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Author Topic: Laying floorboards on concrete. Suggestions?  (Read 5958 times)
mr_magicfingers
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« on: January 07, 2017, 02:19:10 PM »

The lime plaster walls are finally all done. Next week I start with the undercoats and topcoats painting with silicate paints. Once that's done, it's finally time to put the floor down which will be 1" thick T&G oak floorboards from a local supplier. I plan to get them soon and put them in the living room to acclimatise.

My plan to lay them is to screw 1" battens into the concrete floor on 600mm spacing with 1" kingspan (or similar) foam boards between the battens to give a bit of insulation under the floorboards, then screw the board down through the tongue into the battens so there's no screws showing.

I'm guessing that standard rawplugs and screws will be fine for the battens into the concrete but that I'll need short 30mm or so screws to screw into the battens. I've not done this before so any suggestions on a better way would be much appreciated.
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Ted
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 03:10:13 PM »

There are specialist t&g flooring screws that you can get, which I have used. Ignore the instructions that say you don't need pilot holes and drill at 45 and you will be fine.

http://www.screwfix.com/p/tongue-tite-screws-3-5-x-45mm-200-pack/85991

Put the screws in with a ratchet hand screwdriver rather than a powered driver - will save frustration and premature wear of the T10 driver bit.

Give yourself plenty of time and don't rush it.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 03:21:05 PM by Ted » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 05:37:47 PM »

Good luck with the oak T&G, we used a load of that from a supplier in Cornwall, it was pretty rustic to say the least, lots of splits, shakes and dead knotts and yet still 70 quid a metre or so. We laid it on normal floor joists secret nailed, but it was a devil of a job to clamp the joints tight, this stuff didn't have any T&G on the ends which I thought was a bit cheap. We then spent ages sanding and filling the worst defects, and in the end it sort of looked ok provided you want "RUSTIC".  Me? I thought it looked 4 letter words are my favorite, I have thrown away better facepalm

You will need a good method of clamping it really tight if yours is similar and it will will be a problem on battens if you try to secret fix.

Desp
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Westie
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 05:48:47 PM »

Our house was built 1936, it has 1" pine T&G over concrete.  For fixing they set dovetail shaped joists into the concrete - it's a very solid feeling floor.

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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 06:48:42 PM »

I used the screws recommended by Ted to lay 20mm oak boards onto 400mm centre joists.  For the first row you can screw the inner side vertically, and only leave barely visible heads.  Even better cover the heads with the skirting boards.

I would advise getting longer ones for 25mm boards.  45mm would be too short in my opinion.  It is also worth getting some quality T10 torx bits.  The Irwin ones on Amazon did me ok.  IMHO avoid Silverline.

You need to clamp the boards tight.  Either get a flooring clamp

http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/how-to/woodworking/install-floor-boards

or screw some wood to the joists as a block and then used two opposing wedges to push an offcut of groove against the tongue of the board that I was laying

like this http://www.lets-do-diy.com/Projects-and-advice/Floors/Laying-floorboards-onto-joists.aspx

or just hammer the offcut with a mallet.    I was using Junkers boards which are precision cut and their laying guide said that, for average humidity conditions, ten boards should cover 1400mm or something like that (or 1405mm if exceptional humid). This would ensure that they were neither too tight and buckle when they expand nor too loose and gap when they contract.

John
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johnrae
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 07:37:23 PM »

Do not use any bare steel fixings in the oak as you will end up with black stains when the acid in the ok reacts with the iron in the steel.  I've no idea if the Screwfix yellow screws  you mentioned are guaranteed reaction free.
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knighty
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 12:44:36 AM »

to fix the battens down to the concrete use concrete screws screwfix example

much quicker/easier than anything else and stronger too, you can drill straight through the wood and into the floor with a masonry bit and then screw them straight in (with a battery drill)


most are 7.5 diameter and need a 5.5mm masonry bit
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Iain
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 07:38:20 AM »

Hi
Depending how flat the concrete is, you might need some packers in some places for the battens  as you screw them down to keep them true.

Iain
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mr_magicfingers
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 11:07:58 AM »

to fix the battens down to the concrete use concrete screws screwfix example

much quicker/easier than anything else and stronger too, you can drill straight through the wood and into the floor with a masonry bit and then screw them straight in (with a battery drill)


most are 7.5 diameter and need a 5.5mm masonry bit

Never seen those before, they look like a proper job. Most likely be buying extra for fixing things to walls without the need for rawlplugs which never seem to work well here. Thanks very much.
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mr_magicfingers
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 11:10:27 AM »

thanks for all the great advice. I'll be getting stuck in later this month and will report back.
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mr_magicfingers
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 10:28:18 PM »

Well after all the previous posts, the floors are now done. I had a friend who's a chippy come and help lay the boards. Photos from the first room.

Laid down a dpc and then battens screwed into the concrete floor. Those concrete screws were a godsend, as was my big cheap sds drill from screwfix.



Between the battens went 25mm celotex insulation



Then boards down on top. Once again, the screws suggested were brilliant, really helped pull the boards tight down and tight together. My friend the chippy hadn't seen those before and spent the following week showing all his workmates how brilliant they were.



I had a couple of quotes to sand the floors that were ridiculous at around a grand so called the local hire place and found that the sanders could be rented for 225 for the week plus sanding belts. Would have been about 250. Then a local firm quoted me 400 all in to sand the floors. They did a great job and took less than a day, well worth it in my view and I'm sure did a better job that I would have done.

I stained the boards a little darker to match the window frames and doors we have, it's called 'whisky' and is a lovely colour. Took an evening on my knees putting the hard wax oil on and wiping it off and the following day rollered a second coat of clear hard wax oil on and left it to dry.

The dogs were finally let back in the house and proceeded to slide all over the place which made me giggle. Muppet approves of the new floors now.



I've still got to buy, stain and seal enough skirting board to go round but that'll be done in a month or two when a few other jobs have been finished.

Thanks for all the help and advice. In a couple of months I'll get the living room done and it'll be finished floors through the ground floor. After 8 months of being a building site, it is lovely to have a home back again.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 10:30:54 PM by mr_magicfingers » Logged

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knighty
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2017, 01:26:04 AM »

good job there, that looks really clean/tidy and like a good old fashioned wood floor at the same time, stain/wax came out really nice too :-)
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todthedog
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2017, 07:08:18 AM »

Looks fantastic  great job!
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2017, 09:06:50 AM »

Great job. Thats going to make a lovely room.
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biff
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2017, 09:31:15 AM »

What a difference MF,
                 The room looks really cosy. Will be a nice refuge in the stormy winters night.
 I saw the curved boards and thought for a second that some one had been extra dutiful with a lot of time on their hands Grin.
 I installed acres of such floors but with just the big 8 x 4 sheet of sterling board on top. Quick, clean and very user friendly.
 I also increased the battons to 75 mm and ran UF pipes on top of the kingspan with an extra shield of 2l2 underneath. (Over 25 years ago) and have a similar system in our  present house.
 It is a great floor to live with, It is kind to the joints in your knees and back. (Shock proof because of the air trapped underneath)
                                                       Biff
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