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close this bookAppropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions (SKAT; 1988; 430 pages)
View the documentPreface
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building materials
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on building elements
Open this folder and view contentsFundamental information on protective measures
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of foundation materials
close this folderExamples of floor materials
View the documentStabilized earth floors
View the documentBurnt clay and concrete components
View the documentPrecast concrete ceiling components
View the documentBamboo floors
View the documentTimber floors
View the documentSulphur concrete floors
View the documentCommon floor finishes
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of wall materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of roof materials
Open this folder and view contentsExamples of building systems
Open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

Common floor finishes


Special properties

Medium to high standard durable flooring

Economical aspects

Medium to high costs


Very good

Skills required

Special skills

Equipment required

Standard construction equipment

Resistance to earthquake


Resistance to hurricane


Resistance to rain


Resistance to insects


Climatic suitability

All climates

Stage of experience

Standard constructions


• The functions of floor finishes, which are the finishing layers over or covering of the structural floor, have been aptly summarized in Bibl. 21.11 as follows:

- to have a high wearing resistance and long life span;
- to provide a safe, non-slip and easy-to-clean surface of the floor;
- to increase the structural floor's fire-, insect- and termite resistance;
- to reduce sound transmission and to provide insulation;
- to contribute to the aesthetic effect of the interior of a building;
- to have a high enough degree of flexibility; so as not to be affected by slight shrinkage, settlement or thermal movement in the structural floor (or sub-floor).

• Some common floor finishes are illustrated on the following pages, showing a variety of good construction details.

• Since in developing countries a number of activities (eg food preparation, cooking, playing games, meeting friends) take place outdoors (on verandahs, in courtyards, on rooftops, etc.), an example of verandah floor construction is also shown. Further information: Bibl. 00.55, 21.11.

Floors and Floor Finishes (Bibl. 21.11)


Verandah Floors (Bibl. 00.55)

• The construction of a verandah floor differs from that of an indoor floor in three ways:

• Verandah floors are built with a small slope (about 1 %) towards the outside, so that rainwater can run off quickly (a).

• A projecting outside edge (b) is provided (2 or 3 cm are sufficient) to prevent the development of cracks, which would otherwise soon appear along the edge.

• Expansion gaps, filled with wet sand (c), are constructed to accommodate thermal movement caused by direct exposure to the sun.


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