Laminate flooring or new floorboards?

I want to lay a laminate floor but wondered whether on aesthetic and cost grounds it's better to lay new floorboards and sand/varnish. Any opinions? The existing boards are really in too poor condition to be used (gaps you could lose a foot down in some places ;-) ) and cement covered and oddly filled in in others.
Any websites with advice on laying/preparing either would be appreciated.
One consideration is which would lead to least dust - we suffer from hugely rubble filled voids and I'm concerned the central heating will raise dust if there are gaps in boards (then again it'll give me the opportunity to clear them I suppose).
TIA
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in2minds wrote:

This is in upstairs rooms so I thought that laminate with foam underlay might be a little quieter than new boards?

Thanks for the tip.
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Tenex, As a suggestion if you ripped up your old boards, cleaned underneath, laid 6-8" of rockwool to fill the void and laid the foam underlay on top of the joists and then nailed your new boards down you may get a decrease in noise.
Only a suggestion, not tried it myself so am happy to be shot down
AndyP
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That's why I suggested putting the form on top of the joists (under the new boards)
AndyP
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Well, to see if there will be a sound problem why not suck it and see? It looks like you've already decided to ditch the carpet, so I'd suggest pulling it up, covering any dangerous holes with a bit of tacked down hardboard, and living with it for a week to see if the noise is indeed intrusive.
If it isn't with the existing boards then you won't worsen the situation when you put down new boards.
If it's intolerable, then you know you have a problem that needs solving - either by using laminate + underlay, or mechanically isolating the new boards somehow.
just a thought...
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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RichardS wrote:

Ideally I would. The problem is it has to be completed this weekend - the furniture was put in storage (for insurance funded repairs) and it comes back on Monday or Tuesday at latest so there's no time. The carpet has already gone but the room underneath has also been stripped and stored (same repair works) so neither is in "normal" usable condition, no TV's furniture or usual use.
Thanks for your input.
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Yeah, I see your point. Hard to know what accoustic reductions you could expect without as the chap below has said trying it out.
AndyP
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This site won't help you much with the decision, and laying the floor if you decide to to that, but it gives pretty good advice when it comes to sanding and preparation if you decide to go that route.
http://www.sandedfloors.co.uk /
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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We got rid of the carpet in our bedroom & I sanded, oiled/stained and varnished the boards. Looks good, and there's no intrusive noise in the room below.
We have found it easy to keep clean - a quick brush around with a soft brush or vacuum with Henry (brushes down - oh no, not another Henry nut...!!) keeps the dust and fluff down. Was easier than vacuuming the carpet when it was down. The dust still accumulates when you have a carpet, but you just don't notice it... and of course with carpets you have to move furniture to properly vacuum behind it, whereas with bare boards/laminate you can quickly sweep behind it.

The Richard Burbidge stuff that I put in our rented flat was good stuff - easy to lay and no discernable joins. Got it for about 13 +vat /sq.m from Champion.

cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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Grunff wrote:

Thanks for that any hints on cutting etc? The room has so many odd angles it'll take forever ...
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Tenex wrote:

I've used several methods, here they are in order of preference:
[1] Sliding chopsaw. Great. Every home should have one (start around 130).
[2] Good quality jigsaw with bimetal blade. Pretty good, but much slower than [1].
[3] Hardpoint saw (handsaw). Good cut, but takes ages and is hard work.
--
Grunff


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No, correct.
Even soundproofing enclosures is very difficult - floors much more so.
o Yes foam under laminate floor will create a reduction in noise o However far less so if the edges of the laminate touch the walls ---- better to use a flexible sealant and covering wood-profile there
However, there are proper sound-insulatory mats available to go under both laminate & carpet. They are a thick mass-loaded rubber or a composite of foam & rubber. Remember mass takes out low-frequency, absorbive closed-cell-only foam takes out high-frequency. Physical contact thro any soundproofer short-circuits the sound-proofer benefit out.
Realise soundproofing is slight unless a combination of several methods, which becomes expensive for most applications. For general sound proofing laminate over foam over flooring is reasonable. Some would replace the flooring with fresh T&G interlocking high density boards, if the old boards are the "usual U warped gap-opening" type re noise & dust kick-back.
Soundproofing is an exercise in physical exersion which can be great at burning calories, but often depressingly ineffective acoustically :-)
Be clear on what you want to achieve & how important sound insulation is. Aside, re laminate flooring, remember the surfaces are not indestructible. o They are easily damaged by older beds with tiny castors o They conversely are easily cleaned or partly-replaced unlike carpets ---- various make-ups can never be removed from carpet re oil-base
"Warped-U" floorboards should always be replaced if you fit a carpet, since they can frequently cause rippling in the carpet hessian/base. That rippling is usually parallel to weave of hessian backing, and so creates a point ridge that will wear terribly very quickly indeed.
So there is a sound :-) reason for fixing creaking floorboards. -- Dorothy Bradbury www.stores.ebay.co.uk/panaflofan
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