DIY Repair Solutions for Old Timber Flooring

by Cheryl Dunn

Humidity levels can take a huge toll on your wood flooring. It is common to find gaps on your flooring. These are caused by wood compressing and expanding. Old-style timbers expand and contract more than modern floors. It takes several years before gaps can show on wood. If you have recently installed wood flooring, you can take preventive measures to prevent the likelihood of gaps occurring. The best way is to get room humidifiers. However, if you have already noticed that your flooring is starting to age, you can fix floor gaps. The method you choose will depend on the size of the gaps and extent of the damage.

Filling Narrow Gaps

Fillers include powered filler such as putty. This is mixed to form a paste or caulking. Fillers are ideal when the gaps being filled are narrow. The first step should be to remove any debris that may be stuck in the wood. You can do this using a brush. Apply filler generously using a putty knife or your fingers. Allow for some of the paste to overflow. Sanding the area will smooth it out. You may have to apply another coat of filler to achieve better results. Wood filler provides a temporary solution as the filler may be forced out when humidity level changes, due to expansion and contraction.

Filling Gaps between Boards

Gaps that are in between boards can result in drafts. They look unsightly. However, they are easy to repair. Cut a piece of wood to fit the gap. Use wood glue on the bottom side of the strip. Insert the wood you cut into the strip. Drive the wood in with a hammer, and ensure that it fits tightly. Wait for the glue to dry. If there is excess glue, remove it using a block plane. The block plane can be used to smooth out the floor. In the absence of a block plane, sanding will also work.

Exposed Board Solutions

If the flooring boards have become exposed, then it can be hard to get matching boards. What you can do is remove a board from a less conspicuous area, such as under the sofa. You can then use the piece to cover a conspicuous area.

If you want to replace more than one wood flooring board, you can go for secondhand, seasoned or reclaimed boards. The dimensions of secondhand wood are likely to work, and they come with a degree of tear which can match your flooring. If you can't find a matching piece of board, you can treat the wood with dye. To find secondhand timber flooring, go to a company like Just Old Flooring.