Friday, 11 October 2013

My Floor Isn't Made of Woodworm Poo Anymore!

Oops, so I am a little late posting today, was on such a DIY roll last night sorting out the flooring upstairs we decided to keep going instead of finishing off this post, did a bit more tonight as well.  It's getting really exciting, as it's coming along up there...the bedroom will be out of the dining room in no time at this rate.  

So when we left off a week or so ago we were here in the major balls ache that was rebuilding the floor in the living / dining room.  We now had a frame, and I told you here, that we had a delightful gang plank to get to the loo.  We lived with the gangplank for a good while as once the flooring arrived, we had to wait for it to get acclimatised to the room.  Never skip this step, it's super important and prevents shrinking and expanding boards which will warp your floor.  

The flooring was ordered while I was in India, the husband and I did it over email, and neither of us actually went to see the flooring in person, we just ordered it...that's how we are, fly by the seat of the pants type folks.  The only specification we had was that the flooring should be solid pine tongue and groove.  We got four images (courtesy of the retailer Treadwood Flooring & manufacturer containing three options.

Mmmm, too orange!

We went for the darkest option, and great news for us, it was ready stained, and pre-aged, covered in dings and dents already.  Manually ageing each board would have been super laborious, and annoying!  Plus, as an added bonus, we could save sanding and staining for a good few years, and it doesn't need oiling or treating in any way for a good while either.

The time to pack in some insulation, was right before we started to lay the boards, and this was the plan originally.  We decided the wood needed to breath, and it was never coming into contact with any of the brickwork or the ground as we spent so much time prepping and adding damp membranes on the joists, and the grooves would all be sealed so we wouldn't have any draughts, so we skipped it.  If we had of gone forward with insulation, the project would have been several hundred pounds more.  We also managed to saved some cash by using the equipment we already had; an electric chop saw, drills, and jigsaw.  We screwed those suckers down with two inch screws, to make it as creak free and long lasting as we could, which was great as nails guns that are nice and heavy duty are a couple of hundred quid at least.  

Laying the boards was pretty quick and easy, it was just the odd shaped bits to cut that took a little more time, which was fantastic, as my displaced living room ate my kitchen.  Renovation is a nightmare sometimes! 

Kitchen Chaos!

When laying a suspended floor, all you need to remember is that the joins between boards should be over a joist to give it strength, then just have at it.  Measuring the boards is super easy too, no tape measure required, just lay them down as they would be fitted, spin the board around, making sure the top is still at the top, mark up using the already fixed boards as a guide, cut, and fix.  

First lot in...
An hour or so later!
Then before you knew it, we were cleaning up, and actually had a living room for the first time since February.  It was short lived though, as about a week later, we moved the bed downstairs to start work on the upstairs.  Boo! 

Tah-dah!  The room is really coming along
This was the first time we had worked with real wood flooring, so we can share our newbie errors with you.  
1. First, there was a lot more wastage than we thought, sometimes knots and splits were in the most awkward of places, so the boards had to be trimmed and then laid in shorter lengths, which meant when the last board went in, we were one short...(slaps forehead!), as far as fails go this one was pretty epic.
2. We found using real wood over engineered, was that it's never really 100% square, there was a lot of grunting while using our legs to push the boards in under tension and a lot of noodling with gaps to get it evenly spaced before going at it with the screw driver.
3. If I had to do it over, I would seal the raw wood on the back of the boards, just because I am paranoid about damp...this is what this house has done to me...but we live and learn, and time will tell if this was a mistake or not.
4. We should have done our homework on the supplier, as the flooring guy was less than helpful once he had our order, if we order from him again, we will get stung with a hefty delivery charge when we get a pack to cover the one board we need.  We also asked him to supply some colour matched stain, he said he couldn't, so now we have to figure out how to get it direct from the manufacturer.  

Next little item of business, the scores on the doors!

Total Project Cost
26ish sq metres of Flooring: £877.28 (with free delivery)
Labour: £900
Wood, Screws and Sundries:  £520
Sand, Cement etc.: £25.10 
Total: £2,322.38

Not the cheapest but it looks fantastic, the downstairs is totally transformed, so I can't complain.  Plus, as I was still suffering with my back, we opted to get our buddy John in, but this would be much cheaper and totally DIYable if you wanted to save on labour costs.

So we are almost done, we need to seal any wider joins, touch up some dings we made in the stain colour, and fit the pipework for the radiators before the boards under the windows are all screwed down.  So this job may cost us another couple of hundred before we are done, but it will be before Christmas now as we are full steam ahead upstairs.  Can't wait to share some progress up there with you all.


  1. Woohoo! Those floors are looking good!

    1. I know right...just need to get the double bed out of there and this room can get painted.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...