How to Fill Gaps in Hardwood Flooring
LESLIE: Barry in Connecticut is on the line with a flooring question. What can we do for you today?
BARRY: We have all hardwood floors throughout our home and they have separated during the weather. I suspect they dry out, then they close back up again. Is there any – as a matter of fact, some of them don’t close up very much. But I’m wondering if there’s anything that can be done to fill in the cracks.
TOM: Yeah, you can use jute – j-u-t-e. It’s like a rope and you pull the strands apart and you can press it like with a putty knife, in between the gap and then you can refinish on top of that. And that will sort of serve as a spacer a bit. You can’t use any kind of wood filler because the wood filler will just crack and fall out. But you can use the rope as a spacer.
LESLIE: And it’s important to look for jute roping, because the jute isn’t coated with anything. There’s no wax on it; it’s just sort of the natural fiber. So if you wanted to stain it – and I’ve seen people take the length of rope once they figure out the thickness. And the reason why you unravel some of it is so that it fits accordingly into that space and you can sort of narrow it intermittently so that the rope fits as the crack widens or narrows. And then you can dip the rope directly into the stain and then sort of smush it into that space once it dries.
So, there’s a couple ways to do it with that but that’s really the only fix that’s going to stay in place.
BARRY: OK. Is there a color to the jute?
LESLIE: It’s just like a natural, sort of weedy brown; kind of blondish-looking.
BARRY: OK. So it doesn’t come in particular colors.
TOM: No, no.
LESLIE: No, no.
TOM: No, no. And that’s why Leslie said it can be stained, too. If you’re – it’s a very natural-looking product and because it’s kind of just filling the gap, you may not even want to stain it.
BARRY: OK. Well, thank you so much for taking my call. I appreciate the information and I really appreciate your show.
LESLIE: Oh, thank you.
TOM: Thank you, Barry. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.