A flooring system can be a functional or serving a specific sensuous purpose. Flooring is used for postural activities like walking, running, sitting, sleeping, etc. and for tasks like cooking, bathing, storage, crafts work, praying. Floors serve sensuous aims through colour, texture, gloss, pattern, hardness vs softness, tactility, sound absorbency vs reflectivity, etc.
Flooring are broadly classified as: hard or resilient, soft or scratch resistant, heavy duty, temporary or permanent, smooth or textured, dark or light coloured, hot or cold, opaque or transparent, absorbent or reflective, etc. These terms are subjective descriptions used synonymously. The floors are laid as parallel or inclined to gravity, in a straight gradient or variable gradient, and moulded to single curvature or double curvatures. Flooring are also discussed as exterior, interior, heavy duty outdoors like roads, wet areas like swimming pool sides, marine decks, toilets, kitchens, auto service areas, hygienic like hospitals and pharmaceutical plants, joint-less for sterile areas, technical areas like electronic plants, etc.
Floors finishes are made of Natural materials, Processed natural materials, Synthetic mono and composite materials, and Composed of multi layer flooring systems.
Natural materials include: clays, soils, sands, stones, gravels, stone chips, pebbles, boulders, minerals, pozzolana, animal excreta and plant decompositions, wood, twigs, grass, leaves, etc.
Processed natural materials include: products processed out of natural materials like baked or fired clay products, ceramics, vitrified materials, paper, textiles, timbers, plywood, tar, creosotes, gums, resins, metals, alloys, glass, etc.
Synthetic materials are mono or composites, and include: Metal and alloy sheets, foils, sections, organic and inorganic particulate or layered composites, polymers and elastomeric products. These are generally produced from elements rather than natural products. Often a material cannot provide a suitable finish or body-mass that can be applied as a floor finish.
Composed of multi layer flooring systems: A floor-finish itself becomes a combination system or a layered composite mass. The top layer works as the floor finish layer. The intermediate layers provide the necessary stiffness, strength or the body, side layers or the edge creates required connectivity to similar floor finishes or structural systems. The bottom layer is designed for suitable interaction with the substrate and the bonding media.
Type of Floor Finish systems:
- simply laid on
- mechanically keyed
- adhesive bonded
- cast in site
Simply laid-on Flooring systems: These flooring systems remain stay-put due to the gravity. The units of floorings are broad based, and their sheer packing (tight conglomerations of several pieces) provides the stability. Such floorings do not work properly on sloping gradients and in vibratory (high traffic conditions) conditions. Thin or low mass blocks come off due to moving traffic or may get blown off by winds. Some gravity stayed floors (e.g. carpets by cleats, zippers, Velcro, etc.) are fixed or keyed by mechanical fixers. In some instances backing materials like rubberized coating also improve staying by increased friction.
Examples of Gravity stayed floors are: cobbles, brick lays, gravels, sand spreads, carpets, rugs, floor spreads, Daris, Chattais, woven mats, feet dusters, wooden boards, synthetic flooring mats, plastic and rubber tiles and rolls.
Mechanically keyed Flooring systems: In this case the floor finish is incapable of staying in place due to the thin mass, law weight, absence of gravity (inclined, vertical or upside down surfaces), presence of other pulling forces, small extent or spread. Floor finish is mechanically keyed to the substrate or the structure. Mechanical fastening is achieved by systems, like nut-bolt, nails, screws, rivets, seams formation, stitching, etc. and also through: friction, suction surface tension, magnetic pull, electro static attraction, etc.
Examples of Mechanically keyed Flooring are: bus floors, stage wood floors, cladding, panelling, stair carpets,
Adhesive bonded floor systems: Floor finish is stayed by affixing in Three distinct ways: 1 several small units of floor finish are affixed edge to edge to create a larger unit, so that it can due to sheer extent stay-put in a place, 2 many different materials are layered, 3 the floor finish is affixed to the substrate or structure.
Examples of Adhesive bonded floors are: Natural stones (Marble, Granite, Slate, Sand stone), Cast material (cement blocks, mosaic tiles, IPS, Ironite) synthetic tiles (PVC, linoleum, Glass fibre), Ceramic tiles (bricks, terracotta, baked clay, glazed, porcelain, highly vitrified) and films, foils.
Cast on site floor systems: These provide a flooring system that is uniform in quality and very extensive so almost joint-less in nature. Such systems are usually designed to develop a bond with the substrate as the surface is formed by processes such as curing, evaporative drying, cooling, oxidation, calcification, chemical bonding, polymerization, heat, radiation and moisture induced changes.
Examples of Cast on site floor systems are: cement concrete floorings. Cement cast floors (IPS), cow dung, Surkhi and lime combinations, synthetic or culture marble systems, fibre glass and other resin+fibre matrix spraying composites, Organo plastics, tar-bituminous materials, Paints (Enamels, Cyclized rubbers, Lacquers, Epoxies, Polyurethane, etc.).