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5 Easy Flooring Projects for Beautiful Wood Floors

5 Easy Flooring Projects for Beautiful Wood Floors

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September 23, 2010

Those little scuff marks, gentle waves, and other small imperfections in your hardwood speak to the age and character of your floors. But some problems, like squeaky boards or stains, can go beyond character and become a problem.

Fix Your Hardwood with These Flooring Projects

Here are the five most common problems of old hardwood floors, and a game plan to fix them:

  1. Gaps between boards. Gaps often appear in older floors as a basic result of aging. The humid summer months can make the boards swell and compress, but the drier months allow the boards to shrink back again, thus leading to tiny gaps. If the gaps are small and are in areas of light traffic, the best option is to do nothing. But if the gaps are significant, consider elastic caulk or flexible paste to fill in the unsightly areas.
  2. Squeaky boards. Squeaky boards are often caused by a weak connection with the joists below. To remedy this problem, locate the squeaky board and attach it firmly to the joist with nails. For an even firmer attachment, you can anchor the boards to the joist with countersunk screws.
  3. Floorboard replacement. If your floorboards need to be replaced, the goal is to find boards that match the original as closely as possible. If you can replace the entire plank, do it! If you can only find a board long enough to replace a portion, make certain to install the board in the same manner the originals were installed. You might have to plane or sand the board to keep it at equal height with the rest of the floor.
  4. Stained floorboards. Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and oxalic acid are three common tricks for removing stains from hardwood floors. Always test the chemicals in an inconspicuous area, such as the bottom of a closet, to make certain the bleaching isn't too pronounced. Use the chemicals sparingly at first, applying only what is necessary to remove the stains. Protect your skin with gloves as you work, and keep the room well-ventilated until any lingering chemical scent is gone.
  5. Small gouges and holes. Tiny marks and imperfections in your hardwood floors can be left alone if you want to preserve the history and character. But some problems encountered in flooring projects are too large to ignore. In that case, use a good wood filler to remedy the problem. Sand down the area until it is smooth and level with the rest of the floor.
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