Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors, should I need to? It is normal for a prefinished wood floor or any other flooring to expand and contract and you will get gaps. Small gaps, cracks, dents and holes can occur in wood flooring. Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors is really not hard and most anyone can do it.
A Bit of Putty for Filling Gaps in Prefinished Wood Floors
Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors is accomplished with a bit of Wood Putty. This putty will never fully harden and 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. When you are unable to find a color of Wood Putty that matches your floor you can actually take a couple of colors and with your fingers blend them together before use and come up with a pretty good match. Remember that when finished you will be viewing the job standing and not from your hands and knees so the fill should be pretty hard to see.
Wood Putty for filling gaps in prefinished wood floors or your site finished wood flooring can be purchased from many wood flooring dealers as well as your local hardware store, paint store, or at a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Usually the best selection will be found at a larger paint store. 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 in the first place you should be pleased with the finished appearance.
For an even more finished appearance, using 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 so that it will better match a floor that has a higher sheen.
The Difference between Wood Putty and Wood Filler
Filling gaps in prefinished wood floors you want to fill holes, cracks and splits but not refinish the floor, wood putty is a better choice than wood filler. Wood filler is a wetter, more fluid product than wood putty. Wood Putty has more of the consistency of damp clay and while it will harden some it does not fully dry. The putty should not come out with normal foot traffic and since it does not fully dry wood putty holds well with the normal expansion and contraction of your flooring. For a new site finished floor, wood filler is used as it is sandable and like wood it will take a stain and for this reason it is used to fill gaps and cracks prior to applying the finish to a floor. With repairs to site finished flooring that has already been finished use wood putty in the same way you would for filling gaps in prefinished wood floors.