A timber floor has been used for centuries for many reasons, timber is a strong and yet flexible material. It’s always a good idea to get a structural engineer involved when it comes to working out what floor joists you need, especially when you’re looking at putting heavier items on it like a bathroom or kitchen.
There’s also modern technologies which can help you create the space you want, engineered timber joists which can be manufactured a number of different ways, some have metal framing, some have plywood, others are a mixture, but these are far stronger than a standard timber joist and can be much smaller because of it.
These can also help with the ease of first fixings of your services.
When it comes to ground floors, and sometimes first and second floors concrete floors can be used. These are mainly used on a ground floor for obvious reasons which can create a suitably strong base for putting almost anything on top of, whether your aim is to put on granite worktops, stone tiles, or even just a really heavy dining table.
It’s also a better substrate for things like underfloor heating and tiling. The concrete is better at holding and transferring the heat provided from underfloor heating.
If you wanted to use a concrete floor above the ground floor, a block and beam floor would be the option. This can be used for a number of reasons, sometimes if the ground is more likely to move, then it can be used as a ground floor option also, as it transfers weight down into the foundations.
On a first floor and above, its usual use would be to provide a solid base and provide a solid fire break between floors, usually used on apartment blocks.
These are a great alternative to floorboards when you want to use tiling, or there are also thinner versions that can be used to supplement timber floorboards when a tile is to be used.
These are also waterproof so can be used like a plasterboard in wet rooms and similar spaces.
Whether you are looking to understand what your architect has drawn for you, or whether you are lookin to design your own place, it’s important to understand that the right sub floor will make life a whole load easier when it comes to putting your finishing touches.
More flexible floor options, such as solid or engineered wood, Vinyl Tile, carpets, or laminate can be used with timber floors, but if you are aiming to use something like Porcelain or Ceramic tiles, then your best bet is to go with some concrete based.