Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors, should I need to? It is normal for a prefinished wood floor or other flooring to expand and contract and you will get gaps.
Small gaps, cracks, dents and holes can occur in wood flooring. It is really not hard to fill gaps and most anyone can do it.
A Bit of Putty for Filling Gaps in Prefinished Wood Floors
Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors can be accomplished with a bit of Wood Putty. This putty will never fully harden. It is available in colors to match just about any floor from a maple or white oak to a Brazilian cherry, black walnut or just about anything in between.
Where to Purchase
Most wood flooring dealers will have a selection of filler available for purchase. Also, your local hardware store, paint store, or at a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Best selection of putty will usually be found at larger paint stores.
Unable to find a color of Wood Putty that matches your floor? Take a couple of colors and with your fingers blend them together. You should come up with a pretty good match. Remember, when finished you will be viewing the job standing, not on hands and knees. From standing, a goof filling job should be pretty hard to see.
How to Fill Gaps with Wood Putty
To apply the Wood Putty get a blob and with your finger rub it into the crack. Using a paper towel rub the area quickly and vigorously to remove the excess putty. If you selected the right color of putty, you should be pleased with the finished appearance.
For an even more finished appearance, use a rag with a bit of natural color wood stain or sealer. Carefully wipe it across the putty in a single swipe. You now have a bit of sheen on the putty, giving a higher sheen floor a better match.
The Difference between Wood Putty and Wood Filler
You want to fill holes, cracks and splits but not refinish the floor. Wood putty is a better choice than wood filler. Filler is a wetter, more fluid product than wood putty. Wood Putty has more of the consistency of damp clay, will harden some, it does not fully dry.
Putty should not come out with normal foot traffic. Since it does not fully dry wood it holds well with the normal expansion and contraction of your flooring.
For a new site finished floor use wood filler. Wood filler is sandable and will take a stain. For this reason it is used to fill gaps and cracks prior to applying the finish to a floor.
Repairs to site finished flooring that has already been finished, use wood putty. Use in the same way you would for filling gaps in prefinished wood floors.
If the problem you are experiencing does not appear normal. If you believe there is a manufacturing, installation or site related problem. Certified flooring inspection companies such as The Weinheimer Group, are available to test and analyze.