Advanced search

Charging £15 per square meter for laying flooring (PigletJohn and other knowledgeable of building and renovations)

(18 Posts)
QuintessentialOHara Thu 18-Apr-13 12:01:15

I want to insulate my ground floor floor. Currently there is just floorboards, empty under the floorboards, underlay and laminate flooring. The ground floor is freezing cold in winter.

I had a floorer by yesterday, he advised to keep the laminate floor rather than lifting it, and adding an underlay with thermal silver foil layer, and solid wood flooring on top. He charges £15 per square meter. His labour will therefore be £660. Does this sound reasonable? He also recommended ordering from

How thick should a good floor be? 90mm? 125 mm? 150mm? Laquered or oiled?

PigletJohn Thu 18-Apr-13 13:09:25

don't know. I pay my joiner £130 a day. If you can find one he will be skilled at taking up and laying floors.

your contractor can't be bothered to take up the old stuff, that's all.

if it is cold and draughty the best solution would be to lift it and apply mineral quilt between the joists. a builder, joiner or carpenter could do it. If you are taking it all up you could then relay proper floorboards from scratch onto the joists instead of adding another layer of bits on top. Or you could lay 18mm WBP ply, screwed down, which you can paint or stain, or use as a base for future laminate, vinyl or carpet. It will not be draughty if laid by a competent joiner or carpenter, and the quilt will insulate it.

If the subfloor is chipboard it belongs in a skip. I had my joiner take mine up and lay ply, as solid hardwood floorboards were more than I could afford at the time, and I wanted to carpet it.

90mm, 125mm and 150mm are widths not depths. 90mm is less likely to crack.

If you are lifting the floor, sweep up the rubbish from under it, and clear the dust and cobwebs out from the airbricks. Don't block them. Insulate any pipes while you have access.

QuintessentialOHara Thu 18-Apr-13 13:16:09

You reckon he could be lazy?

I was looking at the floor he had laid at a neighbours, and there were visible gaps between the floor boards (the short side) and he said it was because of poor quality flooring, the floor had come in uneven lengths.

I should have thought that he should have been able to line them up whatever their lengths?

QuintessentialOHara Thu 18-Apr-13 13:16:39

Thanks for replying, btw. smile

PigletJohn Thu 18-Apr-13 16:46:10

I don't know about lazy, but he doesn't seem to have your best interests at heart.

If you put another layer on top of your existing floors, you will have to have all your doors taken off and cut shorter, and either refix the skirtings or have an ugly join and fillet.

I would not expect to see noticable gaps at the short ends of flooring unless the fitter was unskilled or the boards were poor quality and did not line up (this can happen with "job lots" of flooring; another sign is lots of short pieces in the delivery)

I presume you are going to spend a few thousand on the floor, so I would want it done nicely.

If you are putting boards straight down onto the joists, they are usually 18 to 22mm thick, and must be in long pieces (2 metres or more long mostly and a minimum of 1200mm so they stand on three joists)

If you are putting engineered on top of a sound floor, 15mm thick will do.

If it was me and I had a problem with cold and draughts, I would take them up, insulate between the joists, and put down 18mm WBP ply; or real floorboards if I could afford it.

Ordinary flooring ply is very rough, with cracks and live or dead knots on the top, I was lucky enough to get fair-faced 18mm WBP hardwood ply from Wickes, my joiner and I selected the best pieces from the stack and loaded them onto his van. Stained and varnished, it looks like the deck of a boat. I have the skill to grain and stain it to look like planks though. Rougher stuff will need carpet, vinyl or (at least) laminate on top. If I was going for a hardwood floor I would miss out the ply and get a carpenter in to lay floorboards (it would be rather expensive). I wouldn't think it sensible to lay a new ply floor and then another new hardwood one on top.

Avoid chipboard flooring.

QuintessentialOHara Thu 18-Apr-13 17:48:07

I hear what you are saying, I am reading and digesting.

Do you think I could reuse the original floorboards? Other neighbours have stripped their floors, sanded and varnished. They are beautiful solid wood floors. But their floors are even colder than mine, due wind blowing up between the floorboards.

Could I lift the floorboards, insulate between the joists, and put the floorboards back again?

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Thu 18-Apr-13 18:24:37

I've heard that lifting floorboards, insulating and putting them back is possible. I think you have to support the insulation with something - chicken wire possibly? hmm

Think I read it on a blog, some googling might bring it up.

PigletJohn Thu 18-Apr-13 18:54:59


yetanotherworry Thu 18-Apr-13 20:09:49

If its any help, I've just paid £8 psm to have an engineered floor laid. I supplied the wood and the underlay. The fitter has not left nay strange gaps but has trimmed the edges to make a straight edge before he put skirting board over them (and now my draughty floor is nice and warm).

AliceWChild Thu 18-Apr-13 20:38:33

Can I just butt in and ask if you can use insulating board instead of the wool stuff? That's what my builder wants to do. Little batons and insulating board, then cover with ply.

PigletJohn Thu 18-Apr-13 22:24:14

Between the joists, you can put 100mm to 200mm of mineral quilt.

Insulation board is between 5mm and 10mm thick and is nowhere near such an effective material, so you can see it will not give such insulation.

AliceWChild Fri 19-Apr-13 09:42:40


PigletJohn Fri 19-Apr-13 11:10:18

Unless you meant Kingspan or similar rigid foam board, which is usually 100mm or more thick, and is an excellent insulator. It is harder to fit under a floor though, unless it is done while the house is being built.

'Insulation board' usually means a soft wood-pulp board, not much used now.

QuintessentialOHara Fri 19-Apr-13 18:54:28

I went into a reputable local little flooring shop, and they were saying pretty much the same as you PigletJohn, and that the flooring guy i had around sounded dodgy. So thanks, I would just have gone ahead with him, on the assumption that my neighbour had done his research and was vouching for him!

Now, I have just one question more... What are the benefits of Engineered wood as opposed to solid hardwood?

PigletJohn Fri 19-Apr-13 21:05:33


less likely to warp.

QuintessentialOHara Fri 19-Apr-13 21:08:12

So really engineered wood is a much better choice. Thanks.

AliceWChild Sat 20-Apr-13 08:28:36

Thanks again. Yes Kingspan type. We're taking up the whole floor I think as the house will be empty.

PigletJohn Sat 20-Apr-13 11:37:32

sounds like a good quality job.

Ask how he will be draughtproofing the ends of the room, where the joists are (usually) embedded in the wall, and air and dirt can blow in, (this causes the dirty edges on carpets that you may have seen). Two popular methods are to try to seal the cracks with expanding foam, or to stuff the gap with mineral wool. More modern houses often fit the end of the joist in a plastic sock which is supposed to give a better seal.

As you are having a new floor, you might like to have the skirtings taken off, and refitted or replaced, preferably screwed to wooden grounds. If you are as obsessive thorough as me you might like to have the Architraves done at the same time, and perhaps the doors, windowboards and other joinery (my jobs take a long time)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: