Gaps after wood floor finished

Old 04-28-19, 07:28 AM
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Gaps after wood floor finished

I just had the original wood floors in my house (built in 1944) sanded and then finished with a water-based finish. After the sanding and before the finish was applied, the contractor applied wood filler/putty (not sure exactly what kind) to the various gaps between the wood slats. Several days after completion of the work various gaps between the wood slats in the floor appeared. The more I looked, the more I found. Either most of the wood filler/putty dissolved or the wood slats shrunk. Maybe I didn't notice that wood putty was missing in those places? It is hard to know for sure now.

QUESTION #1 of 2: What caused the wood filler/putty to dissolve or the wood slats to shrink? Was the wrong combination of wood filler/putty and finish used?

The contractor is proposing to come back and re-apply wood filler without any new finish or sealant. He suggests that the gaps were caused by movement in the wood floor because the house is old. I don't see how this is possible to have occurred in just a few days. When you look closely at the wood filler/putty, it looks dissolved from my untrained eye. Maybe it is just the sealant/finish built-up in the gaps and there was never any wood filler/putty there?

QUESTION #2 of 2: My other question is how should these newly noticed gaps be sealed? If more wood filler/putty is applied, will that properly seal the wood floor from water spills?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-28-19, 08:01 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Wood expands and contracts all the time with temperature and humidity. Gaps between planks for a wood floor is pretty difficult to avoid, especially on the ends.

It is very doubtful that the filler dissolved. Adding some filler would fill the gaps fine. There are many different fillers out there and many do not require a sealer over them.
Old 04-28-19, 09:25 AM
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Have you discussed it with your flooring contractor?
At this point it might make the most sense to use a colored putty. The come in different colors and you can intermix them if needed to get the desired color. While they don't have to have a finish applied over them IMO it's best to do so.

btw - welcome to the forums!

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