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Stripped/sanded floorboards OR engineered wood floor?

(15 Posts)
Peniston Sun 16-Mar-14 22:19:07

These days, everyone seems to lay engineered floors and, done nicely, it can look beautiful. however the original floorboards in my house are in quite good nick so I'd sooner just have them stripped and varnished which, I think, can look lovely and for a fraction of the price. If you decided to lay engineered floors over floorboards then why did you choose them? Can they withstand the trials of family life? is it really worth the extra £££? Or, if you decided to strip your original floorboards are you happy with your choice? Thanks in advance.

SilverSixpence Sun 16-Mar-14 23:29:09

We've just had the exact same decision, I looked at lots of engineered flooring but decided to get the original floorboards sanded instead. It hasn't happened yet so can't tell you if I like it yet or not, but we have quite an eclectic colourful home and I think white stained floorboards will open up and brighten the house. I was also worried about the engineered oak getting knocked and scratched as the samples seemed to mark very easily. I know that will happen with the floorboards but won't mind so much as it will cost less!

MummytoMog Mon 17-Mar-14 00:15:18

Draughts. We have floorboards and it's so bloody draughty downstairs, so make sure you get them filled properly!

SilverSixpence Mon 17-Mar-14 00:16:40

Mummytomog have you tried draughtex? We used it upstairs and it's very easy to install and supposed to prevent draughts.

Piscivorus Mon 17-Mar-14 00:36:06

We had our floorboards done professionally and gaps filled. It is still bloody cold and we are debating putting something over the top.

MummytoMog Mon 17-Mar-14 08:01:07

We used stopgap and it did help, but rugs made more of a difference! I think it's the massive damp void under our floors and then the cold earth in the winter. We ended up just layering the floor with lots and lots of cheap rugs while we save for engineered wood. Kids will probably have left home by then.

MillyMollyMama Mon 17-Mar-14 08:51:18

You really should not lay engineered wooden floors over floorboards. It is imperative that a wooden floor is laid on a flat surface with no movement. This is difficult to achieve with old floorboards underneath, although you can try. You also need to reposition the skirting boards over the new wooden floor. I would definitely sand down your floor and get big rugs.

Peniston Mon 17-Mar-14 10:35:50

Thanks everyone for these helpful responses - it is for an entrance hall, study/cloakroom and our sitting room and I was picturing a large rug in the sitting room. I'll definitely look into those draught filler options as well.

MummytoMog Mon 17-Mar-14 11:03:38

It's actually quite possible to put engineered wood over floorboards. You just need to make sure they're all screwed down into the joists and nice and stable, you use a decent underlay to even out any lumps and bumps and that you lay the engineered wood at a right angle to the floorboards. I wouldn't lay a solid wood floor over floorboards on the ground floor because of the damp (in our house at any rate). Which kind of leaves you with laminate (fine, but why wouldn't you have the same problems as you supposedly get with engineered wood), carpet (not practical in our house with children, chickens, a large muddy garden and many many cats), vinyl (would have to lay plywood down over entire floor and then fill and sand to get a decent finish), amtico (I hate it, but plenty of people seem to love it. Still have to refinish and cover the boards though from what I've heard), some kind of ceramic tiles (again with the plywood yawn and they'd probably crack anyway if our kitchen was anything to go by) or finished floorboards. Have I missed any other options?

Now all things being equal, I would still have finished floorboards the whole way through the house because I think they're lovely, but we now have a large extension which does not have boards down in it, and we have frozen our tits off since we took up the carpet. It's glorious in the summer, but the cold draughts all winter long are miserable. I think the squidgy fillers and pine slivers work better than our stopgap, and you can go under the boards and insulate (filthy horrible job though), so it can be made to work.

SilverSixpence Mon 17-Mar-14 11:07:00

Mummytomog do you hAve floorboards in the kitchen? We have a kitchen diner - the kitchen part is concrete but the rest has floorboards but I am a bit worried about keeping it clean, spills and food going down gaps! The gaps will be filled but not sure if it's enough

MillyMollyMama Mon 17-Mar-14 11:13:53

You can also end up with two different levels if the concrete it not below the wooden floor already laid as an engineered floor has about 7mm depth at least, more when you add underlay etc.

Also laying engineered wood over wood does give skirting board problems and laying across a room, rather than lengthways, can look unappealing and just plain wrong. Yes it can be done, but not a good look.

MummytoMog Mon 17-Mar-14 11:45:39

Our kitchen is now in the new bit, so will also have a new floor. We are completely skint thanks to a massive overspend on the extension (mostly an unexpected complete rewire of the house) so we're putting down laminate for a few years until we can afford a 'nice' floor. In our old kitchen we had tiles over marine ply over the floorboards. We did not lay them. They were not good. One of the first things my daughter learnt to say was 'it's not a jigsaw' as I shrieked at her to stop playing with the broken tiles. We do have boards in the living room, and where the gaps are not filled it can be a pain to clean up disgusting messes (baby sick, toddler poo) from between the boards, although it can be done. If they were filled, I wouldn't worry about them, but you would need to keep refinishing your floorboards if you were mopping them a lot, to make sure they didn't get water ingress. We are planning to have laminate in the new kitchen too, with a big washable rug. We did that in our old kitchen, it was fine.

I don't think the skirting board problems are insurmountable. You can just take them off and refit them. It's also not completely necessary to lay at a right angle if your boards are good and well screwed down, and you desperately don't want to lay across the room. We're dithering about which way to lay, because if we go across the current floorboards, then the new floor will go the length of the long reception room (good) but will go across the width of the long kitchen diner across the back of the house. We're probably just going to lay the floor down loose and decide which way works best.

I also think 'look' is a rather personal thing. Lots of people don't like my grey painted floorboards, but I think it's difficult to say in any objective way that something isn't a good look. I don't like amtico at all for example, but I wouldn't describe it as not a good look. Just not my cup of tea.

Chabby Wed 22-Feb-17 21:58:07

Peniston- did you make a decision?

I realise a year has passed! I just googled 'stain floor boards or lay engineered flooring' as I'm facing the exact same dilemma and your post came up!

Our living room and dining room floors are currently extremely gappy, freezing cold floorboards and we have a mice problem which isn't helped by all the gaps, and the food that falls between the gaps under the table. It's gross.

Our floors are also sloping to one side, so we have to get the floors lifted anyway, insulated underneath, levelled with new joists and then either put the boards back down, have the gaps filled in, sanded and stained OR lay engineered flooring.

I know engineered flooring can be expensive but I have a feeling putting the floorboards back down, filling all these huge gaps, sanding and staining etc might be expensive too. Neither of us are v handy and won't be doing it ourselves!

What did you find in your price comparison?

I'd love to know what you went with and if you're happy!

JoJoSM2 Wed 22-Feb-17 23:10:20

We had floorboards in our last house but opted for a wooden floor on top this time round. It's very true about the cold coming up even with a rug in the middle. I also think the wooden floor on top looks smarter than the knotty floorboards that were never designed to be on show in the first place.

Fluckle Wed 22-Feb-17 23:15:30

We had original floorboards professionally sanded and varnished throughout our house. We are in the process of getting rid of all of them. In our bedroom they've been replaced by engineered wood. I bloody love it. Clean, warm and non draughty, easy to look after, no denting thanks to heels. It's everything the floorboards weren't.

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