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Replacing carpet with solid floorboards

(4 Posts)
applecart09 Mon 06-Jun-16 16:31:18

I currently have carpet in the bedroom but am looking to pull this up and replace with solid wood floors.

I have a separate quote for the flooring but have been getting builders around to quote me on removing the existing flooring and insulating between the joist, replacing the radiator with a cast iron radiator (and repositioning about a metre to the left) and then laying the new floor.

First quote to come in is £2100 +vat (this excludes the solid oak flooring)

Does this sound reasonable? I am in greater London (zone 5).

Another builder who is yet to send through his quote said that insulating between the joist (ground floor) would not be necessary and he would just lay an insulating board once he pulled everything up.

Has anyone done something similar and how much did you pay?


PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-16 09:41:23

On the subject of not insulating between the joists:

bare boards are always cold when the void below them is unheated. Warm air from your radiators rises so it will not go down to floor level. Hence slippers.

Most of the cold you feel comes from draughts, between the boards and round the edges of the room where there is an irregular gap concealed by the skirting.

Stuffing the gap with mineral wool (especially round the edges) blocks the draughts and also provides insulation.

The time and effort in insulating an old floor is mostly to do with lifting the old boards or otherwise gaining access. If you are going to be lifting the old boards anyway to renew the floor, it would be penny-pinching not to bother insulating at the same time. Also take advantage of the access to clean out airbricks, clear away rubbish, insulate pipes and do any wiring that you think might be needed in the next 20 years. Air circulation and ventilation of the void must not be obstructed.

It is true that rigid foam boards like Kingspan and Celotex provide better insulation that an identical thickness of mineral wool, but it is much more difficult to fit them so precisely that they block the draughts which are your main problem in an old house. Wool can easily be stuffed into an irregular gap. BTW I will only use wool treated with Ecose to prevent it shedding irritant dust and fibres.

Floor replacement (do the skirtings too unless they are original features) is a job for a carpenter, not a general builder. Some builders are good at woodwork. The laying of insulation and cleaning up can be done by an unskilled labourer will supervision.

applecart09 Tue 07-Jun-16 09:49:57

Thanks, Piglet John.

Thanks for drawing my attention to the wool treated with Ecose as the new flooring and paint are both eco friendly.

Does the quote seem reasonable then? Skirting is also being replaced and I have asked that vents, pipes etc be checked.

Do you happen to be in London by any chance??

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-16 10:13:46


I had a joiner do floors, skirtings, architrave, door, wool, matching windowboards and a concealed trap for a floor safe, it took him nearly a week at £300/day (outside London) which was rather slow, but done to my exacting standards and included compensating for unexpected steelwork projecting into the floor. It could possibly be done in 3 days to an average standard. Beware that many modern skirtings are made in MDF which will be very unoriginal.

If the builder is subcontracting to a carpenter you will be paying both their wages. Somebody running their own company has to factor in the costs of holiday and sick pay, pensions, van and tools, time spent quoting and running the office, so it doesn't translate to "pay." Your price doesn't seem unusual.

If you want to know how good someone is, ask how they would make skirting look perfect in the corners. They should use the word "scribe" and show you what it means with a pencil. I can't do it.

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