We've recently bought our first house (yay!) and are looking to have exposed floorboards throughout. However I realise it's a big job and due to work etc I'll probably have to tackle this one room at a time.
I'm going to start in the upstairs spare room (3m x 3m) and I was initially just going to replace the floorboards that needed replacing - i.e. the broken/cracked ones but I've rang 3 local timber merchants to discuss replacement boards and each one has told me that the existing 18mm boards are too thin to be exposed and I should look to getting at least 20mm. One also said that the ones at the moment will be 18mm softwood(?) which is rubbish quality, never designed to be exposed and therefore won't come up that great if I do sand & varnish them?
So basically I have a few questions....
- If I'm going down the route of replacing all floorboards is it worth treating both sides of the boards with something before I actually fix them? They come untreated from the timber merchants and while I realise I won't need to varnish both sides is it worth putting some sort of treatment on the underside too?
- Do you think I'll still need an industrial sander if all the boards are new and therefore not paint-stained or anything else? Or will I get away with just giving them a quick going over with an electric hand sander?
- How do you know how tight to clamp the boards together? It's summer here at the moment so the boards will obviously be at their largest - Because of this I was thinking I should probably do them quite tight because they'll shrink over the winter which then means gaps could start to show. Or am I just overthinking the expansion/shrinking situation (I have no idea how much to expect see!)
- Is it worth/can I put some sort of underlay between the joists? It's a first floor room and so I'm thinking of noise below it might be worth putting something inbetween the floorboards and the ceiling below? Or am I just talking rubbish here?!
- Any other hints / tips before I start would be massively appreciated.