Old wood floor pulled apart
So I have what I think are the original wood floors in my 1948 built home, and they look awful. I want to refinish them, but the majority of the flooring in the foyer and dining room, and some of the hallways and bedrooms is pulled apart. I would chalk it up to old house charm, but it really looks disjointed and ugly in a lot of places and I don't want to polish a turd by finishing the floors like they are. Is there a way to fix this?
Here are a couple pics:
Cluster of boards pulled away from others
you can fill in the gaps if you like.
i had the same problem refinishing my original 1924 oak floors. i had a lot of deep stains as well from 30 years of carpet and who knows whatelse on top of them, so i had to stain the wood a little dark to hid the stains, and at that time i used the minwax stainable filler. i only filled in the major gaps, like what you posted, but there are smaller ones all over. i like the look of it personally, but i can understand how someone wouldn't.
as far as the gaps i filled though, they don't stand out, but you can defiantly see them if you're looking for it.
If you are looking for the best results you can pull up the floor carefully see if there is a reason for the gap ( could be a number of reasons ) fix the problem then reinstall the floor tight , sand and finish. By doing this to the whole floor you will probably have to buy some more flooring or find it in other rooms in the house that will have carpet. I say this because you may break some and also the wood has dried down over the years and when you tighten up the joints it will not cover the same square footage. Lots of work but it will be a new floor when you are done. Imo filler just fills and you still see it.
The gap is just from the floors being old and the wood fully drying out. That amount of gap is not that bad at all. You can fill it with some putty stained to match your final color (not sure what floor refinishers use but there is no doubt a particular type of putty or filler for this purpose) and that will make them less visible. You sand the floors down, apply the putty, sand smooth to level, then finish.
Pulling the floor up is not going to reveal anything useful, unless the floor is actually wavy, and it's not for the faint of heart if you don't know what you're doing. I would leave them alone and and be done with it for the simple reason that it's very hard to eliminate those types of gaps unless you pull up the whole floor and relay it, and that means pulling the floor up without splitting it and then pulling out all the old nails. It's HUGE amount of work. The alternative is putting down all new wood which will give you a nice tight floor but you'll never match the grain of the old floor and it will needless to say be expensive.
A good floor refinisher will makes those cracks disappear and give you a nice new finish at 1/5 the price of a new floor.
had to fill in this section with salvaged wood from the kitchen (put tile down in there), and this is where a lot of gaps came up. just the nature of the job.
floor after finishing
picture of same area just now
close up of a place i filled
the filler is a little lighter than the wood, and i even let the stain sit on the filler for a while longer to hopefully darken it up.
overall i don't mind it, but it's certainly not perfect, but i also couldn't afford 2k+ for all new floors, and instead spent around maybe 300 for refinishing the whole house.
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