Gaps in hardwood floors are a very normal and common thing. If you have hardwood floors then you surely are familiar with this. These gaps make the floors look unattractive, moreover, dirt and dust particles that get into those gaps are hard to clean. If you are facing a similar problem of gaps in hardwood floors you are requested to read the whole article. In this article, I am going to help you with how to fill gaps in hardwood floors. So without any further talk let’s jump into the discussion!
Why Do Gaps Form?
In case you are not aware why gaps form in hardwood floors, it is because over time due to the fluctuations in temperature. wood is a natural thing thus wood floorboards expand and shrink for the fluctuation in temperature which creates a permanent gap sometimes. If the gaps are not wide it may close in humid times of the year as well. But if the gaps are too wide it doesn’t close fully and leaves permanent gaps.
How To Fill Gaps In Hardwood Floors?
You will require some tools to seal gaps in hardwood floors. The tools will help you to get a smooth result and work faster.
So, the essential tools/equipment you may require are,
- Wood Filler
- Vacuum cleaner
- Putty knife
- A piece of Cloth
- Sandpaper or planer
You can use any wood filler of any brand depending on your budget to repair gaps in hardwood floors. You can also use alternatives like caulk or wood putty as well depending on the availability. But before purchasing one I would recommend you to do some research to get your hands on a good floor wood filler. Okay now that you know what you need let’s jump into the process!
Clean The Gaps
Vacuum the whole floor, mainly the gaps because if there remains any dust or other dirt particles the wood filler won’t sit properly. Use the narrowest cap in the vacuum, it will help to clean the gaps effectively. If you don’t have a vacuum, clean the gaps in such a way so that there remains no dust or any other debris.
Fill The Gaps Using Wood Filler
A wood filler works more effectively and is easier to use than the other alternatives to close gaps in hardwood floors. Thus, I am describing the process by using a wood filler. Most of the wood filler for floors available in the market are pre-mixed which can be used directly for filling the gaps.
Take the pre-mixed wood filler and fill the gaps using your finger or a putty knife. A putty knife is preferable as it will help to force the filler down into the gaps more effectively. However, if you are using your fingers make sure you wear gloves in your hands as wood fillers contain chemicals.
Make sure the gaps are properly filled else the end result will not look smooth. For this just overfill the gaps with the wood filler. While filling the gaps with the knife, be careful enough so that you don’t scratch the floors. For extra safety you can use a cloth or plastic while working.
Now let the hardwood floor filling dry properly. After it dries, use sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges of the gaps. If you feel like the gaps are not fully filled, add more wood filler to fill out the gaps completely. Again, use the sandpaper to smooth out the edges after it dries and clean up the mess with a piece of cloth or the vacuum cleaner again.
Most of the wood fillers dry out in about 15-20 minutes. So, you don’t have to wait too long to make it dry. Some can take more time, depending on the brand, in that case, you can use a dryer to dry it out faster. Wood floor-filling does require too much effort and time as wood fillers dry out fast. I would recommend not mopping the floors with water the day you fill the gaps as the water can make the wood filler wet.
If you want to match the wood floor gap filler with the floor color get a filler that matches the color of the woods or buy one with which you can mix color. Mixing color with a white wood filler is pretty easy and it is commonly done to match with floor color.
A wood filler not only fills gaps it also can fill holes in old wood floors. If you have holes in your wood floors or wooden furniture you can use wood fillers to fill the holes. You can follow the same process to fill up the holes in any wooden place or furniture. Moreover, you can fix large gaps in hardwood floors as well but if you see the gaps coming out again, you have to take help from a professional repair service.
For wide gaps, you can also use narrow wood shims as well to fill the gaps. If you see too many gaps it is better to repair the whole floor than using gap fillers for wood.
1. What is the best wood filler for hardwood floors?
There are many good wood fillers but the best among all for hardwood floors is timber made. Flooring experts have rated this one as the best wood filler. It is best for filling large areas and it reconstitutes when mixed with water or oil very quickly. Moreover, it gives a smooth and clear finish as well. You also have the option to mix the color with the filler to match it with the wood color.
2. What to use to fill gaps in wood floors?
Putty, wood fillers, caulk, resin, etc can be used for filling the gaps in wood floors. Flooring experts recommend using putty or wood fillers because these are more effective to fill the gaps and are more durable. Moreover, Wood fillers and putty give a smoother finish as well. So, if you have the budget try using wood fillers or putty to seal the gaps in wood floors.
3. What are acceptable gaps in hardwood floors?
Woods over time expands and contracts when it experiences variations in temperature. 2¼ inches gaps in wood floors are acceptable if the gap later closes in the humid times of the year. But if the gaps do not close in the humid times that means you have to fill the gaps with fillers. Again, gaps that are larger than 2¼ inches are not acceptable as these gaps do not close fully at humid times.
I hope after reading this guide now you know how to fix gaps in hardwood floors using wooden floor fillers. If you buy the right wood filler the task of fixing the gaps is pretty easy. The process I mentioned is the easiest and effective way to fix the gaps. However sometimes for the temperature fluctuation, you may still see gaps, in that case, you have to continue filling the gaps for some years. Or you can just repair the whole floor with the help of professionals as well.