What to do about small gaps in flooring?


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Old 10-10-16, 11:17 AM
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What to do about small gaps in flooring?

I am about to refinish a old hardwood floor in an old house. I noticed some small gaps and chips in a few areas. And I was wondering what to do about these gaps prior to sanding and re-staining. Do I fill in the gaps with some wood putty or something?

Some of the gaps are between two strips of wood running lengthwise. I am not sure how they got there, but it's a gap about 1/8" - 1/4" that dirt and stuff could fall through. Could I just put some wood putty in the gaps and sand it? Anyone with experience with this?
 
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Old 10-10-16, 01:23 PM
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There is a hardwood paste you can fill minor cracks with prior to sanding but 1/4" is much to wide for a filler! I consider ripping slivers of hardwood for the wider cracks and then using the filler.
 
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Old 10-10-16, 01:24 PM
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Hardwood floor boards can shrink and swell during changes in humidity throughout the year. The shrinking and swelling occurs across a board's width which can cause gaps to open and close. Are the gaps unchanged no matter the season of the year? Also, some wood species are more susceptible to this than other wood species. If the gaps appear to be permanent you could use a wood filler.
 
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Old 10-11-16, 05:50 AM
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What is the stain on the floor ?

I think that the best think to do depends on the floor stain. You would act different depends if floor was covered by just only stain, varnish, or oil.

In most cases, if the gasps are wide, i recommend not to use wood putty. Such sollution will be very visible and, in my opininon, ugly.

Try to resand and restain
 
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Old 10-11-16, 05:59 AM
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If you're going the wood putty route then I suggest Durham's Water Putty. It is very durable.
 
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Old 10-12-16, 02:49 PM
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I've noticed that the small gaps in the flooring are there no matter if it is during winter or summer. The stain is a medium brown stain, but I plan on re-sanding and re-staining it to a dark expresso or black color oil stain.

Where is the best place to buy hardwood paste/wood putty or something like Durham's water putty? A general hardware store like Home Depot, Lowes, etc. or should I look for a specialty store?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 04:32 AM
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Durham's Rock Hard Putty can be bought at most any big box, hardware or paint store. The hardwood paste is usually sold where they sell wood floors [not sure about big box]
 
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Old 10-13-16, 08:18 AM
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Durham's Water Putty would not be something I would recommend for flooring. It will not expand and contract with the flooring and will likely not hold.
 
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Old 10-13-16, 11:33 AM
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Uh oh. So, if Durham's is out, what would be a good alternative?
 
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Old 10-13-16, 01:24 PM
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What makes Durham's stick well in cracks is the fact that it swells slightly as it dries [most fillers shrink] It does dry extra hard and can be knocked loose if there is movement in the adjacent floor boards. I'd cut slivers of hardwood to fill the larger gaps and then use hardwood paste.
 
 

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