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andrewm

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I would almost hazard to call this woodworking but I know several members of the forum have done this and I am looking for advice and ideas.

I want to replace my existing downstairs floorboards with a solid hardwood floor, probably walnut [1], tounge and grooved and secret nailed. Because this involves replacing the boards in the lounge and the hall/cloakroom (which still has other work to complete first) I am planning on using unfinished boards. This way I can lay the lounge floor and give it a simple finish and then next year, after the stairs have been replaced, lay the hall/cloakroom floor and refinish the whole lot to give a consistent finish throughout the downstairs of the house.

Because there is nowhere in the room to hide speaker cables I want to put conduit under the floor as it goes down. The plan is to drill 22m holes in the boards in each corner and halfway along the long walls and fit push-fit tank connectors. These will be connected to MDPE pipe running under the floor. That way I can run speaker and other audio cables around the room as needed. I will route a recess around the tank connector for the installation of a stainless steel cover plate if they are not being used.

Because this is a suspended floor there are central heating pipes running under it. I am planning for a couple of access holes in case of emergency. These will have panels, say 300x450mm that are screwed to the joists and plugged. I am not planning on them having to be removed but sod's law says that if I don't fit them I will end up having to take up my nice new floor. This view is reinforced by a three-way valve that decided to dump most of the water from the heating system through the kitchen ceiling on Tuesday morning. :cry:

So, questions:

1) Is this a good plan?

2) Can anyone recommend a simple to apply and reasonable priced finish for the lounge given that it is all going to be refinished after a year anyway?

3) What is the recommended method of secret nailing? I was hoping that I could justify the purchase of an air nailer for this job but a bit of background reading suggests that a dedicated secret nailing jig might be a better option.

4) What are peoples views on the construction of access panels.

5) Anything else that I should be aware of or any other potential gotchas?
__________

[1] I know that a lot of people on these forums will consider this a waste of good walnut but I want a floor with a Wow! factor and hope that there will be enough left over for a few other projects – say 10% over ordering to allow for wastage :)

Many Thanks,

Andrew
 

dedee

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Andrew, I can't answer your questions but would like to ask why "there is nowhere in the room to hide speaker cables".

When I recently put a new wooden floor down in two bedrooms the skirting board moulding (beech) came with a recess along the back for routing cables.

Could you not route your cables behind the skirting boards

Andy
 

andrewm

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Could you not route your cables behind the skirting boards
And therein lies the reason. The room has a shadow bead at the bottom of the wall. No skirting. The wall stops about half inch from the floor with a recess, i.e. when finished should appear to be floating above the floor. Difficult to describe but you can probably find an example in any book or magazine dealing with contemporary architecture.

Andrew
 

cambournepete

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make sure your pipe for the cables is a LOT bigger than you think it needs to be, with gentle curves, otherwise you'll have this lovely floor and pipe, but be unable to put the cables in.

Just a thought.

Pete
 

andrewm

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make sure your pipe for the cables is a LOT bigger than you think it needs to be, with gentle curves, otherwise you'll have this lovely floor and pipe, but be unable to put the cables in.

Just a thought.
I was going to use either 22mm or 25mm MDPE water pipe. Can't get particularly tight bends on that so should be OK. Would prefer 25mm but I think the tank connectors that I was doing to use only come in 22mm flavor. Still that should be wide enough to get a speaker cable through, especially with a wireman's tape.

Andrew
 

cambournepete

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andrewm":1ec188sa said:
I was going to use either 22mm or 25mm MDPE water pipe. Can't get particularly tight bends on that so should be OK. Would prefer 25mm but I think the tank connectors that I was doing to use only come in 22mm flavor. Still that should be wide enough to get a speaker cable through, especially with a wireman's tape.

Andrew
Pretty feeble speaker cable in the hifi world though :wink:.

For example, this is 38mm diameter...

Pete (wisihing he had enough money to afford such cable :shock:)
 

Adam

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andrewm":1apa90sj said:
with a solid hardwood floor, probably walnut [1]
Andrew
Boy thats gonna cost ££££ surely?

Adam
 

andrewm

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Pretty feeble speaker cable in the hifi world though .

For example, this is 38mm diameter...

Pete (wisihing he had enough money to afford such cable )
If I ever win the lottery and can afford THAT then I can consider a new floor as well - or a new house. But probably a new workshop first :)

Now for something a little cheaper bit almost as big try this
 

andrewm

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Boy thats gonna cost ££££ surely?

Well I'm reckoning about the same as a decent carpet. But offcuts of carpet have no practical use. Offcuts of Walnut floor do :)

Andrew
 

Taffy Turner

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andrewm":1zvjazh2 said:
I know that a lot of people on these forums will consider this a waste of good walnut but I want a floor with a Wow! factor ..

Many Thanks,

Andrew
If you want to increase the WOW factor, get the receipt from the timber merchant framed and hung on the wall somewhere in the vicinity.
:shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Adam

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Yeah I'm sure it'll have "Wow" factor - a mate has just done his bedroom (very albeit very large) and I think it cost between £1k and £1.5K. It does look superb though - you can really "see" that it's solid oak. Some people must have some serious amounts of spare cash me thinks!!!

Adam
 

gidon

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Andrew

Andrew":1od3p8ne said:
Well I'm reckoning about the same as a decent carpet.
Are you sure about that? We paid about £20 / sq metre for Kahrs Linnea flooring (except we got oak) - which is 7mm thick with a thin real wood veneer. (I would guess solid walnut would be at least double that.) We really did look at every option and found this the best for us. It's great stuff by the way - it's more stable than wood all the way through, clicks together and is easy to lay, and unless you plan to sand the floor down every year, it will keep looking every bit as good as if there was another 15mm of real wood underneath it. It came in an oil or varnish finish - so if you bought enough for all you wanted to do it would match whenever you layed it and save you a lot of time with finishing it yourself.

Anyhow sorry it doesn't answer your question directly but may be some use to you!

Cheers

Gidon
 

andrewm

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Gidon,

I considered the veneer but the existing floor is currently a mish-mash of different boards because I have taken out a couple of fireplaces and a chimney so is not really level enough to put anything on top. Other boards are generally uneven. So, a new floor is necessary either way and direct hardwood boards will get around any problems with unequal heights between the boards and the tiled kitchen.

So, I've done the research just need to do the laying. Best price I've found so far is (from memory) £34 sq m for 20mm wide boards.

Andrew
 

Alf

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Taffy Turner":1xsqwhu0 said:
If you want to increase the WOW factor, get the receipt from the timber merchant framed and hung on the wall somewhere in the vicinity.
:shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
ROTFL :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Chris Knight

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andrewm":1nkf2xgq said:
And therein lies the reason. The room has a shadow bead at the bottom of the wall. No skirting. The wall stops about half inch from the floor with a recess, i.e. when finished should appear to be floating above the floor. Difficult to describe but you can probably find an example in any book or magazine dealing with contemporary architecture.
Andrew, It would help to see a picture but my cynical mind says this was a way of saving the cost of skirting! Plainly a solid walnut floor is going to cost a packet and I would think hard about the merits of saying "to heck with the design intent - what do I want" I reckon the answer might be skirting.
 

Dewy

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andrewm, I presume you are going to fit the cable pipes in holes drilled in the joists.
Make sure they are deep enough so that nails wont reach them.
It has been well known for pipes and cables to by run in cutouts in the joists.
This weakens the joist more than having holes in the middle.
They are also prone to nails hitting the pipes. :(

I have a couple of access hatches in my floors upstairs.
This wasn't from laying the floor but when I needed access to the ring main to take some spurs off it through junction boxes.
I cut the boards flush with the joists.
After running the cables I screwed a couple of bits of 2x2 to each joist level with the top so the boards would lie flat, level with the rest of the floor.
I screwed them down so I now have easy access should I need it again.
So far I have needed access to one of the junction boxes twice.
As the hatches were out of the way I didnt bother plugging them which made it easier.
I also used this hatch when running a telephone cable from one side of the house to the centre.
 

andrewm

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think hard about the merits of saying "to heck with the design intent - what do I want" I reckon the answer might be skirting.
Chris, this is definitely the design intent and having paid the plasterer extra to put the beading in I am not (yet) going to cover it with skirting. It is a bit experimental at the moment but where I have seen it done it has been very effective. There are a lot of photographs in architectural books but interestingly I am finding it difficult to find any on the web. Very much a 'contemporary' feature though if not to everyone's taste.


I presume you are going to fit the cable pipes in holes drilled in the joists.
Dewy, actually the joists are supported on dwarf walls so there is plenty of room to run the conduit under the joists. Also means that the radii of bends is somewhat greater.

Andrew
 

gidon

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Andrew
Sounds like you know what you are doing! And that doesn't sound a bad price for solid walnut, especially that thick.
Let us know how you get on ...
Cheers
Gidon
 

bg

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I put in an Oak floor a year or so back. I screwed the boards at the start edge (and plugged the screw hole) to provide a really firm fixing and secret nailing of the subsequent boards which where held tight to the previous board with leverage if necessary. I used one of those a ratchet nailers that put a nail at 45 degrees through the tongue which I found worked very well and it was quick and easy to use. Only the odd nail needed a further tap with a punch. The final two board were also screwed and plugged as you cant get the tongue nailer to work close to the wall. On the question of finishing I would have thought an oil/wax such as the osmo brand could be put on. When you do the subsequent floor a light sand and re oil the existing floor should blend them together if it need even that. I actually had two rooms and a landing to do. The first room and landing was finished and oiled a good six months before the second room was laid and oiled. You cant see any difference in the finish. I did buy all the wood at the same time though. My advise would be to go with a good finish for the wood from day one to protect the floor as much as possible. If the floor gets stained through a mishap then it might not match the subsequent floor well at all.
 

MattMoore

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if you do decide to put a skirting board up, will the shadow gap recess now be a perfect place to route all of your cables?
2 houses i recently installed doors for with the company i work at was full of the shadow gap design, looked good in some places, but others jus looked untidy and unfinnished IMHO, but i guess that could be down to the plasterer
 
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