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Old 01-12-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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Can spaces between hardwood floor boards be filled?

We would like to refinish the original hardwood floors in a 1946 house.
The individual boards have contracted and left gaps of 1 to 2 mm (up to 1/8 inch) between the boards? Can anyone tell me if it is possible to fill in the gaps? If yes, what product could I use? We would like to sand and refinish the floor. Any advice would be welcome.


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Old 01-12-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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Filling in and then sanding and finishing is completely possible. But remember that as more humidity is incorporated into the wood they will close back up no matter what you cram into there. That will force the goop right back up most likely and then it will contract again in the winter and gap again, this time with cracking of the wood filler.
Best to get a humidifier in the areas and get them closed back up, then you can sand and finish when your floor is more stable.
Constant humidity is the key to a good long lasting result.


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Old 01-13-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Hardwood floor gaps

I agree, putting a wood filler is not a viable option. The filler breaks down over time and you're left with the same gap as before. I think gaps of between 1/16-1/8" are a character trait of an old hardwood floor and usually look very good if sanded and finished well. However, gaps of 1/4" or more are usually caused, or at least in part, by uneven joists and sub-flooring. If you don't like the look of the gaps aka "old wood flooring", your best option is to replace the floor boards. I tend to like the look of a old floor, gaps and all!

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:43 AM   #4
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Hardwood floor gaps

Thanks for your advice Floorwizard and Kevin-Redsoxfan. I think the thing to do is raise the humidity level in the home. It has been a very cold and dry winter in Manitoba. Once we see how much the floorboards expand, we can decide what to do.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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You could use string or rope to fill the gaps. You can stain the media to match the color of the floor.
I tear things down and build them up.
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