Is moving floorboards room to room feasible or worthwhile?

11 Sep 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi guys,

This is my first post here, but since my girlfriend and I bought our first house a year ago, I've had so much advice from these pages - invaluable to an enthusiastic, capable, but inexperienced DIY-er! thanks!

My current project is to decorate our 3story hallway (C.1900), but particularly the ground floor floorboards.

We currently have 4" pine boards down, and half of them are original and in (reasonably) good nick - a few have split, and a few have screw/nail holes from being previously lifted, i assume. The other half are mismatched, new boards, and horrid. There is appx. 1ft space underneath, to bare ground.

Currently, my plan is to move some decent floorboards from our (currently exposed, soon to be carpeted) bedroom to replace those unsightly/damaged boards downstairs.

My first question is: Is there a consideration in doing this a noob may not have thought of re. ease/practicality of doing? We have looked at buying reclaimed boards, but currently cannot afford this option due to hefty car service bill, and baby in 7mths!

I also intend to insulate, and draft proof the floor. Does anyone have any opinion on which is better- celotex-type rigid insulation, or net supported loft insulation? Have airbricks in the subfloor for ventillation, but without lifting the whole floor, I can't yet know if these are patent, or sufficient to prevent damp/rot.

I am having trouble getting ym head around expansion gaps. Obviously there are gaps between boards at the mo, but as my intention is to lift the entire floor, should i re-lay them as tightly as possible, leaving 10mm just around the perimeter, or do i need to leave slight gaps between the individual boards?

Also, should i run the insulation right up to the exterior walls, or would this provide a conduit for moisture? and finally, after insulating between the joists, is it sensible to lay a membrane over them, directly under the boards, rather than trying to fill any remaining gaps to prevent drafts, and if so, what properties should i be looking for in such a membrane?

sorry for the long post, and thank you in advance for any advice.
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