5 Easy Flooring Projects for Beautiful Wood Floors
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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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