The first step to replacing your joists is determining the condition of the subfloor. If the subfloor has no more than minor cracks, it’s likely that you can just replace the joists and re-use some or all of the existing subfloor. However, if there are large cracks or holes in your subfloor, then replacement may be necessary.
The second major consideration is what type of flooring you want to install on top of your new joist system. The most common types are wood (either solid wood planks or engineered boards), concrete slab with vinyl flooring installed over it (popular for basements), carpet tiles (installed directly over new hardwood floors) and sheet goods like plywood sheets with a layer of carpeting or vinyl on top.
Another consideration is whether or not you want to remove the subfloor before installing your new joists. If your subfloor only has minor cracks and seems sturdy, then removing it may not be necessary. However, if the subfloor has large holes in it (and especially if there are water leaks), then removing it can help ensure that no moisture gets into your joist system after installation.
Which Ttools are Used to Replace Floor Joists?
Tools needed for this task include:
- pry bar,
- circular saw,
- drill with wood-boring bits,
- dust mask (for working with lead paint)
- chalk line.
To repair loose floorboards or damaged joists you may need
- tacks or finishing nails
- cat’s paw
- pry bar
- hand sledge
- screwdriver or drill with a wood-boring bit
Tips for Damaged Floor Joists
Inspect the subfloor, you could see rot and also be sure to check around walls for signs of leakage. Also, check for loose boards, these can sometimes indicate that water is leaking into the joist system from above. If you find a board that is not too badly damaged by rot or which has a small hole in it where water enters, you may be able to replace the board only. Just remove a few nails and pull up the board carefully.
Use a pry bar to help remove it if necessary. Then take your replacement piece of the floorboard and dry fit it so you know how much space to leave around the edges as well as how much to cut off each end. When you’re happy with the fit, mark where the nails could go and drive in the new pieces of floorboard using a hammer or hand sledge. Make sure that when you insert your replacement pieces that they are level with the surrounding boards, then nail them into place from underneath.
Nail Through Timber Flooring or Glue Board?
If you do need to replace an entire floor joist, removing it is sometimes more difficult than just pulling up one board. The major reason for this is because if two joists run next to each other which are both too badly damaged by rot to reuse, then the easiest way to get them out is usually smashing them apart so you can pull each piece out separately. Just hammer a pry bar under the edge of one joist and lever it up so the nails bend over.
Try to get the pry bars in between two joists (or else you could end up with 1/3 of a board stuck between them) then work your way along the same line until you get all possible pieces out. If necessary, use another pry bar or cat’s paw to pull nails that are sticking up through the other side.
Before nailing new boards into place make sure they are level where they meet each other by placing them next to each other on top of sawhorses. Then measure their height from side to side, you want to make sure that all your new boards are even with each other when installed. Mark where you need to cut each edge using a chalk line, then use the circular saw along your chalk lines.
Remove or Repair Timber Floors?
Sometimes it’s easiest to remove an entire joist system and replace it with new boards If you find that all existing floorboards are loose or that there are large holes in your subfloor, then removing the subfloor itself is probably the best approach. It also means that if necessary you can replace some of the joists as well as the subflooring. Just be sure to leave enough space around all walls so they aren’t damaged during this process.
Tools needed for this task include
- pry bar
- hand sledge
- drill with a wood-boring bit
- circular saw or reciprocating saw with a wood-cutting blade
- tape measure
- chalk line
How Timber Flooring Repair Process Goes
First, a drill with a wood-boring bit is used to create holes every 5 cm along the top of your subfloor joists. This can be done by placing marks on top of your subfloor where each joist is located. Then make sure you are wearing shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty or else wear some disposable coveralls over your clothes as dust from drilling up through the subfloor may make everything look like it’s covered in dirt, including you.
If there are any sections of the subfloor where rot has occurred or gaps appear between boards, then first those need to be cut out using a circular saw or reciprocating saw with a wood-cutting blade. When all bad boards have been removed and the entire subfloor looks to be in good condition, next comes removing all nails or screws that are holding joists into place. These can be pried loose with a hammer and pry bar, then plucked out by hand once they’re sticking up far enough to get pliers on.
Next, nails or screws are removed that hold joists together at corners or near openings such as doors and windows. A pry bar is used to separate the pieces so you can lift one board at a time off of its nails. If there is insulation between each floorboard, it could potentially be pulled up so you can see exactly what you’re dealing with before making any major decisions about how your replacement hardwood timber floorboards could fit back into place.
What to Do Once Timber Floor Boards are Removed?
Once all floorboards are removed, the subfloor itself needs to be checked with a moisture meter to make sure it isn’t too wet. If so, you may want to wait for it to dry out before proceeding because if the floor joists are rotten then replacing just one or two is not going to do anything towards saving your entire floor repair. You need all of the floor joists replaced in order for this job to be worthwhile. Once it’s dry a circular saw is used to cut replacement timber flooring boards.
Each new board is placed on top of sawhorses along with existing boards which were removed. They are measured together by how high they are compared with each other and also by checking side-to-side alignment. Once you’re satisfied that all boards are level and laid out next to each other correctly, it’s time to use the chalk line again. First, make sure the string has chalk on it (if not, pull some down onto it using a small roller or paintbrush ). Then snap the string tautly along the top of every board you’ve placed on sawhorses. This may leave white marks indicating where your new floorboards could go. A professional knows how to do this best.
The Final Process of Replacing Floor Joists
Once all chalk lines are marked it’s time to begin nailing boards into place one by one. Usually, it starts at one corner because chances are good that nails may be sticking up through other timber flooring boards once they have been nailed in place. You don’t want to drive them through other boards by mistake which may make the replacement job take even longer. Each board is nailed in place using a pneumatic nail gun or hammer and nails. You can use any type of timber floors as replacement boards, but it’s best to use pressure-treated because the rot is likely to occur again once you’ve completed this project.
Once all new floorboards are nailed into place, it’s time to remove the chalk lines. They do not need to remain there as they are now serving no purpose. Once removed, roll heavy-duty polythene sheeting over your entire subfloor. This may keep out dirt and moisture until you’re ready to refinish your original subflooring so that it looks brand new.
The last step in your floor joist replacement process is to add a coat of sawdust and paint underlayment over the entire subfloor. This material can be spread out using a notched trowel to make it smooth evenly across the surface before rolling with a roller. That’s all there is to it, you’ve done everything that’s necessary to replace hardwood timber floors and now you’re ready for stain or varnish.
Timber Flooring Cost Australia
One thing we know for sure, It costs less than replacing an entire house foundation, roof, windows and siding because many people do this every year. The price range for this type of home repair ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. If you have reason to believe your entire subfloor is rotten, you might want to opt for the higher estimate because it could be more than just one area of floor joists that need replacement. Structural timber flooring replacement could get expensive, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than tearing out and replacing your entire flooring from scratch.
Remember also that the cost of replacing timber floorboards can be reduced because you can do some of this job yourself. If you don’t know how to use a nail gun then you might want to hire a professional for that part of the job. But you can certainly do all of this work in terms of cutting, measuring and marking chalk lines in order to make sure each new floorboard fits perfectly. Sister floor joists to the floor joists being replaced could be checked as well, but unfortunately, if they’re also badly damaged there’s probably nothing you can do about them. If you have time, money and patience it would be wise to check your entire subflooring system for rot.
If you are unsure of where the rot is located because it’s so dark, you can use a stud finder to make sure you’re cutting at the right location of the wood. There are different types of stud finders available, but many of them may work as long as they can pinpoint metal. These devices send out electronic signals which bounce back when they come into contact with metal objects such as nails and screws. Once you know the location of the floor joist, they can be cut by a circular saw.
What Causes a Sagging Floor?
A sagging floor in a home, crawl space or building is usually caused by a few different factors. If the structure of your house has not been maintained well then you could have a major problem on your hands when it comes to repairing things such as hardwood timber floors. In most cases, when the wood begins to rot either from moisture buildup or water damage, the entire subfloor system becomes compromised eventually. If you’ve noticed a dip or sag in your floor, then there’s reason to be concerned about how much longer these joists can hold up under the weight of any other floors and interior construction that might be taking place on top of them.
Floors that sag usually present themselves as periods during which floors that once were level can suddenly begin to slope or incline. This change in the floor’s elevation is usually accompanied by a dip which might be located near interior partition walls and doorways. Once rot begins, it may continue to grow because there was already dampness beneath the boards and timber due to either a faulty gutter system or the lack of attic ventilation.
There are other reasons for a sagging floor that can prove to be just as dangerous as an older home with failing wooden joists. If you have only noticed the problem after you moved into your new house, it could mean trouble in terms of structural damage to either your subflooring or floorboards. A floor repair specialist may be able to check for any hidden damage once the floor is pulled apart.