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wooden floors

(47 Posts)
Mercedes Fri 18-Feb-05 21:43:36

After trying to clean our carpet after a particulary messy meal by dd we stood back and thought - we need a wooden floor.

I am confused by the choices- Does anyone have a real wood floor which they laid on top of existing floorboards? We've got 45sqm to cover - how much would it cost?

What is the advantage of putting new floor down over sanding the existing floorboards?

Can anyone recommend a good supplier in SE London or even recommend someone to do a properr sanding and fill in the gaps etc.

stripey Fri 18-Feb-05 22:22:20

We had our floors sanded and sealed last year and they look fantastic. However I didn't realise that every time a toy or object of any description is dropped on them they would scratch and dent quite a bit. With 2 boys in the house not sure how long they will last! I was originally going to have wood floors laid but I am assuming they being real wood (not laminate) they would damage in the same way? Not sure?

Do you have a plastic mat under the high chair?

I would say laminate is a lot more practical although IMO doesn't look as good.

Demented Fri 18-Feb-05 22:25:43

We have original boards sanded and they are great. If you decide to do it I would recommend getting the professionals in as it is heavy/messy work and they leave a better finish than doing them yourself. We had the boards in this house redone as the previous owners had done them themselves and finish wasn't great.

starlover Fri 18-Feb-05 22:26:20

but stripey that adds to the look!
i saw them on a house makeover program hitting the floor with a bag of nails to get that effect!

Mercedes Fri 18-Feb-05 23:14:38

I don't like laminate either - too shiny.

I did see wooden tiles which I thought were laminate but the shop said they had 6mm of real wood on top. I always though real wood floors would be floorboards but obviously not.

DD is 3 and is a wriggler so food spreads quite a bit.

sallystrawberry Fri 18-Feb-05 23:21:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Caligula Fri 18-Feb-05 23:55:11

There's no advantage to putting a new floor over old boards imo - it would just add to the expense and also, you'd feel you had to look after it better.

Original floorboards are practical and you don't need to worry about them- a dent here and there simply doesn't show up the way they they would on pristine new floors.

The only thing is to make sure holes are sealed, otherwise food can go down the cracks(not good when a child vomits!) and it can be draughty.

I'd also recommend getting in the experts - more expensive, but oh so much easier and looks so much better.

nikkim Sat 19-Feb-05 00:34:09

Mercedes I watched my dog run mud through the hallway for the fifth time this week and decided it was time for a wooden floor!!

We don't have wooden floors downstairs so will have to put one in. In the front room there is laminate which is ghastly and will have to be done as well , like someone else said they are too shiny and they need cleaning on the hour!

Like you I don't really know where to look and am a bit worried about the cost, this house swallows money for fun.

Mercedes Sat 19-Feb-05 14:37:44


I did some research on the web - and in London the going rate is £25-£35 to sand the floor. This doesn't include staining it or filling in the gaps.

Given that the downstairs is 45sqm approx - that's a lot of money. I thought it would be around £500 all in. I'll have to look at ny budget again!

Tinker Sat 19-Feb-05 14:45:07

I've got wooden floors and some of them are over 100 years old. The dents are what make them beautiful I think. The splashes of hair dye in the bathroom don't though!

Jbck Sat 19-Feb-05 20:50:13

I've got laminate all through my downstairs & I would never have it again far too much maintenance to keep it looking clean & dustfree although it's obviously way preferable hygiene wise to carpet. I figured real wood boards would need the same upkeep I take it Nikkim they don't?

jenthehen Sat 19-Feb-05 21:09:48

we have new oak floor boards and ilove them. Great for keeping clean and quite warm underfoot. They do dent and scratch but this just adds character!

Mercedes Sat 19-Feb-05 21:34:38

jenthehen- can I be really nosey and ask how much they cost? I'm trying to work out whether it would be chepaer to put a new foor down or pay someone to sand the floor.

bluebear Sat 19-Feb-05 21:47:33

Mercedes - we are in west london and have had a quote for £800 to sand, seal the gaps and varnish our floorboards, versus a quote for £3000 to lay down a real wood (oak) floor on top of the boards.

Some advantages of new boards are that there are no gaps between them, and there will be no draughts (we had sanded boards before and sitting on the floor to play with the kids was very chilly).

nikkim Sat 19-Feb-05 22:07:36

Wooden floors would take upkeep but because they are not so shiny and perfect looking I would imagine they do not need to be cleaned as often.

I think we are going to have to give up on wooden floors, we have cement floors so we have to put joists in and then put the floor on top. Thil will mean having to do the whole downstairs, and I really wanted to keep carpet in the playroom as dd sits on the floor a lot and we want a tiled kitchen. Also I am not quite sure how we can lay a wooden floor in the hall way as it will raise the floor level thereby meaning we will either have an odd step up from the porch.

I will have to look into a more wooden looking laminate that isn't perfect and shiny - is there such a thing?

SofiaAmes Sat 19-Feb-05 23:15:16

nikkim, you should be able to have real wooden floors laid on existing concrete. You just need to put a vapor barrier underneath. There is such a thing as laminate with a matte finish, but at the end of the day it is still laminate. You can also go for prefinished real wood floors which can save some money too.

I think that proper hardwood floors are worth every penny. Look around as there are many more options than oak. You can look here for some ideas. There are light and dark colors ...cherry, maple, mahogany, african woods,...we've put eucalyptus (jarrah) in the downstairs of our house which is super super gorgeous. Upstairs we refinished the existing floor boards. My dh (builder) prepared the floors himself and sealed all the gaps with clear silicone (I can give you the method for this if you want to do it yourself), but he always gets professionals to do the main sanding as it makes all the difference (even with old worn victorian floorboards) getting them done properly.
By the way, the boards that have real wood, but only a thin layer of it, can't be sanded and refinished if they get scratched. I can recommend the guys who did our floor. They were fantastic and extremely reliable, but popular so need to be bookd in advance. Let me know if you want me to look up the info.

hub2dee Sat 19-Feb-05 23:31:50

Hi Sofia,

I'd appreciate it if you could post details for the sanders / floor layers for future reference.


Has anyone done underfloor heating beneath a wood floor ? I looked into it but it appeared to be a little tricky...

nikkim Sat 19-Feb-05 23:47:14

Thank you for the advice SofiAmes, I am glad we can lay a wood floor as my heart was set on one, not quite sure dp will say the same, i think he was a bit relieved that I had hit an obstacle in my flooring plans as he is happy with carpet - but I am sick of it always looking dirty.

Cost is an issue so may look into prefinished wood floors.

SofiaAmes Sun 20-Feb-05 00:44:09

Will post info on sanders in morning. Timber is sooo much better than carpet. Especially when you have children, or a husband or a life. Use area rugs to warm things up where you need it. Washable ones for the children's rooms and nicer ones where there is less danger of spillages.

You can put underfloor heating under timber floors, but you MUST follow the manufacturer's instructions. For real hardwood floors the most important thing is to let the wood acclimatize to the heat slowly and don't turn up the underfloor heating full blast two minutes after the floors are laid (had a client who did this!!). If you look on the website you can see some info about underfloor heating.

hub2dee Sun 20-Feb-05 09:40:27

Thanks for the link. Wirsbo seem to do only wet systems, and I was contemplating an electric underfloor heating solution (easier to control in smarthouse setups, no leaks etc.). I guess any expansion issues for the wood remain similar.

Sofia, Have you ever specced Element 7 / Mafi-manufactured wood flooring ? (hardwood layers in sandwich structure with softwood to absorb movement forces).

Alternatively, I'm thinking about limestone tiles. We've used this elsewhere, with underfloor electric heating and it seems to be holding up very well.

Does anyone have experience of natural stone floors in kitchen / living room with babies / kids ? Am I asking for trouble ?

Anyone found a thin York stone (random patterned) tile that has worked for them ?

Mercedes Sun 20-Feb-05 12:30:36

SofiaAmes - it would be great if you could send on the details of the sanders. I'm not too sure how I give you details of my address as this will be the first time I've done this???

Mercedes Sun 20-Feb-05 12:42:26


Ignore last message. Sorted it out.

SofiaAmes Sun 20-Feb-05 18:33:12

Don't think we've specced that particular brand, but have specced similar. I didn't see any prices on their website. How much is it?

These people do brilliant 600x900x15mm slate tiles that we have used in our kitchen. (I love it and would definitely do it's sooo practical). They also have various other types of stones that are even nicer than yorkstone (as well as york). AND their prices are phenomenal and their stuff is really well cut and good quality and they are really helpful and nice. If you are near kent it's worth going to pay them a visit. It's outdoors, so be prepared (everytime we go it ends up raining!).

Mercedes, I got your CAT. I'll email the info tonight.

PuffTheMagicDragon Sun 20-Feb-05 18:44:40

SofiaAmes, could I have details of the guy who did your floors - I remember you being in West London, reasonably near to me, so I'm assuming he's London based or near.

We had our kitchen floorboards sanded etc 2 years ago and paid someone to do it - they looked gorgeous for 6 months but they now look awful .

Lots of areas where the varnish has worn, filling between boards coming out etc - they look really grubby now .

I like the sound of using silicon to seal between the boards - might last longer than sawdust in a room where a fair bit of moisture is generated due to dishwasher and cooking etc.

Dh did our sitting room boards and did a good job, but the kitchen is big and I want a really professional job for it.

hub2dee Sun 20-Feb-05 21:58:39

Great link, SofiaAmes. They seem to do excellent finishing work on their raw materials. Thanks. We used for beige travertine and there stuff was nice too. Another wet yard, but a dry showroom, also in Kent !

Your slate tiles sound nice. And big. Big and nice. What colour / variation in colours did you go for ? Often I've seen slate that looked a bit too oriental streaky IYSWIM.

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