Ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous floor­boards

There’s noth­ing quite like pulling up a tatty old car­pet to find promis­ing floor­boards be­neath. Homes & Liv­ing has all the tips on mak­ing the most of your find.

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - OUT­DOORS -

To ex­pose and en­joy your home’s pe­riod floor­boards, un­cover them, do any re­pairs and sand them with an in­dus­trial floor san­der and edger – which is hard, hot and dusty work.

Al­though more ex­pen­sive, em­ploy­ing some­one to sand them for you is of­ten worth it, and they usu­ally in­clude the cost of the wood stain or var­nish in the price.

They should also be able to do the job quicker than you can and should have bet­ter san­ders than those avail­able from hire shops.

An­other prob­lem with do­ing it your­self is that you can get ridges in the boards from not us­ing the floor san­der prop­erly, and you usu­ally pay for the sand­ing sheets you use on top of the hire cost, which can soon add up. Pe­riod floor­boards of­ten have more modern boards mixed in where re­pairs have been done over the years.

You can, of course, re­place the new boards with pe­riod ones, but there’s no guar­an­tee the colour will match per­fectly when sanded, and it can be hard to find ones the same width, es­pe­cially if your boards are un­usual ones.

Paint­ing them makes it eas­ier to dis­guise the new boards than with wood stain or var­nish, al­though dark stains and var­nishes can work re­ally well.

Paint­ing floor­boards white is a classic look and will go with any wall colour, al­though it isn’t the most prac­ti­cal choice for high-traf­fic ar­eas of the home.

If you use a wa­ter-based white floor paint, such as Ron­seal Di­a­mond Hard Floor Paint, you may have to do sev­eral coats un­til the colour is even.

An oil-based white floor paint will cover in fewer coats, but it’s likely to yel­low, so if you want the boards to stay white, use a wa­ter-based paint.

The lat­ter is also ideal if you need to use the room that day be­cause it will dry quickly. If you don’t have pe­riod floor­boards or you’d pre­fer not to ex­pose them, con­sider lay­ing wood or wood-ef­fect floor­ing.

Lam­i­nate floor­ing, which has a pic­ture of wood printed onto the boards, is an in­ex­pen­sive way to get the look, but lam­i­nate isn’t as fash­ion­able as it once was.

If you want the real thing, other types of wooden floor­ing are now as easy to fit as lam­i­nate and can be rea­son­ably priced.

Boards that sim­ply click and fit to­gether are widely avail­able in both en­gi­neered wood and solid wood floor­ing. En­gi­neered wood floor­ing has a top layer of real wood, with other lay­ers un­der­neath.

The thick­ness of the wood layer varies – make sure you know how thick it is, as thicker lay­ers can be sanded.

A floor that can be sanded a few times is a good in­vest­ment be­cause it can take more wear and tear.

En­gi­neered wood is of­ten a more prac­ti­cal choice than solid wood floor­ing be­cause the lay­ers give it added strength and dura­bil­ity.

Un­like solid wood, it shouldn’t shrink and ex­pand when ex­posed to mois­ture and changes in tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity.

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