Occasionally we have to deal with holes or cracks in timber floors. Sometimes, if the damage is extensive, we will replace an entire board. At other times, if the damage is minor and not inclined to get worse, we will simply fill the hole or crack.
Of course just filling a hole is not enough if we want to maintain the appearance of the floor. It is easy to fill a hole in wood if we later cover the repair with paint. But timber floors are usually not painted, so the repair in a timber floors must blend in with the surrounding surface. There is an art to doing this right.
There are several material available to neatly fill in timber cracks, gaps and holes.
- Woodfiller- available in different colours. This works well if you have a colour that matches the timber floor. But remember, the colour will be effected when applying a woodstain.
- Sawdust and wood glue. This is fine for small gaps. And if the sawdust is from the timber that is being repaired the repair should match quite well.
- Sawdust and superglue. This is very fast setting, but suitable for small gaps. Try mixing the sawdust and glue in the area that is being repaired, so the glue does not set before too soon.
- Putty- this is easy to use, just push it into place. Occasionally you might also need to sand it flat. The right coloured putty will blend in reasonably well with the surrounding timber.
It is sometimes possible to mix different shades of wood Putty to achieve the desired colour result.
If you repaint the surface (and the repair is covered):
- Builders’ Bog – to part mixture. Sets quickly, according the amount of hardener used.
- Kwikwood – two part epoxy, like putty. Can be moulded to suit corners or edging.
- HM ready Patch – small gaps only, but easy to use and cleans up with soap and water.
- Durham water putty. This expands to fill the gap, so it is very stable. Requires sanding, but a good reliable option.
Any damage on a floor might be a sign of an underlying problem. Damage from a random accident can be repaired without concern. But cracks in the floor might be a sign of humidity or moisture problems, perhaps an unstable building foundation. Always make sure there is no ongoing problem that might continue to damage the floor.
Re-sanding a wooden floor will restore the original timber surface appearance. But any cracks or holes the floor will need to be repaired before this re-sanding.