Buildertrackworld: Oak Flooring – what to do

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  • Buildertrackworld: Oak Flooring – what to do
  • wrightyson
    Member

    [tannoy] [tannoy]
    Calling deadly darcy to the forum
    Only thing I’d ask is what you going to do with the 35/40 mm step you’ll be creating?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    …and if anyone is near north london, is able to lay flooring to a high standard and wants a large-ish flooring job (most of the bottom floor) please PM me.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Why not use the planks as floorboards, directly onto the joists rather than onto a chipboard layer?

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    @OP, I’m just off to pick up mini dd from the childminder, but will post a reply to your thread in a bit (won’t be till later though…after 1900 I reckon, so watch out.)

    Kryton57, I’m Brizzle based, but can travel for a decent enough sized job. I have a fair few friends in London that I can stay with depending on where your project is. Can you email me some details (gmail addy in profile) and I’ll have a look? I know you were desperate a while back for someone to fit. I may have capacity in the next few weeks (mid October) and can’t afford to turn anything down at the moment.

    richc
    Member

    joist are 12″ apart, so might be a little far. The chipboard was to make it a little easier to lay as that way I don’t have to worry about hitting the spans between joists and it should ensure the floor is nice and level.

    I also wondered if it would help reduce warping of the boards as the gap between the subfloor and the dirt isn’t huge.

    As for the step, it should be OK as the subfloor is lower than the hallway.

    richc
    Member

    So I have a fairly large sitting room (approx 36 sqm) which has presently got a rather stylist sterling board, which is starting to de-laminate so its jumped up the DIY priority list before my foot goes through it.

    So, I have a decent subfloor with deep joists (onto dwarf walls), so my plan is to stable some netting underneath then put loft insulation in the gaps for insulation, is this a bad idea? As its a fair bit cheaper than batons and celotex.

    Next I was going to put down a chipboard floor, to get it nice and level and finally I have sourced some english oak planks (3 to 5 meters long, 210mm wide, 20mm thick, mix of prime and semi-prime).

    The planks I’ve ‘sourced’ from a lumber yard have been sawn, thicknessed and routed for a tongue and groove and that’s it; and some of the thicknessing has missed a few patches of low spots a bit rough.

    So I was thinking of cutting them to size, routing a t&g on the ends, putting two pilot holes in the face plank every meter and then nailing them down with lost heads, and then finally sanding them with a belt sander and then applying a hardwax oil to them.

    To anyone who has done this before, does this sound like a sensible plan? Or would you do something different?

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    -210 is really wide; will magnify any shrinkage/cupping.
    -is this going to be cheaper than the £20m/sq unfinished oak you can
    get from Floorsonline.
    -The best way to lay solid flooring is with a nailer (eg Primatech)
    that you hit with a massive hammer and it drives a serrated nail in
    at 45deg and nicely closes up the gaps (hire one?).

    sicklilpuppy
    Member

    12″ between the joists isn’t overly wide, so providing they’re level and not too springy , the oak, if it’s 18mm + would be fine going straight on to them. I’d use a nailer through the groove, rather than use lost heads into the face, especially if your planning on heavily sanding the surface. No chance of going down to the nail head and the barbs, and going in at and angle give a more secure finish.

    slackalice
    Member

    Secret pinning through the tongue as above will be best fixing method. 12″ joist centres will be fine too with 20mm board thickness and given the rustic nature of the boards, a bit of undulation wont be an issue for you I presume?

    Be sure to acclimatise the boards for at least 2 weeks before laying them, even better if you can rack them in the room they are to be laid in.

    If your plan is to wax them afterwards, I would suggest a product such as Bourne Traffic Wax. Easy to put on and lasts very well.

    Kryton, would love to help if DD is unable, although I’m not available until November. If that helps?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    slackalice – thanks for the offer.

    I’ve emailed DD and I was contacted 5 mins after my post also, so if all falls through I’ll contact you.

    slackalice
    Member

    No worries Kryton, cheers.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    The planks I’ve ‘sourced’ from a lumber yard have been sawn, thicknessed and routed for a tongue and groove and that’s it; and some of the thicknessing has missed a few patches of low spots a bit rough.

    Have there been stress grooves machined onto the underside of the boards as well as anti-squeak on the underside of the groove? (See pic below) The 210mm wide boards will certainly need at least three stress-grooves machinining into them, so if you’re handy with a router, get your self a few cutters, straight edges and clamps and get groovin’.

    Structurally, 18mm flooring over 300mm centres will be absolutely fine. However, if the joists are over dirt, and there’s a significant moisture/temperature/humidity difference between the underside and overside of the boards (and there will be, in both winter and summer), they will cup/dish (especially given their width and thickness). In short, there’s no way I’d consider laying 210mm wide English oak straight to joists over an earth floor.

    How are the shoulders being machined? Square shouldered or micro-bevelled (sometimes referred to as a “v-groove”)? If they’re square shouldered, you’ll have fun sanding English oak with a belt-sander. YOu’ll need to sand it completely flat before applying any finish. When the finish is applied, it’ll look like a dog with a mallet up its arse if there’s any unevenness in the sanding, especially if you’re using a hardwax oil.

    So instead of a belt-sander, consider using one of these:

    (they are available to rent if you look hard enough).

    Do not use lost-heads in chipboard – your floor will squeak a lot as the nails start to move. Either use a hired porta-nailer with 45mm nails or consider using tongue-tite screws (manufactured by Elka). Also, as you’re using chipboard. If you’re using a porta-nailer, also consider using liquid batons as porta-nails often squeak in chipboard over time.

    Your chipboard should be P5 rated (the green stuff).

    If you can afford it, an 18mm ply floor would be a much better sub-floor. You could just use porta-nails on this and not worry too much about squeaking.

    So I was thinking of cutting them to size, routing a t&g on the ends

    If they’re being laid on a solid sub-floor, you can use a biscuit jointer to do the end joints (but not if you’re going direct to joists).

    DO NOT use PVA in the T/G joins.

    richc
    Member

    lots of feedback since I last checked, thanks everyone!

    In answer to the questions, I will be paying ~ 25 per sqm for the oak, the reason I am looking at these is the planks come in 3 -> 5M lengths, cheap packs seem to come with loads of crappy short lengths (some down to 300mm) which I want to avoid as the room is 8M x 4M with + 1 large bay and two small bays, and I want to run the boards length ways. The only downside with the planks are on some of them aren’t ‘perfect’ so there are rough sections on low spots, hence the price.

    All the planks have 3 stress grooves in the back already, so I don’t need to cut any. The boards are also square shouldered.

    The width doesn’t seem to bad, as its only 8″, some of the boards in the other rooms are 10″ + but they are pretty old.

    Will the porta nailer and two nails be enough to hold the board in place? The tongue tite screws seem like a safe bet to me.

    With that sander, any tips on where to hire one around Bristol?

    (I might end up paying someone to put this down, so I may email you in a few weeks for a quote DD if you have any time between now and Christmas? But I need to get the rest of the room ready first).

    ajc
    Member

    All I would add to DD is about insulation. This came up here a while ago. You can use Rockwool between joist with netting as you suggested but by all accounts it is a lovely home for mice. Best bet is celotex or similar between joists. They have data sheets on how to install on web site. You need board fixings for your planks at regular intervals. DD would be best to advise but probably not more than 600mm. Ply sub base is more expensive but a much better board to take fixings than chip board.

    richc
    Member

    good point about mice, never thought about that

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    richc, I may have some capacity between now and Christmas so drop me an email (in profile).

    I’m not sure where to hire those sanders in Brizzle (I have my own) but HSS might be worth a shot.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Subscriber

    Richc: There’s nothing wrong with short lengths; it means much less wastage during machining and it looks just fine.
    The Portanailer is the way to go as it knocks the board you are fixing up against the previous row with about a ton of force; rather hard to do this with the screws! I put a nail in about every 400mm along the board length.

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