part 3)

Another type of flooring is wall-to-wall carpets and linoleum. Carpets – soft, warm, easy to handle, varying in colors – should be replaced every 10 years. The reason is that plastics used as a base for carpets start to decompose after that period of time.

A very common mistake is to cover stained carpets, that don’t looks that good any more, with linoleum. Underneath the layer of more durable linoleum, the carpet will still decompose, smell and emit harmful for health substances into the air.

Linoleum is very convenient and easy to clean, which makes it the best flooring for schools and hospitals. It wears off fairly quickly, especially in corridors and hallways; the first thing to go is joints. These are the two main components that determine the life cycle of linoleum – its density and the quality of the joints.

Concrete floors are widely used in the parking lots, warehouses, etc. Concrete floors with polymeric coating of epoxy resins can withstand heavy loads and therefore are widely used in industrial buildings. In most cases, to make a concrete floor all one needs is a compacted layer of gravel on the ground, on top of which a reinforced concrete layer 15-20 cm wide is laid.

It happens that geological conditions are such that the concrete floor can’t reside on the ground and needs some sort of foundation. In that case the construction is calculated and executed as a bearer concrete slab.

There are many specific kinds of flooring: raised floors (also called access flooring) for easy access to communication cables, wooden flooring made of 70x70mm beams, mostly used in gymnasiums and for stages (also called deck floors), warm floors – where hot water circulates through pipes laid under the floor. For now, those floors are out of the scope of this article.