Reclaimed pine flooring

3 Nov 2010
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi everyone

I'd be grateful for some advice on a new wooden floor. I live in a converted warehouse. I'm about to renovate it. One of the things that I will need to do is replace the flooring (which is currently Kahrs engineered walnut).

To put some authenticity back into the flat, I want to use reclaimed pine floorboards. In particular, these ones

I am having a bit of a disagreement with my architect. He says that I should only use engineered boards in a room that has central heating. He says that using solid wood boards is a recipe for disaster, because they will move, and I will end up "disappointed". I've also heard some other people say that pine boards, as a soft wood, are more prone to swelling/moving etc.

However, my research suggests that reclaimed boards should be more stable because they've had time to age, and that as long as they are fitted properly and the correct procedures are followed, there shouldn't be any major issues using solid wooden boards.

Can anyone offer any advice or views? I really want to reuse reclaimed pine boards, as they fit the character of the flat perfectly.

If it helps, I live on the fifth floor. The sub-floor is concrete screed. The area to be covered will be a bedroom, a living/dining/kitchen area and a hall. The kitchen area will be small, and is open plan and properly ventilated (extractor fan, etc) - in other words, I don't expect there is a huge build up of humidity etc when the kitchen is used. The flat has central heating (obviously) but as it's a warehouse the temperature seems pretty steady otherwise.

Also, assuming that I can use them, can anyone suggest how I can make sure I get a proper floor fitter that understands solid wood floors and knows what they're doing? I've fitted engineered flooring myself before - and I know there are lots of companies that do it, but it seems that solid wood flooring requires a fair deal more preparation and skill to fit properly.

Many thanks.
Sponsored Links
You are right about the reclaimed boards are most often already "stable" BUT it depends on how they have been stored at this reclamation company.

What will be the total width of the floor when it's installed? Lengthways it will hardly move, width ways is more important to determine the expansion gap you need to have all around.
Thanks for your reply.

The width of the floor will be about 4 metres in each room. I think for pine that means I need around a 200mm expansion gap.

One other thing - some of the walls dont have skirting boards as they are the original brick. What do I do with the expansion gap against that wall? Can I just leave a gap or is there something I can fill it with (that would flex to allow the wood to move)?
Thanks for your reply.

The width of the floor will be about 4 metres in each room. I think for pine that means I need around a 200mm expansion gap.
That's about right, do use thresholds in between doorways

For the wall where there's no skirtingboard, what ever you do, don't fill it with cork strips (as some might advice). You can ask a local joiner to make you wider flat beading (ours are only 28mm wide) or an L-profile that's pinned to the floor and cover the gap.
Sponsored Links
WoodYouLike, thank you very much.

So if I've understood you correctly, you're saying that as long as the floor is fitted properly there should be no problem using a solid wood reclaimed pine floor?

In other words, that my architect is being overcautious when he insists on engineered floors for rooms with central heating?

Also, do you have any suggestions how I might find a good installer that has experience of installing solid floors? I'm in London.
He is indeed cautious - and rightly so in other circumstances, too many solid board floors go horrible wrong.

Make sure you let the reclaimed boards acclimatise properly in the areas where you plan to install them for at least 1 - 2 weeks. If you take the correct precautions, make the correct preparations and use the correct tools/materials installing a solid floor is as easy/difficult (depending on your DIY-skills) as wood-engineered boards.

How do you plan to install it? glueing down, "floating", using Elastilon self-adhesive underlayment?
Well, I was planning on getting a professional to install it, although I could be tempted to do it myself.

I have no idea about installation methods - what do you suggest? Is one method less likely to result in movement, i.e. is gluing the boards down better than letting them float?
Glueing would be an option, but your boards have to be very straight and the concrete floor very level to make sure the adhesive bonds properly (with at least 80% of every board connecting with the adhesive).

Elastion would be a good option too.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links