How to Repair a Hardwood Floor
Article Summary: Cracked and damaged floorboards are not only unsightly – they can be dangerous too. Young children and animals are always getting splinters from damaged timber floors. This article tells you how to repair hard wood flooring, so there’s no excuse, get to it!
First, determine what needs replacing
Damaged hardwood floorboards will need replacing in their entirety, so rather than creating a horrible looking join, make sure you can get hold of the same timber and length of board before starting the job. Always mark the damaged floorboards to be removed with a marker or pencil – mistakes do happen!
If you are replacing tongue and grooved floorboards you will have to take some care when removing the old damaged board. If possible, completely split the board down the center so that you can prize each side away from its respective tongue or grooved joint, being careful not to damage the adjoining boards. The best method to use for this is a circular saw. Simply run the saw down through the center of the board, making sure that the saw depth is only deep enough to cut the board – nothing else.
You may have to use a variety of tools to remove the boards, hammers, chisels, crow bars. Just be careful with the other floorboards when using these tools.
When you have removed the old damaged floorboards, check the surrounding timber for signs of rot, beetle infestation and other damage. Although the boards may have been damaged by a physical occurrence, like something being dropped on them, more often than not damage is first started by insects and/water ingress.
Fitting the New Floorboards.
Use a vacuum cleaner to clean any remaining wood debris from the joists or sub floor before fitting the new floorboard. For tongue and groove boards you will have to maneuver the adjoining boards so that the new board can be slotted into place. This may involve levering the boards off their joists or off the sub floor before fixing them down again.
A better solution may be to remove the lower section of the groove if loosening of the adjoining boards is impossible. Be careful not to cut into the main plank if you use a power saw for this. When fixing it is wise to use construction adhesive and either nail or even better, screw the boards into position. When nailing or screwing down boards always drill a pilot hole, slightly smaller than the nail or screw, so that you don’t split the new timber. To finish off, use filler that matches the timber finish and fill any holes for an invisible finish.
You can sand, stain and recoat the floor in order to give a professional finish if desired.