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original floorboards

(9 Posts)
oilandwater Mon 28-Sep-09 15:12:51

Can anyone talk me through the pros and cons of the various options available with respect to decorating orginal floorboards? Staining vs painting vs whatever else you might be able to do? Anyone know the relative costs?

cassell Mon 28-Sep-09 15:40:05

There are quite a few options:

Leave natural colour & then wax
Leave natural colour & then varnish
Stain & then wax
Stain & then varnish
Paint & then wax
Paint & then varnish
Use a thick floor paint that doesn't need any further protection.

Basically you need to decide what colour you want and what type of finish you want and this is quite a personal choice. As above either stain or paint will generally need some sort of protective coating applied. Some products do both in one, others you will need separate products.

You need to consider where the floor is and how much wear it will get - e.g. a hallway will need much more protection than a rarely used spare bedroom. What is likely to get spilt on it? Do you want a shiny finish (go for varnish) or a matt finish (go for wax)?

Also consider the style/period of your house and whether you want something to suit the period or something more personal to you.

My personal preference is natural colour waxed if the floorboards are hardwood (oak or something) or a slight stain and then wax if they are pine. I absolutely hate pine floorboards covered in a yellowy varnish - but judging by lots of the houses I've seen others love that look.... I have pine floorboards which I sanded down (they had been painted bright purple hmm) and then applied 3 coats of this in natural oak. The finish is great, you can spill pretty much anything on it and it doesn't soak in just wipes off.

In terms of cost, depends if you are having someone do it for you or doing it yourself! The products themselves are relatively simiar in cost but it can be quite labour intensive(e.g. 2? coats of paint/stain & several coats of wax/varnish with rubbing off inbetween). Of course companies who do it probably have special machines whereas I was down on my hands and knees with a brush!

Not sure if that is much help but imo it really is a style thing rather than anything else.

TheMightyToosh Mon 28-Sep-09 15:47:50

We sanded and then stained and clear varnished.

It looks great and is very hard wearing.

Where we had areas of heavy traffic and the dog claws had worn the finish away, we just wiped some coloured floor varnish over it (in the nearest colour match we could find - didn't have time to stain and clear varnish in two steps again!) and it came up great. Nice and shiny again. So it is easy to do patch repairs if they get scratched etc.

But two things that we found when we removed the carpet were 1) loads of staples that needed to be pulled out, and 2) loads of big nail heads that needed to be knocked further in as they were raised up.

With 2 of us, it took a full weekend to prep, sand and stain/varnish.

toja555 Mon 28-Sep-09 16:36:12

I haven't done it yet, but gathered all information and hopefully will do this weekend, i.e.:
Will sand and varnish original hardwood floorboards in bedroom. Hmmm, cassell confused me whether I really want varnish or wax? How do I know?
Will sand and varnish pine floorboards downstairs (kitchen/dining/hall/living room). Wouldn't say that I love yellowish pine varnish look very much but I am convinced that it wears better where floor is intensively used.

oilandwater Mon 28-Sep-09 17:03:45

wow -- thanks to all three of you for your very helpful responses.

There is no way I could handle this as a DIY project, so I guess I'll phone around to see if I can find out what the prices will likely be.

Mins Mon 28-Sep-09 23:57:22

We did our floors ourselves in our old house which was very time consuming. The large sanders are quite hard to handle and we ended up with some ridges on the floor. We also had an accident when the smaller edging sander went into the radiator pipe and we ended up with water everywhere! Now in our new house and need to do the same again - I got a quote from a company last week for our living and dining room and that was just under £800 for sanding and finishing with an oiled wax - I hadn't heard of this before - we just used clear satin varnish before but this stuff is supposed to be much better and easier to care for and repair should you need to. It's a lot of money to spend but we're thinking we will probably pay to have it done downstairs where more will be visible but do the upstairs ourselves. Will be interested to hear what kind of quotes you get - good luck with your search!

toja555 Tue 29-Sep-09 09:34:08

There is website on internet that currently advertise Autumn sale £18/sq.meter for sanding + 3 coats of varnish. THe price sounds good but I don't know if everything is included. Just google "sanding floor" and it should come up.

fatjac Tue 29-Sep-09 09:37:29

When we moved into this house 10 years ago we sanded stained and varnished downstairs(hall, sittingroom, diningroom and study) ourselves. It was messy dusty and labour intesive but I was happy with the results at the time.

Earlier this year we had them all done again by a proffesional company. It took 2 men 3 days and the results were much better than we managed to achieve. Instead of a dark dull walnut colour they are a beautiful french oak coulour with a lovely waxy finish.

It cost around £1200 but that was much cheaper than getting the rooms carpeted.

stealthsquiggle Tue 29-Sep-09 10:02:22

[sigh] for floorboards. Our beautiful old (listed angry) house no longer has floorboards on the ground floor. I am told they used to be there, but laid straight onto earth as there are no foundations to speak of - at some stage in the 1980s when it was converted they put in a concrete float. So - a lot less damp, which is clearly good, but floorboards only upstairs - and since there are no gaps between the floors (i.e. the bottom of the floorboards is the ceiling of the room below) it would be too drafty to have bare floorboards upstairs.

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