Fix Victorian bedroom floors before laying carpet - skirting and floorboard gaps

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by chaoticj, 10 Dec 2017.

  1. chaoticj

    chaoticj

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    Hi guys,

    I need to fix three bedroom floors in a Victorian house (circa 1890) before carpet is laid.

    In each room there are gaps around the skirting, main bedroom has most of these filled but looks unsightly with cracks etc. another has a few filled and the remaining one has none filled. Some kind of wood seems to have been used?

    Do all of these gaps need to be filled? If so, how? The underlay and carpet will be quite thick so these may not be as visible once everything is laid?

    [​IMG]

    The main bedroom has a piece of skirting with a socket in it that leans forward at one end. If this is fixed, should it be before the carpet is laid and how would I go about it?

    [​IMG]

    Finally all the rooms have some floorboards with gaps, probably because they have been lifted to fit various things in the rooms below. I have seen pine slivers on ebay, is this the best thing to get to fill the gaps? They are quite expensive and carpet will be laid so the floors won't be seen.

    Are there any cheaper alternatives? I will be laying paper before underlay and carpet are fitted.

    What would I do about any damaged boards that can't be glued etc. would I need to source some new/reclaimed boards?

    Thanks in advance,
    chaoticj
     
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  3. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    1) Gaps under the skirting- no scale in the pics so it is hard to tell how big they are. Have you picked your carpet and underlay already- if so then get a sample (of the carpet) and a bit of grip rod and try it to the skirting and see what it looks like. While the room is bare you might want to sand the bottom of the skirtings and filler/whatever to lose all that buildup of paint.

    2) Fix your skirting before the carpets are done. That socket in the skirting concept is very old fashioned and not good for the cable (usually you can only just get a plug in with the cable heavily kinked on the floor.
    I suspect you'll find that the whole length of skirting is proud at the top and has been filled all the way along its length, you'll need to be careful removing it otherwise you'll pull lumps of ageing lime plaster off with it so run a knife along the join between board and wall. You'll also need to electrically isolate that socket and remove it, again good odds it'll have no slack on the cabling behind it. If you're lucky you'll find a loose or refixed bit of floorboard nearby that'll get you into the floor space so you can do something about the cable (best place for that socket is chased into the wall about 30 mm above the skirting board). While you're messing with skirting and floorboards you might want to consider some more sockets in that room- looks like a large room and 1 socket is a bit mean these days

    3) If you're using good quality underlay and carpet you can ignore any gaps up to 6mm or so. Any boards that move when you walk on them- now is the time to lift them and support them properly (as you say, cut previously to install heating/power then replaced with the cuts unsupported). 2" roof batten works well, as does 3 x 1 PSE. Use screws not nails to fix- means you can get them up again if necessary, also reduces chance of damage to ceiling below from percussive maintenance.

    Floor surface- if you are carpeting then don't mess about with pine slivers, sounds like a very expensive waste of time. If you can't live with the uneven floor surface then sheet the whole room with 4mm or 6mm MDF but be careful- either check the whole room for cables, pipes etc just below the floorboards in joist notches or use fixings shorter than 6mm plus the floorboard thickness. If there are any critical floor traps (eg boards marked LIGHT BELOW or HEATING PIPES BELOW) then make and mark similar access traps (with some overlaps obviously) in your MDF for future reference

    Before you do any carpeting, consider any other works that need doing (like extra sockets, radiators, that sort of thing)
     
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  4. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    If it's the ground floor then yes, if upstairs then not too important. If you do want, use decorators caulk if the gaps are reasonably small.
    Do it before, I'd drill through the board and into the wall then use a frame fixer, about 60mm should be plenty. Then fill over the screw head with wood filler and repaint
    Yes, just use hardboard if the floor is pretty flat. You can wet it then staple it down th withe small gaps between. If the floor is in worse condition you can use plywood instead and nail or screw it. Last resort is remove the floor boards and replace with 18mm ply, but it's not likely to be needed.
    As above, if the plywood matches then use that. Often places like wickes have boards that match, I found their 144x18 was almost a perfect match for ours, if not you may have to rip some bigger pieces.
     
  5. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Unless the gaps in the boards can be felt through the carpet, I wouldn't worry. The paper and underfelt would prevent drafts.

    Gaps at the skirting could be filled with caulk but should be hidden by carpet
    If the skirting is loose it might be pulled back using screws, or take it off and refix it
     
  6. chaoticj

    chaoticj

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    Hi guys,

    Apologies for the late reply - had the flu! thanks for all your helpful replies particularly oldbutnotdead.

    All of these rooms are upstairs bedrooms.

    Bed 3 6-8mm skirting gaps most filled? Underlay is 9mm and carpet 6-7mm thick.

    Bed 2 6-7mm skirting gaps most filled? Looks rubbish as they are proud of the skirting - sharp wood chisel to trim and then sand? Underlay is 11mm and carpet 8mm thick.

    Bed 1 7-10mm skirting gaps none filled. Underlay is 11mm and carpet 8mm thick.

    Considering all bedrooms will have combined underlay and carpet thicker than the gaps, can the gaps be left?

    When you press on leaning skirting there is movement. I think it needs taking off and refixing. If I used a frame fixer how would this work? Just drill through skirting near top and screw it tight? The wall (plaster) dips in above here and there seems to be a big 35mm filled gap on top of skirting over about 1m.

    Biggest floorboard gaps look like ends of cut boards where wood has split off or lifted edges. Other gaps maybe around 6mm. How do you support a cut, how is the 2" roofing batten fixed?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!
     
  7. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Boards are normally cut right next to a joist.
    What most people do is to lift the board and screw a batten onto the joist to make it wider where the cut is - it only needs to be 2x1/2x2
    Then screw the board to that.
     
  8. Lower

    Lower

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    Where the skirting is pushed in at the bottom, what is the wall behind it? If its solid you can sometimes cut and lift the end of a floorboard (there may be one that's already been cut from when the house was wired and that socket put in the skirting) and pack behind it to get it upright.
     
  9. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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