LESLIE: Vicky in North Carolina has a wood floor that’s gone awry, if you will. Tell us what’s going on.
VICKY: Well, I started the floor and everything was lining up really well and I just got tired of doing it myself so I hired a handy man. He came in and did a lot of the work but there are a lot of gaps between the tiles now and they’re just not square anymore. And he’s not finishing the floor but I’m wondering how to finish it and make it look right.
TOM: So the gaps are between the wood tiles that he put down or are they between the tiles and the wall?
VICKY: No, between the wood tiles; the wood parquet tiles.
TOM: Hmm. That doesn’t sound right.
VICKY: Yeah. No, it’s definitely not right. I didn’t know if I had to actually rip the floor up and start over or if there was some filler material you could use.
TOM: No, you can’t fill in wood tiles that were not put together properly. I mean occasionally we’ll get a call and somebody has a gap that’s developed in a strip floor and you could use a jute rope in between that but that’s just a one-off kind of thing. If you have a newish parquet floor and the tiles are shrinking or loose, that’s just going to get worse over time and they’re going to start coming up in pieces.
VICKY: Yeah, well they’re definitely not loose; they’re just not really tight together.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Square.
LESLIE: Is the floor fully finished? I mean can you – and is it a kind that is sort of snapped together or have they been nailed together?
VICKY: No, they snap together and they’re glued down.
LESLIE: (groaning) Oh.
VICKY: Yeah, they have like a tongue-and-groove …
TOM: Yeah, at this point, your two options are to either take it out or learn to love it.
LESLIE: Or cover with a rug. (Vicky chuckles)
TOM: (chuckling) That’s right.
LESLIE: That’s your third option.
TOM: That’s your third option.
VICKY: Yeah, the cover with a rug option is kind of what I would have been doing in the meantime.
VICKY: OK. And any ideas on how to – because I still have about 100 square feet that need to be laid to be finished.
VICKY: Should I just put those together the best I can and, like I said, cover it with a rug; the bad part? (chuckles)
LESLIE: Well, because they’re tongue-and-groove, I mean I would say, oh, start at the wall edge. This way you’re sort of square on the edges that would be exposed from a rug. But then you’re getting to a point where you’re going to have two edges that need to snap into one another.
LESLIE: You know it’s like at that point do you just cut off one edge and sort of thin it out from the backside so it becomes like an overlay? You’re gluing it down anyway. At least then you know whatever would be exposed around the perimeter of the room is square.
VICKY: Right. Yeah, that sounds like a very good idea. Sounds like a very good idea. OK, well thanks for your help.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.