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How much to sand and seal/paint old floorboards?

(18 Posts)
minipie Mon 03-Mar-14 17:51:26

We have three rooms (likely to be 2 DC rooms plus guest room) which currently have carpet from previous owners. It's pretty ancient and grim, possibly moth ridden and will be trashed when we do some building work this year. It's got to go.

But what to put down instead?

Longer term we'd like to recarpet but reluctant to put in new carpet until the baby and toddler years are over! So we are looking for a temporary solution.

Under the existing carpet are old pine floorboards. Could we get those sanded and sealed, or painted, fairly cheaply? Or does this cost an arm and a leg?

Any other temporary, cheap, small child friendly ideas for bedroom flooring?

MoreBeta Mon 03-Mar-14 17:56:46

Two people are in my house now doing it on very old pine boards in poor condition then staining and sealing with Treatex.

Cost £28 per square metre.

MoreBeta Mon 03-Mar-14 17:58:09

Cheaper than buying carpet and underlay and being fitted.

They did one of my other rooms and it looks beautiful when done. Really stunning. It lifts the whole room.

KarenBrockman Mon 03-Mar-14 19:24:48

I hovered and wiped the floor boards, and just painted with a few coats of standard paint, covered with two coats of varnish.

MoreBeta Mon 03-Mar-14 19:56:15

You will need rugs as bare floors are too hard on little hands and knees to play on.

KirstyJC Mon 03-Mar-14 20:00:50

I have put cheap laminate in one room for exactly this reason, I think it was about £4.99 per metre and then a little bit more for cheap underlay (plastic sheet).

In our old house I did this and I kept the manky carpet as underlay blush and actually it was fine, kept the noise down well too! Depends how manky the current carpet is though! DS2/3 have a large rug with roads/houses/cars etc on it which I think was about £15 from B & Q. Whole room was done for about £50.

It will need doing properly in a few years when both are completely toilet trained (although fingers crossed DS3 is nearly there now).

minipie Tue 04-Mar-14 16:18:38

Thanks everyone! Hmm More that's more than I wanted to spend for a temporary solution, especially with cost of rugs as well, though I guess at least there aren't any additional underlay or fitting costs as you say. It would probably look lovely but that might make it harder to justify carpeting in due course! (and I definitely want carpet in future for noise proofing as the DC rooms will be above our bedroom...)

Karen that's an interesting idea about not sanding, just cleaning and painting. I will have to see how grim the boards are when the old carpet comes up.

Kirsty thanks, I will have a look at laminate, for some reason I hadn't considered that as an option. seems a bit odd to put fake wood on top of real wood though! but may well be cheaper that way.

MoreBeta Tue 04-Mar-14 22:42:41

It is a permanent solution for us so yes far too pricey for a temporary solution.

We did carpet top floor of house where children are as you say for noise.

In our case, floor boards were so bad, lots of rough cutting, nails and seriously 100 years of more of dirt. Our sanding has just finished today and stained and treated and it is absolutely stunning.

If your floors are not too bad you could paint with a proper floor paint. My sister painted her floors in a 1950s council flat and it looked very trendy and really lifted the place.

Ironically, my Georgian house had some original red Georgian floor paint and black Victorian floor stain still on them in some areas under the hardboard and moth eaten carpets - we just sanded it off.

Every decorating idea has its day. Farrow & Ball even do floor paint. Now that looks lovely.

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 09:07:54

I have had a look at our boards (there is an uncarpeted bit in a cupboard) and they are black - I guess that's the black Victorian floor stain you mention? My guess would be they've not been touched since Victorian era. Don't know whether that makes cleaning/painting (ie without a very costly sanding and primping exercise) more possible or not...

Thanks for all the ideas. I guess we'll wait and see what we find when we take the carpets up <itching to do it now>

MoreBeta Wed 05-Mar-14 09:27:59

I found the Victorian stain impossible to remove by any chemical method. Sanding was the only way.

I suggest try painting over in the cupboard where it will be fairly inconspicuous and see how it goes. There will be a lot of dirt under the carpet so it will take a lot of cleaning before painting can be done though.

minkersmum Wed 05-Mar-14 09:34:21

In our old house, also victorian, we sanded some floors ourselves and varnished them. It was time consuming but easy to do. We hired a sander that was like a big hoover. Messy but satisfying job.

We also painted some floors. Just lifted the carpet, removed any loose nails and after a good mop/hoover we painted them. It was supposed to be a temporary measure but we ended up selling with them like that as it looked fab. I'm pretty sure we actually painted them with white emulsion which obviously you'd think would mop off in time but it didn't. We had scatter rugs down and it hardly ever needed mopping despite being white (we had one dc and 3 dogs at the time)

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 12:48:19

Good idea, thanks. Yes it'll be grim under there, especially post building work. Laminate is looking more tempting...

minkers did you paint any floors with the victorian black stain still on them? if so how did it go... I love the look of painted floors but wondering if I'd need to sand first anyway...

Impatientismymiddlename Wed 05-Mar-14 12:51:57

You can hire a floor sander from a tool hire shop and get a willing person to do it for a few beers and then just varnish it yourself.

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 13:03:42

This will sound a bit pathetic but I know we would never manage to sand it ourselves - very hectic jobs plus terrible sleeper DD plus likely to be pregnant by the time the building work is done = no energy for DIY!

cherrytree63 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:16:12

We've just done our 1930s pine floor boards. They had black stain around the outside of the room, and a couple of squares of red stain. We did them on our hands and knees with ROB sanders and coarse paper, but you can hire the belt sanders for around £28 per day, plus cost of sand paper. Then we brushed on black exterior stain, £22 for two gallons, and rubbed it almost off (IYSWIM) with old towels to give it a slightly worn look. For a 20' x 10' room it took us about three hours sanding and 2 hours for the stain/rubbing off.

minkersmum Wed 05-Mar-14 18:47:57

Definitely some of the floors we sanded and varnished had the black stain on them around edges. I'm not sure about the onews we painted as they were mostly the hallways. I'm sure if you used a floor paint it would cover the black stuff. Esp as a temporary measure. Would it matter if it looked a little shabby chic(sp?) quite quickly? No matter what is on the floor of my dc's rooms they always look worn very quickly with the action they see!

minipie Wed 05-Mar-14 19:27:03

Shabby chic is fine grin

Yes we could try painting direct onto the black I guess!

MoreBeta Wed 05-Mar-14 21:57:18

Don't rent a belt sander. They are heavy, hard to use and will destroy your floor. Some of our floors were done like this by previous occupants.

They are uneven and have sort of waves along the length of planks. It really doesn't look good. We covered the worst bits with rugs and furniture.

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