Floors Covering

Floors and Floor Coverings



Floors and Floor Coverings, structures that, together with ceilings and walls, form the basic components of a building. When the first dwellings for protection and shelter were built, the ground served as the floor; branches, reeds, and wood logs were among the early materials also used as floors and floor coverings. Stone and brick floors appeared with the first stone building constructions during the 4th millennium bc in Egypt. Clay tiles (see Ceramics; Tile) were also used in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete (Kríti), Greece, and Rome.

The ancient Greeks made extensive use of stone and marble, and the Romans used concrete, especially as a base for mosaic floors (see Mosaics).In early times floors became an important ornamental element in architecture. Mosaics, colored and glazed tiles, marbles of different colors, and inlaid wood have been used throughout history to create designs. Among famous examples of ornamental flooring are the mosaic pavements found in the ruins of a Roman villa near Piazza Armerina, Sicily. The mosaics, set around ad 300, cover an area of 3500 sq m (4200 sq yd) and are outstanding for their range of colors and their vigorous style. Tile floors appeared in European cathedrals during the 12th century. Terrazzo, a flooring consisting of small marble and granite chips embedded in cement, became popular during the Renaissance and is still used today.A wide variety of materials are used in modern floors. Concrete and wooden floors are usually covered with carpets, rugs, and other floorings for aesthetic reasons and to increase durability of the surface, absorption of sound, and ease of maintenance. Wood is still extensively used in residences, especially as parquets (short, hard pieces of wood assembled in geometric patterns). Wood tiles and prefabricated parquets can easily be installed on existing floors.Tiles also play an important role in modern buildings and homes. Of all floor coverings, they are the most resistant to water and humidity, and they are easy to clean. Glazed ceramic tiles are used wherever highly sanitary conditions are required, such as in hospitals, laboratories, swimming pools, and public rest rooms. In the home, tiles are used on the floors and walls of kitchens and bathrooms. Synthetic, resilient floorings include linoleum, asphalt tiles, vinyl asbestos and pure vinyl tiles, and rubber.



Carpets and rugs are heavy fabrics made of various materials. Traditionally, they have been used for indoor floor coverings; they are also occasionally hung on walls for decoration. The indefinite distinction between carpets and rugs is largely a matter of size and method of attachment. Rugs are usually smaller than carpets and are not secured to the floor; commonly, they cover only a portion of the floor area. Carpets are generally tacked or cemented to the floor, often with an underlay of cushion. The carpet and rug industry in the United States further divides its products into broadloom, which includes wall-to-wall carpeting and rugs larger than 1.2 by 1.8 m (4 by 6 ft), and scatter rugs and miscellaneous rugs such as bath mats and automobile carpets.


History of Rug Making

The use of carpets as floor coverings is almost as old as recorded history. At first, animal skins were used and, subsequently, coarse fabrics of ordinary weave. Gradual improvements in weaving and design produced the more elaborate tapestry weave. Eventually, pile fabrics were introduced; these materials consist of a strong backing of ordinary weave but with extra threads added to form a somewhat raised surface. The weaving of pile carpets developed in India before the 12th century ad and spread to the rest of the East. In the Orient, rugs are usually made from pile fabrics knotted by hand, although other weaves are employed See Rugs and Carpets.In the West, until the 19th century the most common floor coverings were flat-woven fabrics, because few families could afford the more costly Oriental and domestic hand-knotted pile rugs. Hand-knotted rugs were made in Europe by the Saracens of southern Spain as early as the 13th century. Tapestry rugs were crafted in Aubusson, a small town in central France, which has since become the trade name for this type of carpet. Hand-knotted pile rugs called Savonnerie carpets similarly took their distinctive name from the original factory, established in the 17th century at the site of an ancient soap works (French savonnerie) at Chaillot, France. In 1825 the factory was transferred to the Gobelin family (see Gobelins) and is still active. The same name is given also to rugs of this type made at Aubusson and elsewhere in France. Brussels became an important center of tapestry weaving in the 16th century and by the 18th century had become one of the principal sources of floor tapestries. A similar type of floor covering was developed in the town of Wilton in England. Also in Wilton, an important refinement in the hand-knotting technique, known today as Wilton carpeting, was perfected.In the United States, the first factory for woven yarn carpeting was started in Philadelphia in 1791. In 1841 a steam engine was harnessed to an ingrain loom, raising daily production more than threefold. The first carpet looms produced carpets about 68 cm (about 27 in) wide, which were cut into lengths and sewn together. Today carpet looms range up to 9 m (30 ft) in width of carpet produced.


Manufacturing Techniques

In the early 1950s the U.S. carpet and rug industry underwent a technological revolution when the technique of making carpets and rugs on relatively low-cost, high-speed tufting machines was developed. As a result, many inventive entrepreneurs were attached to the industry.Concurrently, several petrochemical companies in the United States were developing synthetic fibers in deniers suitable for carpet and rug use. Rayon appeared in the mid-1950s and was later replaced by nylon. In rapid order, the acrylics were then introduced and were soon joined by the modacrylics, olefins (polypropylenes), and polyesters. The price and delivery fluctuations that had plagued carpet manufacturers in the worldwide wool market were finally relieved.With pile fibers plentiful and carpet production expanding rapidly, carpets and rugs became two of the fastest-growing consumer products in the nation. As the industry grew, new tufting and dyeing techniques were perfected, and quality continued to improve. With increased competition and reduced costs, prices reached popular levels, and new carpet and rug markets were found, particularly in public and commercial buildings. Because of this revolution, carpet and rug products by the early 1980s were of superior quality to those of the early 1950s and generally cost about half as much money.


Tufted Carpets

A tufting machine is similar in principle to an ordinary sewing machine, but a sewing machine stitches a single row at a time, whereas a tufting machine sews any number of rows at a time, with hundreds of individual needles stitching simultaneously through a backing material as much as 4.5 m (15 ft) wide.A secondary backing material is usually adhered to the carpet for added strength and dimensional stability, and to hold the individual tufts in place. In some instances, a high-density foam rubber, sponge, or vinyl cushion is used instead of a secondary backing material. Tufted carpet is commonly made in 3.6-m (12-ft) and 4.5-m (15-ft) widths for wall-to-wall installation; it is also made so that it can be cut into rugs of any size. Tufted carpet tiles with a variety of backings are also manufactured.Carpet manufactured on a tufting machine can be styled in many different patterns, such as tweeds, solids, or stripes; various pattern attachments used with the machine produce high-low sculptured and embossed effects. Colorful designs are printed over the pile or randomly placed, and multicolor effects are achieved either on the machine or during the dyeing process. The pile can be cut (plush), selectively sheared (cut-and-loop), or left totally uncut (loop). In 1951 tufting accounted for 9 percent of the total broadloom-carpet production, but by the early 1980s it accounted for virtually all such production. The center of the U.S. carpet and rug industry is Dalton, Georgia.


Woven Carpets

Weaving encompasses three basic machine techniques: Wilton, Axminster, and velvet looms. Variations of these machines have their own different capabilities.The Wilton carpet derives its name from the town in England where the Wilton loom was developed. The loom is distinguished by its specialized Jacquard system, a series of pattern cards perforated like player piano rolls. The cards regulate the feeding of different colored yarns onto the pile surface. Although the number of colors possible on a Wilton loom is limited, the Jacquard mechanism ensures accurate reproduction of intricate patterns, with great clarity and definition. As weaving proceeds, one color at a time is drawn into the pile, and the colors not required are buried beneath the surface. These buried yarns give additional body, resilience, and strength to the carpet, which is available in a wide range of textures and multicolor patterns as well as solid colors.The Axminster carpet, also named for a town in England, is distinguished by an almost limitless choice of designs and colors. The patterns can be stylized, geometric, classical, modern, or floral. Changing the pattern on an Axminster loom is a slow and demanding process requiring great skill. Separate lengths or ends of different colored yarns must be set with absolute accuracy to ensure faithful pattern reproduction. Axminster looms are thus nearly as versatile as handweaving. The pile is cut, with few exceptions, and almost all the yarn appears on the surface. Another distinguishing feature of the Axminster carpet is its heavily ribbed back.The velvet carpet employs the simplest of all carpet-weaving techniques and is commonly available in solid colors, but the range of color and texture variations possible on a velvet loom is almost limitless. Included in the possible texture effects are cut pile plushes, cut pile twist (frieze), pebbly uncut loop pile, and multilevel sculptured effects. Pile yarns can also be selectively cut and uncut for still other attractive surface-texture combinations. See Loom.


Knitted Carpets

Knitted carpet, like woven carpet, is fabricated in one operation, face and back simultaneously. Backing yarns, stitching yarns, and pile yarns are looped together with three sets of needles, much the way hand knitting is done. To give the carpet additional body, a coat of latex foam is applied to the backing. A secondary backing material similar to that used on tufted carpet is often added in the finishing process. Because only a single pile yarn is used, knitted carpet is usually solid in color or else tweed. Machine modifications make some pattern effects possible. Loop pile effects are most common, although cut pile plushes can also be made with further machine modifications.


Needlepunch Carpets

Needlepunch carpet is a flat, abrasion-resistant sandwich of unspun fibers normally covering a prewoven fabric core. The face and back are formed by hundreds of barbed needles punching through webs, or blankets of fiber, to mesh them permanently together. The result is an extremely dense sheet, without pile, of considerable weight and thickness. Needlepunch carpet can be printed with colorful designs, and a high-density rubber cushion may also be bonded to it. Needlepunch carpet, made of weather-resistant olefin (polypropylene) fiber, is the dominant product in the so-called indoor-outdoor market. Other primary applications include kitchen, bath, wall, and patio carpets.


Recent Trends

Until the early 1960s, wool was the dominant fiber used in the manufacture of carpets and rugs. In 1960 wool accounted for 64 percent of the surface fiber used in broadloom carpets. Since then, this percentage has fallen consistently. By the 1980s the dominant fiber used in the production of carpets and rugs was nylon (65.7 percent), followed by polyester (12.3 percent), acrylics (9.3 percent), polypropylene (5.4 percent), and cotton and rayon (4.4 percent). In the production of scatter rugs, bath mats, and automobile carpets, cotton and rayon still retain a dominant position.The most rapidly growing sector of the carpet and rug industry in the United States is the commercial, or contract, market. The definition is somewhat vague, but contract is usually regarded as referring to carpet purchased in quantity for residential developments such as apartment buildings, and commercial is regarded as referring to nonresidential applications such as offices, hotels, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, restaurants, theaters, and libraries. Another important application is the use of synthetic-turf carpeting on playing fields.



A number of natural and synthetic materials are used as floor coverings. Each offers a range of advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, comfort, ease of cleaning, and ability to take colors or form attractive designs.


Natural Floor Coverings

Wood flooring has been used for centuries and still accounts for a large percentage of floors. In the United States, oak flooring is the most common because of its fairly high resistance to wear. Most wood floors are laid as planks, or strips, or a parquet tiles. Although they are attractive, wood floors need more care than do most other floors. Cork, treated with heat or linseed oil and sometimes coated with vinyl, can be used as tiles or carpeting; its ability to absorb sound is excellent, but its wear properties are inferior to those of other floor types. Kitchens, bathrooms, and entry areas, especially, often have floors of terrazzo or ceramic or quarry tile (see Tile). These floors are very hard, waterproof, and stain-resistant.


Resilient Floor Coverings

The most common resilient floorings are rubber tile and vinyl tile. The latter has largely replaced linoleum and asphalt tile because of its superior moisture- and chemical-resistance and its greater variety of colors and patterns. The most recent innovation is flooring that needs no waxing to retain its shine. Rubber tile is made of synthetic rubber combined with fillers and pigments; it is used in places where traffic is heavy, such as shopping malls, and is available in tiles and rolls. Vinyl tiles and rolls are made of polyvinyl resins containing binders, fillers, and pigments. Vinyl flooring is wear-resistant and easy to maintain. Linoleum, the oldest synthetic floor covering, was invented by the English rubber manufacturer Frederick Walton about 1861. It is composed essentially of a mixture of solidified linseed oil and filler adhering to a fabric backing. In inlaid linoleum, the design permeates the entire material.Asphalt tiles consist of fibers and mineral fillers that are bonded with asphalt or synthetic resins. Epoxy resins that are spread directly on concrete floors have also been developed; these are used mainly where resistance to chemicals is important. (Karaengisla – Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008.)


About tettaisla

orang biasa yang mencoba bergaul dengan orang-orang yang biasa melahirkan karya-karya luar biasa
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