DIY Doctor

Laminate vs solid flooring?

Postby 3magnet » Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:08 am

I have just stripped all our rooms of their existing carpets. I have found that the existing floorboards are TG pine, about 12-18mm thick & 90-100mm wide. I don't know if they are still the original floorboards when the house was built, 1960's? It does seem as if they run at 3m strips, maybe longer. This is uncler as all the carpeting has not yet been lifted.

A new masonary partician wall seems to have been erected ontop of the floorboards, deviding the bathroom from one of the bedrooms. I can't see if the floorboards are running past the wall into the bathroom itself, or stops underneath the wall, somewhere.

I am thus uncertain if I can cut-away some of the existing floorboards next to the wall to make way for new floorboards as the next joist is under the wall itself, or leave the floorboards in-situ. This also leaves me with three options...
1. Do I lay wood laminate over the existing
2. Do I lay solid wood planks ontop of the existing
3. Repair damaged floorboards with wood filler, damaged by plumbers replacing copper pip work.

The last option I'm uncertain of as gaps betwen the floorboards have come-up in some areas and there are some deep cuts made in the wood by some previous DIY enthusiast.

I know that either options will raise the floor-level, but could someone advise me on the best option suitable for the situation please?
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Simply Build It

Postby thedoctor » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:36 pm

Its highly likely that the wall is actually sitting on the floorboards and a double joist is under the wall to give the support required. This means that without supporting the wall while you remove the boards from under it you will be opening yuourself up to the possibility of settlement in the wall....This obviously leaves the 3 options you already know about. Its really about the quality of finish you want. Repairing the old boards (see project on sanding a timber floor) is very rewarding and if done carefully can give a great finish and sense of satisfaction but is time consuming and messy. A new laminate floor gives a great finish, is easy (ish) to install and doesn't cost a fortune. It will also raise the new floor level only a little depending on the quality of laminate you buy. Solid wood planks would be our ideal finish to be honest. They keep the integrity of the property and can be finished to give a great appearence (see our timber floor finishes project). On the downside its more expensive and means you have to have hardwood threshold strips cut to an angle to give a mini ramp to accomodate the change in levels....The bottom line is they are all possible but its your call! Good luck.
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Postby 3magnet » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:37 pm

Hi 'thedoctor,
Thanks for the info/tips. I did however feel that the existing floor should stay where it is due to the wall. I must admit that I would also prefer solid wood flooring to laminate.

The other dilemma is choosing between hardwood & softwood flooring. I can, to be honest, only afford softwood flooring i.e. pine. There are a few suppliers whom sell the pine TG flooring (unfinished) at a reasonable price, but should this then be treated with anti-fungal/rot & insect chemicals before being layed down? I know that the softwood is not as durable as hardwood, but £11.25/m2 is alot cheaper than £36/m2.

Any ideas on how to ensure a proper treatment of the flooring before laying, and if possible, what method will make it easier to lift the floorboards should plumbers need to work on pipes etc?
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