Hopefully going to buy a flat very soon. I fancy lifting the carpet in the living room and getting the floorboards sanded and varnished in a darkish colour with some rugs, throws, cushions etc to give a sort of rustic look IYKWIM. And maybe get a sort of old fashioned table (the sort with knots in the wood or something like that). Not a huge room but wondered how much hassle this would be and/or would be it be hugely expensive to get someone to do it for me? Is it very messy to do but do you love it when it's done? Or do you wish you had stuck to carpets? I know a friend of mine has them and stuff is always going down the gaps but I don't think her floorboards were in very good condition in the first place.
If you are going to do it yourself make sure no nails are visible. If they are they will rip the sanding belts to pieces and obviously nowhere will be open to replace them rendering the machine useless.<bitter voice of experience> You do need to fill the gaps.
But personal experience. We've just done the bedroom floorboards in our new house. They were in really good condition anyway so the OH just ran over them with a handheld sander, added bonus of having an outlet straight to the vacuum so not too dusty either. Tongue and groove boards so we didn't worry about the gaps. Treated with Danish Oil once done.
Really pleased with how it's turned out. It was a bit of a rush job as the whole house needs redoing and we wanted one room that was semi-ok to move into.
I did this in the spare room at my old house. The machines are heavy and were very difficult for me (5 ft 2) and 9 stone to control. I had to ask for help from my dad in the end as the machine was so powerful it kept running away with me.
Tips - remove all nails, seal up the room once you are in it (dust will go everywhere in the house), wear a face mask/cover, and go in the same direction with every move (like grass cutting) or you can end up with an uneven finish. Do the edge's first as they are the worst and are done with a circular hand saw so can create sanding marks that the big one will remove.
Thanks for replies - it's a ground floor flat and am buying so no lease to think about. I don't know what condition the floorboords will be in if I take the carpet up so it might be a non starter. How much would it be to pay someone to do a fairly small living room do you think - about 16' x 12'