The dream of every newcomer is for the repairs to be made with high quality, quickly and, if possible, without dirt. This also applies to such a laborious process as flooring. This is such an important stage of the repair that you cannot dismiss it in any way. The traditional method of installing floors has been used for many years and has proven its worth. But new technologies are emerging with their own advantages. One of them is called “adjustable floor”.
To make it clearer what makes a “adjustable floor” different, let’s take a quick look at the traditional installation. Usually, a concrete screed is made first, then, since it requires additional leveling, “Vetonit” or some other self-leveling compound is used. Then plywood is attached, and already on it is the floor covering. When building a cottage or a rural house, the floor is often made on logs – wooden dry planed beams. These logs are placed directly on the concrete base, and, as a rule, are not fastened with anything, but are leveled with the help of various chips, bricks, and planks. Then a rough floor is laid on the logs, usually from a low-quality board, and on it is already finished.
Adjustable floor technology, as its name implies, allows you to adjust the height of individual floor areas and thus give them perfect evenness. There are two types: floors on adjustable joists and floors on adjustable plywood.
Floors on adjustable joists used in country houses, as well as in the repair of old houses, when, when disassembling the previous floor, its level drops and it is necessary to return to the original one. It is too expensive and sometimes impossible to do this with concrete, since the house may not withstand such a load. And then logs are laid on the existing solid base of the floor, standing on bolts at a distance of no more than 60 cm from each other. Holes are drilled in each lag, into which plastic bolts are screwed in by thread. Their number depends on the expected load. The bolts themselves are rigidly fixed to the base using metal dowels or self-tapping screws. These bolts are precisely the adjusting elements. Now, if you rotate the bolts with a special key, the logs will rise or fall – which is what we need. The task of the master is to level everything up and then lay plywood, floorboard or other covering.
Adjustable plywood floors. If you do not want or cannot raise the floor high enough, you can use another technology, use the structure on adjustable plywood. They resort to it when the apartment is bought in a new building, or the apartment has low ceilings. In this case, logs are not used, instead of them, bushings with an internal thread are used, which are inserted into the pre-drilled holes in the plywood. The plywood itself is moisture resistant, its thickness is 12 mm, and its dimensions are 1.5 x 1.5 m. Threaded bushings are inserted into such a sheet, and it turns out that the plywood seems to stand on legs. Each leg is rigidly attached to the concrete base with a dowel. From above, plastic adjusting bolts (pieces 6-7) are screwed into the bushings. By turning the bolts, and thus adjusting the height of the plywood, you can achieve an absolutely flat and horizontal surface. After leveling the first layer of plywood, for rigidity, the second layer is laid and fastened with a self-tapping screw, with an overlap so that there are no seams. Now you can lay the floor. The height of its rise above the base will be no more than 3 cm.
Working with materials, taking into account a double layer of plywood, is approximately $ 20 per 1 sq. M. This is about a third more expensive than an ordinary wooden floor on logs, but the increase in cost is compensated by the quality: we get a perfectly flat floor surface. With the traditional method, placing different boards, this is almost impossible to achieve.
We must remember that our old houses do not have even floors. Not only are these houses originally built “without geometry,” but over time they begin to sag, warp – so you can’t even put a chair straight. After purchasing an apartment in a new building, no less hassle – as a rule, they are sold without any final finishing, so that the “sexual question” arises before the owners in all their inevitability.
Why the new technology is good? We do without wet processes associated with concrete work, which always carry a lot of debris and dirt. Process speed: we lay the floor in 1-2 days. For comparison: a concrete screed must be allowed to stand for at least 28 days to completely draw out moisture. The structure remains very light, which is especially important in older houses, where the load on the floors cannot be increased. Questions may arise about the reliability of the thread, but you need to know that bolts and bushings are made not of simple plastic, but of extra strong plastic. Suffice it to say that according to various experts’ estimates, such floors can withstand from 3 to 5 tons per 1 sq. M. The new technology, despite its youth, is included in construction SNIPs and is widely used not only in apartments and cottages, but also in schools, hotels, gyms and even at industrial facilities..
The durability of the adjustable floor, according to experts, is at least 50 years. Since the logs do not touch the base, the floor is well ventilated. For the same reason, logs do not rot – and the floor lasts longer. Even if moisture gets under it, it evaporates unhindered. The floor covering is reliably protected from leaks and flooding by the fact that there are no gaps in the two-layer plywood base. An adjustable floor is much warmer than a concrete floor, because an air gap is formed, and, as you know, there is no better heat insulator than standing air. Additional sound and heat insulation is provided. These are two very important components of living comfort, and technology makes it possible to enhance them if necessary. When, for example, you need to insulate the first floors in country houses with a cold basement or to protect yourself from too noisy neighbors in a city apartment, mats, for example, mineral-basalt slabs, are placed between the logs on special hooks. Adjustable floors are also much quieter: a regular wood floor will crack and shake over time, but an adjustable floor will not. There is another advantage: the ability to carry out communications inside the floor, and cables and systems can be of any configuration and direction.