How to Repair Gaps in Hardwood Floors

How to Repair Gaps in Hardwood Floors


If you're noticing gaps between the boards of your hardwood flooring, it's essential to take the necessary steps to repair them. Otherwise, those pesky spaces will only get worse over time – making them even harder and more expensive to fix in the future. The good news is that filling gaps in hardwood floors doesn't have to be a daunting task. In this blog post we will explore easy and effective ways to fix those unsightly gaps in your hardwood floors to restore their original beauty. Read on to learn more about filling gaps in hardwood floors and how you can do it from the comfort of your home!

How Do Hardwood Floor Gaps Develop

Hardwood floor gaps can be an irritating and unsightly issue, but they are often unavoidable. Gaps develop when the wood shrinks due to changes in humidity or outside temperature. Indoor electric radiant heat can also lead to unseemly gaps by causing the floor boards to contract and push each other apart. Additionally, improper installation of wood floors can leave small spaces between each board resulting in noticeable gaps in the finished floor.

a man standing on a wood flooring

Should you Fill the Gaps in Hardwood Floors?

Remember that seasonal humidity variations expand and shrink all wood. If you're disturbed by gaps in the dry winter months but don't seem to notice them during the comparatively hot seasons, it's usually better to leave the gaps alone, as filling them can cause difficulties when the wood expands again and the gaps naturally close up. If floorboards have little space to expand, they may buckle.

However, older flooring might create persistent gaps that continue to widen and shrink with humidity changes. To quickly test the severity of the problem, see if a vertically standing nickel can fit through the spaces in humid weather; if yes, then it is time to act.

3 Ways to Fix Gaps in Hardwood Floors

Rope Filler

Begin by applying wood glue to the interior of the fracture. Using a putty knife, insert a length of jute rope into the gap. Continue pressing the jute rope as tightly as possible until the whole space is filled. Using jute rope rather than wood putty might provide a more natural appearance, but the rope tends to come loose over time. When this occurs, use the putty knife and some glue to reposition the rope.

Wood Strip Filler

After taking precise measurements of the gap to be filled, trim strips of wood from a spare piece of flooring using a table saw. To achieve a tight seal, work the wood strip into the gap using a rubber mallet, then fix it with glue. This approach should only be used by someone who is familiar with a table saw, since cutting thin strips may be difficult and hazardous if done incorrectly.

Wood Putty 

Wood putty is an excellent choice for small cracks. It is simple and efficient to work the putty into gaps using a standard putty knife. Allow the putty time to completely dry before proceeding with sanding and finishing. Putty, unlike wood, does not have a wood grain, therefore anticipating a minor change in the finish.

wood putty on a wood flooring

Tip: When placing hardwood flooring in a room for the first time, keep a few extra wood planks on hand in case of future repairs. Having reserves on hand from the first installation can save you trouble later on as the exact color and texture of the wood boards may be difficult to replicate, particularly after many years.

Applying these techniques should help you get your hardwood floors looking new again in no time. If the gap is too big or the damage is too severe, you may need to replace the boards altogether. With a little time and effort, you can affordably fix gaps in your hardwoodfloors and enjoy their beauty for years to come.