Monday, 19 December 2011

Crafty DIY : Reveal Your Floorboards

Bored of your carpet? Looking for a cheap option to hide those nasty stains? Have you thought about checking what’s underneath that dusty beast? I know this may seem a little obvious but I’m posting this topic today as it is much easier to bring floorboards to life than I had once thought. And if like us, you are not sure how to go about it, then read on.

So here’s the step by step. Choose a corner that is usually covered by furniture and gently peel the corner of the carpet away from the wall and off its carpet grips. If it looks good, as in there are floorboards, the wood looks in fairly good condition and there is no obvious damage, then clear the room of all the furniture and carefully (just in case you change your mind) peel back the layer of carpet and then the underlay, which may be stapled, so just give it a good tug. You can remove the staples later on.

Don't you just love the glow from that (now non-existant) florescent lamp. Roll it all up and take it out of the room and into storage should you be fully committed at this stage. We are going to use ours in the garage to make the floor a little warmer. Not for the car you understand. That would be weird. Now check the boards – clock any holes that need filling with wood filler that can be sanded, remove any staples or carpet grips by leveraging a flat head screwdriver and gently pulling them up. And also run you hand over the whole room and check for draughts. We were very lucky, we had no draughts at all so we decided not to fill in the gaps between our floorboards. But if you did want to there are quite a few options found on various DIY forums like this.

Now get to work on sanding them back if they need it. Our underlay left lots of small dots on the wood, so we needed to get rid of those before we started varnishing. Many of you know the story… the other half managed one whole board with the electric sander before the motor burnt out. The rest were sanded lovingly by hand. Once ready, choose your stain wisely. We chose a light oak stain, which really brought out the knots beautifully. We chose to use Ronseal floor varnish which needed three coats to ensure a scratch and stain resistant finish. It was reasonably quick drying so we left only 6 hours between coats and then didn’t use the room for a day.

If budget is tight or if you have always fancied a wooden floor, then it’s definitely worth checking under your carpets as in the end it was well worth doing. Floorboards make such an impact to a room. Although please remember that the room will echo more without carpets and the floor may be a little chillier than carpet, however we have not noticed much difference as wood can still be very warm too.

Disclaimer: If you rip the carpet up and there is actually a unexpected crater in the middle of your floor, EnthusedMonkey will not be held responsible. The only advice I can offer is to carefully lay the carpet back down again, walk away slowly and pretend it never happened.

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