Painting floorboards

I'm thinking of pulling up my old carpet and painting the floorboards, and was wondering if I could get some advice. My reason for doing this, is I have a severely Autistic Son, who is proving difficult to toilet train, and I want a surface easy to clean, having said that I don't have much money because I had to give up work to look after my wife and son, I am a full time carer. Also, my because of my son's behaviour, I don't want to go to the trouble of pollished floorboards, as they will be quickly scratched up and damaged anyway, the same with Vinyl which I cant afford anyway. So, my questions are, what type of paint would I use, and what could I do about the gaps between the floorboards so that they don't trap all sorts of dirt etc. I'm not really worried about the job looking flash, just something practical, as it is hard to keep this place looking good as you might appreciate, I'm expecting holes in the walls and doors as my son gets stronger. Any replies would be appreciated.
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First let me say that I admire your devotion to family and not placing your son in an institution.
Painted floors are easy to do. Everyone thinks they can paint. Painted floors are always a problem. Part of the problem is in the preparation and part of it just normal wear and tear. If you want to proceed along these lines, strip the floor with an ammonia based product to remove any wax, sand the surface to dull, buy and apply a high quality primer and floor paint from one of the major brands. You can try using a high quality latex caulk to seal the joints.
Another option that you may wish to consider is the application of commercial grade vinyl floor tile. While it is not the recommended installation procedure, the commercial (1/8" tile) properly installed over a relatively sound and tight floor will last 10-15 years even if you do not use underlayment. The tiles will cost about 60 cents per square foot and the glue goes a long way. The floor will look as good as you want it to with regular mopping and waxing. Considering how long paint lasts and how it looks I would encourage you to go with this option.
Or even some of those peel and stick tiles if you are not comfortable with the glue down.
You can email me direct by removing the nospam. from my email address.
Colbyt
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, I don't want to go to the trouble

Paint will also be quickly scratched and damaged. Suggest that you reconsider polish. Scratches going down to bare wood are easily colored on polished floors but the same scratches on painted floors require paint to repair. IMO maintenance of painted and polished floors is about the same. The advantage of polish is that after all the damage is done and you decide to sell or move the floors can be more easily sanded and refinished. Painted floors can be refinished too but it is far more difficult to remove every bit of paint that may have seeped into cracks and crannies. HTH.
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Pompeyfan wrote:

materials, my recommendation is ceramic tiles. Cleaning is simple, just a broom on most days or a mop with water only for more serious problems. You won't have to worry about anything getting trapped in gaps.
If you don't care too much about how it looks, do it yourself. The one thing you have to get done right is the solid base over the existing board floor. Get a contractor to tell you how to create a solid base.
You can also use tiles on the walls to make a durable, attractive room that will meet your needs. But, remember tiles are a permanent installation. You can change them the way you paint a wall.
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