They are termination or finishing elements, used in constructions, whose external surface is subject to abrasion or wear, caused by the friction of moving bodies on it, or the erosive effect of any other external agent. The wear surface can be horizontal, inclined, stepped or curved.

The inclinations can have as function the evacuation of the waters, with slopes appropriate for it. Other times the inclinations are used in order to communicate different levels, and are known as ramps .

It is also possible to save different levels by stepped surfaces, whose passage or footprint is an element that is succeeded at consecutive levels of uniform height; receives the name of partitions or risers. The vertical surface between footprints and the whole constitutes the stairs .

Curved surface floors have their greatest application in street pavements.


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  • 1 Properties that floors must meet
  • 2 Classification of floors:
    • 1 By the construction site
    • 2 By the construction method
    • 3 For the constitution material
    • 4 Artificial stones
    • 5 Wooden
    • 6 Plastics
    • 7 Asphalt or bituminous
  • 3 According to the construction site
  • 4 According to the construction method
  • 5 Floor placement
  • 6 Floors by constitution material
    • 1 Granite floors
      • 1.1 Uses
    • 2 Marble floors
      • 2.1 Uses
    • 3 Limestone floors
      • 3.1 Uses
    • 4 Concrete floors
      • 4.1 Uses
    • 5 Terrazzo floors
      • 5.1 Uses
    • 6 Hydraulic tile floors
      • 6.1 Uses
    • 7 Ceramic materials floors
      • 7.1 Uses
    • 8 Tile floors
      • 8.1 Uses
    • 9 Mud Slab Floors
      • 9.1 Uses
    • 10 Wooden floors
      • 10.1 Uses
    • 11 Floors of plastic materials
      • 11.1 Uses
    • 12 Bituminous or asphalt floors or pavements
  • 7 Sources

Properties that floors must meet

The properties that the floors must meet depend on the type of work and the places where they will be used; but in general terms, most floors must have the following characteristics. to). Be resistant to wear and the agents that act on them. b). Durability (minimum maintenance cost). c). Resistance to the fire . d). Ease of cleaning and). Esthetic.

In addition, in certain works it is necessary that the floors meet the following specifications:

  • Be resistant to acids (in laboratories, dairy industries, etc.).
  • Have sound insulation (in theaters, musicrooms , radio and television studios , etc.)
  • Offer impermeability (in bathrooms, industries, etc.).
  • Have lightness or low weight (when considered in large structures).
  • Be non-slip (on ramps, exterior floors).
  • Have flexibility (on gymfloors , basketball , etc.).

Classification of floors:

Floors can be classified mainly according to the construction site, the construction method and according to the material of which its wear surface is constituted

By the construction site

  • On the terrain.
  • On a mezzanine.

By the construction method

  • Monolithic (forming a single piece; need for expansion joints).
  • By pieces (small items, seated with mortar or other adhesive material).

For the constitution material

  • Limestones, etc.
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Concrete
  • Terrazzo

Artificial stones

  • Hydraulic tiles
  • Ceramics
  • Tiles
  • Ceramic stoneware
  • Slabs of [mud]]

Of wood

  • Plank
  • Parquet


  • Linoleum
  • Plastic slabs
  • Vinyl

Asphalt or bituminous

  • Asphalt slabs
  • Asphalt pavements.

According to the construction site

They can be carried out at different levels: at the lower level, that is, having as a supporting element the ground or, at higher levels, where the supporting element is the mezzanine. In the construction of the floors, either in one case or another, it is necessary to prepare the surface, on which the floor is to be executed. Its preparation consists of the refining of a limestone filler or clay limestone, of fine grain (rajoncillo or improvement) which will be level or with the slopes that are required.

This layer of moistened, rammed and consolidated material, on whose surface we are going to build the floor, is called atesado.

The difference between the floor built on the ground and that made on a mezzanine, lies mainly in the fact that on the ground it is almost always necessary to fill in before placing the binding, in order to bring the floor to the desired level, using a filling that can be formed by material of greater size than that of the mezzanines.

In other cases the construction of the binding is unnecessary, as it happens in the stairs and in the majority of the wooden floors.

According to the construction method

The floors can be built forming a single element, that is, monolithic, which is built entirely in the work, leaving an integral surface of considerable length, where it is necessary to produce joints of various types, in order to prevent dilations and constructions ( either by the building material or by temperature changes) they can crack them.

These joints serve in some cases to subdivide the surface layer of the floor (as in terrazzo floors , where metal strips or marble strips are used ). In other cases it is necessary to build expansion joints that allow elongation or shortening of the surface that they limit. for having properties for it (as it happens in concrete pavements , where an elastic material is used), either asphalt or elastic cement). In addition, there are floors, usually those of simple concrete , where it is preceded to subdivide the surface into small areas and produce a linear indentation with the marker so that they crack there (as in all sidewalks made of concrete ).

The floors constituted by pieces of little area, rarely need expansion joints, since being formed by small elements and having joints, they do not have that disadvantage, except in the case of large areas exposed directly to the weather, where it is It is necessary to take this detail into consideration.

The most used floors of this type are those of hydraulic tiles, tiles (whether terrazzo , concrete or mortar), natural stones, tiles, etc. Most of them are seated with sand, lime and cement mortars on the backing, and their joints are subsequently filled with a cement melt.

In the construction of the floors it is necessary to take into account its auction with the wall of the wall that serves as a limit. This auction, when it is of low height with the sole purpose of protecting the wall from moisture, facilitating cleaning and at the same time producing a termination, receives the name of sanitary skirting board and has its greatest use indoors. Other times, when this auction has a greater height, say, for example, from about 0.25 m, more or less, it is called a socket. There are also auctions on stairs, which can be considered as gualderas, skirting boards, baseboards, etc.

Floor placement

They can be placed in different ways.

to). A run together

  • Right angle (with the wall)
  • A bevel

b). To matajuntas. c). To dog tooth. d). In other possible combinations according to the measures and shapes, when the pieces are different.

However, this does not exclude that monolithic floors can be scratched or placed together following some of these laying regulations.

Floors by constitution material

Granite floors

For being the granitea rock of extraordinary hardness and resistance, constitutes an excellent material for floors, since it is very durable, although it is very expensive. When it is polished it acquires an unparalleled brightness, there is also a great variety of colors. This floor has great durability and resists weathering well, hence its outdoor use has always given great results. It can be used in the form of tiles, plates (of different thicknesses), blocks, pavers for paving of parks and streets (already in disuse for its cost and slowness of execution, in addition to offering less smooth surfaces than other materials). These floors are formed by pieces that are already cut and polished from the workshop, and preceded to place them in works.


Because it is an expensive apartment, it is used in monumental works, in public buildings where floors of great durability are needed, outdoors, for example, paving streets and parks, etc.

Marble floors

The marble is a material magnificent floor, especially indoors, wear resistance, variety of colors and because it takes great shine and polish. It is a very durable floor and is also expensive, although outdoors it is less resistant than Granite , because it loses its polish, it becomes porous and sometimes it alters The most resistant marbles are those of fine grain and without veins, since these are generally they are the product of metal oxides that are almost always altered.


They have great use on stairs, floors of public buildings, plinths, monumental works, etc. Its greater protection lies in its polish that allows to offer a completely smooth surface without pores.

Limestone floors

They are much less resistant than those of granite and marble , since their surface is generally not polished. The most used stones are Jaimanitas, Varadero and any other stones that admit their cut and work, as they are generally prepared in the work. They are used on regular or irregular floors. They usually have some cavities and allow great water absorption, since, necessarily, to be able to work in the work they cannot be very hard stones.


They are used on exterior floors, in combination with landscaping, on the edges of swimming pools (for not having a completely polished surface and being non-slip); on external access roads, either in homes or in works where some rusticity is desired according to the nature of the project.

Concrete floors

These floors, also known as cement floors, can be built monolithically or in pieces. The monolithic ones are manufactured totally in the place, constitute a single piece and concrete can be usedsimple or reinforced concrete. In both cases, the wear surface is smoothed by using the wood rub, admitting a small amount of mortar to make surface work easier. Concrete floors are reinforced when they are going to withstand certain loads (vehicle traffic or when they pass a certain length and are monolithic, in order to avoid cracks due to shrinkage or temperature). Other times, it is necessary to scratch them with a marker or procure them expansion joints that allow them movement; This is achieved by using in their joints an elastic material, which can be asphaltic. On sidewalks it is better to melt them in alternate sections and scratch them, because it represents an economy in joints and reinforcements.

Concrete floors are sometimes polished by machines, to make them smoother and less porous, but it is not usual. As concrete is an artificial stone, it is possible to execute pieces of different shapes and textures, which are placed with mortar on the mortar, leaving a floor made of pieces.


Being a fairly economical and resistant floor, it is widely used in construction, especially in industrial buildings, garages, outdoor patios, containers, sidewalks and street pavements (where they have to go well reinforced). It also has great use on external roads due to its economy and speed of execution. However, there are industries, such as dairy, where it is attacked by lactic acid and that is why it is preferred to use another type of floor. Other times certain anti-abrasive substances are added that make it more durable and resistant to wear. The finish of the concrete floors can be very polished, either by machine or manually with metal liana or flat, but wood rubbing is almost always used, to prevent them from being slippery (especially outdoors).

Terrazzo floors

They can be integral, that is, monolithic, those that are made in work, or they can be constituted by pieces called terrazzo tiles, which are manufactured in the workshop and placed in the work. Terrazzo floors are durable if they are used indoors, since the weather ends with their polish, makes them porous and destroys them. Its appearance is pleasant and is one of the most used floors, since it is cheaper than marble and granite, although it has less resistance and durability than these. Essentially, they are formed by a layer of concrete, reinforced or not (which depends on the size of the room and where the floor is supported), which is separated from the attached by a layer of sand and another asphalt paper, to facilitate the casting and Insulate the floor. On the concrete layer, after an incipient hardening (the next day) the metal strips or Marble strips are arranged , whose function is to subdivide the surface into smaller ones (those that should not have more than 2.50 m2) to avoid cracks, product of changes of time, breakage or retraction of the cement.

After placing the strips, whose upper level will be less than 0.02 m from the concrete surface of the already molten layer, the finishing material consisting of cement and crushed marble pebbles is placed, “kneaded with water until the level of the strapping.After several days have passed, it is subjected to a process of roughing, polishing and shining, using polishing machines.Finally it is waxed, leaving a smooth, shiny surface and in it you can see the different colors and sizes of marble stones.The size of the marble grains is given the name of sowings, the smallest being that of number 1, and the largest of number 5, although there are cases in which they are used mixed with sowing of larger marble pieces (this floor is called Venetian floor).

Terrazzo is used outdoors without polishing, in order to offer a more rustic and therefore non-slip surface. For example, the sidewalks of La Rampa , in the City of Havana . Other times rounded stones (Chinese pelonas) are used. The color of the terrazzo floor depends on the color of its planting, the cement used (gray or white) and the mineral dyes that are used in some cases. These floors are necessary to polish them in the work, to leave a finish similar to that of the integrals. It is convenient to point out that because they are small pieces, it is not necessary to leave them special joints, or use strapping, since there are no problems with dilations or contractions.


They are used profusely in interiors of buildings destined for offices, shops, schools, theaters, etc., for being a nice and clean apartment. In exteriors the rustic terrazzo or of finishing with Chinese pelonas is used a lot.

It is an integral floor, because of its construction process, it is more expensive than that of tiles, but of better quality and offers a more aesthetic appearance. The tiles are used in buildings cheaper than those mentioned above, especially in homes.

Hydraulic tile floors

Hydraulic tiles are mainly formed by two layers; one that constitutes the surface of wear (cement and silica sand very finely sifted with sometimes addition of dust, sometimes of marble dust) and another, which is constituted by a layer of almost dry mortar of gray sand and cement. These hydraulic tiles, commonly known by mosaics, are manufactured in various sizes, colors and designs.

The most used are those of 0.20 X 0.20 m; those of 0.25 X 0.25 m and those of 0.30 X 0.30 m, all with a thickness of 25 mm. They are manufactured in metal molds , using hydraulic presses to compress the layers and join them together. The different colors are obtained by using metallic oxide. This apartment is economical and is quite durable indoors, if it is of good quality. The weather affects it, discoloring it, making it porous and ultimately destroying it. Other parts, such as skirting boards (which generally have 0.08 X 0.25 m and 0.10 X 0.25 m), are also manufactured in accordance with the manufacturing standards of the tiles, steps, partitions and stairs for stairs.


It is a floor that is used and has been used a lot in the works, since it is economical; although it is not advisable to use it outdoors or in buildings that by their function require a floor of greater resistance and duration.

Ceramic flooring

Ceramic floors. (Stoneware.) It is a waterproof floor of great duration, very resistant and has a huge variety of sizes, shapes and colors. When they are used in the form of tiny pieces (pads and small slabs), these are glued to pieces of kraft paper of 60 X 30 cm. that are placed so that the paper is on the exposed surface, moistening it, to proceed to remove it, after the bonding material with which the floor sits, has hardened. It is also necessary to use melted cement in its joints.


They have a great use in bathrooms, swimming pools, etc., and especially outdoors, since it is extremely resistant, durable and non-slip. Its only flaw is that because it is a very small floor, it is difficult to keep it clean, because it has a large number of joints.

Tile floors

It is a waterproof floor of very limited duration, since the enamel that covers it externally either wears out or by any blow cracks and releases fragments. There are special floor tiles, which generally have matt enamel, that is, non-glossy, which prevents slipping. These floors are used because they are cheaper than ceramic and because they are cleaner and their appearance is sometimes more pleasant than theirs. However, bright tiles are widely used especially in bathroom floors, paying more attention to their beauty than to proper use.


In bathrooms, ponds, some swimming pools, butchers, dairy shops, hospitals, etc. Externally they are not used, for the reasons stated above.

Mud Slab Floors

It is a floor that is used outdoors, since it is economical, but within the different types of clay slabs the most resistant are those made with good mud, compressed and cooked at a temperature higher than the currents. The most used slabs are those of 0.14 “x 0.28” X 1 “.


Outdoors combined with green areas, terraces, etc., since they are non-slip. Also, in areas of certain rusticity, where a certain plastic effect is sought.

Wood floor

These floors, like all wooden constructions, are very economical or very expensive; It all depends on the material and construction system used. For example, in economic works, 1 “pine board floors are used, nailed on wooden joists, but if we compare it with the type of hardwood floor in the form of slats of 1½ wide, on a framework (elements structural) of wood or on a surface prepared for this purpose, we will see that this type is much more expensive.Wood floors have the advantages of providing a flexible surface to travel on them, of being thermal insulators, being lightly heavy and meeting good conditions aesthetics.They have the disadvantages of wood, such as its combustibility, being attacked by moisture,


In gyms, floors to practice certain sports such as basketball , volleyball , etc. In scenarios the type of slat-based floor is used, called tabloncillo (quite expensive). In mezzanines of industrial buildings and mural works (economic type). Its use is practically limited to the interiors, since the weather tends to destroy it (humidity and dryness).

Plastic flooring

The most used are those of asphalt slabs, vinyl slabs and linoleum slabs. These slabs come in sizes of 0.20 X 0.25 m or 0.25 X 0.25 m and about 3 mm thick. Linoleum is manufactured and sold in rolls. All these floors need a smooth surface where they are placed through the use of special glues, and the most used is asphalt cement. They do not resist the weather (they take off), so they are used only indoors. There is a wide variety of colors that allow various combinations. It is a flexible floor, noise insulating and easy to clean.


It is used in hospitals, shops, meeting places, etc.

Bituminous or asphalt floors or pavements

Asphalt pavement floors can be based on a stone or macadam and gravel flooring, displacement and with asphalt irrigation. where the surface of wear constitutes the asphalt (the one that is used more is the one that comes from the distillation of the oil). Other times they are applied as wear surfaces of reinforced concrete pavements .


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