Replacing Floorboards: nail gun or hammer?

18 Feb 2012
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United Kingdom
We’re in the process of renovating the spare room in our 1970’s house. It’s in the process of being completely re-plastered at the moment.

We like the idea of a ‘Nordic’ look with a white oiled or painted floor, and much prefer the look of natural wood floorboards rather than an engineered board or laminate.

The existing boards have been covered with a carpet and have a few war wounds- old radiator pipe cuts, staples, nails etc. I’m concerned that they may be beyond ‘rustic’ and just plain tatty!

I’m thinking it may me an opportunity to just lift the boards and replace them, before sanding, and oiling the new boards. It would also be an opportunity to put some sound insulation on the underfloor space.

Do you think it’s better to replace the boards rather than just fixing boards over the existing floor (I’m thinking access to the underfloor space in the future)? If I do lay new boards and hide the nails by fixing through the tongue, am I better doing it my hand or with a nail gun?

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Paint or oil the boards before laying , take up old floor , dangerous just wacking nails in blindly .

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