Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

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chippy1
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri 24th Aug, 2018 10:14 pm

Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by chippy1 » Sat 5th Dec, 2020 12:59 pm

Hi All,

Hope everyone is well.

I have a question and would love some advice, if possible please?

My property is around the 1600's. I have a diningroom with a suspended floor. The void under the floorboards is only 6inch deep. The diningroom is in the middle of the house. Livingroom is at the front and a kitchen at the back of the house and its a mid terrace so the dining room doesnt have an external wall. The livingroom and kitchen both have solid floors so its only the diningroom that has a small void under it. The void is full of soil/bricks/stones etc...

As I would like to lay a new floor, I've been told it would be best for the floor to have no moment and ideally be a solid floor also.

My question, does anyone see an issue with filling with cement and making it a hard floor also and if there is potential issues how could I get round those issues. I did think one issue could be damp but is there something I could do to prevent this from happening..(i.e damp proof membrane) I've also had issues with rats in the void space, so this would take care of many issues if I could make it a hard floor.

Thankyou for any help

Feltwell
Posts: 5759
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by Feltwell » Sat 5th Dec, 2020 2:35 pm

First thing is, is the house listed - if it is you'll need permission and I suspect you'd be unlikely to get it for that.

If not - the problem is that the moisture in the soil under the floor has to go somewhere, if you fill it full of impervious concrete sat on a DPM you run a very high risk of pushing that moisture into your walls and causing damp issues.

I presume the current space is vented somehow - it must be if rats have got in there I guess.

You can lay a breathable solid floor using limecrete - strictly no cement - but then whatever has to go on top also has to be breathable. What is your desired floor covering?

What are the boards like at the moment? First call to me would be to retain them and have them as your floor, possibly with rugs.

chippy1
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri 24th Aug, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by chippy1 » Sat 5th Dec, 2020 3:22 pm

Hi, thank you for your reply.

I currently have luxury vinyl tiles/planks in the kitchen, which were fitted on top of a solid floor. As they are normally fitted with pressure adhesive there cant be any movement. The 2 properties each side of me also have solid floors, so it only seems to be this room that has a suspended floor, which I step upto floor the livingroom.

The current boards are half ply wood and half floorboards, so I'm guessing work was done at some point over the years. At present I have laminate floor fitted abd there is too much movement to lay slate or vinyl tiles down so was looking at other options to just fitting new beams. As the void is so small, I was hoping it would be easy! ;)


thank you


Feltwell wrote:
Sat 5th Dec, 2020 2:35 pm
First thing is, is the house listed - if it is you'll need permission and I suspect you'd be unlikely to get it for that.

If not - the problem is that the moisture in the soil under the floor has to go somewhere, if you fill it full of impervious concrete sat on a DPM you run a very high risk of pushing that moisture into your walls and causing damp issues.

I presume the current space is vented somehow - it must be if rats have got in there I guess.

You can lay a breathable solid floor using limecrete - strictly no cement - but then whatever has to go on top also has to be breathable. What is your desired floor covering?

What are the boards like at the moment? First call to me would be to retain them and have them as your floor, possibly with rugs.

chippy1
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri 24th Aug, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by chippy1 » Sat 5th Dec, 2020 3:45 pm

Could I use something like this to make a hard floor area?


https://www.telling.co.uk/wp-content/up ... Floors.pdf


thank you

CliffordPope
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue 16th Nov, 2010 2:57 pm

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by CliffordPope » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 7:45 am

It appears that there are no problems at present, but that you are anxious to avoid future possible ones?
Why not just clear out the debris under the floor in the void, idenfify the source of ventilation, and put grids over these to stop rats getting in?

chippy1
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri 24th Aug, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by chippy1 » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 1:07 pm

CliffordPope wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 7:45 am
It appears that there are no problems at present, but that you are anxious to avoid future possible ones?
Why not just clear out the debris under the floor in the void, idenfify the source of ventilation, and put grids over these to stop rats getting in?
Hi,

Thank you for your reply.

Fitting grids would fix the rat issue but the floor still would have too much movement to fit tiles. I was hoping to match the kitchen floor to the dining room floor but ideally needs a solid floor to be fitted. What I do find strange is the properties attached to me on both sides have solid floors on ground level and so does my kitchen but the diningroom is the only room with a small viod under the floorboards....

I guess the other option is to place support posts under the current joists in the void to protect against any movement? I just didnt want to spend money on a floor for it to start having issues and it needing to come up in the future. A solid floor would have fixed both the rat and movement issue in one move, the only issue I was concerned about is damp coming up from the ground.


thanks again

Feltwell
Posts: 5759
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by Feltwell » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 2:22 pm

A limecrete floor and no DPM is fine, but if you stick vinyl tiles on top it will be non-breathable again, negating the whole point of doing it. It *may* not be a problem but do you want to run the risk of going to all that effort and expense and then finding out a year or so down the line that it does cause a problem & all needs to come up again?

I think I'd be inclined to stick with what you've got, put well-secured metal grids over any rodent access holes and go for a different floor covering.

MatthewC
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Joined: Wed 18th Aug, 2010 4:29 pm
Location: Central/South England
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Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by MatthewC » Sun 6th Dec, 2020 3:54 pm

chippy1 wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 1:07 pm
...I just didnt want to spend money on a floor for it to start having issues and it needing to come up in the future. A solid floor would have fixed both the rat and movement issue in one move, the only issue I was concerned about is damp coming up from the ground.
I don't think you have answered the question about the listing (if any) of the house. If it's from the 1600's then it surely must be listed (although I know things do slip past). You do say that this room is in the middle of the house and so has no external walls - but it clearly does have walls - what sort are they, and are there any foundations to them? If they essentially sit on the ground then any dampness in the ground would affect those walls, and if you add a concrete floor then that will make the issue worse as water cannot escape through concrete. NB If you lay a bit of plastic on the ground under that floor and leave it for a day or so, you might be surprised at the water that collects underneath.

Limecrete will allow this moisture underneath to pass through and evaporate; this is the long term solution which should ensure that no issue arises in the future. However, as has been said, plastic tiles would make the floor impermeable despite the limecrete! You need to decide what you want your house to do.

If you really want to lay tiles then I would bite the bullet and lay a limecrete floor - see https://houseintheenchantedforest.blogs ... art-1.html et seq for my story from 2011 - it has been perfect since!

chippy1
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri 24th Aug, 2018 10:14 pm

Re: Help needed: Suspended floor - hard floor

Post by chippy1 » Tue 8th Dec, 2020 10:54 am

MatthewC wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 3:54 pm
chippy1 wrote:
Sun 6th Dec, 2020 1:07 pm
...I just didnt want to spend money on a floor for it to start having issues and it needing to come up in the future. A solid floor would have fixed both the rat and movement issue in one move, the only issue I was concerned about is damp coming up from the ground.
I don't think you have answered the question about the listing (if any) of the house. If it's from the 1600's then it surely must be listed (although I know things do slip past). You do say that this room is in the middle of the house and so has no external walls - but it clearly does have walls - what sort are they, and are there any foundations to them? If they essentially sit on the ground then any dampness in the ground would affect those walls, and if you add a concrete floor then that will make the issue worse as water cannot escape through concrete. NB If you lay a bit of plastic on the ground under that floor and leave it for a day or so, you might be surprised at the water that collects underneath.

Limecrete will allow this moisture underneath to pass through and evaporate; this is the long term solution which should ensure that no issue arises in the future. However, as has been said, plastic tiles would make the floor impermeable despite the limecrete! You need to decide what you want your house to do.

If you really want to lay tiles then I would bite the bullet and lay a limecrete floor - see https://houseintheenchantedforest.blogs ... art-1.html et seq for my story from 2011 - it has been perfect since!
Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your reply...sorry, yes, it is grade 2 listed, so I would need permission if I wanted to lay limecrete floor. External walls? At one point in the early 1600's it was one large house but converted into 3 properties a couple of hundred years ago..Even the loft space stayed as one large area before building regs was a "thing"! ;)

I think one of the walls is a foundation wall and thats the only one I have damp issues with, which I''m in the process of getting looked at...

After the very helpful replies, I'm starting to think it would be easier to change what floor covering to put down....doesnt make sense doing all that work and then putting something down that would trap any water....

Thankyou again everyone for your replies....I'll get better at this, one of these days!;)

Kind regards

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