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Fix Gaps in Floor Boards

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Troy in Connecticut is calling in with a flooring question. What can we do for you for you today?

    TROY: Yes, hi. I have a – alright, the house that I live in has soft, pine floors and they’re about 12-inches wide.

    TOM: Right.

    TROY: But whenever they were put in, they used the square-headed nails.

    TOM: Right.

    TROY: And basically, what has happened now is the boards have shrunk a little bit and there are gaps in between them. So I was kind of wondering, is there anything that I can use to put in between the boards? Maybe a filler or something that might keep the dirt and other stuff from falling down that I have to vacuum up? (Leslie chuckles)

    TOM: Yeah, it’s called charm.

    LESLIE: Yeah. (Troy laughs)

    TOM: You know, one thing that you could do is you could use rope. You could use jute, which is a …

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s a good trick of the trade. If you get jute roping that’s, you know, many layers of jute sort of twisted together so that if you unravel a little bit you can control the thickness of it, if you take a whole spool of it, you can actually dip that jute into the – into any color stain that might be close to matching the color of your floor. Let that dry and then you want to use a – what am I thinking, a paint scraper?

    TOM: A urethane.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Well, first, you want to use a paint scraper to sort of squish it into all of those openings between all of the floorboards.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Like a putty knife.

    LESLIE: Yeah, a putty knife. Exactly. Thank you.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: And you can really wedge that in there. If you try to use any kind of filler, there’s going to be too much movement in the floor. It’s never going to dry properly.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, it’ll crack.

    LESLIE: It’ll crack; it’ll come out when you vacuum. It’s going to make a tremendous ruckus in your vacuum cleaner. So the rope really is the best trick of the trade.

    TROY: OK. Cool. That sounds like a good idea.

    TOM: Alright. Well, give it a shot. Thanks so much for calling 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

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