The weather can be a deal breaker for your solid oak flooring and engineered oak flooring. As the humidity levels increase and decrease with the changes in the weather, hardwood floors can also expand and contract. Hardwood flooring can absorb moisture, causing unwanted moisture retention, which can cause gaps within floorboards.
New floors might not necessarily show gaps immediately; however, old floors can often develop gaps over the years. Either way, no matter if you have old floors or new floors, you can reduce the chances of gaps by using humidifiers. Either way, you can use furnace humidifiers or room humidifiers; both will work effectively to help you reduce the moisture content within your floors and help you avoid gaps within floorboards.
Different methods to repair gaps
There are a lot of ways to repair gaps within your hardwood flooring. While the most extensive way is to replace the flooring planks completely, the most efficient way is to use wood filler to take care of the gaps. Now the question is, “how does one fill these gaps?” You can use wood filler, putty, or even use pieces of rope, and finish the gaps with the same color as the floor.
Fillers such as putty and powdered fillers can be used in the form of a putty or even a paste form, to rid your floors of any gaps. Fillers are best when there are narrow gaps within the floors. However, when the expansion of the wooden planks will happen with a rise in the moisture content, chances are the fillers will be pushed out of the floor edges, leaving you in the same spot as before.
One can also use a combination of dust and resin filling to take care of narrow gaps. You need to get some sawdust which matches the color of your planks. Mix this saw dust with clear resin filler. Make it into a form of a paste or putty. Apply this within the gaps with a spatula. This way, once the putty dries, you will have fewer color variations, and everything will look like it is a part of the flooring.
How to fix wide gaps between floor planks?
Narrow gaps within flooring can be taken care of with putty and other types of wooden fillers. However, wider gaps between the planks can’t be managed that easily. These need to be repaired using wooden shims, narrow strips of wood or even rope. These processes are time-consuming, but they are definitely permanent and aesthetically soothing to the eyes.
Before you use any of these options, make sure the floorboards are well secured. Measure the wood or rope with the length of the gap, and with the help of an adhesive, place the wood in the gap. If you are using wooden strips to fill the gaps, then it is advisable to fill the gaps during the humid season. This way, the gap will be the smallest, and the chances of the wooden shims to expand or contract will also be less.