filling gaps in wood flooring AFTER already refinished?

Moving into a new home where the dining room and living room had been sanded and finished by the sellers.
Problem is, there are some large gaps inbetween some of the planks on the floors that are refinished. Now I know of the tricks to fill these using a mixture of sawdust and glue (or varnish) but don't have any sawdust. What are some other alternatives?
Would I need to varnish the floor again after repairing the gaps?
Also, we are probably going to have the remainder of the floors refinished, should I wait and try and get some sawdust from that? The floors are under years of paint as well. Would that be a problem, or do i just wait until the paint is fully removed and take the dust then?
1st time homeowner (just closed yesterday!) so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks -Owen
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<< Would I need to varnish the floor again after repairing the gaps? >>
Yes. But before you get involved in this project, back off and wait a few months for more serious house faults to crop up. The sellers obviously did a hack job on the floors to make the house marketable, so you need time to ferret out other shortcuts they have taken. For now, put down low cost area rugs to keep the flaws out of sight while you become accustomed to your new quarters. If you need something to do, research ways of paint removal for the other problematic floors if thay seem good enough to shape up with a standard refinish regimen. It is possible that removing the old flooring and installing new is the way to go. Get per foot estimates from local suppliers for hardwoods or laminates depending on your preferences, then go for best value. HTH
Joe
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Thanks, that is sound advice.
However I neglected to mention that this is a multi-family townhouse and the floors that were re-finished are on the side we plan on renting.
I want to make sure that the floor are protected, before I get tenants in there.
Not looking to replace the floors over there, just make sure that they are presentable and protected.
Thanks -Owen
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take different widths of rope / hemp rope (unravel to get this) and try and match the colour of the stain and stain the rope. using whatever blunt tool that fits in the gaps push the stained rope in.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes, do nothing! It's winter time and the floors will contract from the low humidity. If you fill those cracks, you are going to have a serious problem when the humidity goes up in the summer. As in bulges, bows and bumps all over the floor.
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I agree with what Joe said, so I won't add anything about the floors. However, because you said you're a first time homeowner, I'll make a big deal out of something else: If you're in a cold climate, check RIGHT NOW to be sure the outside hose faucets are shut off (via the valves in the cellar), or that they are the frost free type. When pipes freeze and burst, it's not fun, especially if you moved in recently and still have cardboard boxes in the basement. And, they usually burst when you're not home because there are these evil home repair gremlins.....a long story. Washing machines and their friends, the laundry tubs, also like to overflow when you're not there to shut them off.
I've never had the frost free hose outlets, so I can't describe them to you. If you have the regular type, turn on the water outside, then go in and turn off the valve in the cellar. Go back outside, wait a minute for any residual water to drain out, close the outside valves, and then congratulate yourself for doing a good thing. If the water does NOT stop, it means the washers in the inside valves are worn out. If you own a wrench already, replacing the washers will cost less than three bucks. The washers are fifteen cents each, and the rest of the cost is for a roll of teflon plumber's tape. Find a real hardware store. They'll show you what the tape's for.
I mention this because I just moved into a house owned by a young couple who never paid attention to the plumbing. It's easy to tell when washers are going bad. They're supposed to be pliable, and they press against a hard metal surface when the valve is shut off. You'll see that when you disassemble the valves to fix them. When you shut off a valve or faucet and it feels hard, the washer's stiff and needs replacement. Buy extra washers. It's silly to blow a gallon of gas for a fifteen cent washer.
Wow....I really DID make a big deal out of this! But, I've had several wet basement episodes. Nobody deserves that. Oh...speaking of laundry tubs, grab a good flashlight and peek into the drain of your tub, if you have one and your washing machine drains into it. Check for lint in the drain, and yank it out with tweezers or needlenose pliers if necessary.
OK...enough. :-)
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Thanks for the advice, I already checked the outside plumbing (i had a faucet burst at a rental place once)
I'm not sure that I can wait unitl the summer to fix the gaps, since I plan on having the place rented by then. Will the rope allow for compression?
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I didn't suggest the rope, but I've heard of that technique. But, it's soft, so it sounds like a safe bet. Meanwhile, why not get 3 estimates from REAL floor finishers, and see if you can afford to have it done right before you rent it? All it takes is a tenant who constantly leaves wet shoes in a small area, and that part of the floor is ruined, unless it's finished correctly.
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I have a couple guys coming in next week for estimates. I'm expecting around $4-6 per square foot, since there is alot of paint on them and many nails.
The floors I'm concerned with now, have already been sanded and staind by the previous owners. From what the real estate agent said, they were reluctant to do any work at all, so i'm sure they did it as cheap as possible. I just want to do what I can before it is rented.
In the upstairs bedrooms, I have been trying to decide whether or not to refinish those floors (vs. carpeting). One of the floors is pretty nasty and has a big stain on it (smells like urine). I'm thinking that the hardwood is better, but if I have to pay close to $6 per square foot, the 3 bedrooms will cost be a fortune (12'x10' , 15'x13' & 12'x10')
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I just helped a friend of mine move into an apartment. The carpet's gorgeous. I asked the landlord about it. He said he bought top of the line Stainmaster carpet, and pays a pro to clean it between tenants. He said it was 6 years old and was filthy before my friend moved in, but it looked new to me. Something to think about. My first instinct would've been cheap carpet for renters, but I guess not.

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