Putting in a new floor over old timbers - different approach

7 Nov 2006
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United Kingdom
We have original victorian floorboards - not bad nick - but last winter the cold draughts coming up through the gaps made the downstairs very chilly. I sanded the floor and filled the gaps with PVA/sawdust mixture seven years ago but over time this has fallen through in many places - hence the draught.

I've had two people in to quote for a new engineered wood floor:
No 1- a local carpenter who's known for excellent work. He said I just need to order in the hardboard to put on top of the boards, the floorboards and scotia etc, then he'll come in and do. He'll charge £600 for three days work and I'll supply all materials and the floorboards.

No2 - local flooring company. Obviously know their stuff, spent ages looking at the floor and pointing out difference in height of 2cm between front and back receptions (more noticeable since we knocked through to make them one room) which needs to be sorted (they reckoned sanding the back reception floor to bring it nearer the level of the front reception). This will also cause other knock-on issues during the work which I can see now they've been pointed them out. Anyway, these guys also talk about using a foil backed underlay, which the first guy never mentioned. These people will charge £1400 for their work and including all other materials but not the price of the floorboards.

So.... can anyone tell me from this whether the flooring people obviously know their stuff because of the foil-backed stuff etc or are over-doing it and too expensive or is the the first bloke not approaching the job correctly because he hasn't mentioned the underlay? He's much cheaper but would this be a false economy?

I know there are lots of other variables but going from the above I'd appreciate any comments and advice. Thanks
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