Laying reclaimed floorboards straight onto joists

Discussion in 'Flooring and Tiling' started by harburt, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. harburt

    harburt

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Folks

    I have a living/dining room in an old victorian terrace house where the front half of the room (the living room) has had the original floorboards replaced with a chipboard floor, while the dining room has the original floorboards. Currently the whole lot has been carpeted over.

    I want to take up the carpet and replace the chipboard with reclaimed boards that are a close match to the original boards in the dining room.

    The existing boards in the dining room (20mm thick, 165mm wide pine boards) are nailed directly into the joists.
    Beneath this there is a basement/foundations level. The house has previously had damp problems as it is built on the site of an old spring, however there has been a lot of work done to fix the damp issues.

    I am new to working with floors so have several questions, namely:
    A - am I ok to lay the new boards in the same fashion as the old ones, by nailing directly into the joists? Or is it better to take the whole lot up and lay a subfloor (which I would much rather avoid if possible)?
    B - what do I need to look our for in terms of potential damp/moisture issues that may affect the new boards?
    C - I am aware that you need to leave an expansion gap round the edge but does there need to be a small gap between each row of board?
    D - Is there anywhere I can hire a damp meter to inspect the moisture level in the joists?
    E - Anything else I need to be aware of? Am doing this completely wrong and will I just end up with a ruined floor in 2 years time?

    Any thoughts or advice would be absolutely fantastic.

    Many thanks

    Tom
     
    harburt, Aug 9, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. harburt

    Jeff1967

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Tom
    I take it you want the floor to be the same level throughout.
    If that's the case then take up the sub floor and yes you can nail direct to joists.
    However you say the house has had damp issues in the past.It maybe the case that you will have to replace parts or some of the joist.Or reinforce some of them take it there's crawl space underneath.A couple of timber frame struts out of 4 x2 if there's any sagging in the joists will do the trick.
    Take of skirting boards before laying boards.leave floorboards 10mm away from wall ( skirting will cover the gap)
    As its reclaimed depending on how's it been stored ie moisture content it depend on how long you need to leave it in the house to acclimatise.
    If it's been stores well and dry enough
    Personally I would lay it fix it well 2 lost head nails 20mm in from either edge on every joist and keep joints as tight as possible
    As for damp meter you should be able to tell from the condition of the floorboards you have in place already
    Also any signs of damp patches upto the first meter of your walls plus you should be able to smell it
    Hope this helps and good luck
     
    Jeff1967, Aug 15, 2018
    #2
    harburt likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. harburt

    harburt

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Jeff

    Thanks so much for getting back to me. I've already been down an inspected the joists and they seem fine. They were all replaced at some point, presumably because of the damp, and a lot of work has been done to prevent future damp issues occurring, which is good.

    I was planning on leaving the wood for 2 weeks(ish) to acclimatise in the room, does that sound long enough?

    When you say keep joints as tight as possible, do you mean fix the boards as close together as possible? I thought maybe they needed a slight gap between each board to allow for expansion (as well as the 10mm expansion gap around the edge. Is that not correct? Should they be a tight together as possible?

    Other than that the only other thing I can't work out is how I tell if the joists themselves are level enough. Any tricks for this?

    Thanks so much for your help. I'm ordering the floorboards this week.

    Cheers

    Tom
     
    harburt, Aug 15, 2018
    #3
  4. harburt

    Jeff1967

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello Tom
    2 weeks sounds like more than adequate,but then it all depends on how they been stored,prior to you buying them. Outside etc.
    Without actually seeing them would be hard to say wether that's long enough or overkill
    As for spacing personally and from experience I would keep them as tight as possible.( others will disagree)but make sure they are well nailed
    Straight edge and spirit level for checking the floor for level
    All the best
     
    Jeff1967, Aug 16, 2018
    #4
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.