3 fixes for gaps in your wooden floorboards

Published: January 17, 2020

How to Fill Gaps in Floorboards and Seal Floorboards to Prevent Draughts and Heat Loss. best way to draught-proof stripped wooden floors. Using the Applicator Photo by Powerofflowers/Shutterstock

Are your wooden floorboards underperforming? It’s time to fix these common problems.

Fix #1
If gaps between rustic floorboards are so wide that your pets are going missing, try this old boatbuilding trick. Caulk between boards with natural-fibre rope or cord (sisal, hemp, or jute), sized to fit the gaps. For a stained floor, dip the cord in matching stain. Let it dry before seating it in the gap with a flat screwdriver, a putty knife, or a spline roller. The look is rustic, but it’s easy DIY. Other options—commercial fillers, mixes of sawdust and floor finish, and wood strips or wedges glued in place—won’t allow seasonal movement.

Fix #2
Don’t ignore a dangerous splinter; fix it with a little wood glue. After wiping up the excess glue, weigh down the splinter with a pail of water on a board. (Waxed paper will stop the board from sticking to the floor.) Rout out any really bad splinters. A ¼”‑deep mortise will suffice; glue in a matching patch.

Fix #3
Nagging nail pops? Cinch down a face-nailed floorboard with a ring-shanked flooring nail or a trim screw, which has a smaller head than other screws. Fill any holes with matching putty, then put on your dancing shoes.

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