TOP TIPS FOR… fixing creaking floorboards
:: Floorboards creak when two pieces of wood rub together. There are several causes of this, but one of the most common is that the nails which fix the floorboards to the joists become loose over time. It’s sometimes possible to solve the problem by pushing talcum powder or chalk between the boards, so try this first.
:: If this doesn’t work, walk over the floorboards to find out where the movement is. Providing the offending board is in good condition, you can remove the loose nails with a claw hammer and then fix the board back in place using the same holes – but with screws rather than nails, which will make it more secure. Remember to countersink the screw heads, otherwise they’ll protrude and could hurt someone or catch clothing.
:: If the floorboard isn’t in good condition, it may not be possible to lift it and screw it back down again. If so, work out where the joist is – this should be apparent from the row of nails – and drill new pilot holes through the board into the joist. Again, countersink the screws so they won’t cause problems.
:: If the end of the floorboard isn’t resting on a joist, give it the support it needs by lifting up the board and fixing a 25mm x 50mm batten to the side of the joist with long screws. Lay the board on top of the batten and screw back in place.
:: Never screw or nail into a floorboard unless you know what’s underneath, as this could be dangerous. Use a battery-operated cable and pipe detector to find out what’s under the board, although these detectors can be inaccurate if, for example, they pick up the nails in the boards. A more foolproof method is to lift the board up, if possible, and if you do find any cables or pipes underneath, mark these on the surface with a pencil so you can avoid them.
DIY NEWS BULLETIN
:: According to research by Triton Showers, women spend longer under the water than men. More than half of the women questioned admitted taking 10 minutes or more in the shower, compared to 42% of men.
There are also differences across the country – 44% of East Midlanders spend 10 minutes or more in the shower, with the inhabitants of Yorkshire and Humberside (40%), the North East and the West Midlands (both 36%) not far behind. It’s a different story in the South of England, though, with 42% spending just eight minutes or less showering.
If you’re looking for a new shower to spend time in, check out Triton’s new Unichrome Mersey thermostatic mixer range (prices start from around £270). Find out more by going to the company’s new-look website – www.tritonshowers.co.uk – which is designed to make it simple to find a shower to suit the look, bathroom and plumbing system of your home.
:: DIY can be physically demanding, especially when you’re working on floors or ceilings and have to kneel and bend or reach up high, but the Tribod mini massager from JML can help. Ergonomically designed to fit in the palm of your hand, it works by vibrating three massage balls that soothe aches and pains and relieve knots all over the body. This is often what you need after a hard day DIYing. The Tribod costs £9.99 from www.JMLdirect.com.