Bouncy Floor

12 Jul 2006
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United Kingdom
I have suspended wooden floors on the ground floor of my approx 120 year old terraced house. The floor just inside the front door is very bouncy and has had problems with damp in the past. We had a new door fitted to solve the problem of water coming in due to the old door being fitted the wrong way round (water from frame draining in instead of out).

First thing I'd like to know is if there is some good way of easily removing chipboard type floor off the joists - its a really confined space which doesn't help and I'm really struggling to wrench it up with claw hammer, its probably just me that isnt strong enough, but if anyone has any tips on a technique that will work better that would be great :)

When I've got the floor up and had a look and a check for damp, I plan to re-support the joists then lay some new boards. Any advice on this bit?

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Get hold of a cordless skill saw - mine is a dewalt 24volt - I don't mean buy one but try and borrow one or hire it. Cordless will help if the space is confined eg no trailing lead.

Try and find our the thickness of the board and set the plate of the saw to that depth. don't forget to lock it off :eek:

This will enable you to cut through the flooring but not the joists. It should come up easily.

BEWARE!! Before you start check to see if any cables/pipes look as if they run below as some plumbers/sparks may have notched out the joists to run wires/pipes.

I reckon the floor is bouncy due to the joists being spongy - they are probably wet!! You will more than likely have to replace them. Hope this helps.
So now I've managed to get the floor up...




The left side is supported and seems fine, the right side is really bouncy and un supported. I'm trying to figure out how its ended up like that and whats the best way to fix it...?
Someones attempted to repair it in the past - see the new timber. What I'd do is take the whole floor up back to where the joists look ok, cut the joists, and bolt in new sections of joist.

What are the piesec of wood underneath supported by? How much space is underneath and what is the sub-floor material?
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by 'repairing' those floor joists, the offender has stifled any airflow that may have been servicing the timbers.

be sure to provide a source of changeable air to any new timbers.
If your going to live there for some time either rip the lot out. and replace with a solid floor/ If replacing with new timber scrape out the sub floor 12" below timbers/ use tanilized for joists, locate any air bricks if any make sure they are not blocked hard to tell by pics. but that sub floor is to near the timbers.
grrr, hack out all the rotten stuff and cut back to good; dig out all the rubble and rubbish; put in a honeycombed dwarf wall for the new joists to stand on without touching that wet outer wall; provide some ventilation to outside air circulation.
hi thanks for replies. I had a mate round to look at it and he said really it does want rippining out and replacing with new joists and floorboards... but for now i can support the existing joists with some brick piers and bits of wood sitting ontop of the wood underneath - ive done this and its made the floor feel much more solid so it will do for now! My dad (I co own the house) has been away for the week and hes home on monday so i want to get it put back so he doesnt complain! I plan to put parque flooring (the wood block type) down in a few years so I'll get the floor fixed proper then. We sorted the underfloor ventilation out when we moved into the house 6 years ago - it had been blocked off with rubble from when they demolished the back ground floor chimney breast.


ok good ' the air brick was the problem. have you inspected the rest of the house making sure the air bricks are clear this is important. in order for the sub floor to breathe, that is > air bricks at the front & air bricks at the back cause a push & pull of air under the sub floor. Tip if you live by the coast like i do, Cover your air bricks during the winter with a piece of slate or a few bricks it keeps quite a bit of draft out during the winter. But remember to remove any obstruction come spring.

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