BOARDED FLOORS, are those covered with boards. The operation of boarding floors may commence as soon as the windows are in. and the plaster dry. The preparations of the boards tb• this purpose are as follow. They should be planed on their best face, and set out to season till the natural sap has been quite expelled. See SEASONING OF WOOD. They may next be planed smooth, shot and squared upon one edge ; the opposite edges are brought to a breadth, by drawing a line on the face parallel to the other edge with a flooring gunge ; they are then guaged to a thickness with a common gunge, and rebated 'down on the back to the lines drawn by the gunge. The next thing to be done is to try the joists, whether they be level or not ; if they are found to be depressed in the middle, they must be furred up; and if found to be protuberant, must be reduced by the adze : the former is more generally the case. The boards employed in flooring are either battens, or deals of greater breadth.
'With reference to quality, battens are divided into three classes; the best kind is that free from knots, shakes, sap wood, or cross-grained stuff, and well matched, that is, selected with the greatest care ; the second best is that in which only small but sound knots are permitted. and free from shakes and sapwood ; the most common kind is that which is left after taking away the best and second best.
With regard to the joints of flooring-boards, they are ' either quite square, plowed and tongued, rebated, or doweled : in fixing them they are nailed either upon one or both edges. They are always necessarily nailed on both edges when the joinis are plain or square, without dowels. When they are doweled, they may be nailed on one or both edges ; but in the hest doweled work, the outer edge only is nailed, by driving the brad obliquely through that edge, without pierc ing the surface of the boards, so that the surface of the floor, when cleaned riff, appears without blemish. In laying boarded floors, the boards are sometimes laid after one another ; or otherwise, one is first laid, then another, leaving an interval something less than the breadth of three, four, or five boards in contact ; so that if' the first and sixth boards are laid, there will be an interval something less than the breadth of four boards. Now place the four intermediate boards in contact
with each other, and the two outer edges in contact with the edges of the first and sixth boards already laid. The space left, as above mentioned, being somewhat less than the width of four boards, will not allow this number to lie flat, but will cause them to assume the form of an arch, haying the under parts of the edges in close contact, while the upper parts will remain open. In order, therefore, to bring them to a level and the joints close, two or more workmen must jump upon the ridges till they have brought the under sides of the boards close to the joists, when they are fixed in their places with brads. In this last method the boards are said to be folded. This mode is only adopted when the boards are not sufficiently seasoned, or suspected to be so. In order to make close work, it is obvious that the two edges, flaming each of the three joists of the second and third. third and fourth, fourth and fifth boards, must fbrm angles with the faces, each less than a right angle. The eleventh board is fixed as the sixth, and the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, are inserted as the second, third, tburth, and fifth; and so on till the completion. The headings are either square, splayed, or plowed and tongued. When it is necessary to have a heading in the length of the floor, it should always be upon a joist, and ore heading should never meet another. When floors are doweled, it is more necessary to place dowels over the middle of the inter joist than over the joists, in order to prevent the edge of the one board from passing that of the other. When the boards are only b•added upon one edge, the brads are most frequently concealed, by driving flooring brads through the outer edge of every successive board without piercing the upper surface.
ht adzing away the under-sides of the boards opposite to the joists in order to equalize their thickness, the greatest care should be taken to chip them straight, and exactly down to the rebates, as the soundness of the floor depends on this, Boards employed in flooring houses are from an inch to an inch and a half thick. The best floors are those that are laid with the best battens.