Should You Opt For A Timber Or Concrete Floor?

<2017/05/Should-You-Opt-For-A-Timber-Or-Concrete-Floor.jpg">There are lots of choices to make when you are self-building a house or if you are working with an architect to draw up designs for a property you are having built. One of the biggest questions is around the flooring and the choices involved with that. Currently, two of the most popular styles of flooring are timber or concrete but which material would be best for your home?

Solid Vs. Suspended

The question here isn’t so much the material used for the flooring but the style of floor that you require – either a solid or a suspended one. Solid floors are more substantial and use a layering system of a sub-base, sand, compacted hard core then a damp proof membrane before the insulation and concrete is finally added. On the other hand, suspended floors are made usually from timber joists and can come in a wide range of styles to adapt to the needs of the space.

Why Go For Suspended Floors?

Firstly, let’s look at the suspended floor and why floor construction using joists has become popular. In this kind of system, timber joists are suspended from the bearing walls and are then covered with floor boards or even high quality tongue and groove sheets. This means that the floor is well insulated and also very sound proof so is ideal for upper floors where footfall can make a lot of noise on the ground floor.

Suspended floors do require air flow so this means that an airtight breather membrane will often be used to ensure there is no moisture in the flooring system but that it gets the airflow that it needs. Also, if you need to access pipes under the floor, this type of system makes this relatively easy.

Why Go For Solid Floors?

On the other hand, solid floors can often be favoured in the lower parts of a house because they are so substantial. The systems use a variety of materials in layers to create the floor and incorporate a damp proofing membrane to prevent moisture seeping in as well as insulation to increase energy efficiency of the property.

As their name suggests, solid floors are very heavy duty and have a long lifespan. There is little noise made when walking on them and they won’t creak as they shrink with time. However, they are incompatible with underfloor heating systems and accessing pipes under them means a full scale excavation.


As with much in construction, there is no right and wrong answer with regards to the type of floor you choose – it is more about what you need and what you can afford. Look at things like underfloor heating as many new homes want to include this but some solid floor systems don’t work with this.

You can also get combination systems where you use a concrete floor that is supported by joists to be more like a suspended floor. Finally, the use of I-joists is a popular way get the best of both worlds as these don’t shrink or warp and create ‘quiet floors’.

Author Bio: Declan Small is the Digital Marketing Manager at Haldane Fisher, builder’s merchants with branches across the UK.