Oct 17, 2007

In architecture, a floor is generally the lower horizontal surface of a room, and/or the supporting structure underneath it. It also commonly refers to flooring, or a wall-to-wall floor covering, which forms the decorative surface of the floor. The various levels in a building are also called floors, levels or stories/storeys, "ground floor" or "main floor", "first story", "mezzanine floor," etc.

Floor construction:
1-Glass floor

A glass floor is a transparent section of a floor, found most often in buildings (usually in the observation decks of towers) or boats in order to facilitate viewing directly beneath where one is standing. Usually made of a reinforced glass, the most common use is as a tourist attraction. Glass-bottom boats are
popular for allowing a better view into the water. Glass as a flooring material is used in both residential and commercial structures. Special hollow glass blocks known as glass pavers are often used in combination with a metal frame. At 4000 feet (1219 m), the highest glass floor above ground is the novel outdoor application of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, operated by the Hualapai Indian tribe. The highest above ground level in a building is in the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario at 1122 feet (342 m).

2-Floating floor
A Floating Floor is a floor that does not need to be nailed or glued to the subfloor. A sprung floor is a special type of floating floor designed to enhance sports or dance performance. In general though the term refers to a floor used to reduce noise or vibration. A domestic floating floor might be constructed over an existing floor and consist of a glass fibre, felt or cork layer for sound insulation with neoprene pads holding up a wood floor. There is a gap between the floor and the walls to decouple them and allow for expansion, this gap will be covered with skirting boards or mouldings. Floating floors as used in sound studios can be either just larger versions of the domestic variety, or much larger constructions with slabs of concrete to keep the resonant frequency down. The manufacure of integrated circuits uses massive floating floors with hundreds of tons in weight of concrete to avoid vibration affecting mask alignment.

3-Raised floor
A raised floor (also raised flooring) is a type of floor used in office buildings with a high requirement for servicing, such as IT data centers, to carry cables, wiring, electri
cal supply and sometimes air conditioning or chilled water pipes. Additional structural support and lighting are often provided when a floor is raised enough for a person to crawl or even walk beneath. This type of floor consists of a gridded metal framework or understructure of adjustable-height legs called pedestals, that provide support for individual floor panels which are usually 2×2 feet or 60×60cm in size. The height of the legs/pedestals is dictated by the volume of cables and other services provided beneath, but typically arranged for a clearance of at least six inches or 15cm.

The panels are normally made of steel-clad particleboard or a steel panel with a cementitious internal core. There are a variety of flooring finishes to suit the application such as carpets, high-pressure laminates, marble, stone, and anti-static finishes for use in computer rooms and laboratories. To remove panels, a tool with a suction cup on the end that is referred to as a "floor puller", "tile lifter" or "suction lifter" is used. A hook-and-loop lifter may be used on carpeted panels. Many modern computer and equipment rooms employ an underfloor cooling system to ensure even cooling of the room with minimal wasted energy. Cooled air is pumped under the floor and dispersed upward into the room through regularly spaced diffuser tiles or through ducts directed into specific equipment. Automatic fire protection shutoffs may be required for under-floor ventilation, and additional suppression systems may be installed in case of under-floor fires. A problem associated with raised flooring is that since the flooring tiles are rarely removed once equipment has been installed, the space below them is seldom cleaned and thus fluff and other debris settles, making working on cabling underneath the flooring a rather dirty job. Smoke detectors under the raised floor can be triggered by workers disturbing the dust, resulting in false alarms.

4-Sprung floor
A sprung floor is a floor that absorbs shocks giving it a softer feel. Such floors are considered the best available for dance and indoor sports and physical education. They enhance performance and greatly reduce injuries. Modern sprung floors are supported by foam backing or rubber feet, while the traditional floors are cushioned mechanically. Many dance halls with sprung hard wood floors date back to the 1920s, such as the Palais Royale in Toronto, which has a cantilever-sprung hardwood floor.

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