Cracks Between Planks in new Pine Floors

Old 01-19-03, 02:15 PM
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Cracks Between Planks in new Pine Floors

We are 10 months in a newly built Victorian style house with pine wood floors.

The gaps between the planks widening, and the puddy/filler is falling out. This seems to be a byproduct of running the A/C (especially the heat during the winter).

The builder says this is due to the planks shrinking from the water drying out, but he's not sure how to fix/fill the gaps.

Is this shrinking normal with pine floors?
Will the expansion/contraction happen each year as the seasons (and use of indoor heating) change?
Any suggestions about how to fill the gaps for a permanent fix?

All suggestion would be welcomed
Old 01-20-03, 06:14 AM
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The gaps are caused by shrinkage. I also live in Houston, with the recent cold weather I have been running the heater alot. I have seen my humidity in the house drop to 38%!!! It is usually 55 to 60%. It amazing I see some "real wood" floor look perfect year around and others that gap. You do not want to use wood filler to fill the voids. Wood filler hardens, and will crack and pop out as the gaps open and close over the months, you may want to try wood putty, it always remains flexible and never hardens. I think your best bet is just live with the gaps or get a humidifier.
Old 01-20-03, 07:11 PM
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you mentioned brand new home. when was the a/c turned on? 4 weeks before the floor was sanded and finished or after everything was done and right before you moved in? if before then its prob. normal due to dry season. but if after, then thats not good. because that means when your floor was sanded /finished it was full of moisture, then you moved in and turned on a/c, then wood floor dried/shrunk. (just assuming) i seen this many times in new homes. especially when floors were sanded/finished in summer time (rainy season) you could quick fix it w/ minwax wood putty(home depot/paint dept) just rub in cracks and wipe film off w/ rag, or have floors sanded/ finished again now that the wood has aclimated and filled with a trowlable filler(spread on w/ smooth edge metal trowel or large putty knife) kinda like how you do ceramic tile grout into the cracks. such as woodwise or dura seal filler. it dries hard , then after it s coated you wont hardly notice cracks at all. check out about seasonal shrinkage.
Old 01-21-03, 06:02 AM
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Since you probably have a one year warranty, and your floor is not to your satisfaction, you may have to have the builder correct the problem. He screwed up by not acclimating the wood.
Replacement may be in order,
Old 01-21-03, 06:25 AM
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Gaps between planks

It is not recommended that gaps between boards be filled due to expansion and contraction due to changes in temperature and humidity levels. Fillers are reported to be less than satisfactory, as they tend to not stay put and to deteriorate. As indicated, job site conditions, acclimation, and installation are factors that are typically considered when gaps occur between boards. After flooring is acclimated several days prior to installation, wood floors perform best if temperature and humidity levels are maintained at nearly constant levels.

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