Hardwood floors have long been chosen because of their beauty. However, good-quality wooden floors can be extremely costly to install, and no matter how careful you are, they are prone to damage. When you add the cost of hiring a refinisher each time there’s a scuff to your wood to have it repaired, you’re likely to find a significant dent in your pocket. Therefore, many deck owners ask how to fix gaps in hardwood floors.
Wood strips, woody puffs, and rope fillers are common methods to fix gaps in hardwood floors; however, sawdust and resin fillers are the most straightforward solutions without damaging the floor’s beauty. Clean any debris before applying filler.
This article will discuss a few more methods to help you deal with the most common wood floor damage, including scratches, gouges, dents, and gaps. So without further ado, let’s take a look at how to fix gaps in hardwood floors so you can decide what you need to do to your floors to return them to their former glory.
How To Repair Gaps In Hardwood Floors:
If the temperature isn’t the root cause, you may have a more sizable problem on your hands that could eventually lead to permanent cracking and deterioration of the floor. So, to protect against this situation, it is wise to address potential issues early while they are still easily manageable. Here are some of the most commonly used and practical solutions to repair gaps in hardwood floors.
Wood Filler Strips:
Often the most recommended method, wood filler strips are an excellent and permanent solution to gaps in hardwood floors. When done well, they provide an elegant and attractive result.
The process starts with measuring the gaps and cutting replacement strips of wood as precisely as possible. After that, clean out the gap with a vacuum and a small brush to ensure no loose debris is left behind.
Next, apply wood glue to the wood strips and gently place them into the gaps before taping them down to fix them. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth and allow it to dry. Once the glue has dried, you can level any unevenness by sanding it and staining the area to achieve a matching finish with the rest of the floor.
Similar to wood strips, synthetic rope is used broadly in the same way. Start by cleaning out the area and measuring a suitable piece of rope to fill the gap. It is preferable to use rope that’s either cotton, jute, or another natural material. You also need a utility knife to cut the rope to the correct dimensions.
The next step is slightly different and requires you to dip your rope into a bucket of wood stain that matches the color of your existing floors. Once the ropes are completely saturated, remove them from the wood stain and allow them to dry in a shaded area.
Next, you want to pull the rope along the crack and force it in place using a putty knife. Once it is securely in place, trim any excess and finish the area, so it blends well with the entire floor surface.
The following method is one of the simpler ones and requires some sawdust and clear resin filler. Once again, the process starts by cleaning the gaps thoroughly. Then, combine the sawdust and resin in a bowl to create a thick, putty-like consistency. Scoop the mixture and introduce them to the gaps with a putty knife, covering them completely.
Wipe away any excess and allow it to dry. The mixture will harden and fill the gaps in a few minutes. However, allowing the area to dry for a few hours is recommended. Once dry, finish the area and apply wood stain to match if necessary.
Wood putty is another common hardware-recommended fix for gaps in your floor. It works the same way as the sawdust and resin solution, and you apply it the same way. Wood putty generally costs a little more since the solution is pre-mixed for added convenience.
The final and most undesirable option is replacing the entire floor. It is usually the inevitable path if the state of the floor is abysmal or deteriorates noticeably. Some of the most common signs of floors that need to be wholly replaced include
- The presence of significant gaps or multiple gaps appearing in different areas.
- Warping, bulges, and unevenness are signs wood has lost its integrity.
- Missing slivers and patches of excessive moisture build-up may be a sign of decaying wood which will become unsafe over time.
- While fixing a badly damaged hardwood floor may seem doable, it may be far more costly in the long run.
How To Fix Gaps Caused By Temperature:
Ever heard the saying “prevention is better than a cure”? Well, it holds in the case of your hardwood floors and may save you a great deal of cash. Since temperature is one of the main factors influencing gaps becoming noticeable, there are a few things one can do to reduce the prominence of these gaps.
Board shrinkage and low humidity levels go hand-in-hand. Running a humidifier in your home can help maintain a stable temperature, reducing shrinkage while keeping your home warm and cozy on cold days.
While waxed floors may not be suitable for all living situations, they benefit significantly. Wax fills the tiny pores and cracks in the wood, creating a seal. This seal locks the moisture into the wood, preventing it from drying out and protecting it from spills that may otherwise cause damage. Wax is the best solution t
When installing your hardwood flooring, place an underlayment paper that prevents moisture beneath the wood from seeping upward. It can fix easily fix the temperature gaps in hardwood floors.
Like the waterproofing layer beneath, a good quality sealer will seal the gaps between boards and keep moisture out.
When Is A Crack Big Enough To Need Repair?
Before you take on any of the above methods to fix the gap, you need to know if the gap is big enough to require fixing. Well, don’t worry. You can use a simple coin test to check its depth. It is the test that most flooring experts use whereby they try to insert a coin (generally a nickel) into the gap. The gap may need to be attended to if the coin can stand upright. As mentioned earlier, wood floors expand with heat, so the best time to conduct this test would be during the warmer months.
Hardwood floors are an excellent aesthetic improvement to give your home a touch of class and elegance. Taking preventative measures to maintain them is always a great idea. However, even the best quality and most expensive hardwood floors are still susceptible to damage and the need for repair.
Hardwood floors can be costly, but that can be avoided by understanding how to repair minor damages caused by general wear and tear without hiring a professional. Most repair methods are straightforward to do, and even a DIY beginner should easily be able to complete the repairs without much practice or any special equipment.