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How to fill gaps in a wood floor?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 16th 05, 05:45 PM
Ludger Wolf
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How to fill gaps in a wood floor?

Hi,

We own a cabin with a pine or fir floor (I'm not sure what it is and
how to determine it either) - probably around 700 sq feet. Over the
last months I renovated the place and now it's time to redo the
floors. We like the look of the floor and so like to keep it. I will
use the Varathene Diamond Water based floor finish to put a (actually
four) coat on it.

What concerns me about the whole thing is that the boards have shrunk
over the years and now there is a gap of around an 1/16" to at some
areas 1/4" between almost all the boards. The size of the gap is
irrigular.

_________________/_
__________________\ gap
/
/ board
\
__________________\
__________________/ gap
\
\
\ board
/
___________________/
\

I would like to fill the gaps to have a smooth continues floor. But
because of the irregular gaps I can't put small wood pieces in the
gaps and I don't like the idea of taping every board and fill the
gaps with food filler? That would probably keep me busy for
months......

Is there any idea out there, how to deal with this?

Ludger
Ads
  #2  
Old September 16th 05, 06:08 PM
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Ludger Wolf wrote:
Hi,

We own a cabin with a pine or fir floor (I'm not sure what it is and
how to determine it either) - probably around 700 sq feet. Over the
last months I renovated the place and now it's time to redo the
floors. We like the look of the floor and so like to keep it. I will
use the Varathene Diamond Water based floor finish to put a (actually
four) coat on it.

What concerns me about the whole thing is that the boards have shrunk
over the years and now there is a gap of around an 1/16" to at some
areas 1/4" between almost all the boards. The size of the gap is
irrigular.

_________________/_
__________________\ gap
/
/ board
\
__________________\
__________________/ gap
\
\
\ board
/
___________________/
\

I would like to fill the gaps to have a smooth continues floor. But
because of the irregular gaps I can't put small wood pieces in the
gaps and I don't like the idea of taping every board and fill the
gaps with food filler? That would probably keep me busy for
months......

Is there any idea out there, how to deal with this?

Ludger


diff. widths of rope. stain them to try and match the color of the
floor and wedge the rope in the gaps. I have seen this done and it
looks fine. I have seen the filler method used and it looked terrible
and almost always cracks due to the natural expansion / contraction of
the wood floor.

  #3  
Old September 16th 05, 06:25 PM
dadiOH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ludger Wolf wrote:
Hi,

We own a cabin with a pine or fir floor (I'm not sure what it is and
how to determine it either) - probably around 700 sq feet. Over the
last months I renovated the place and now it's time to redo the
floors. We like the look of the floor and so like to keep it. I will
use the Varathene Diamond Water based floor finish to put a (actually
four) coat on it.

What concerns me about the whole thing is that the boards have shrunk
over the years and now there is a gap of around an 1/16" to at some
areas 1/4" between almost all the boards. The size of the gap is
irrigular.


I would like to fill the gaps to have a smooth continues floor. But
because of the irregular gaps I can't put small wood pieces in the
gaps and I don't like the idea of taping every board and fill the
gaps with food filler? That would probably keep me busy for
months......

Is there any idea out there, how to deal with this?


You could use a saw (or router) to rip along the joints to get a uniform
width then glue in splines. No idea how that would work on your floor
(expansion/contraction) but it worked fine on a roughly 4' x 4' sail
boat transom. Be lots of work though.

--
dadiOH
____________________________

dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico


  #4  
Old September 16th 05, 08:20 PM
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote:
Ludger Wolf wrote:
Hi,

We own a cabin with a pine or fir floor ...

What concerns me about the whole thing is that the boards have shrunk
over the years and now there is a gap of around an 1/16" to at some
areas 1/4" between almost all the boards. The size of the gap is
irrigular.

...

diff. widths of rope. stain them to try and match the color of the
floor and wedge the rope in the gaps. I have seen this done and it
looks fine. I have seen the filler method used and it looked terrible
and almost always cracks due to the natural expansion / contraction of
the wood floor.


That's a great idea. Rope caulking like that used on boats.

As noted the boards will expand and contract accross their width
with changes in humidity so a rigid gap filler will not work.

Normally floor boards are tongue and groove or (maybe)shiplapped
so that as they expand and contract the gap does not go all the
way through.

--

FF

  #5  
Old September 16th 05, 11:10 PM
PipeDown
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Ludger Wolf" wrote in message
...
Hi,

We own a cabin with a pine or fir floor (I'm not sure what it is and
how to determine it either) - probably around 700 sq feet. Over the
last months I renovated the place and now it's time to redo the
floors. We like the look of the floor and so like to keep it. I will
use the Varathene Diamond Water based floor finish to put a (actually
four) coat on it.

What concerns me about the whole thing is that the boards have shrunk
over the years and now there is a gap of around an 1/16" to at some
areas 1/4" between almost all the boards. The size of the gap is
irrigular.

_________________/_
__________________\ gap
/
/ board
\
__________________\
__________________/ gap
\
\
\ board
/
___________________/
\

I would like to fill the gaps to have a smooth continues floor. But
because of the irregular gaps I can't put small wood pieces in the
gaps and I don't like the idea of taping every board and fill the
gaps with food filler? That would probably keep me busy for
months......

Is there any idea out there, how to deal with this?

Ludger


Aren't you planning to sand the old finish off. After sanding most of it
off, you can fill the joints like you were grouting tile (i.e. no tape and
somewhat sloppy) then sand off the excess from the surface in your final
pass. Might even be able to use the sanding dust (mixed w/ wood glue) to
make the filler for a perfect match. 1/4" is still a wide gap to fill and
may be cosmetically unpleasing. Maybe leaving the gaps in place will give
you that old world antique look and be less noticable after refinishing.


  #7  
Old September 17th 05, 09:54 PM
Ludger Wolf
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 21:10:17 GMT, "PipeDown"
wrote:



Aren't you planning to sand the old finish off. After sanding most of it
off, you can fill the joints like you were grouting tile (i.e. no tape and
somewhat sloppy) then sand off the excess from the surface in your final
pass. Might even be able to use the sanding dust (mixed w/ wood glue) to
make the filler for a perfect match. 1/4" is still a wide gap to fill and
may be cosmetically unpleasing. Maybe leaving the gaps in place will give
you that old world antique look and be less noticable after refinishing.


The old finish is ok, just a bit dull, so I just thought about
cleaning it with TSP and refinish. But I realize that I might need to
do more to eliminate the gaps.
Do you have hany idea what kind of fill would work with the wood and
all the contraction / extraction?

Ludger
  #8  
Old September 17th 05, 09:56 PM
Ludger Wolf
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 16:25:15 GMT, "dadiOH"
wrote:


You could use a saw (or router) to rip along the joints to get a uniform
width then glue in splines. No idea how that would work on your floor
(expansion/contraction) but it worked fine on a roughly 4' x 4' sail
boat transom. Be lots of work though.


I have thought about the idea with the router too, but just didn't
look forward to all the work involved with that, even that this might
be the way which will have the best avaiable results.

Thanks

Ludger
  #9  
Old September 17th 05, 11:15 PM
dadiOH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ludger Wolf wrote:
On 16 Sep 2005 11:20:48 -0700, wrote:


wrote:

diff. widths of rope. stain them to try and match the color of the
floor and wedge the rope in the gaps. I have seen this done and it
looks fine. I have seen the filler method used and it looked
terrible and almost always cracks due to the natural expansion /
contraction of the wood floor.


That's a great idea. Rope caulking like that used on boats.

As noted the boards will expand and contract accross their width
with changes in humidity so a rigid gap filler will not work.

Normally floor boards are tongue and groove or (maybe)shiplapped
so that as they expand and contract the gap does not go all the
way through.


The floor board in our cabin have tongoue and goove too, but still the
gaps are there and tend to collect dirt.
I might try the idea with the rope. Any idea about what kind of
material for the ropes?
I probably need to finish the floors before wedging in the ropes,
because otherwise the floor finish want really work with the flexible
ropes?


I kinda have my doubts about the rope thing.

On boats, the caulking material is cotton. Or oakum (tarred hemp for
really wide (1/4"+) seams.

Caulking cotton comes in a long, loosely consolidated "rope" maybe an
inch in diameter. One inserts it into the seam with a caulking
iron...sort of a chisel like tool with a curved base 2-3" wide. The
edge of the curve comes in varying widths dependant on the width of the
seam. One taps in some cotton leaving a 5-6" loop out, taps in some
more leaving another loop, etc. Then you go back and tap in 1/2 of each
loop...repeat until all is in. One then "makes" the seam with heavier
blows. How heavy is determined by the sound. How much cotton goes into
the seam is determined by experience. The seams aren't filled.

The reasons I doubt the efficacy of this (or rope) for your problem are
three fold...

1. Boat seams have a very narrow "V" shape. The shape allows the
cotton to compact and stay in place. When the planks swell, the made
cotton is literally pressed into the edges. Your "seams" would have no
"V"

2. After caulking, the seams are "stopped"...the area above the
cotton is filled with a plastic material (plastic as in flexible) such
as putty.

3. Since you wouldn't want to be stopping your seams, I just can't
see any way you are going to get a round rope in the cracks and have it
level with the floor.

--
dadiOH
____________________________

dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at
http://mysite.verizon.net/xico


 




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