How to Fill Cracks Between Floorboards
LESLIE: Greg in South Carolina needs some help with a wood floor project. What can we do for you?
GREG: I had manufactured my wood flooring for our log cabin and …
TOM: You manufactured it? You mean you made your own?
GREG: Well, yeah. I found some beams from an old tobacco barn.
TOM: Oh, that’s cool.
GREG: And I sort of remanufactured those and cut them into slabs and had them made into flooring.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Wow, that’s beautiful.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Fantastic. Nice way to recycle some building material there.
GREG: Right, right. It did look really good but apparently I didn’t let them dry long enough.
GREG: And after we got them in, they sort of developed some cracks in between several of the pieces of lumber. So we’re just trying to figure out how we can get those filled. I don’t think there’s an option of actually squeezing them back together. We just really need to fill them; fill the cracks.
LESLIE: And how large of a crack are you talking about?
GREG: I guess anywhere from not very visible but up to about 1/4-inch.
LESLIE: Alright, that’s not terrible. You don’t – absolutely do not use wood filler. Don’t use any sort of filling device that they tell you “Oh, put it in. It’ll stay there” because as soon as it dries out you will vacuum it right out. It will never last forever.
Generally, a good trick of the trade is getting your hands on some corded twine like a jute or something that’s a natural material – jute really works well – of roping. And then what you can do is – and make sure it has many layers of the rope sort of twined together to make that one piece. This way, what you can do is unravel some of it to fit the thickness of that space between your boards. And if you floor is stained a darker color or a certain tone to it, you can actually take that jute and dip it in stain that matches your flooring. Let it dry and then take a paint scraper and you can just shove it into that gap between those planks and that gives it a nice, natural transition between the two spaces. And since it’s only up to 1/4-inch, I mean you’re really not going to see it; it’s just going to blend.
GREG: OK. So do you re-urethane it after that?
TOM: Yes. Yes, you absolutely can re-urethane on top of that and because the gap is sort of filled in now, what you’ll find is that the gap will no longer be as noticeable because the urethane will flow right over that dark jute rope.
GREG: OK. Alright, well it sounds good. I appreciate it, guys.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.