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Repairing Damaged Floorboards
This entry was posted on October 20, 2013.
Skill Level: Intermediate
There can be a number of reasons for wanting to take up a floorboard, or a number of boards. It could be you have a damaged floorboard that needs repairing; if so, it poses a safety risk and needs to be attended to. It’s maybe just a loose and creaking floorboard; but they can be most annoying, or you perhaps need access to pipe work or electrical cables and fittings in the floor space. Whatever the reason, it’s something that needs tackling on occasions, and as with everything we attempt around the home, it can be relatively easy if we follow a few simple guidelines. There are two types of floorboards; Plain edged floorboards, and Interlocking, or Tongue and Groove floorboards. Both types are detailed below;
Locate Relevant Joists
Locate the edge of a joist at each end of the damaged section of board by inserting a thin steel rule or kitchen knife. The rows of fixing nails or screws will tell you where the joists are situated. Joists are normally 1 ½” – 2” wide.
Mark Board for Removal
Carefully measure out ½” from edge of the joist and mark a line across the width of the board. Next, drill a series of 1/8” diameter holes along the drawn line. This will make it easier to start your saw cut.
Cut Board to be Removed
Saw through the board using a small craft or pad saw. Try sawing at a slight angle, leaving a small chamfered edge.
Now use the bolster to lever up the board along its length, it’s easier if you insert a small length of thin timber or batten under the board and slide this progressively along to the next cut point.
Second Cut To Board
At the next cut point, the chosen joist, with the board supported by a batten either side of the proposed cut line, saw the board along the centre line of the joist.
Cut New Board To Size
Finally, cut a section of new board to the correct length. Before fixing down the board ensure there are no electrical cables or pipe work at risk from damage, when satisfied, secure board with screws or nails. As a minimum, securely fix to every other joist.
Where it is necessary to lift a floorboard fixed beneath a skirting board you will need to take the skirting board off
Tongue and Groove Floorboards
Replacing Tongue and Groove Floorboards. Repairing a section of this type of board is similar to replacing a section of plain edged floorboard, but only up to a point. Mark out your cut lines with the relevant joists as your guide, as described above in sections 1 – 3.
The easiest way to remove the section to be replaced is to cut the board length ways with a circular saw, but only if you are sure of what lies beneath. Better, just split the board along its length with a chisel, and prise out the loosened piece.
Fit New Section of Board
Lastly, cut the new board to the correct length, make sure you have the tongue and groove the right way round, chisel off the lower edge of the groove, offer up and check fit, and screw down or nail fix.