How to Repair a Damaged Hardwood Floor How to Repair a Damaged Hardwood Floor

Installing hardwood flooring can be a costly, yet beneficial investment into your home. Less prone to wear from traffic, as opposed to carpeting, and easier to maintain, hardwood floors are beautiful and sure to dress up any home. Accidents do happen, however, and even the most carefully maintained floors can suffer if conditions are right.

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So what do you do when your hardwood floor is damaged? Is there any way to fix it yourself or will you have to call in a service to do the trick? Before you panic, try following these easy do-it-yourself steps for repairing your own hardwood floor trouble spots.

Take a deep breath and relax - a damaged spot in your flooring does not mean that you will forever have to cover the spot with a throw rug, nor do you have to pull up your entire floor if you only need to repair one little spot. With the aid of a couple of tools and a little bit of T.L.C., you can have your beautiful hardwood floor restored to its former glory.

1. Gather Tools and Supplies. The first step in repairing your hardwood floor patches is to ensure that you have an outlet for the proper hardwood flooring in your area. Before you start pulling up parts of your floor, you will want to ensure that you are going to have the matching patches to repair it. Hopefully, this will require a simple telephone call to your local home store, but for those repairing older homes, please realize that you may have to look around a bit before you find a good match. Be prepared to search several stores.

Additionally, you will want to ensure that you have access to all of the proper tools required:

  • circular saw
  • miter saw
  • fast-drying epoxy for the floor
  • sharp chisel
  • cleaning supplies
  • razor knife
  • rubber mallet

If youve found a replacement flooring outlet, start by measuring everything out, figuring the number of strips and what length each of them will need to be cut to, in order to repair the damage. If you already have patching material, however, don't cut all of your lengths yet. Removing parts of the floor will take patience and, if an error is made, may require you to cut your hardwood at different lengths. Once that is done and the pieces are marked off, set your patch board aside and give yourself a clean work area.

2. Cut Out Damaged Boards. Donning your safety glasses, you will want to use a circular saw which has been set at the proper depth in order to make two passes, approximately half and inch from each side of the board. Most saws can be set by figuring the average hardwood floor is 3/4 of an inch thick. When making this cut, take your time. You will want to ensure that you do not cut past the end joints of your wood or you may find yourself cutting more wood to patch up new mistakes.

Now that you've made those first two cuts, make a third cut going at an angle off the other two cuts. Starting at the corner of one of the cuts, bring the saw upwards towards the second cut, cross-sectioning the board in a path over to the opposite corner (imagine it as making a "Z" shape). Again, be sure not to cut through your side match, so you don't have any other mistakes to repair.

Taking a sharp chisel, you will now want to remove the two cut triangles of hardwood. Carefully take these out, and then be sure to clean the grooves and the area all around the area to be repaired. These samples can be taken out and used to help find matching hardwood, as previously mentioned, if you do not know what variety of wood you have and need assistance in finding a perfect match.

3. Replace with New Board. Now you are ready to cut your patch board. Be sure to make a second measurement, just to be sure. You will want your replacement board to be a tight fit, so be sure there aren't any gaps. Remove the bottom piece of wood protrusion from the grooved edge of your board - this can be accomplished with either the saw or your razor knife. Bevel the ends of each side of the board, using either a miter saw or a block plane. Also be sure to always dry-fit your piece prior to using any epoxy on the floor. This will allow you to check the fit as well as matching the wood grain with the rest of your floor.

Once you're sure that the piece is the correct fit, apply your epoxy and fit the wood into the patching spot. This may require you to tap it into place with the rubber mallet. Remember that you will also want to work quickly, as epoxies often dry very quickly. A quick wipe-down with a damp cloth and you're ready to move on to the next spot.

Keep up the great work and you're sure to have that patched spot fixed up in no time!

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