DIY Tips On How To Repair Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors offer an easy time with maintenance requiring little effort until when by accident or age, some sections begin getting chipped, broken or loose and do not fit in with the rest. Much of the work can simply be handled at home with proper preparation and care during the repair process. In this article there are tips to handle various repair scenarios from fixing loose boards to repairing the broken boards and filling in the gaps that appear in the floor. First however, you will need a set of tools and materials that will allow you to work smoothly.
For a number of these DIY projects you will need a combination or all of: pry bar, drill, hammer, pencil, circular saw, nail punch, metal cutting blade, ruler, block plane, nail set, and chisel.
For materials you will need: wood glue, lumber offcuts, replacement board and finish nails.
REPLACING OLD TONGUES AND GROVE BOARDS
Given their interlocking nature you will be forced to cut through the joints and for this purpose, you will need a circular saw. However, you first have to cut through any concealed nails in the boards or at their joints using a nail cutting blade.
Set the circular saw to match the depth of the damaged board as shown in the figure below. Then cut through the entire length of the board on each side of the damaged area. When done, remove the damaged piece using a pry bar rested on top of an offcut to prevent damage to the adjacent boards. Prepare the new board by using a chisel to remove the tongue. Where the boards are very thick you should use a saw. Set the board in place and use finish nails since blind nailing is not possible. Fill the holes when done.
CUTTING ACROSS THE GRAIN
This is an alternative method to remove a damaged section of a board. Cutting across the grain along a joist allows a small piece to be removed. You will then have to use appropriate filler to disguise the small cuts left on adjacent boards.
REPLACING CHIPBOARD FLOORBOARDS
The replacement technique used here is the same as when replacing old tongues and grove boards. You only need not worry to any small damage to adjacent boards as they will be covered.
REPLACING OLD SQUARE-EDGED BROKEN BOARDS
Since they lack interlocking edges, this is a much simpler job. Begin by marking a pencil line on the damaged board over the nearest joist. Where damage is at the center make lines on joists for both sides of the damage. Use a pry bar to lever up the damaged board and place offcuts underneath to hold it securely at a high enough position. Remove the damaged section by sawing along the pencil lines. Using the damaged piece as a guide, prepare the new replacement board. Position it on the gap and nail it into place.
SECURING LOOSE BOARDS
This is a straightforward job to solve the creaking sounds and prevent further damage. On the side of the loose board drill a hole into the joist. Hammer a nail in the hole or use a screw for a more secure job. You can use a nail set to drive the nail heads below the surface.
FILLING GAPS BETWEEN BOARDS
Large gaps especially in square edged boards can be filled using a strip of wood. Apply glue on both sides of the strip. Insert the strip in the gap and use a hammer pushing it for a tight fit but leave a slight level above floor. When it has all dried, use a block plain to remove excess wood and get a smooth finish.
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