Buckled laminate flooring after floodingNon-Resilient Flooring Guide
Carpeting, stone, slate, tile, wood floor installation, troubleshooting, repair
     

  • NON-RESILIENT FLOORING GUIDE - CONTENTS: Properties of non-resilient floor coverings including bamboo, brick, carpeting, ceramic tile, concrete, slate, stone, laminate flooring, engineered wood & many other wood floor products
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about non-resilient flooring types, materials, installation, diagnosis & repair
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Types of non-resilient flooring & their properties:

This article describes the types & properties of non-resilient flooring used in buildings. These include bamboo, brick, carpeting, ceramic tile, concrete, slate, stone, laminate flooring, engineered wood & many other wood floor products.

We provide a definition of non-resilient floor covering and compare it with the definition of resilient floors, followed by a list & photos of types of non-resilient floor materials along with their properties. Links are included to articles with more details about the choice, installation, troubleshooting or repair of each of these flooring types. Our page top photo shows a beautiful marble floor installed in the Vassar College library, Poughkeepsie, NY.

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Guide to Non-Resilient Floor Coverings Used in buildings

Carpeting as example of non-resilient flooring (C) Inspectapedia

Article Contents

Definitions of Non-resilient Flooring Versus Resilient Flooring

Non-resilient floor coverings used in buildings that can assist in determining the age of a structure include bamboo, brick, concrete, stone, slate, and a wide variety of wood products.

Definition of non-resilient flooring:

"Non-resilient" flooring is defined as hard surfaced flooring material such as stone, brick, slate, or ceramic tile.

Definition of resilient flooring

"Resilient flooring" is defined as materials softer than the non-resilient materials we just listed (stone, slate, brick, ceramic tile), and includes organic types of flooring: asphalt based floor tiles, cork floor tiles, cork floor planks, linoleum sheet flooring (antique & modern), plastic floor tiles, rubber floor tiles, vinyl-asbestos floor tiles. See Asphalt & Vinyl Floor Tile History - history, dates, and description of the production process and ingredients in asphalt floor tiles, asphalt-asbestos floor tiles, & vinyl-asbestos floor tiles.

Types of Non-Resilient Floor Coverings Used in buildings

Non-resilient floor coverings used in buildings that can assist in determining the age of a structure include bamboo, brick, concrete, stone, and a wide variety of wood products.

Bamboo Floor Choices, Installation, Properties

Bamboo laminate flooring © Daniel Friedman

In modern installations bamboo flooring is sold principally in laminate or engineered wood products such as shown in our photo at left.

Our illustration is of Click Bamboo-Toast 9/16" flooring available through Home DepotĀ® stores.

Bamboo is a durable floor material, though its hardness rating is often less than some other wood floor products such as pre-finished hickory flooring.

Bamboo flooring is also discussed at

Bamboo Flooring Producers & Sources

  • Bamtex (a division of Wood Flooring International) www.bamtex.com Laminated bamboo and palm flooring
  • Duro-Design www.duro-design.com Laminated bamboo flooring with durable water-based finish
  • Gammapar www.gammapar.com Acrylic-impregnated bamboo flooring
  • Hawa Bamboo Flooring www.hawabamboo.com Prefinished bamboo flooring with aluminum-oxide finish
  • Natural Cork www.naturalcork.com Prefinished glue-down or nail-down 3-ply bamboo planks with aluminum-oxide finish

Brick Floor Choices, Installation, Properties

Brick flooring © Daniel Friedman

Carpeting: Wall-to-wall Floor Carpeting Inspection, Diagnosis, Repair

Moldy wall to wall carpeting

See these articles about diagnosing stains, mold, and allergens in carpeting

Ceramic Tile Flooring choices, installation, troubleshooting

Cracked floor tile

Ceramic floor tiles have been used since Roman times and continue today in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, properties. We [DF] installed this modern version of a traditional ceramic tile bath floor during a home renovation in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Details about ceramic tile flooring are at

Clay Tile or Paver Tile Floors & Patio Surfaces

Clay tile floor installation outdoors, San Miguel de Allende © Daniel Friedman

Clay tile floors, including the soft un-glazed clay paver tiles shown at left (being installed by David Perez, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico) and harder glazed floor tiles are widely used indoors in northern climates and both indoors and outside in areas not subject to frost.

Tables Comparing the Properties of Kitchen & Bathroom Flooring Options: Cost, Radiant Heat Use, Pros, Cons, Recommendations

Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss


Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss
Table 6-3: Kitchen or Bath Flooring Options and Properties  (C) J Wiley S Bliss

Poured Concrete Floor Choices, Installation, Finishes, Colors Properties

Poured concrete flooring © Daniel Friedman

Details about poured concrete floors, finishes, installation, troubleshooting & repair are at

More information about concrete floors & concrete slabs below floors including poured in place concrete slabs, cracks, control joints, is at:

Also see radiant heat flooring details found at

Marble Floor Choices, Installation, Properties

Brick flooring © Daniel Friedman

The marble flooring in our photo (left) is installed in the Queretaro airport in Queretaro, Mexico. For a public-use area the floor is easy to sweep clean and is widely used in indoor public spaces.

A rough-surfaced marble is also used in some outdoor spaces for patios, walks, and stairs.

Watch out: marble flooring with this hard shiny surface is very slippery when wet and in our OPINION can be a slip-fall hazard in bathrooms, kitchens, or similar areas.


Brick flooring © Daniel Friedman

The marble flooring in our photo (left) is a Marfil product that illustrates how complex mosaic type patterns are sold and installed in new construction.

For details see Floor, Stone, Granite, Marble, Agglomerate

Slate Flooring Choices, Properties, Installation, Inspection

Brick flooring © Daniel Friedman

Slate has been widely used on interior floors in both rough or natural shapes and in rectangular pre-cut patterns laid much as pavers or ceramic tile. But it has also been used outdoors both in patio installations and even rooftop decks (our photo at left, Beacon, NY).

The slate rooftop deck shown in our photo was laid in asphalt mastic over a sealed plastic water barrier and survived for nearly 50 years. When we inspected this slate floor it was failing: you'll notice a few broken and sliding slates and some "iffy" patching using surface-applied roofing cement. Our client was pointing to a suspected leak point at the intersection of this patio floor to the building wall.

[contributions invited]

Also see SLATE THERMAL MASS for SOLAR HEAT STORAGE

Stone Flooring & Floor Choices

Stone floor and baptismal font used by Cortes, Tlaxcala Mexico (C) 2012 Daniel Friedman

Shown is an antique stone floor installed ca. 1580 by followers of Cortez, in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Incidentally the stone basin in our photo is perhaps the earliest known baptismal font used in the new world, dating from the 1500's.

For details see Floor, Stone, Granite, Marble, Agglomerate

Laminate Wood & Plastic Flooring Products

Pre finished hardwood flooring © Daniel Friedman

As we explain and illustrate in detail at at WOOD FLOOR ENGINEERED & SOLID,

Solid Hardwood flooring (photo at left) is just that, solid wood with no composite or layered components. Solid wood flooring is sold both un-finished (for sanding and finishing on-site) and pre-finished such as our photo of Vintage Maple Natural 3/4" thick x 3 1/4" wide tongue and groove flooring produced by Tarkett. This particular wood flooring has a hardness rating of 4 on a 1 to 5 scale. Solid hardwood flooring is just that - flooring material made out of a single piece of hardwood, usually cut into a tongue-and-groove profile that is installed to the subfloor by nailing through the tongue on a diagonal into the floor board and into the subfloor below.

Engineered wood flooring is illustrated by our second photo at below right. Shown is Click Bamboo-Toast 9/16" flooring available through Home DepotĀ® stores. Engineered wood flooring combines a top layer of wood that is bonded to multiple plies of softwood that affords uniformity and dimensional stability.

Engineered wood flooring is sold in a variety of edge profiles including tongue-and groove and "click" flooring whose planks interlock together. Engineered wood flooring may be nailed or stapled to the subfloor or in some products it is installed as a floating floor over the subfloor.


Buckled laminate flooring after flooding

The laminate wood flooring shown at left was buckled and destroyed by flooding caused by a leaky heating pipe. As we discussed with traditional wood flooring above, severe flooding or installation errors can lead to total loss of the finish floor system.

Contemporary snap-together flooring products that resemble wood or other surfaces, but are made of plastic, and other pre-finished and ready-to-assemble wood flooring products are a much more modern product.

Pergo™ laminate flooring, for example, was developed by Pergo AB, a Swedish company founded around 1890 as a vinegar manufacturer. Product development for Pergo laminate flooring began in 1977 and was first brought to the market in 1984. Pergo laminate flooring was first sold in the U.S. in 1994.

It's safe to say that if you see a Pergo product in building in U.S. the flooring was installed no longer ago than 1994. But because this product is has been widely used as a renovation material installed atop older pre-existing finish floor surfaces, one should not presume that the product age is the same as the building age unless the floor was installed as original material - that is, unless it was not installed over an older floor covering.

Just seeing Pergo TM laminate flooring over a plywood subfloor is not sufficient data to conclude the age of a home. Older carpeting may have been removed to expose a plywood subfloor over which the laminate flooring was then installed.

Details about laminate flooring begin at

And a list of manufacturers of pre-finished wood flooring is
at WOOD FLOOR ENGINEERED & SOLID

Wood Flooring Types, Installation, Inspection, Diagnosis, Repair

Antique wideboard flooring © Daniel Friedman

So what's "wood flooring" ? After all, it is organic too. Is a wood floor non-resilient, resilient, or just "wood"? The range of wood flooring products & types is extensive, including those listed just below.

  • Hardwood flooring, installed, sanded & finished on site; most commonly oak strip flooring but also other species
  • Historic wideboard flooring, usually softwoods such as pine - shown in our photo at left. We [DF] restored this antique wideboard floor that was installed in a home in "The Bleachery" in Wappingers Falls, NY. This antique wood floor had been painted with a mixture of ox-blood and milk and was hell to clean and re-surface. We scraped and hand-sanded to avoid creating a dead-flat "new" surface and to preserve as much of the old material as possible. Nails had to be hand-set before sanding. No stain was applied, just a clear polyurethane coating.
  • Pre-finished solid wood flooring, usually tongue-and groove, of varying thicknesses
  • Laminate & engineered wood flooring in various thicknesses, installation methods, properties, and laminate substrates - discussed above.
Pre finished hardwood flooring © Daniel Friedman

As we explain and illustrate in detail at at WOOD FLOOR ENGINEERED & SOLID,

Solid Hardwood flooring (photo at left) is just that, solid wood with no composite or layered components. Solid wood flooring is sold both un-finished (for sanding and finishing on-site) and pre-finished such as our photo of Vintage Maple Natural 3/4" thick x 3 1/4" wide tongue and groove flooring produced by Tarkett.

This particular wood flooring has a hardness rating of 4 on a 1 to 5 scale. Solid hardwood flooring is just that - flooring material made out of a single piece of hardwood, usually cut into a tongue-and-groove profile that is installed to the subfloor by nailing through the tongue on a diagonal into the floor board and into the subfloor below.

Wood flooring over radiant heat can lead to gaps

Wood flooring, one of the most warm and beautiful materials that can be placed in a home (OPINION-DF) needs to be installed following proper practices.

The gaps that appeared in the wood floor shown at left were caused by installation of the floor in a new home, over radiant heat tubing, and without allowing the flooring to reach a proper moisture level before it was nailed in place.

Details about wood flooring are at


Badly buckled wood flooring due to water damage

Extreme buckling can cause an upwards explosion of a wood floor when flooring is exposed to flooding or prolonged leaks.

This severe buckling wood floor damage can occur even at much smaller increases in interior moist sure if a tongue and groove wood floor is improperly installed - leaving inadequate free space margin around the floor perimeter.

See Wood Floor Types for a catalog of types and ages of wood flooring.

See WOOD FLOOR DAMAGE DIAGNOSIS for details of types of damage to wood flooring and for a description of wood floor repair approaches.

 

 

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