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Solid wood flooring, what are my options without raising the height?

Discussion in 'Floors, Stairs and Lofts' started by Justintime4t, 15 Jun 2016.

  1. Justintime4t

    Justintime4t

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    Hi there,

    We have a 1900 Victorian terrace whereby the floorboards are not in good condition (we sanded them when we moved in and they are structurely sound) but a mixture of 1900/1950 and a few chop outs from previous owners etc.

    We like the exposed flooring and therefore would either like to keep it/fix it, modify it or replace with a solid floor?

    Currently these floorboards are 20mm thick? 1700mm wide and nailed onto the joists throughout the house (suspended wooden flooring)

    Anyhow, we can not simply just put new solid floor on top as its too think, so can not accept the extra inch in height in each room, hallway, stairs etc, so my question is,

    1. can I remove the floorboards which are suspended) lay a thinner plywood (if so what size?) before then putting down the underlay and then the 22mm solid wood floor - or am I wasting my time


    2. should just replace all the old floor boards with modern t&g flooring that kills 2 birds with one stone?

    3. should I remove all the boards and then relay them it a better layout, that minimises the gaps between them and also remove the dodgy ones.

    4. If I remove the boards and replace, can I re-sand them (where needed) and then varnish (which we did august 2015) and if so will the same varnish dry the same colour and match easily?

    5. Just put a rug down to hide the dodgy bits.

    Many thanks,

    Justintime4t
    Cardiff
     
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  3. gingerbiscuit

    gingerbiscuit

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    It's all a matter of personal preference, if you want to retain the Victorian look of the floor your best bet would be to search out a reclamation yard and get hold of some suitable boards and replace the dodgy ones. Modern T&G is fine, but it will not have the patina, or aged look of your old Victorian floor. Horses for courses really.
     
  4. Gerrydelasel

    Gerrydelasel

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    Probably wasting your time. You need 18mm thicnkess minimum for flooring. Solid wood flooring is normally decorative only -it has no structural value. That means the ply would have to be 18mm, which isn't really much thinner than what you already have.

    I have been mulling over exactly the same problem in my house. Since I only want to do the hallway, I think I am leaning towards replacing all the boards with new 22mm floorboards, stained to look old. Either that or lay reclaimed parquet flooring on the old boards, so I can at least control exactly how it meets the walls.
     
  5. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    I would go for Option 5.
     
  6. Justintime4t

    Justintime4t

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    thank you for all the replies.
    So the option to put plywood underneath is not a valid option, I think I will look and see how much effort it is to take up the boards in one room and reposition. Also, when these boards are lifted, can you put a liner down to stop the draugths for the void underneath but is still breathable for the timbers? thank you
     
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  8. Gerrydelasel

    Gerrydelasel

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    Is there a cellar or crawl space? Normally you would staple the liner on the underside of the joists. But I suppose in a pinch you could drape it across the joists, sagging inbetween to allow ventilation.

    Having looked into my own problem some more I now think I will lay 1/4" ply over the boards, then fit luxury vinyl. You can buy this in very convincing wood, stone, and tile effects, but total thickness should be manageable.
     
  9. Justintime4t

    Justintime4t

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    No cellar, by crawl space there is probably 200mm-300mm under most of the flooring - so lets say not really!

    I'm going to take a look at whether or not there is a good way of getting olf floorboards up (non- t&g) in a reliable method to not damage them, then relay them closer together without gaps.
     
  10. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    Assuming your boards are fitted with brads, I doubt you'll get them up without some damage where the heads pull through. Non-T&G gives you a big advantage though. Once you have one or two up you can put a bit of 4x2 across two joists, to use as a fulcrum, and lever the boards off the joists with another bit. Taking care not to displace the joists. That's how I did mine, then sanded and refitted over insulation. They were slightly more "rustic" by the time they went back ...
     
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  11. Justintime4t

    Justintime4t

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    Thanks Gerald - interested to hear your experience and what you did regarding insultation?
     
  12. geraldthehamster

    geraldthehamster

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    I fixed Celotex underneath and between the joists with screws and expanding foam. Making sure that my air bricks could still ventilate the underfloor.

    If you search this forum for "suspended floor insulation", there are loads and loads of posts on the topic, and photos.

    Happy to answer any specific questions from my experience, which is limited to the ground floor of one house.

    Cheers
    Richard
     
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