how to fix hardwood floor with gaps

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  #1  
Old 02-08-09, 08:43 AM
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how to fix hardwood floor with gaps

our house has a hardwood floor (pre-finished type) that was installed as a floating floor. unfortunately, it does have some gaps you could fit a dime through (about 10 spots i'd say over a 500 square foot area. it wasn't loose when first installed (it was done sept 4 of 2002). i did put a humidifier in awhile back but winter, summer, it still has some gaps in spots. i don't want to pull the floor up, i could move the boards and while i have floor trim off and have access, could "wedge it" so it they have less expansion room? does that make sense? i was thinking of a softwood wedge so it can still expand a bit rather than say oak.
 

Last edited by tenax; 02-08-09 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 02-13-09, 12:53 PM
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If the floor was put together by glueing the tongue and groove, it could be that the glue has failed. If the gaps can be closed by wedging or taping the boards together tightly, I would add some wood glue to the gap, and wedge or tape until the glue has bonded completely. You wouldn't want the wedges to remain in all the time. Your floor not only expands and contracts, but it "floats" meaning it moves. Wedges would prevent that from happening, and ultimately the stress would cause additional gapping. Any remaining gap I would putty and stain, or fill with carpenter's wax and buff until the wax finish blended with the wood finish.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 01:13 PM
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it may..or may not have been glued..i can wedge the boards together tightly so i think that's a fabulous idea..the other idea i was considering as i hear what you're saying about the wedges ( a friend of mine thought that was a dangerous idea as well) was bring the boards together as you say, then use daptex low expansion foam in the gaps between the wall and edge of the board. my thinking on this in case you're not familiar with daptex is unlike mono high expansion foam, it doesn't get completely rigid..it has a fair amount of softness and flexibility as part of it's property post curing..so i thought that still allows for expansion? almost like a shock absorber between the wall and end of board and just enough pressure to keep the board from separating?
 
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Old 02-13-09, 01:30 PM
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I'm not familiar with the properties of cured Daptex, however, you could try it, but would it interfere with the movement of the floor? If you do use Daptex, keep an eye out for boards buckling or peaking near to where you applied the daptex. This will indicated that that the boards are becoming too tight, and more expansion room is required. Additionally, keep any eye on the boards that may be developing new gaps, especially around corners or in doorways, near to where you applied the daptex. This indicates that the floating floor has moved slightly and is twisting because something is impeding it's movement. Both of these situations will result in the Daptex having to be removed somehow.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 01:51 PM
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Cured DapTex is like very soft styrofoam packing peanuts...wouldn't imagine it would impede any movement very much. Unlike the foams that cure hard.

Just some info....
 
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Old 02-13-09, 03:29 PM
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thanks guys..the styrofoam peanuts analogy is very good..that's exactly what it's like. i think it would work great plus latex based, easy to clean up off the floor if you get some on there..just a bucket and rag at hand would do the trick for that.
 
  #7  
Old 02-16-09, 09:26 AM
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When a floating floor starts to separate, there is more to an actual lasting repair than just getting them back together and some glue. It will just come back apart. The usuall culprit is a low spot in the substrate and when stepped on it flexes downward as 2 dimension becomes 3 dimension.
 
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Old 02-16-09, 10:18 AM
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hmmm..interesting..the house was built in 1977 so it's not like it has an engineering floor..beams are 16 inches on center, 2 x 10s, no cross supports (my dad's house built in 1951 had 2 x 8s, 24 inches on center but an X support between in a number of places). Anyway, not feasible to redo the floor so i'll have to make the best of it..i did a few things, successful so far...glued then tapped tight, daptex foam to hopefully cushion movement a bit, and where i couldn't tape tight, put in some wood filler kind of stuff that's like a paste in a tube..can't remember the brand name..but it filled nicely and the floor looks much better. not the best fix? likely..does it work well enough for me? we'll see
 
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