I want to lay new copper pipes. I will cut floorboards (T&G) on joists
and then put them back in place. I would probably need to lift quite a
lot of them in order to place radiators where I want them (near
Can I just cut my floorboards (on joists) as I see fit or is it better
to lift them as one piece ?
your help is appreciated,
If at all possible, I would attempt to do the plumbing work from below
and only drill through the flooring where needed to connect to the
If it isn't possible to do that, I would make every attempt to remove
as few as possible in as near a whole section as possible. Typically
this is done by removing baseboard in a location and starting by
severing the tongue on one side of one board using a thin chisel or
similar to get a first section out.
Unfortunately not possible - I only own 1st floor of the house.
Does this mean I should avoid cutting and try to remove whole
floorboards ? What are the disadvantages if I cut floorboards on two
adjacent joists - in order to only create narrow way to lay pipes to
thanks for your info - very helpful,
Bummer! I guess there's no access space then? What happens if a pipe
breaks now? And in the future?
The disadvantage is the more actual cuts you make, the more patches
you have when you put it back -- that's cosmetic and potentially
difficulty in holding long term resulting in squeaky floor or may a
springy spot or two.
Hard to judge for sure not knowing layout of flooring and joists and
where you need the runs to go what would be best so I'll through out
some more or less free-form thoughts...
First, to minimize the needed access you might consider going w/ PEX
instead of copper. Then you could possible snake the tubing through a
much smaller hole at one end of the run and out the other than to lay
copper. Also, particularly w/ PEX, you could use the manifold/branch
concept and perhaps make the run(s) more easily albeit somewhat longer
than the bare minimum.
Alternately, if it's a big remodeling job and not and attempt to do a
"most minimal" access, it might be simplest in the long run to take up
sizable amount of the flooring to have essentially unencumbered access
to the runs you need, then re-lay the whole thing when done. That
would be most appropriate if you're redoing a whole room or two w/ a
major renovation, of course.
Failing that, I'd still try to work to the idea of pulling the full
flooring pieces as intact as I could even if only trying to reach
minimal locations. This again assumes that the end result desired is
an exposed finished wood floor, not one to be covered w/ carpet or
similar. Saw cuts across several boards at the same location will
stand out as joint lines. Depending on the location and the type of
flooring and finish, these can be very distracting. Darker finishes,
etc., tend to minimize this, of course.
OTOH, if it is relatively new and standard oak strip flooring, it
might be as simple as sacrificing what is needed to make the initial
cut(s) to get the necessary row(s) out and then fit new material in
where needed and refinish.
What type of flooring, what width, any clue(s) as to how it's
fastened, etc., could aid in some suggestions, possibly. I have, with
great pains, successfully pulled flooring from old houses by the basic
strategy outlined before -- start at an edge, and/or split a tongue
and (eventually) work (or more accurately, worry :) ) the first pair
up. Once that first piece can be manuevered out, then the rest goes
more quickly. Thing is, if it has end t&g as well as side, you either
have to work the whole length, have enough space at the end to slide
the first towards the wall to clear, or also cut the tongue on the
first one to get it out...
Good luck...I'd try to get to know the neighbors downstairs really,
really well and hope they would like a fresh paint job on their
ok some more information then:
I live in the UK in 1st floor dwelling (semi detached with 4 flats).
My floorboards are T&G with blind nail on the side. My joists are 2x4"
plus 2x1" on the top of it (smaller timber is then notched for current
pipe /cable runs). Joists are 50cm apart. Neighbour's ceiling and my
floorboards are attached to joists. No tongue at the the end of
I guess I would just lift the floorboard - pipes are run through
notches on the top of joists.
Right I see. Sorry perhaps I should have mentioned at the beginning. I
will carpet over floorboards so I am not particularly worried about
cosmetics - I was worried about structural stability, squeaking,
excellent many thanks for that!
yup - I will be laying new central heating pipes and need to get the
pipes under windows in each room.
floorboards are 20x100mm with tongue blind nailed on one side -
exactly as in this pdf document on page 5:
I just bought the house 6 months ago - as the summer is coming I am
sure there will be more occasions to speak to each other =)
thanks for all the useful info.
Then it don't matter -- I was assuming the question was how to do so w/
o ruining the existing flooring. Since it's not, take the sawzall and
go at it...you can always just lay subfloor down in it's place and
don't even need to worry about salvaging the old floor unless you have
some other use for it. Although actually, setting a carbide
construction blade at the flooring thickness and a few judicious cuts
as you first mentioned is the more surgical approach that I would
actually recommend... :)
_BUT_, given the no other convenient access problem, I'd use screws
instead of nails to fasten the new down so that worst comes to worst
you can roll back the carpet and get access relatively easily if ever
And, of course, don't forget to tie things down to avoid vibration
noises and then insulate before closing back up...
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