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HandyFrank 12-14-2012 01:23 PM

Squeaky Floors-Wood Putty for Hardwood Floors that are Finished?Help
 
So I had my hardwood floors refinished about 3 years back and they are starting to get really loud. They are original to the house which is over 80 years old.

Details:
-I believe they are a Fur species of a softer wood
-Regular 2.5" or so wide boards
-My guess is that they were nailed in way back, and they have now come loose.
-I think I have a sub floor of 1X6, or whatever was used back then but an not certain. Definitely not a plywood subfloor it didn't exist back then
-Had the floors refinished with 3 coats of poly. Hardwood filler was used and is holding up well in some spots, but my guess is that it cracked out and that's why the boards are starting to move again now.
-This is on a second floor and is inaccessible from the bottom
-Wood filler was used and is holding up in larger gaps, but i'm thinking either wood filler or the poly itself was holding some of these joints together that eventually worked loose again

Not sure if boards had a tongue/groove type ending back then, but where the boards meet and butt together long ways they are really loud, and in some spots I can see the board lifting slightly.

So, is there any putty that I can use that will do a half decent job at covering up a nail hole or screw hole? I know there are hardwood fillers, but I do not want to have to refinish the floors.

Doesn't need to be the perfect job, just decent enough to get by.

I've researched high and low and there don't seem to be many options other than face nailing/screwing.

Options of what I am thinking of doing
-Face nailing with a nail gun with a nail with a small head and see if that helps hold the board down. Figure 2 per board end which will go right into the joist, and subfloor if it exists.
-Screw and counter sync actual screws with threads and then putty the hole above the screw head
-There is a screw system that looks promising where it snaps the head off and just slightly breaks below the surface so you can putty it (Counter-Snap http://www.squeakyfloor.com/counter-snap.html Promising, but i'm still left wondering what putty to use.

Putty options
Doesn't seem like there are a ton of putty options out there. Would putty do the job ok, or will be not do well since they don't fully harden? I figure I can buy some and mix to match the finish the best I can, or if there is one that can accept stain I have some that was used on my floor.
-There are 2 holes where the wood refinisher used plain putty I think. If I remember correctly they ended up being screw heads that they sanded over and looked fine at first, but then were real obvious so they gave me the option to pull them out and put putty. It has settled and shrunk in the screw hole and is noticeable, but is a decent job and I guess would be acceptable. I'm just unsure if it was actually putty he used, but I remember being able to sink my nail into it.

Is there a wood hardener that accepts stain that I could use to fill the holes, stain it, and then paint poly over just those holes? Or would that be too obvious and hard to do.

I realize that wood putty alone won't do the job and it will crack out as the floors flex. So my plan is to secure the board, then putty the holes I have to make for screws or nails.
This is one of those projects where there aren't a ton of options unless I want to have the floors refinished again, which is not an option right now.

All tips appreciated!!!

oh'mike 12-14-2012 01:53 PM

Go buy yourself a box of 'trim screws'----these have very small heads and will be easy to hide---they use a square drive bit,so make sure you have one if one is not included in the box---

I like Plastic Wood----but one of the latex fillers might not be bad----

HandyFrank 12-14-2012 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1073022)
Go buy yourself a box of 'trim screws'----these have very small heads and will be easy to hide---they use a square drive bit,so make sure you have one if one is not included in the box---

I like Plastic Wood----but one of the latex fillers might not be bad----

Thanks for the tips. Will those trim screws counter sync themselves? or must I use a countersink type bit as well?

Does the plastic wood accept stain? I've used it in the past but I think I painted over it so I don't remember if it was able to be stained.

joecaption 12-14-2012 03:51 PM

You can play wack a mole or fix this once and for all.
Adding the trim screws may or may not work.
What your going to end up with is a bunch of holes that will need to be filled and they will not match what you have now.
Using wood filler to close up the gaps was just not a good idea in the first place.

HandyFrank 12-14-2012 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1073116)
You can play wack a mole or fix this once and for all.
Adding the trim screws may or may not work.
What your going to end up with is a bunch of holes that will need to be filled and they will not match what you have now.
Using wood filler to close up the gaps was just not a good idea in the first place.

If what you mean by fix it once to redo the floors, that's not an option anymore unfortunately as my wife would never allow it since we have so much stuff moved in and a child and all.

The floor was in rough shape and the guy suggested installing a new floor on top, but said that he thought they could salvage it the best they could, and I give them 100% credit for what they did. The house is old so having squeaks is a part of it, also having some blemishes is another part of it.

The floor already has a few spots where the previous owner put regular screws into the floor. So there are spots where they used wood filler already.

There aren't many gaps, the problem is mostly where the boards meet end to end and they lift just slightly. At least I know there is a joist there if there is no subfloor, and I can fix the issue. The only issue is how I cover the holes.

My goal isn't to make it like new, I just want to quiet up a few spots that I know I can do and i'll live with a little bit of a non match.

Any fillers or putty anyone recommends that will get me as close as possible? I've seen a few that are colored and can be mixed so I figure i'll try my best to make a match.

More feedback welcomed! :)

JazMan 12-14-2012 04:29 PM

After fastening try sweeping talc powder into the cracks in the noisy areas to reduce squeaks. Use a fine-haired brush or small broom.

Jaz

woodman58 12-15-2012 06:25 AM

If you want to fix the problem with screws and try to hide them, go out and buy a counter sink drill bit and a plug cutter. The plug cutter and bits can be puchased at the box store. They will be in the tool department with the router bits. You can go to a woodworks store and buy a piece of Fur to match you floor to cut the plugs out of. Or, find the wood on line. Try to cut from several different areas of the boad and when you glue the plug in try to match the grain. with the peices you have cut. Ask the guy that did you floor what stain color he used. After the stain, use an artists brush and put your poly on. Sand the area lightly between coats trying to blend the plugs. If done correctly this will give you a floor that will not have noticable defects. The link below shows how to put the plugs go in.


http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/re...lingwoodplugs/

Daniel Holzman 12-15-2012 07:37 AM

Fur refers to the hair on an animal. You may have fir, which is a softwood, not a hardwood. Best way to identify the wood is to bring a sample to a lumber store, or at least a photo if a sample is unavailable. A decent lumber store, or possibly a woodworker supply store, should be able to match the appropriate putty to the actual species of wood you have.

An option is to purchase a piece of matching lumber and cut plugs as mentioned in a previous post, which can be used to fill the holes you will create when you install the trim screws. There are special bits available for trim screws which cut the proper sized hole in both the subfloor and the floor board itself, and cut a countersink at the top. I think these are called step taper countersink drills, I used them when I installed trim screws on my deck. You need to overdrill the hole by about 1/4 inch if you plan to use plugs, you just glue the plug in and after it sets sand it flush. By careful selection of the plug, you can match the grain, and the plugs will be almost invisible.


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