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floorboard specification.

Jenny Rennes

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I need to replace some flooring on the second floor of my granite walled house.

We have removed the old boards, nails etc. and treated the chestnut supporting beams.

I want to replace the boards either with the French equivalent of 8ft x 4ft (or 8ft x 2ft) sheets which will be carpeted or solid wood planks which will be exposed.

The chestnut beams are about 20cm deep and 13 to 15cm wide. they span 6 metres and are approximately 65cm centre to centre, which I believe is wider spacing than in English buildings.

How do I calculate the correct material thickness for these measurements ?

The rooms will be bedrooms.

Any advice on French regulations and correct sizing would be most welcome.





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Ask around, or look on www.pagesjaunes.fr for a local scierie, (sawmill).

Either go and see the boss there, or ask him to come and visit, to give you advice.

It's what we did, and the guy at ours is now a good friend too. Free advice and good service.

I have 75 sq m of chestnut flooring waiting fitting............now where was that advert for a secondhand flooring nailer? I already have the clamps...........


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When I boarded our loft I used tongue & grooved flooring grade chipboard 18mm thick. The joists were at 60cm centres and the resulting floor took a fair old weight of books plus me.

On the other hand, for a living space I'd definitely prefer real wood and it would probably be easier as your joists are spaced just a tad wider than the chipboard is designed for. I'd guess that 18mm solid planks would be OK but, as Spongebob says, advice from the sawmill would make sense. You can probably get some decent hardwood that way as well, rather than your basic pine.

You may want to think about some sound proofing as well. Something like mineral wool between the joists and a layer of something resilient between the joists & the floorboards could be worth having


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Hi Jenny,

You'll find that most boarding here is ex25mm finishing at 21-23mm, if you decide to go that route be sure the timber has been kiln dried and ask the merchant to verify it's moisture content, it really will save you alot of heartache later on down the line if you happen to choose a merchant who 'saw you coming. 21-23mm is fine for that span but won't give you any sound insulation which you'll have to address by insulating between the joists, even then the effectivenes at damping sound isn't huge but you do get left with exposed joists.

The other route is the chipboard  (don't believe I said it!) and carpet one which will give you much greater sound insulation, but you're still left with having to cover the underside of the stuff..

Another way but  more expensive is to chipboard, lay sound insulation on top of the chipboard and the foorboards on top of that, but that obviously increases costs.

Please don't hesitate to pm if you need any more help.

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You could always lay plasterboard on the joists before the chipboard, that would give you a finished look as long as you kep the joints hidden with beams, and then batten out with 50 x 50 mm timbers, put insulation between and lay your final floor, oak,chestnut or walnut?? Similar to what chris has said but with an easier way to finish from under side, have fun, hugh.

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