Wood Floor Repairs: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Ben Nystrom, 07/08/11

Repairing a hardwood floor requires a lot of time, patience, tools, and technique. When done incorrectly, wood floor repair can damage pieces next to the ones being repaired. If continued to be done incorrectly, what started as one or two damaged boards can turn into an entire room of ruined wood.
By carefully following proper repair instructions, however, hardwood flooring repairs can be done successfully and with few problems. The following is a step-by-step guide for repairing site-finished hardwood flooring.

Factory-finished, prefinished, and engineered wood floor repairs require special considerations. Visit wood floor repair to learn more about the differences.

Hardwood floor repair is tough, but it's not impossible

Site-Finished Hardwood Flooring Repairs

1. For a 3/4" by 2 1/4" board, use a circular saw set at the proper depth (3/4 inch), making two passes approximately 1/2" inch from each side of the board. Do not cut past the end joints. The third cut goes on an angle between the first two cuts, again not cutting through the side match.

2. Once the cuts are made, use a sharp chisel to remove the cut pieces. Clean and vacuum the groove and area around the repair, making sure all debris is removed.

3. After these steps are complete, select a straight piece of flooring that has a similar grain pattern as the one removed. Cut the piece of flooring to the exact length to ensure a tight fit. Do not leave cracks at the end joints. This repair can also be done with a router and template.

4. Once the piece is cut to length, the bottom of the groove will need to be removed. This can be done by scribing the back of the board with a razor knife, then tapping the piece off with a hammer. Each end of the board can be beveled with a miter saw or by using a block plane to bevel the groove-side of the board. Always dry fit the piece before installing.

5. With a gun and nozzle, apply a two-part epoxy glue in the groove and on the tongue of the boards adjoining the repair. Also, apply glue to the tongue and groove on the repair piece. The epoxy will set up very quickly, so time is limited. The reason for using epoxy is that you can sand the repair within 10 to 15 minutes after it is properly installed. Other glues will take longer to set and will require drying overnight before the repair can be sanded.

Of course, if you have little to no experience with hardwood flooring repairs, or if you don't feel comfortable using the tools and equipment needed to perform the repairs, call a professional.

By Ben Nystrom, 07/08/11

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