How to Repare Splinters in Hardwood Floors
One common problem often faced by homeowners with hardwood floors in their home is that these floors all seem to eventually develop splinters. Splinters in hardwood floors are generally different from other types of wood splinters. For one thing, hard wood splinters are less likely to break loose from the wood they're attached to.
For another, they are sharper than those in softer wood. Because of these two things, hardwood floor splinters present more potential harm and pain to people walking barefoot on these floors. This is especially true of children. If you have hardwood floors in your home, you can remove them by using the information below.
Step 1 – Avoid Pulling up the Splinter
While it is probably a normal reaction for anyone to try breaking off the splinter, this is exactly what you should avoid doing. Pulling up on a hardwood floor splinter will almost always remove more of the wood than you expect. Once you've created a larger splinter by attempting to break off the small one, you will have created an even bigger problem.
If you do find a way of breaking off this larger splinter, it will leave a large cleft in your flooring that you will have to deal with. If you don't remove it, you'll have left a lethal weapon on your floor that could inflict serious pain on anyone whose foot is stabbed by this large splinter. Instead of attempting to break it off, use the methods described in the steps you'll find below.
Step 2 – Remove Dirt and Debris
The best way to fix a hardwood floor sliver is to glue it down. But, before attempting to do that, remove any debris such as dirt or remnants of a dust mop that might have become stuck there. Unless you remove the debris from under the splinter, you won't be able to glue it level with the flooring. To remove it you'll need a narrow, sharp instrument of some kind. Try using a toothpick, tweezers, or dental floss.
Step 3 – Glue the Splinter
Apply a tiny amount of wood glue to the splinter. Place a small strip of painter's tape or masking tape across the splinter. Press the splinter into the wood from where it came loose. Press the tape firmly on the floor surface alongside the splinter. This should hold it in place while the glue dries. After 12 hours, carefully remove the tape by pulling it loose, first from the part of the sliver that is still attached to the floor.
Step 4 – Fill Holes Left by a Broken Splinter
Should a piece of the splinter have become broken off leaving a small cavity in the flooring, fill the cavity with wood putty. Allow it to dry, then, sand it so it is level with the floor surface around it.