Preparing the Existing Floor
When we started our Lounge/Diner renovations, there was a large bump in the middle of the room where there used to be a wall. This needed to be fixed before laying the solid wood top floor to prevent it from becoming damaged and warped over time and to make it easier to lay.
When we pulled the floorboards up to see if we could figure out why, we discovered that the joists for the two rooms weren’t sitting level with each other.
Kate’s Dad used a chisel to shave a bit off the higher joists to remove the difference in levels.
We also decided to add some extra long screws to some of the joists where one of the pair had been damaged in the past to ensure that they were supported. This was easier said than done as the floor joists were so old that the wood was extremely hard and we melted a few screwdriver bits in the process.
We like the look and feel of wooden floors, but the quotes for gap filling and renovating our existing floorboards were very high. Also, we would have needed to replace all of the floorboards in the dining area if we were to sand them as they are much thinner than the lounge ones already.
Furthermore, we lived without carpet for some time (having thrown out the existing moth-eaten one as soon as we were able to) and it was very cold and draughty – not just from the gaps in the floorboards, but also from around the skirting too. We would have needed to insulate underneath the floorboards to prevent extremely high energy bills and, as our house is on a bit of a slope, this would have been very difficult in places where the sub floor cavity space is limited.
So instead we went for a Real Wood Top Floor from B&Q: Colours Libretto Caramel Smoked Oak.
To keep the heat in, provide some sound proofing and to even out the remaining lumps and bumps of our 100+ year old floor, we used Diall 6mm Fibreboard Flooring Underlay.
We started off by laying the floor on either side of the fireplace.
Once we had joined up in front of that it was plain sailing (ish). There were a couple of tricky bits, including the door threshold into the kitchen as the old owners of the house had put laminate floor on top of the existing tiles so there was quite a level change between the two rooms.
We got round this by using a threshold strip to smooth the transition. Initially, we tried using a strip like this:
Unfortunately, the change in level was too much for this type to cope with. Back to B&Q we went and this time we returned with this type of threshold:
This was perfect , so we cut it to length and glued it down!
There was a small incident where Kate’s Dad didn’t move his finger out of the way in time when Mike knocked two boards together…whoops!
We also had the difficulties of working in a small house in Winter. Kate’s Dad set up a mini-workshop in the hallway….
But we got there in the end.
We added radiator pipe covers to neaten the whole thing up.
We also added threshold strips to the two main doorways to the room and some beading around our the fireplace.
We’re really pleased with our new flooring – we have bought extra so that it can be used into the hallway too once we have re-plastered and decorated that. We even fitted it in our understairs cupboard!