Natural Wooden Flooring in Portugal
Although ceramic and clay tiles are very popular here in Portugal there is still a place for natural wooden flooring either hardwood such as oak or softwood like pine. It all depends upon the depth of your pocket and the type of look you are going for.
Take for example an old stone Portuguese house it is very likely that it has a rotten pine floor in it which should be replaced.
Before you rush in and buy your flooring take a moment to look at the joists which hold up the floorboards.
If the floor boards are riddled with wood worm then it goes without saying that the joist including the main joists will be heavily infected as well.
So first of all you need to address the wood worm and then the dry and wet rot. If a joist has been embedded in a stone wall for a few years it is no doubt affected by one of the 2 rots. Then we have to examine the condition of the joists to see if they are capable of supporting internal walls and people.
In the old days people did not have fancy tools like spirit levels and lasers. So very often the old floors are either running out of level or have humps and dips in them.
You only really notice this when you are sitting at a dining table and the table is at an angle or the chairs rock or when you are lying in bed and the bed feels on a slope.
The Portuguese words for a wooden floor are “piso de madeira”
The floor joists are “vigas” Floor joists are usually a lot thinner here in Portugal than they are in the UK.
This is not a case of Portuguese is better. They generally have a lot less furniture than us and dont use couches in the same way. So if you dont want a springy floor like a trampoline go for thicker joists.
When it comes to nailing the floor boards down dont nail through the top of the floor boards as the nails will go rusty and get in the way if you want to sand and varnish it.