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doing my own floorboards HEEEEEELP!

(26 Posts)
Tortington Wed 10-Aug-11 01:03:07

OK THE CARPET IS UP and dh and i are utter total fuckwits with no tools and even less knowledge of what to do. but we can't afford the professionals.

so after hammering all the nails in properly

i am guessing i have to seal the gaps somehow


help how do i do this

then.............industrial sander jobby

then then then.....stain and varnish - any

god really cant afford to waste money and can't fuck this up

bbbbob Wed 10-Aug-11 08:14:42

No advice as such. I did it and did a really crap job so only advice I have is not to rush it. We rushed it because i am so impatient and it ended up looking shit very amateur like.

Thistledew Wed 10-Aug-11 08:53:07

DP and I did ours last year. It was worth the result but a lot of work.

The first thing is to make sure the nails are really knocked in- not just flush with the floor but a couple of mil under so that they don't become proud once you have made a couple of passes with the sander.

We hired a floor sander and edging sander, both are essential. Try to hire from somewhere that will offer you use or return on the sanding sheets and then get more than you think you will need. It is a pain to have to stop work just to go back for more. Have the measurement of your room with you when you get the sander and ask the hire store to suggest how many sheets you will need.

Sand across the boards rather than along them. We did several passes with the coarsest sheet, only one with the medium, and then a couple with the fine until it was smooth to touch.

It will get horribly dusty. Open all outside doors and windows and seal up any internal ones with masking tape.

Leave filling gaps in the boards to after you have sanded. To fill gaps between the boards we used foam draft excluder, which I got from Nigel's Eco Store (am on phone now, will do link later). It gives a really nice neat finish to the floor and does not at all look like you have filled the gaps with foam.

We stained the boards using Ronseal floor dye- none of the colours was exactly what we wanted so we mixed two.

We finished the floor with three coats of Ronseal floor oil, which is quite pricy, but has left a super shine, and will not flake like varnish when it wears. It did need three coats though.

Our floor looks lovely now- like fresh shiny conker.

Tortington Wed 10-Aug-11 10:06:04

ooh thistle that sounds nice.

so does the oil just soak in and not wear off then?

and i can't picture the foam at all, do you spray it on and wipe it in?

Thistledew Wed 10-Aug-11 10:29:53

It's a foam strip not a spray. You stretch it out and stuff it between the boards. It honestly looks a lot better than you might imagine. I was really impressed.

Thistledew Wed 10-Aug-11 11:48:32

As to the oil- it soaks in a bit, which is why you need three coats, but it is pretty viscous so forms a layer on top, once it has finished soaking in.

chippy47 Wed 10-Aug-11 11:59:29

You can use the sawdust(or papier mache dyed) that is produced mixed with the varnish to fill gaps if you want. I would sand along the grain not across it.

Lots of online guides

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 12:02:05

Oh lordy! We have two rooms to do. Hall has lovely black, red and white ceramic tiles hidden under a rather busy carpet so will be quite simple to do but the sitting room and dining room both have floorboards that need sorting out.

Not looking forward to it at all. And judging by the fact that DH has been at home since school broke up and hasn't done anything, neither is he hmm

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 12:03:02

thistle - how long did it take to do the whole room?

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 12:38:52

I have found out I can hire a floor sander and an edge sander by the day for 45.50. Anyone know if a day would be enough? Room about 12' x 15'.


Littlefish Wed 10-Aug-11 12:44:17

We filled the gaps with sawdust mixed with pva glue and the floor stain so it ended up the same colour. I think this was a tip from Sarah Beeny on one of her house programmes.

We sanded along the grain, not across.

I think, like Thistledew, we started with the coarsest sandpaper, then did a pass on medium, then the finest sandpaper. Finally, we crawled all over it on hands and knees, sanding by hand any areas which still felt rough.

We did our dining room, office, hall and sitting room which was a massive job, but it looks fantastic now.

aliceliddell Wed 10-Aug-11 12:57:00

One day uninterrupted is enough for 2 smallish rooms. You must wear a mask you can get them at the sander hire place. Take extreme care going round radiator pipes - locate your stopcock before you start. Pipes can be mended with epoxy putty if your idiot partner the sander carelessly accidentally cuts them. You must remove all dust before oil or varnish, after each coat. Hoover then damp cloth. It is very hard work, but worth it. Good luck!

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 12:58:41

Brilliant, thanks alice.

Will insist suggest we get on with it this weekend!

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 12:59:43

In fact if I rip up the revolting carpet in the sitting room when he's out tonight, he'll cuss at me but then we'll have no choice grin

RunsWithScissors Wed 10-Aug-11 13:21:14

Agree with sanding WITH the grain. My mum and I did a large bedroom in a morning. We used oil only. Very easy to wipe on, and allows you back in the room quickly (using the room that evening). Also with oil you can do spot touch ups easily with no need to sand etc the whole floor again. We got a dust-less sander and it was fantastic. Some dust, but loads better than trad sander

GooseyLoosey Wed 10-Aug-11 13:26:06

I think you sand across the grain if the boards are uneven or cupped and then you sand with the grain. Hard to get sanding marks out though when you have sanded across the grain.

Before you put the oil/varnish on, you need to wash the boards down with something to get rid of all of the dust otherwise you get bits on your finished floor. I can't remember what we wiped the floor down with now but it wasn't water.

Don't underestimate the noise, vibration or dust from the big sanders.

chippy47 Wed 10-Aug-11 14:24:42

Wipe down with white spirit

Tortington Wed 10-Aug-11 20:02:36

wow these tips are excellent

and i cant believe its under ~~~~~~~~~£50 to hire? that can't be right

Mammonite Wed 10-Aug-11 20:08:00

best oil for floors 2 coats, indestructible.

Ormirian Wed 10-Aug-11 20:08:41

Actually it was 54 not 45! Oops! However it was a local Somerset company custardo so probably no good for you. But I found this which is still only 61.

Tortington Wed 10-Aug-11 23:36:47

crikey o'reilly, thats aces that is!

i want more filler tips please

i get what your saying about sawdust and glue, but i dont get how it doesn't get gluey everywhere

Tortington Wed 10-Aug-11 23:44:50

also i dont get the oil

how is the wood sealed?

and how does it fair with cleaning products, and a lot of coffee spillages?

Mammonite Thu 11-Aug-11 08:39:16

Osmo oil is pretty hardwearing, it is impervious to water/normal floor cleaning. We have it on our bathroom floor, it has stood up to 5 years of drips and splashes OK. It doesn't wear off. I would really recommend it. We used it on a sanded floor in the last house and it came up beautifully.

Can't help you on gaps, we just left them as they were as it was an upstairs room.

PVA glue dries clear , do you fill the gaps with the sawdust paste and then sand down with the floor? After the first sanding you will have a good supply of sawdust to experiment with grin

confusedperson Thu 11-Aug-11 10:07:30

I did exactly the same to my old floorboards in the kitchen/diner. Knocked in the nails, sanded with a hired industrial sander, filled in some deeper dents with a filler and varnished 6 times with Ronseal clear varnish. Two years on, I just laid a vinyl flooring on top of it, because I couldn’t keep up with two small children (one is in crawling stage), draught and food falling in between boards and every fallen thing leaving a dent. I am so much happier with the vinyl.
I must say though that floorboards work fine in the hallway and living room.
Just wanted to rant!

Sam8082 Thu 11-Aug-11 14:36:12

ditto all the warnings about the dust - we sanded and varnished two separate rooms that were knocked through into one; to keep the spread of dust down we fixed dust sheets from homebase in between the two rooms and across the closed doorways. Most people seemed to have used Ronseal - we stained our boards dark brown so only needed to apply two coats of the stain - we used homebase's own brand which was quite reasonably priced and it turned out v well.

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