LESLIE: Kevin in Connecticut needs some help with a flooring project, tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
Filling the Cracks in your Wood Floor
KEVIN: Well, what we’re looking at here is an 1848 house in Connecticut that has wide-board floors – original floors – and there’s no subflooring as I think plywood was in short supply at that time.
TOM: (chuckles) Yeah, it wasn’t invented yet. (laughs)
KEVIN: No. Yeah, they didn’t have any. So what I have is the cracks between the wide-board floors when I refinished them. I don’t know what to put in the cracks, which can be anywhere from 1/8 to 3/8 inches.
TOM: Yeah. The trick of the trade for that, Kevin, is to press some jute rope into it. That’s the sort of – how would you describe the jute? Stringy, right?
LESLIE: It’s like a natural fiber that’s …
TOM: Natural fiber, yeah.
LESLIE: … twisted and woven out of many sort of individual strings of the jute roping itself.
LESLIE: So what you would do is you would buy a pretty thick one – you know, not the super-fat one but one that would work for the widest width of your gaps on your floor – and then you can stain the rope to match your flooring. And once that’s dry, you want to grab a knife – not a matte knife; a scraper – one of those nice paint scrapers – and you can go ahead and shove the roping into the spaces between the flooring and as it sort of thins out and waivers, you can peel away – you know, unravel some of that rope to help it fit into the appropriate opening. And that’s really the best way because if you use a wood filler, it’s just going to crack out; you’re going to vacuum it up; it’s going to dry out; it’s never going to look right.
TOM: Kevin, and it sort of looks like a very thick twine.
KEVIN: Alright, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.