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Advice Request Regarding Laying New Floor

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by Gary0, 31 Jul 2009.

  1. Gary0

    Gary0

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    Hi. I was hoping to garner advice on laying floorboards. To give a small history of the situation so far :


    When I first bought my house I'd not been there long when I realised one part of the dining room floor tended to give a little more than I was comfortable with. But as I didn't want to rip up the cork tiling it was left for quite a while. When I finally ripped up the tiles I discovered a woodworm problem and had to call in a pest control company to spray under the floorboards. They left and I had what appeared to be a reasonable floor so the new carpet went on and it's been used ever since.

    Recently I chose to 'do up' the room and part of this involved lifting the floorboards. Many crumbled and split as I tried to take them up. It seems they were not in the best of condition when "fixed" last time. So I decided to replace them all in that room, and use any salvageable for "patching" elsewhere in the house where needed.

    But to keep it all much the same I opted not to go for this T&G that seems almost ubiquitous these days, but to buy square ended planks as the originals were. Most advice I've seen seem to be T&G related. Or even for floors being laid on existing floors rather than joists. I've since cut the planks to length (except for the last 2) and have the following queries I'd like to know about before I proceed to screw them down.



    a) What is the usual practice as far as selling floorboards are concerned ? When mine arrived I was able to check the first few, and they seemed better than expected, but I needed to get them in out of the rain so further checks were minimal. While I was cutting them to size I found that most had splits at, at least one end. Is that usual ? I'm glad I didn't risk ordering exact length. And despite assurances that I wouldn't get knot holes some have them. I'm not just taking about pretty patterns, but of 'indentations' that would need to be filled if on the upper surface. For the most part I've managed to keep them underneath but I wasn't expecting it.

    b) I assumed the wood would have been seasoned or whatever, but when I placed them in position I found that the edges touched each end, but there was a gap in the middle. Most of this was solved by spinning a plank 180 degrees and replacing it, but at least one had a small gap either way around. Is this usual ?

    c) The original planks had gaps between them anyway, which was useful for getting a crowbar in when any needed to be lifted. But they used to have tiles or lino or carpet over them. I'm intending to have the new ones on show, suitably waxed or varnished or whatever. Are they normally fixed in contact with each other or is there a standard gap that is needed for future expansion ?

    d) The originals had nothing under them but were fixed directly to the joists. Is that still the best way to lay the floor ?

    Thanks for you patience reading all that, and any advice you can give.
     
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  3. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Did you buy pine boards and where did you buy them from?
     
  4. Gary0

    Gary0

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    They are European Oak from a Timber Merchant the other side of town from the house.
     
  5. WoodYouLike

    WoodYouLike

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    Could be the Oak floor was been dried to timber specification and not to floor specifications. do you know the grade it was sold for? (Rustic, extra rustic)
     
  6. Gary0

    Gary0

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    I'm unsure such terms were used. Just planed oak cut to order. I had a few e-mail exchanges before ordering which I've just looked up. I was assured the timber was suitable for flooring and whilst oak was a natural product and so there could not be guaranteed it would be knot free, but boards with large knots or where knots will fall out would not be supplied. I feel that the places which will need filling probably stretches that description somewhat. But the splits and warp were certainly a surprise.
     
  7. ratman123

    ratman123

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    !
    10-15mm expansion gaps should be left around the perimeter of the floor. Check the moisture content of the boards (seasoned to what?). If they are air dried (16%+)then butt them up, if they are properly kiln dried to 10% then leave a small 1/2mm gap between boards (on top of the 10-15mm around the room).

    Yes.

    What is under the floor though, is it a ground floor with a ventilated air space?

    If so, then fix down a layer of chipboard/plywood just to stop air blowing through. If you don’t want to increase the floor height, just use a thin board or a membrane, and fix the oak boards through that and into the joists below, use tape to mark the joist positions.


    If you don’t know what grade was discussed, you might just get what you get.

    Splits thought the board though should be reasonably rejected unless it was a handful of boards.
     
  8. Gary0

    Gary0

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    Thanks for the response. Grateful for advice. Was beginning to think I might need to just have a crack at it and hope for the best.

    Does one need special equipment to measure the boards moisture content ?

    Air space. There is a concrete base a foot or so below the joists. I believe there is ventilation but will have to check next time I am at the property later this week. I'll need to check that the kitchen extension hasn't stopped up anything.

    As a non-expert/DIYer I had started off with the assumption that floorboards must be a fairly common item to get at a standard good quality. But checking the Internet and the Yellow Pages it seemed difficult too find many claiming to be selling what I was looking for. Square edge oak, at the length/width I wanted. We had discussed the type of quality I was locking for and what use I was to put it to and assured it was suitable. Had no idea about grades though. Trouble is that when one is only buying enough boards for a single room, one could describe the whole order as "a handful". I did manage to saw most of the problem off for the effected boards. Too late to reject them now though.

    I'll double check the gaps at the end, but I think most will be ok as I finally decided to cut the length to be plaster to plaster rather than brick to brick. Decided the skirting would hide the edge and it should be easier to remove at a later date when needed to get to cables/pipes.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. DIYnot Local

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