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to think that sanding our downstairs floors won't be a complete nightmare?

(15 Posts)
piggypeppa Fri 26-Jun-09 13:25:43

Moving soon to a house with not the greatest carpets so will be getting rid of them sharpish! I love real wood floors but can't afford to buy them and can only afford laminate which I'm not too keen on (find it a bit cold on the feet). dh thinks I'm mad to consider hiring a sander and doing it ourselves but I want to give it a go. We will have a couple of weeks with the house empty in order to get it done so that should make it easier. Anyone had experience of this, would you do it again or go for the laminate as an easier option? Thanks

MadameDefarge Fri 26-Jun-09 13:26:30

sand them. Laminate is sooo finished wink

listenglisten Fri 26-Jun-09 13:28:35

In our last house we decided to sand the floors and under the carpet, the wooden floor was covered in a thick dark varnish. We hired a sander for the weekend and it was very easy, noisy but easy!

Under the varnish, we had the most beautiful herringbone parquet flooring and it was so lovely to walk on barefoot, cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Do you know that the floors are decent under the carpet?

If they are, I would go for it.

ChocolateRabbit Fri 26-Jun-09 13:29:30

Sanding definitely. Bit of work, but the results are so gorgeous if your floor boards are halfway decent.

piggypeppa Fri 26-Jun-09 13:33:05

Unfortunately until we get the keys next week we won't know what state the boards are in but here's hoping! Is it me or does anyone else find laminate really noisy if the kids drop a toy? Also, is sanding the kind of thing you could get done in a couple of days did you find?

francagoestohollywood Fri 26-Jun-09 13:33:09

Go for the wooden floors. They are gorgeous.

thedolly Fri 26-Jun-09 13:33:51

A bit of nail punching before you sand and a lot of hard work filling gaps and making good after - the sanding is the easiest step but it's worth it.

francagoestohollywood Fri 26-Jun-09 13:34:21

I think it takes a day to sand an average room? Not sure, as we had someone sanding the floor for us. A year later, we also had the gaps between the pieces of wood filled. No draughts!

piggypeppa Fri 26-Jun-09 13:35:11

how do you fill the gaps thedolly? (you can see I'm a complete novice)

SoupDragon Fri 26-Jun-09 13:37:39

A friend had hers sone professionally and they used brown mastik (silicon sealant stuff). She was doubtful but it looked fab - it still looked like there were gaps but they were completely filled and the sealant flexes with the boards and won't shrink, crack or drop out.

francagoestohollywood Fri 26-Jun-09 13:39:05

Ours was filled with wood. Fantastic job.

Woooozle100 Fri 26-Jun-09 13:39:57

looks fab but I found it a absolutely hideous job

if you can get out of the way for a weekend and get someone else to do it - brilliant

make sure all gaps in doorway etc are sealed. Worth having a better mask than rubbish paper thing you get. I was hacking up grey stuff for weeks after

when done clean the floors (was it with soda crystals / bicarb? can't remember which one) let dry for couple of days then varnish

heliotrope Fri 26-Jun-09 14:29:37

It's worth the dirt especially as house empty so easy to clean up. Try to seal the doors to keep the dust in. Hire a big sander and a small edging sander. It is very noisy and you'll need dust masks and maybe ear defenders. How hard it is depends on the state of the boards - if they haven't been varnished before it should be easy. You'll have to varnish the boards afterwards too.
Decent laminate can look ok too though, and is more wipeable with kiddies.

Qally Fri 26-Jun-09 14:40:38

D'you have a cellar? We rented a place with gorgeous stripped boards, but with no cellar to act as a barrier between the earth and us, the cold just slayed us in winter. Was freezing. Never, ever again.

thedolly Fri 26-Jun-09 17:42:08

We have tried various things over the years from expanding foam which eventually shrunk and fell through to scrunched up paper squashed into the gaps with a thin layer of filler on top.

The best thing by far is to use long slivers of wood (meticulously cut by hand) and glue them into the larger gaps. You can just leave the smaller ones unfilled.

A plane is a useful tool when gap filling and it is debatable whether or not to fill first then sand or rough sand then fill followed by a final smooth sand.

Good luck.

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