Floorboards

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Abecedarian
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 25th Nov, 2019 9:15 pm

Floorboards

Post by Abecedarian » Fri 25th Jun, 2021 4:15 pm

Hello,
Before I finally lift my dining room floor I think I should get a small stock of replacement boards for repair. A few I know for sure need replacing, possibly not whole boards I may get away with a join here and there.
Am I hoping for too much to get direct replacements? Will I have to get "near enough" and machine them down to size? I cant find any that are the same dimensions.
I'm fairly sure they're pine boards at 22mm deep by 136mm wide (including tongue) or 129mm (excluding tongue).

As ever, any hints/tips/suppliers gratefully received.

Many thanks,
Paul.

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by a twig » Fri 25th Jun, 2021 5:13 pm

Go to a proper lumber mill/yard and speak to them about your requirements - usual builders merchants etc no good whatsoever!

The only way I could get the width and thicknesses I needed was a merchant with attached lumber mill and it actually turned out to be cheaper as well 👍

Abecedarian
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 25th Nov, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by Abecedarian » Fri 25th Jun, 2021 7:13 pm

Thank you for the suggestion, but have I not then compromised the authenticity of my Victorian floor by putting new timber in it?

Just thinking out loud.

Thanks,
Paul..

Abecedarian
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 25th Nov, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by Abecedarian » Fri 25th Jun, 2021 7:15 pm

Just to add...
The boards are to be left exposed, would any pine boards, once sanded, blend in reasonably well?

Me!
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Floorboards

Post by Me! » Sat 26th Jun, 2021 8:22 am

I bought some pine floorboards from a supplier (now retired unfortunately) who specialised in making them out of large joists that had been reclaimed from old Victorian industrial buildings that were being demolished. Mine were 7"x2" joists that were ripped to 7"x1" and then machined to T&G, but he did other sizes as well. By reusing old timber, the boards are much better quality and colour than new.
Personally I don't think that sanded modern pine boards blend in well with old. Careful colouring with wood stain will certainly help visually, but the quality and density of modern timber is lacking when compared to old.
It might be worth your time to try and find if you have a similar supplier near you.

Abecedarian
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 25th Nov, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by Abecedarian » Sat 26th Jun, 2021 2:29 pm

Thank you.

It looks like I may have to make a start and maybe do some reshuffling when I re-lay them. They're mostly full length boards so I don't see how this should matter.

Cheers,
Paul.

88v8
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Location: Glorious Gloucs

Re: Floorboards

Post by 88v8 » Sun 27th Jun, 2021 11:27 am

Reshuffling is probably the answer. Any new new boards will not be a colour match, so hiding them under carpet or furniture is a good idea.
Stock boards are unlikely to be the right thickness, nor will the tongues necessarily be in the right place.
And if they've been up before you may find that the tongues on the old boards are pretty mangled.

The tg oak boards we used in our previous house had been secret nailed through the tongues, Which is fine.
And when new and relatively soft they could be nailed with clouts without splitting, but I think you will need to predrill any new nail holes in the old boards or they will split.

Other than that I'm sure it will all be plain sailing !

Ivor

MatthewC
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Re: Floorboards

Post by MatthewC » Sun 27th Jun, 2021 4:05 pm

Abecedarian wrote:
Sat 26th Jun, 2021 2:29 pm
It looks like I may have to make a start and maybe do some reshuffling when I re-lay them. They're mostly full length boards so I don't see how this should matter.
Hmmm. It all depends on what you have to start with. I did a suspended floor in my house which had to be done: the wall where all the boards ended was very damp due to a concrete path (level with the floor) up to the wall outside - the joist by the wall had completely rotted and every board needed two or three inches removed due to rot. I had a few spare boards and fixed other joists but had all sorts of problems:

Firstly, the thickness. It is VERY difficult to get boards of the old thickness (>= 22mm) as many salvage yards tend to plane them a bit, reducing 22mm to 20mm (or less) to smarten them up (sigh).

Second, it is also difficult to get boards of a width to match your existing; the floor had just three long boards that were about (IIRC) 5" wide, and all the rest were nearer 7"; however, even those were NOT all EXACTLY the same width - there was no standard width and it always seemed that the ones I wanted to match and lay together were an eighth or a quarter inch different. All this made the idea of any re-shuffling almost impossible. After a few months of searching as the rest of the project progressed, I decided that I had to use what I had to do 2/3 of the floor and buy some planed boards 20mm thick for the rest; I then had to bodge the join between the two thicknesses.

Third, I found that a supporting wall for the joists was too close to the other outside wall and was gently disintegrating so it needed be rebuilt. There was also another old bodge where the fireplace had been fitted and one joist ended on rubble rather than a proper support, plus the external ventilation had been blocked on the inside by a lump of concrete. You just do not know what you will find!

See https://houseintheenchantedforest.blogs ... stery.html for a couple of pictures.
88v8 wrote:
Sun 27th Jun, 2021 11:27 am
... Other than that I'm sure it will all be plain sailing !
Love it! :lol:

Matthew

overlander matt
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed 2nd Jan, 2019 10:12 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by overlander matt » Sun 27th Jun, 2021 9:07 pm

I found it very difficult to find any good pine floor boards for the current house I am in. The reclamation yards had very little and blamed the shortage on the popularity of old floor boards used for cladding walls in pubs and restaurants. I've ended up with random sizes that are ok under carpets but probably wouldn't look too good exposed. Good luck with your hunt!

a twig
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by a twig » Sun 27th Jun, 2021 9:51 pm

Abecedarian wrote:
Fri 25th Jun, 2021 7:13 pm
Thank you for the suggestion, but have I not then compromised the authenticity of my Victorian floor by putting new timber in it?

Just thinking out loud.

Thanks,
Paul..
A repair with new timber is no more or less authentic than sticking in reclaimed boards from someone else's now unwanted old floor in my opinion :D

I don't personally have any issue with "honest repairs" and as Me! says with some trial and error on test bits you can get a finish close enough that it will only be visible if you are looking for it - i.e. close enough not to jump out. Yes the quality of the timber won't be as dense etc, but personally once it is properly installed I'd struggle to notice that by walking on it?

If you aren't as fortunate as I was in having a local mill, a quick use of a search engine will allow you to find many places that will do completely custom timber requirements from submitted drawings etc and will deliver.

Abecedarian
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon 25th Nov, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Floorboards

Post by Abecedarian » Wed 30th Jun, 2021 8:33 am

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and advice.

I suppose I need to just crack on and start lifting.
What could possibly go wrong!

Cheers.

Feltwell
Posts: 5838
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Floorboards

Post by Feltwell » Wed 30th Jun, 2021 11:34 am

I've ended up doing a shuffle round - taking boards from carpeted rooms to do repairs in non-carpeted rooms - though I have managed to get a few spare floorboards from voids in the roof space, where stud partitions had been built over attic floorboards.

Getting new cut to size to match old is OK, but I always struggle to get a good colour match on new vs old. It's one restoration technique I'd love to learn more about, ageing new timber to match old, for much more than just floorboards.

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