Draughtproofing a Timber Floor


DRAUGHTPROOFING LARGE GAPS DRAUGHTPROOFING SMALL GAPS

A well laid tongued-and-grooved floor or one covered with flooring- grade chipboard should not be draughty. But a considerable amount of air can come up into the house if the boards are merely butted together. In older properties particularly, boards may have shrunk so there are gaps between them.
There is no danger that rot will set in after you have sealed gaps in a floor, provided that air can still move freely underneath the floor through airbricks.
The way you choose to draughtproof a floor depends on the size of the gaps. Fill large gaps wider than 1/4in (6mm) with wood. For smaller gaps, use a sealant applied with a sealant gun or papier-mâche.

DRAUGHTPROOFING LARGE GAPS

Things you will need
Tools Mallet, plane, medium-grade abrasive paper and sanding block or a flapwheel or drum sander in a power tool.
Materials Thin strips of softwood planed to a wedge section, waterproof wood adhesive.
1. Apply adhesive to the two ong sides of a wedged strip of wood.

2. Tap the wood into place with the mallet, tar enough to fill the gap but leaving the strip a little proud of the floor.
3. When the adhesive has set, this will take about six hours, but it depends on the conditions, plane away the surplus wood.

4. Smooth any rough pieces of wood with a flap wheel or drum sander in a power tool, working only with the grain of the wood. Or do it by hand with medium-grade abrasive paper wrapped around a wood block.

DRAUGHTPROOFING SMALL GAPS

You can fill the gaps between floor- boards with a coloured acrylic flexidle sealant applied with a sealant gun, but this will be expensive in a arge room and sealants cannot be stained to match the colour of the floorboards.
It is much cheaper to fill the gaps with papier-mâché.

Things you will need
Tools Two buckets, trimming knife, putty knife or filling knife, fine or medium-grade abrasive paper, sanding block, rubber gloves.
Materials Old newspapers, glue size or regular wallpaper paste, water.

1. Using the trimming knife, shred the newspaper into small pieces. You need two to three newspapers for half a bucket of water.
2. Soak the paper in water until it is thoroughly wet.

3. Thoroughly work the paper to a pulp and squeeze out the surplus moisture.

4. In a second bucket, mix up about 4oz (115g) of glue size or walLpaper paste to 1 pint (570ml) of water and work it into the newspaper pulp until it has taken on a thick putty-like consistency.
5. Squeeze out the surplus water once again to make the papier-mãché as thick as possible.

6. Fill the gaps between the floor-boards with the papier-mâché, working it well down between the boards with the putty knife or filling knife. Clean up the surplus to leave the floor as clean as possible.
7. Allow the papier-mâché to set hard, this will take about 24 hours, depending on the temperature of the room.

8. Smooth the surface along the repaired gaps with medium-grade abrasive paper wrapped around a sanding block. The papier-mächè should finally be left level with the floorboards.