Floorboards cutting or lifting ?

Hi folks,
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 windows).
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,
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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 radiators.
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.
HTH...
--


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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 radiator ?
thanks for your info - very helpful,
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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 ceiling! :)
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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 boards.

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, other ...

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: http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/docs/maintenance5-4_tongue&groove.pdf

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.
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...

...
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 need repair.
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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yes - was looking for this answer!

will do exactly that!

will use screws
many thanks for you advice - I know what I'm doing now ...
much appreciated, Mike
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