Your home’s hardwood flooring adds coziness, elegance, and value, but with time, gaps may form between the boards leading to a variety of issues, including humidity changes, aging, or faulty installation. If left unattended, these gaps not only detract from the aesthetic appeal but also may cause structural problems.
Fortunately, filling in gaps in hardwood floors is a doable task that can be accomplished with the appropriate equipment and methods. In this article by Floor Land, we will explore some various techniques to close those gaps in your hardwood flooring.
Understanding The Causes of Hardwood Flooring Gaps
Understanding the underlying causes of hardwood flooring gaps is crucial before moving on to treatments. With this information, you can choose the best solution for your particular problem and avoid furniture problems from occurring:
1. Humidity Changes
Wood reacts to variations in humidity by expanding and contracting. Low humidity causes wood to shrink, whereas high humidity causes it to swell. Gaps between hardwood planks may appear as a result of these variations.
2. Improper Installation
Gaps between hardwood boards can be caused by inadequate installation methods or not giving enough room for expansion.
Natural wear and tear, including gaps, occur when hardwood flooring matures. Gaps may develop as a result of the wood drying out and contracting over time.
4. Wood Movement
The expansion and contraction rates of various wood species differ. Due to how different each species responds to environmental changes. Gaps may appear when using numerous species or boards with various moisture content.
Now that you are aware of the causes of the gaps, let’s examine some of the solutions.
Methods To Fix Hardwood Flooring Gaps
1. Wood Fillers For Small To Medium-Sized Gaps
For small gaps in hardwood flooring, wood filler works well. This is how to apply it:
- Clean the opening and get rid of any dirt.
- Pick a wood filler that blends in with the color of your hardwood.
- Fill in the space with the filler, going a little overboard.
- With a putty knife, level the filler after pressing it firmly into the opening.
- After letting it entirely dry, sand it to the same level as the floor surface.
- Finish with a furnish or sealer that matches the flooring around it.
2. Rehydrate The Wood For Seasonal Gaps
Gaps can occasionally appear because the weather is too dry. Try rehydrating the wood to fill in the gaps if this is the case.
- Don’t soak a clean cloth in water, just dampen it.
- Overnight or for a few hours, place the damp cloth across the opening.
- To see if the gaps have closed check it out. In that case, repeat the procedure.
3. Wood Shims For Larger Gaps
To patch and seal bigger gaps between floors, use wood shims:
- The gap’s depth should be measured.
- A wood shim should be cut to the proper size.
- The shim has adhered to before being hammered into the openings.
- Trim and sand the extra shim after the adhesive has had time to dry.
- Finish with the floor-coordinating stain or varnish.
4. Replace Damage Boards
It is best to replace individual boards when they are the source of gaps;
- Carefully remove the damaged board along the seams using a circular saw.
- Pry bars can be used to remove any last fragments.
- Use floor adhesive or nails to attach a replacement board.
- After finishing nails are used to secure it, sand it down to match the surrounding floor, and finish it.
5. Professional Help
Getting professional assistance is appropriate for big gaps, structural problems, or if you’re not sure how to do DIY projects. Large gaps in your hardwood floor may indicate underlying structural problems that call for expert assistance. A flooring specialist may evaluate the problem and make recommendations for the best course of action, which might involve reinstalling or refinishing.
Tips for Preventing Future Gaps
While closing current gaps is critical, avoiding new ones is equally important. Here are some tips to keep your hardwood floor gap-free:
Maintain Consistent Humidity
Control interior humidity levels by using a humidifier during dry seasons and a dehumidifier during humid ones to maintain them within the range advised for hardwood floors.
Make sure your hardwood flooring is laid properly by following the necessary installation procedures and giving enough room for expansion along the edges.
Regularly clean and sweep your hardwood floor to stop dirt and debris from gathering in cracks and causing more harm.
Area Rugs And Mats
To lessen wear and tear on the hardwood food, use rugs and mats in heavy traffic areas.
Protect From Moisture
Use protective mats in areas that are susceptible to moisture, such as kitchens, and quickly clean up spills.
With the appropriate equipment and methods, it is possible to repair gaps in hardwood floors. There are several techniques to pick from, regardless of whether you are working with minor cracks or bigger gaps. To choose the best solution, it is essential to comprehend the reasons for these gaps. Adopting precautions can help your hardwood floor remain beautifully and structurally sound for many years to come. Keep in mind that it is always advisable to get the advice and help of a flooring professional for complex issues or large gaps.