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Ripping up carpet and making use of floorboards underneath

(18 Posts)
FoxyLoxy123 Sat 04-Jun-16 10:08:10


Has anyone done this to be able to advise on what steps you took?

We have floorboards under the living room carpet which look as though they've not been varnished etc or even really walked on before. Being a DIY noob I don't know if there is more to it than we think!

Plan is rip carpet out, clean and sand floorboards (latter with a hired machine) and then varnish. There is a bit of a gap between skirting and floorboards on one side so will need to lie some of those wooden beading things down too, can't remember what they're called! The edges are a bit battered where the carpet things have been nailed down but my Mum reckons wood filler and the beading will cover that up...

We've got a week off soon so planning to try do it over a couple of days. Am I being really naive, is there anything else to it?

CallMeMousie Sat 04-Jun-16 10:18:19

I haven't done this but plan to when we get the time/funds. From what I've heard it's worth paying someone else to do it - pulling out (or hammering down) spare nails, filling etc takes ages. We did one room as a last minute thing and it looks pretty good but the mess is indescribable! I'll be paying someone to do the rest of the house. We used osmo oil on the floor rather than varnish which I recommend. Will watch with interest to see what everyone else says!

AgathaF Sat 04-Jun-16 11:42:46

Done this quite a few times and just in the process of doing it again in our new house. It's easy enough to do, just hard work and time consuming. One word about the Osmo polyx oil though (if you use that). I did all the prep last week, used the Osmo clear satin, and the boards turned a kind of rosewood colour. It's a very old house so the boards had a bit of colour to them anyway. It wasn't the colour we wanted, so I'm re-sanding the floor and I've ordered some sample pots of Osmo Raw, Osmo white and a well-recommended wax to try out before doing the whole floor.

Tips for the sanding - go with the grain of the wood, not against it. Work your way down to a fine grit sandpaper for the best results. Get a decent quality face mask, wear goggles and ear protection.

PigletJohn Sat 04-Jun-16 13:08:21

don't use beading, it is vile. Take up the gappy board(s) and replace with new. You should expect to replace a few boards where they have been clumsily taken up and damaged by plumbers with axes and chainsaws. Consider renewing the skirting to match.

You can if necessary reduce the thickness of new boards to match with a planer, or possibly rout them just where they touch a joist. They will shrink slightly as they dry out.

If you are having bare boards, insulate under them. Most of the cold actually comes from draughts, especially round the edges, but mineral wool between the joists will deal with both. While underneath, remove rubbish, clean out airbricks and insulate pipes. Use countersunk screws, not nails, where needed.

You will need a builders canister vac for the dust. Don't use your domestic hoover.

PigletJohn Sat 04-Jun-16 13:09:55


Couple of days, ha ha!

Do all the prep before you hire the sander.

FoxyLoxy123 Sat 04-Jun-16 14:05:31

Thanks for all the tips everyone, lots to think about.

The carpet needs to be gone sharpish as we are getting a puppy and already have an accident prone dog! Unfortunately we are a bit limited in terms of time/cash to do it as well as we would like at the moment but we are planning serious work here over the next 3-5 years so it doesn't have to be perfect, just liveable until the next improvement. Will have to see how bad the gaps are elsewhere to see how many boards it would be; the piano is blocking an entire alcove at the moment so I can't quite tell how bad it is behind there.

Stupid question, am I right to assume you clean the boards, sand, then clean again before varnishing?

I'll have to hope the weather holds out too so the sofa can stay outside for a while. Lets see how disastrous this ends up (w/c 13th June in case anyone is watching for the fallout, haha!) grin

sizeofalentil Sat 04-Jun-16 14:34:36

We were going to do this but ended up hiring professionals after quickly figuring out it was a lot messier and harder than we'd anticipated.

FoxyLoxy123 Sat 04-Jun-16 15:42:25

sizeofalentil what 'professional' did you get to do it, and would you mind my asking how much you paid/how long ago it was?

sizeofalentil Sat 04-Jun-16 15:57:33

We hired a specialist floor company we found on my This was only a few weeks ago btw.

They did 4 largish rooms and two hallways for £1300 I think. This included them moving the furniture. Think we paid a bit more for it to be done quicker - took four days and we were still living here so they worked round us. Was worth it to not have to lug a machine up the stairs/argue for weeks about it! Also, would have cost us £80 a day to rent equipment and we wouldn't have been able to do it very quickly.

I'm in London if that helps.

OneEpisode Sat 04-Jun-16 16:01:43

I would imagine a good quality flooring (Amtico type) on top of the floorboards would be easier to clean with dogs?

MuddhaOfSuburbia Sat 04-Jun-16 16:06:42


am thinking of doing the same only painting boards instead of varnishing/oiling (they're not that old- 40s- so not particularly nice looking, just serviceable)

if it looks shit/isn't leaky dog proof I'm going to tile over it I think (hall, then poss dining room)

FoxyLoxy123 Sat 04-Jun-16 21:56:20

Oooh not a bad price, thanks. I've put an ad on My Builder, will be good to see what can be done!

One Episode we had floorboards in our old house and they were fine. I think it is more cost effective to work with what we have and I am quite partial to floorboards.

sizeofalentil Wed 08-Jun-16 13:34:17

For us it was 100% worth it - but if you're handier than we are/ unlikely to throttle each other in the process, maybe not.

I can give you the details of our guys if you're anywhere in the South East?

whois Wed 08-Jun-16 13:49:49

I can give you the details of our guys if you're anywhere in the South East?

Can you PM me? Thanks. That price sounds good for the number of rooms. I had seen people say nearly £1k per room! Did they replace any dodgy floor boards and do the wood sliver things in gaps and insulate etc?

Just5minswithDacre Wed 08-Jun-16 13:53:59

It is a bigger job than you think and the dust it creates is horrendous.

What will you use to fill the gaps?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 08-Jun-16 15:55:06

If you are having bare boards, insulate under them.

This - it will be perishing in winter otherwise. It also means that you need to actually lift the floorboards up properly which you can do if you are really very good but a professional would do a better job especially if its a very old house and the floorboards actually run under the partition walls <sigh>

It's surprisingly expensive - Ronseal floor varnish was £50 for a tin for example back in 2005. God knows what it is now. A modern sander that also minimises dust is often listed at £250 or so for a weekend but that's without the sanding sheets which can be another £100.
The prep takes a long, long time but if you do a good job it is really worth it.

maggiso Wed 08-Jun-16 21:04:30

We did this downstairs in our old house(2 rooms and hall) - some while ago now. The dust was amazing - it got everywhere . The edges and corners need to be sanded using a different method, so allow time for that. The (suspended) floor was cold (as the space under the floor connected to the air bricks) and we needed rugs in the winter. We should perhaps have insulated under the floor as Piglet John advises above. It looked nice, but can look rather unfinished to some people. DH wants to do the same again in our new house- I am resisting! I will insist on taping off rooms to try and keep the dust better confined if I lose,- and I don't want to do it myself this time!

sall74 Thu 09-Jun-16 14:41:06

I noticed far more creepy crawlies... spiders, millipedes, woodlice, moths all over the house after I'd removed the carpets and exposed thd floorboards, might want to bear that in mind before committing to doing it?

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