Learn how to seal floorboards effectively and stop those draughts once and for all. Trim the rope as needed with a sharp utility knife. Get expert help if you need it. Preparation is the secret to laying a laminate, real wood top layer or solid wood floor that’s durable and looks great. Stain and/or finish the strips to match the rest of the floor. Mould, mildew or … Do the same at the other end, then the board should be ready to lift. Cut your patch or plug with a slight taper. Cut out the rust. Before fixing the subfloor under the carpet, you'll need to figure out why the subfloor became damaged in the first place. First, find any under-floor pipes or cables. If the floorboard is in good condition, you can take out the nails and screw it down using the existing nail holes. Be careful not to scratch the floor's finish. Brush the underside of any floorboards that show signs of woodworm. Apply a fine bead of wood putty to the gap, then work it into the gap with your finger, using circular motions to force the putty down into the gap. Wipe away excess glue with a damp cloth, then let the glue dry. Test out your plug by trying to tap it into the hole lightly with a rubber mallet. As time goes on; your floorboards might start needing a bit of care and attention. Then put a wide-bladed bolster chisel into the joint between the boards, close to one end. In extreme cases, floorboards can buckle if you have left no room for them to expand. fit inserts in these square holes with a good glue and after a couple of days for the glue to dry, plane the inserts down level with the floorboards. Put the blade of a pad saw into the hole and cut along the line to free the end of the board from the joist. Filling gaps with wood putty is a quick and easy method that works on small, relatively stable gaps. Of course, this means you might see slight gaps appear when the wood shrinks again next winter, but this is better than a floor that buckles during the next humid season when the boards expand. 2. Or if you're intending to leave the boards exposed, draw up a paper plan and keep it somewhere safe. You can remove the nails and use the existing holes for the new screws or leave the old nails and drive a screw in next to them. If the board is damaged and you can't re-nail in the old holes, you'll have to take the nails out with pincers and then lift the board to check for cables and pipes. The floorboards in the Kitchen/Dining Area are now ready to be restored - we need to put filler between each of the boards, then sand them back to remove any scratches or marks in the wood, then they'll be ready for a coat of Tung Oil. You can tell if wood is infested with dry rot because it becomes dry and spongy, with the fibres breaking down. Make a plunge cut through the flooring with a circular saw. You could cut the underside of a thicker board to fit over the joists. I laid the panel back into place over the hole and marked the outline of the patch onto the floor. You can then start pulling most of the nails from the joists. If it doesn’t fit, shave off a millimeter fro… If you're certain the gaps are there year-round, it's probably safe to fill them. Hard flooring is the perfect choice if you want something durable and attractive that will keep its good looks for years to come. If you work very slowly and don't apply too much pressure, you'll be able to control the blade as it breaks through the wood. Then drill pilot holes for the nails, which stop any splitting. Loose floorboards can often easily be fixed simply by replacing the nails that are holding them in place, with screws. If you can see the screw head above the surface, take it out, countersink the hole (so the head doesn't stick out) and screw the board down again. Grab a pair of gloves and start by lifting the floorboards. If only a small area of your floorboard is damaged or if the board runs under the skirting, you'll probably find it easier to cut out and replace a section rather than the whole board. Put the new board into position and secure it with 50mm of cut floor brads or ring-shanked nails, taking care to avoid existing holes in the joists. If you're bothered by gaps in the dry winter months but don't seem to notice them much during the relatively humid seasons, it's probably best to leave the gaps alone, as filling them when they're at their widest will create problems when the wood expands again and the gaps naturally close up. Where? This way you can't step on them. Then put a screw in the hole and screw it down tightly, checking that it sits below the surface. Next, push the handle of the bolster chisel down and prise the board up. It's important to keep in mind that all wood expands and contracts with seasonal humidity changes. Repair or replace any floorboards and timber joists that are rotten. The most reliable way to match the color of a species of wood to fill holes in a wood floor is to mix sawdust from that wood species with glue. Countersink the screw holes then make a wooden plug for a professional finish. Clean the floorboards on both sides of the gap, using a slightly dampened cloth. hole through both ends of each damaged board. Clean the floorboards on both sides of the gap, using a slightly dampened cloth. Starting at one end, prise out fixing nails by levering up the board with a bolster chisel. Check your flooring during the humid season, when the wood is most swollen and the boards are at their tightest. Let the putty set up, then wipe gently along the filled gap with a slightly dampened cloth to remove putty residue from the adjoining boards. Set the depth of the cut to equal the thickness of the floorboard. Spotting another life form forming its colonies in places often overlooked. This method involves using a table saw to rip-cut narrow strips from spare floor boards. As you've cut the ends of the board level with the joists, there won't be anything to nail or screw the board back into. You can treat woodworm with a chemical insecticide, but it's better to call in a specialist contractor if you've got a big infestation or dry rot - which is much more serious. If they're dark in colour, there's a chance they've been treated before. Turn the boards over and brush the top side with more of the timber treatment. Repeat scraping and vacuuming until the gaps are clear. While the rope doesn't look like wood, you can stain it to blend with the floorboards, and the filled gaps will be much less noticeable than the dark, empty gaps. After the glue has dried and rope has been trimmed, brush with a clear varnish or urethane to give the rope a hardened surface. Stretch the stained rope out on clean cardboard and let it dry completely. When refixing boards it is advisable to use brass screws rather than nails in order to protect old lath and plaster ceilings below from hammer vibration. Remove excess putty from the wood surface using a putty knife. Pale dust around the edge of a hole is a tell-tale sign of recent activity and you should treat this straight away. If it's badly damaged at the sides and corners, you'll need to make new holes for the screws. If you have no leftover flooring boards lying around, then you may be able to buy new or salvaged boards of the same species or simply use pieces of matching hardwood lumber. There are two ways to fix them depending on their condition. To give the surface more strength, apply a coating of varnish or urethane. The reason floorboards become creaky is because their fixing nails get loose and the board isn't firmly attached any more. You'll need to find which part of the floorboard is loose by walking over it and seeing where it moves. If you’re using a jigsaw to cut the circle, you’ll first want to draw the circle on the board so you have a guide to follow with the saw. Remove excess … Do not expose the rope to direct sunlight or intense heat, as there is the potential for the rope to spontaneously ignite if you are using an oil-based stain. As soon as you lift a board, drive any projecting nails back through the wood, then prise them out with a claw hammer. With older tongue-and-groove hardwood or even wide-plank floors, gaps inevitably develop between the boards, mostly because the wood shrinks over time as it dries out and loses moisture content. 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