What is a suspended timber floor?
We’ve been asked a few times by our customers, ‘What is a suspended timber floor?’ and how it will this impact on their final flooring choices. We thought we’d take some time to clear this question up and discuss how it’s likely to affect you if you have one.
Q: What is a suspended timber floor?
Floor structures are generally one of two types – solid or suspended. Suspended timber floors, which are typically found in older houses, are normally made from timber floorboards which are then attached to joists just above the foundations of a house. This creates a small gap and allows ventilation and air movement to prevent damp forming in the timber joists. It’s also common to have suspended concrete floors in a domestic and commercial property.
This is generally an old fashioned type of floor, and there are much more modern options available, including solid floors which tend to need less maintenance in the long term. It’s easier to run wires under the floorboards of a suspended timber floor, and because it doesn’t touch the ground, it will absorb less moisture from the earth so it limits structural damage from damp which is a benefit if your home is in an area with poor drainage.
Q: What are the drawbacks to suspended timber floors?
They can tend to deteriorate more quickly as the timber can rot, so they need a little more maintenance than other flooring types. They can also feel a bit draughty which is why they need to be properly insulated. They can also hold less weight than a concrete alternative, so might not be suitable for every build type.
Q: Can I insulate the floors if you have suspended timber floors?
Yes, it is advisable that you insulate when you have this floor type. Best practice is to insulate between the floor joists to keep your home warmer and make your flooring more energy efficient. Mineral wool insulation is recommended as this cuts down on air movement and is very effective at reducing draughts. However, it must be properly applied in order to reduce the chance of condensation forming which can cause damage to the timber.
Q: What kind of top flooring can I have if I have suspended timber floors?
You aren’t limited in the slightest by your flooring choices as this is simply your floor structure. Your final flooring choice which will be visible can be completely down to personal preference – tile, carpet or wooden flooring. We’ve a great range of wooden flooring or tile effect laminate flooring to choose from, with great offers and free samples. Check out the full range on our website today.
If you have more questions about suspended timber floors, we would advise that you contact a registered building professional who can advise you on the right type of flooring structure for your project, or inform you of how to best manage any issues you’re having with your floor structure at present.