Blog Links on FLOORS and FLOORINGS

Post 626 –by Gautam Shah


These are few links on Blog articles relating to Floors, Floorings, Patterns, Colours, Joints, and Finishes


Floorings, by virtue of their sheer extent are the most effective components of interior space definition. Floorings are important for visual and tactual appeal. Floorings are visually perceptible because the common sources of natural and other illuminations are from the top. Tactile appeal emerges when visual details of the floorings are not registered….’


FLOORINGS (March 2016) >


FLOOR PAINTS (March 2015) >


ROOFS and FLOORS (July 2014) >




GLOSS (Sept 2014) >




Post 451 -by Gautam Shah


Edge seamed Carpets

A flooring system can be task 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.

Sod Turf harvesting for Golf Park Wikipedia Image by Max Wahrhaftig

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.

Typical opus alexandrinum guilloche floor in Cosmati style from the Cathedral at Terracina. Wikipedia Image by MM

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.

Tatami Flooring, Japan Tamatsukuri Onsen in Matsue, Shimane prefecture, Japan Wikipedia Image by 663highland 

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.

Wooden Plank floor Fixed with nails San Juan Ancestral House in Santa Ana, Manila Wikipedia Image by Robby dela vega

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.

Technical floor -raised base Wikipedia Image by Photographer: Jonathan Lamb

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.

Pebbles floor Li Jiang Guesthouse Wikipedia Image by L-Bit 

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.).

Warehouse heavy duty floor Wikipedia Image by AGVExpertJS 



Post -by Gautam Shah 


Thin shell roof


Roof and floor systems are called elements mediating across the load-bearing systems, such as walls and beams. Roofs by themselves may transmit the load, such as in Flat slabs, Shell structures, Domes, etc. Roofs can take various shapes, but Floors are flatter and only occasionally slightly inclined. The distinction of floor and beam or wall may or may not be very apparent. In some structures both are well integrated, so act coherently (e.g. waffle slabs). In other structures the identity of each is distinct yet they may operate interdependently. In assembled structures the components are independent, and easy to identify (a stone plate on a wall is simply supported). In cases where the structural support system and covering elements are integrated, the stress transfer is very efficient. This also results into a system that is lean and lightweight, when compared to system of independent (simply supported) components.

Frank Lloyd Wright Johnson Wax building Flat slab roof

Covering elements in Compressive roof systems are composed of stiff materials. These elements have a comparatively substantial thickness in proportion to the span. The thickness requirements vary depending on the composition of structure and the stress resistance of the material, the shape configuration of the covering element, the mode of stress transfer (across or along the section) and the end (support) conditions.

Brick Vaulting 4862449413_363d0f3fd0_z

Reciprocal Roof

Covering elements in Tensile roofing systems are composed of stiff or flexible materials. The later have very small thickness in comparison to the size of the span. The material being very thin and flexible takes on the shape the way it is stressed to, and also depending on the gravity induced stress forms (catenary). Covering elements of a roofing system, when pre-stressed (usually pre-stretched), show greater resistance to various stresses

Air inflated dome

For predominantly compressive elements, the shear capacity increases several fold. For tensile elements, the capacity to deal with local loads increases.


Covering material may be a homogeneous mass, a composition of smaller units or a layered mass. Covering materials in a roofing system are wood planks (shingles), plywood, laminated paper composites, fibre bitumen composites, fibre cement composites, ceramics, stones (slates, marbles, metamorphic rocks), glass, fibre-glass, cast in situ and pre-cast RCC, hollow blocks of cement and terracotta, cellular blocks, air entrained or expanded foam blocks, plastics, plastic foams, metal and alloy sheets, leaves, grass, sticks, natural fibres, mats, textiles, wool, synthetic woven materials, tarpaulins, impregnated fabrics, clay blocks, bricks, ice, ferro and magnesium cement castings, rubber sheets, nylon, Teflon, etc.

Crystal Palace -Glass roof-wall building

Louvre Paris Glass Pyramids as extension

A transparent roof cover material that would allow light and permit vision through was a dream, that every builder tried to realize. Romans used small glass disks inserts for roof illumination. Gothic period saw tall perpendicular windows almost merging into the roof. Paintings and murals with extensive skies as the theme were painted on the ceilings. However, it was the Conservatory at Derbyshire in 1836, Crystal Palace at London in 1850, both designed by Paxton, and the Palm house at Botanical Garden, Kew in 1845, designed by Burton and Turner, the dream of a transparent roof was realized. Transparent roofs are now made of acrylics and other plastics for solarium, green houses, passive solar heating systems, etc. Kenzo Tange designed the Japan Olympic stadium roof as a catenary – flexible structure. French museum Louvre at Paris has an extension wing with a glass pyramid.

A catenary roof structure Interior of Yoyogi Gymnasium Japan Olympic by Kenzo Tange

A catenary roof structure Exterior of Yoyogi Gymnasium Japan Olympic by Kenzo Tange