Main type of house floor


The results of the 2005 Population and Housing Census show that households used a variety of materials for the construction of house floors including tiles, concrete, wood and bamboo. In general, wood was the most common flooring material and was used by 54.8% of all households. The next most common was concrete used by 16.5% of households, and then bamboo used by 15.3%. Although some households used tiles or other materials the percentage of these was low namely less than 8.0% and 1.7% of households were unable to specify the type of their floor.

The map shows the distribution of the use of the various flooring materials throughout the country. The use of wood is common over the whole country, but in particular from the province of Xayaboury, down through both the province and the city of Vientiane, and on through the provinces of Borikhamxay, Khammuane, Savannakhet, Saravane and Champasack. Most of these provinces are on the east bank of the Mekong River which provides a convenient mode of transport of the logs from the forests to the house site although there are now numerous main and side roads for trucking logs and processed timber. In respect of the use of bamboo, many such households can be found in some northern, mountainous provinces like Luangnamtha, Bokeo, Oudomxay, Luangprabang, Huaphanh and Xayaboury, in the east of Savannakhet, and in the provinces of Saravane, Sekong, and Attapeu. These provinces have no wood as a result of land clearing for agriculture and so the house builders must use bamboo as a flooring material.  Other materials are largely used in the provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphanh and Xiengkhuang.

A small fraction of houses in urban areas have concrete flooring with or without tiles. More than half of these urban houses have wooden flooring although a large number have bamboo floors demonstrating the popularity of both wood and bamboo as flooring materials. This preference is based on the availability at affordable prices of second and third grade timber not suitable for export and in some areas on the abundance of bamboo growing on abandoned agricultural land. In addition the type of house flooring used indicates that these houses are destined as permanent residences and is also an indication of the wealth or the poverty of households in the Lao PDR.




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