replacing floorboards – repair

repair floorboards, replacing floorboards or repair floorboards, the commonest reason for having to lift a floorboard is to work on plumbing or electrics below, First check whether your boards are ‘T and G’ or square-edged. Push a knife blade down between two boards, but not so far that you might strike a cable. If there is no resistance, the board is square-edged; it the blade will not pass through, there is a tongue. If there is a tongue you will have to remove it on both sides of the board. The traditional tool for replacing floorboards or repair floorboards is the floorboard saw, but a powered circular saw is just as good.  You must set the saw blade so that it protrudes just below the tongue you are going to cut, for not only does this ensure that the saw teeth strike the work at the best angle for sawing, but also that there is less risk of cutting into the joists or striking cables and pipes. The tongue occupies the middle third of the side of a board, so its lower edge would be about 8 mm below the surface of a 25 mm thick board. and 6mm below that of a 19 mm  board. When you have removed the tongues, you must saw across the width at each end of the section of board you wish to raise. These cuts should be done with a pad saw, for which you might have to drill a starting hole; the cut should be made immediately to the side of a joist  you will be able to locate these easily with a knife once the board tongues have been removed. The board now has to be wrenched up. You can shove a strong screwdriver, old chisel, or small crowbar under the fixing points and heave, but you risk marking the boards this way.

FlooringOn an old floor that you intend to cover up completely this may not matter. but if you want the board to be on view, a better way is to wrench up a set of nails near a cut end. then push a hammer handle flat under the board and press down sharply on the free end. This will send a shock wave down the length of the board that will loosen nails further along. You will then be able to push the hammer farther along and repeat the process. The farther you push the hammer, the more effective this method will be, for you will be able to exert greater leverage. Pull the nails out as they loosen with either a claw hammer or pincers. With one board up and out of the way. it is easier to remove mibsequent boards. lf you need to take up boards that are side by side, it will probably be enough to remove the tongues on each outer edge, leaving the ones between intact. When you come to replace floorboards or repair floorboards, you cannot nail it to the joists at the end since you have to cut just to the side of them. You must screw a small length of timber 38mm square is suitable to the side of the joist. The length of the timber should be greater than the width of the board. Fix it with its top edge hard against the underside of the boards on each side, and it will be in the correct position to make the replaced board level.

If you have raised the board to install an electrical or plumbing connection, for it back with screws, so that it will be easy to raise should you need access again. Otherwise use floorboard nails, unless it is an upstairs floor over a dubious ceiling, in which case hammering might loosen the ceiling’s key. A floorboard that is badly damaged can be replaced. Take it up and discard it. If just one board is involved, the replacement should be square-edged. A‘T and G’ board cannot be fitted. You may not be able to buy a board of exactly the right width for the purpose of replacing floorboards or repair floorboards, so get one larger and plane it to a close fit. Your new board should be of the same thickness as the old. But if it proves impossible to buy one of the correct thickness, you can choose one slightly thinner and place a little packing – hardboard, perhaps on each joist. Or buy a thicker one and plane it to size, this is not too much trouble if you have a power planer.