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Master bedroom: old restored floorboards or cheap laminate flooring?

(21 Posts)
toja555 Tue 29-Sep-09 16:36:40

My master bedroom is being redone by myself, and admittedly I have little money for it. There is an old Victorian black fireplace. The fireplace wall will be wallpapered in chocolate brown, and the rest three walls will be wallpapered in white. I ripped off the carpet and have bare old floorboards at the moment:
My options are:
1) sand & varnish old floorboards. Advantages: nice authentic look, wooden floor, cheap cost. Disadvantages: draughts trough gaps, also when hallway has lights on (under the bedroom), I can see the back side of the bulbs shining through floorboard gaps (hmmm).
2) laminate flooring on top of floorboards: Advantages: clean and tidy, modern, draughts and those funny lights from hallway ceiling prevented. Disadvantages: authentic look lost, more expensive than 1) option.
Please don’t mention carpets, this is not an option for me. Anything else is too expensive.
Which option would you go for?

mwff Tue 29-Sep-09 16:42:33

1) without a shadow of a doubt. if the gaps are very wide you can cut little strips of wood to fill them. i don't find our floorboards draughty at all. sanding is a horrible job, mind. personally i prefer painted to stained/varnished and maybe you could get away without sanding in that case?

i don't like laminate at all tbh, let alone in a bedroom

GrendelsMum Tue 29-Sep-09 17:09:53

Hmmm - who lives in the house apart from yourself? Is sound going to be a problem at any point?

I think that your carpet and underlay may have been playing an important insulating role. If you can see light through the gaps in the floor, I can imagine that there's essentially no insulation (sound or heat) from the room below to your bedroom - you've just got one layer of boards with gaps in them forming a floor and ceiling, rather than at least two layers forming the floor and ceiling with a gap (and possibly insulating materials in the gap) between them. Footsteps on the floorboards are essentially someone hitting a large reverberating piece of wood.

If I were you, I'd spend some time investigating how noise and heat is travelling from one room to another before you decide.

We have what sounds like a similar set up in one of our rooms and the noise from the floorboards is really dreadful - a cat jumping off a chair onto the floorboards sounds like a ton of books falling over, with DH running upstairs shouting 'is everything okay?' We are going to put in (probably) acoustic underlay and a carpets upstairs, and create a ceiling downstairs.

Pannacotta Tue 29-Sep-09 17:13:08

Deffo 1 but try and fill the gaps and think about getting a large rug to soften the noise and make the room cosier in winter.
Ikea often do well priced and decent size rugs.
I hate laminate so am not very impartial though!

Thandeka Tue 29-Sep-09 17:27:53

never laminate- yuk.

Floorboards are lovely but second what everyone else said about insulation and soundproofing.

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 29-Sep-09 17:30:31

we had laminate in our kitchen. After we decorated
Hated it, made dh take it up again after about 6 months and put tiles down again.
much better
Hate laminate and it doesn't work well unless the floor is really level.

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 29-Sep-09 17:31:20

Cripes my punctuation was awful, sorry.

GrendelsMum Tue 29-Sep-09 17:48:56

I wonder if the best thing, if you want the look on a budget, would be to fill all the gaps using pieces of wood (which will be a time-consuming job), paint the floor, and then put a massive rug on it?

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 29-Sep-09 17:51:57

agree with pannacotta -- floorboards and rug option

toja555 Tue 29-Sep-09 22:31:08

mwff, I need to sand other areas, so I need to take sanding job anyway.

GrendelsMum, there are actually two layers: one is ceiling and another is floorboards, with the gap between them. But the ceiling layer is cut for bulbs so I can see the light through floorboard gaps. This part is only above the hallway, so only the corner of the bedroom. Major part is above living room.

Pannacotta, I think it is a great idea, i.e. big rug on wooden floor. Although I find laminate flooring very convenient (we live now in a rented flat with laminate flooring), I understand that people value floorboards more... My ideal floor would be bamboo flooring but this is out of the budget, of course.

saltyseadog Tue 29-Sep-09 22:32:44

Definitely not laminate (yukkola) go with the floorboards and rug option. You are lucky if you find decent floorboards; show them off!

Ivykaty44 Tue 29-Sep-09 22:36:07

Try an auction for rugs - I got one to fill my dinning/front room and it is fab cost me £5.

I saned my floor boards - remember the white spirit or after you have sanded the loors, I did mine with an electric hand held sander and made sure I hammered the nails down first and the varnish and white spirits cost me £12 - so a lot cheaper than carpet. I went for a dark varnish as the boards had already been done around the edges (carpet in the middle in the 1940's) in a dark coloured varnish so mine fitted in.

spicemonster Tue 29-Sep-09 22:38:59

Do you feel you are competent enough to lift the boards, replace them closer together and then add one at the end of the room (you can buy reclaimed ones reasonably). That's what my friends did. You could put a piece of something under the boards too to hide the light from the hall.

nb - I have no idea if this is an easy or hard thing to do.

MyNameIsURL Wed 30-Sep-09 09:42:08

Agree with other posters. Do not put laminate down. It will devalue your renovation.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 30-Sep-09 09:51:05

Definitely floorboards. Our whole house was done up a couple of years ago and all floorboards sanded back and matt-varnished. It looks bloody lovely. I don't have rugs anywhere except dd's bedroom, personally do not want to cover up my nice looking floor!

I have a load of gaps in my floorboards, but it has never really bothered me too much. The house is reasonably drafty, however it was before all the carpets were taken up anyway, so having just floorboards down has not made any difference (it is the drafty windows I think).

I was lucky that I didn't have to do any of the work (DP is a buildfer and he and his lads did all the work) but it was a big undertaking and it took then ages.

However, would rather do that than put laminate down. Laminate is horrible and very cold underfoot (mum has got it in her bedrooms), she really regrets it and wishes she had spent her money on carpet now.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 30-Sep-09 09:56:55

You can put gapseal between the floorboards if they are draughty. We used it in our tremendously draughty living room last year after it was recommended on here - it works brilliantly, it's really easy to put in and cheap!

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 30-Sep-09 10:00:41

Glencora - what a brilliant idea, thanks for that link, I will probably get some myself.

My SIL was also complaining about the floorboards in her hallway showing lights through so will recommend it to her as well.

toja555 Wed 30-Sep-09 11:16:55

Ivykaty44 – wow, well done in terms of work and price! I have hired professional sanders for this weekend (one weighs 47kg – yuk) but I need to sand about 55 sq. meters in total.

Spicemonster – I have no idea how to lift the floorboards but I don’t think it is necessary either because the gaps are really small (1-2mm) although it is enough the light to come through! I leave it as it is as I have enough to do – sand and varnish and move in/move out within one week!

GetOrfMoiLand, sounds really love what you have done in your house!

LadyGlen… thanks, I knew this link, this will be considered in a further stage.. I need to cope with sanding first.

So 0 votes for laminate… I guess if I ever want laminate flooring I can always put on top of sanded floorboards.. if ever

Jacaqueen Wed 30-Sep-09 15:32:28

To fill the gaps take some of the sawdust from the sanded floors and mix to a paste with pva glue. Then sand again with fine paper.

mumblechum Wed 30-Sep-09 15:59:09

Old wood. Laminate is horrid imo

toja555 Wed 07-Oct-09 14:02:05

Hey.. came here to give an update. As much as I was ready to go for sanded floorboards, my builder’s advice was unless I get new hardwood floor on top of the existing floorboards, I am asking for trouble because of the lighting installation that is seen through the floorboards – water used to clean the floor can spoil installation, moreover even sanding was dangerous if sawdust goes on the bulbs it could make fire from the bulb heat. Also he said those floorboards was not the old quality type (because too narrow and not thick) and would not make that lovely wooden floor that we all imagine.
As a result, I am having laminate flooring in master bedroom. I will buy some rugs and it will be fine. The rest of house is: pine floorboards downstairs and ooold carpet upstairs except master bedroom.

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