Well, it’s certainly been fashionable, or at least has been in the last decade or so. Whilst, I don’t profess to being an interior design style guru, exposing and then ‘gentrifying’ original floorboards has definitely been an ‘on trend’ DIY project for new homeowners. It’s the done thing to whip up the carpet, prise up the old laminate and stare at the original floorboards that have been lying dormant and hidden (probably for good reason in a lot of cases) for eons.
And there lies the problem. You may rip up a perfectly good, snug carpet that’s been perfectly fitted underneath the skirts to give a nice finish. Or the previous owners may have laid some fairly naff looking laminate and you’re thinking ‘oooh that’s horrible, why would you lay that’ before continuing ‘hey darling, look at this trendy magazine piece, the look and feel this interior designer has given to this authentic Cotswold cottage is just sublime, go and get a stanley knife the crowbar and a pair of gloves’. Then the hacking and rolling up of the carpet continues and then boom. There you are presented with a hopscotch effect of previously sawn floorboards with nails into joists that protrude and would stub many a toe. You see gaps in the boards that would fit a 50p piece horizontally and a ‘Jackson Pollack’ effect of previous decorating attempts. Oh dear, what’s a person to do with this predicament. Well like all good ‘magazine’ style blogs such as this, the best advice is to do a Google search and call in the experts in your local area. It’s probably the most sensible, time efficient and damage friendly option you have.
Alternatively you could plump for hiring a large industrial sander and sorting it out yourself. You’ll need plenty of equipment and windows that open and let out a significant amount of swirling dust and you belt sand the ‘heck out of spilled magnolia emulsion and pure white, horrific oil based gloss.
It does look brilliant once done but there’s a tonne of intricacies to consider first. Do your homework, get googling and put the effort in. It will be worth it! Here’s a few helpful resources including helpful video that leads to other videos upon other videos all about sanding a floor!
Dealing with drafts in original floorboards:diydoctor.org.uk
A Video about using a sanding machine:
Dealing with nails and other bits and bobs: a nice article on the guardian
And probably the best last – introducing The Restoration Couple who take you through the whole process n the following 3 videos!