Floor Gaps: Fill Them with Jute
LESLIE: In New Hampshire you can find The Money Pit on WGIR like Rachel does. What can we help you with?
RACHEL: I have this very old house; 1780. And in the kitchen and the – well, actually, in three different rooms – I have wood flooring that has large spaces in between because the wood has dried so much.
RACHEL: It’s knock-down-dead gorgeous flooring but it has these big, wide gaps. And the previous owner had put down like heavy string or twine in between. And I want to know what’s the right thing to do. The gaps can get really big but obviously you can’t put anything hard down in there because of the way the wood …
TOM: Right, it’s just going to expand and contract. It sounds to me like the previous owner did the right thing because we’ve often …
TOM: … advised folks to use jute cord, which is the same stuff that carpet’s made out of, as a filler for those situations. Because you’re right, you can’t use wood filler. It expands and contracts. It’s going to fall out. But if you use something that’s dark colored, like jute, you can press it down there; it’ll stay there; you can finish over top of it. But it does require some maintenance.
LESLIE: Yeah, you can even stain the jute to be a closer color to your flooring so it, you know, doesn’t stand out as much. And the interesting thing about jute is that there are so many layers of the twine itself that makes up the larger rope that you can sort of take away layers of it so that you can tuck it in more efficiently and make it fit to the area you’re trying to fill.
RACHEL: Yeah, sounds like a great idea.
TOM: Think of that flooring by its technical term: charm.
TOM: Does require some maintenance, though. Rachel, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
RACHEL: Thank you.