Fillling gaps between floorboards.

We've just moved into a beautiful victorian house with exposed floorboards. However, they need refinishing and there are big gaps between them. What is the recommended way of filling these and should it be done before or after having them re-sanded and varnished?
Suggetions i've had so far have been: - Papier mache - strips of cork - 'some sort of paste/woodfiller'
We plan to make wooden slips to fill the larger gaps and possibly to staple old carpet to the roof of the cellar which runs under the hall to provide a bit of insulation.
None of the other suggestions have come from anyone who has actually tried them. Suppliers of any specific materials would be appreciated.
AJ
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"anthony james" wrote | We've just moved into a beautiful victorian house with exposed | floorboards. However, they need refinishing and there are big gaps | between them. What is the recommended way of filling these and should | it be done before or after having them re-sanded and varnished? | Suggetions i've had so far have been: | - Papier mache | - strips of cork | - 'some sort of paste/woodfiller'
After sand and before varnish, I would have thought.
Suggestion No 4 (although I haven't actually done it either) is to lift and relay the boards. You will probably need to poach a couple of matching boards from an adjacent room which is going to be carpeted to complete the job (so that new boards are not fitted somewhere visible; I'm not suggesting you take floorboards out of the bedroom and lay a carpet over the gap hoping the sag doesn't show).
Owain
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Some friends of mine used frame filler sealant.
-- John Stumbles -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-|-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ -+ Many hands make light work Too many cooks spoil the broth
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I used this too, acrylic frame sealant, natural ( i.e. wood ) colour. I only found one product that was labelled as "natural" and this was made by Dow Corning; it comes in a standard tube as used for those "gun" type applicators. I packed the gaps with twists of hemp before I used the sealant but that was very tedious and I doubt it was necessary.
Andy.
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I would insulate from underneath with celotex or polystyerine.
Rick
On 29 Nov 2003 12:19:35 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (anthony james) wrote:

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We used fillets of timber and sanded them down with the rest of the floor. For the wider parts the fillets were held in with PVA wood glue.
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Owain:

Lol. I've seen it done actually. :)
Re the OP's question, I would have thought that filling the cracks is never going to look anything like as good as relaying the boards close together. If youre going to go to the trouble of filling you might just as well relay them. You dont have to actually lift them, on the whole, they can be unnailed and slid across, knocking any gunk off the edges before renailing. Use those ringed nails, annular ringed I think theyre called, and for any that dont lay flat use screws.
Always fill in with used boards, using new ones looks really bad.
Regards, NT
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On 30 Nov 2003 09:31:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@meeow.co.uk (N. Thornton) wrote:

Once we'd sanded and varnished our bathroom floor we decided the gaps looked fine and have left them alone. -- cheers,
witchy/binarydinosaurs
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wrote:

Stuart
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Asked the same question of a carpenter friend some years ago. He advised the relaying close together method. He also advised "wait until the end of September, the boards are at their dryest & smallest then. I wasn't prepared to wait nearly a year, bottled and got a professional firm in who, wierdly I thought, filed the spaces with mastic after sanding. Ten years later when I left the floor still looked good.
Evan

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Having now had a good search through previous posts on google (which i really should have done before posting as it's obviously a regular question) i'm coming to the following conclusions:
- relaying is probably best. BUT it's too much effort as the boards are already sanded and polished (but many years ago) so they're really solidly nailed down. moving them would do a lot of damage (although we've got to lift a few to do some wiring).
- looking at the floor as it is and thinking what i've seen elsewhere most filler solutions end up lighter than the prevailing floor. At the moment the gaps look black so we're probably going to go for Black/dark brown mastic, with wooden slips in the really big gaps, string in some of the others and a thinner layer of mastic over the top where this is done.
- insulation would be good but means lifting the whole floor so we'll probably go no further than the areas we can reach from the cellar (ie the hallway but not the two big rooms which will be stripped.) Rugs over some of the floor will help.
Any final comments as to why these decisions are going to be a disaster? :-)
Thanks
AJ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (anthony james) wrote in message

Once you've lifted your few the rest can be pulled up by banging up their undersides. You may need a pull hammer for this - or you may get them with an ordinary hammer or crowbar.

Not really, if you use loosefill. Put a pile in, use a pusher to move it, put more in, repeat. Pusher = piece of flat wood nailed to end of stick.
Regards, NT
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E Jones wrote:

With all due respect, in a modern heated house, this is complete tosh.
Wood inside a house is at its driest around February/march, when the air is cold outside, gets raised substantially by CH and this gets its RH lowered to an all time low. ALL my floorboards welled over the summer, and are now shrinking back.
This of course in complete contrast to EXTERIOR and unheated wood, which does, in fact, shrink in dry hot weather and expand in the winter..
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