There are many flooring terms, but one of them that can seem the most confusing is the term â€œsuspended flooringâ€. It suggests images of a floor hovering in the middle of the room, but that's not really the case.
Suspended flooring is a system of joists and sleeper walls over a concrete sub-floor. The joists and sleeper walls hold up the flooring, so it still has the look of solid flooring, but has some added benefits. This is often an option for hardwood flooring.
This type of flooring installation is used when electrical wiring or cables need to be run safely under the floor, as it provides the necessary space. It can also be a great option for areas that have a moisture issue, as the flooring itself is suspended above the sub-floor and won't absorb as much moisture.
However, suspended flooring can still be susceptible to moisture issues and dry rot if proper precautions are not taken. Many suspended flooring systems will include a vapor barrier system over the concrete subfloor to prevent those issues, and with proper ventilation, moisture and dry-rot can be prevented.
It may sound like suspended flooring isn't as durable or sound as solid flooring, but that isn't the case. With the proper network of joists and sleeper walls, a suspended floor can be just as durable as any solid flooring option. However, it may not hold as much weight as a solid floor. To know the best option for you, consider what the floor will be supporting.
Another disadvantage to suspended flooring is the possibility of critter infestation. With an open space in the suspended flooring system, critters may try to move in and make a home under your floor. This is easily prevented with the proper installation and preventative measures, but it's something to be aware of.
To determine if suspended flooring is the best choice for you, talk to a professional about your home's needs.