Fix a Buckling Wood Floor
LESLIE: Chip in Nevada needs some help repairing a wood floor. What can we do for you?
CHIP: Hi. It’s kind of a weird question but – it’s a 60-year-old home. We’ve got two …
TOM: You’ll fit right in. (Leslie chuckles)
CHIP: (chuckling) OK. It’s a T&G floor. It’s about two inches wide; basically, a quarter-inch-thick T&G, roughly 60 years old.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yep.
CHIP: And there was water damage in the sub-floor. Well, everything just started to buckle in the substructure. I don’t have anything underneath there that I can screw to but I was wondering, if I were to wedge a 2×4 under there and use the breakaway screws to suck the floor back down, if that would work. And how do I patch the flooring?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Oh, I see what you mean. Well, it might. So what you’re talking about doing is cutting a 2×4 to fit in between the floor joists, so you have sort of some blocking there that you could attach something to, correct?
CHIP: (overlapping voices) Right. But unfortunately, the joists are going to be running the same way that 2×4 is going to be running.
TOM: Alright. But you’ve to get the 2×4 attached some way under there so that you have something to actually grab, correct?
CHIP: Correct, yeah. I was thinking about wedging it.
CHIP: I thought about wedging it underneath a piece of plywood.
TOM: You’re going to have to nail it in, somehow; you’re going to have to secure it, somehow, between those floor joists.
TOM: Now, in terms of the breakaway screws – yeah, I think they would work. There is a product out there called Squeeeeek No More. It’s a website that sells a lot of these breakaway screws; you’ll find some links where you can just buy the screws there. And there’s like a special tool that snaps off the head.
But essentially, what you would do is you would put the blocking in. You would have to compress the floor, if you can do this, so that it’s down nice and flat.
CHIP: (overlapping voices) We can.
TOM: And then you would drill – probably with the hardwood, you’re going to want to pilot-drill it. But you’ll drill through that breakaway screw until it’s just below the surface of the wood and then you’ll snap off the head. And it comes off pretty easily; a quick rap will do that. And then, in terms of the hole, it’s a really small hole; it’s kind of like a finish-nail size. So you’re just going to want to fill that with some colored wood filler.
CHIP: Excellent. That’s exactly what I needed to know.
TOM: Alright. Well, that will solve the problem.
CHIP: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.