A couple of questions about solid hardwood floor......

I'm doing 3/4 inch solid hardwood floor installation and I have a couple of questions. This is unfinished and the floor will obviously need to be sanded and finished afterwards. The wood is oak. First, there are a couple of places where there will be some small gaps between some of the wood. They aren't big gaps, but I obviously need some type of filler before sanding and finishing. What do I use to fill these? Second, my mom's house has hardwood flooring throughout her house for the past 40+ years. Most of the pieces are shorter in length compared to the wood that I'm installing. Most of her wood had pieces shorter than a foot, while the wood I'm installing varies from under a foot to over three feet. Why has that changed? Does her house have good or poor quality oak flooring or do I have the good or poorer quality flooring? Or is that just how it is done now? TIA.
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I don't know how large of a gap we're talking about, but when I put down a 3/4" hardwood floor I had a place with a small gap that I filled. Personally, I thought the filler looked worse than the gap.
todd
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Kruse asks:

Nothing. Any filler you put in, besides colored caulk, will look terrible and will eventually work its way out of the gap because of wood movement.

Sounds like a type sold, not a quality level. Most of the strip flooring I'm used to seeing comes in much longer strips (solid wood: the laminates come in a wide and sometimes screwy variety of lengths). Quality does not usually depend on length, though it is possible to get good short cuts from a bad long board, which is often done to keep from discarding the board.
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Home Depot sells fillers for using on hardwood floors. They are right in the hardwood floor section. It is a puddy in a tube and works really well in hiding the gaps.
You could cut down of the gaps if you use the tool for holding the boards tightly together when you get close to walls. I drill a block into the subfloor and use the tool to pull the boards together so that the gap is eleimated. The tool is quite expensive but worth it.

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snipped-for-privacy@kansas.net (Kruse) wrote in

Depends on the width of the cracks. Typically a crack up to about a 1/16 can be filled with a floor filler and nobody will ever know. There are some variables tho if you are staining. The very best filler for duability and colr is wood flour cement or wood doe base mixed with fine sanding dust of the same material you are filling. For wider cracks you can simply rip a filler piece or sliver and glue it in. It blends right in and won't be detectable by anybody but you. I suppose the question is why leave a crack that large. Smaller cracks are common and normal with milling errors. You don't need anything besides a screwdriver to pull boards tight along the wall line either. Your mothers floor was laid with 'shorts', pieces culled from the standard lengths before the length standards were modified to allow shorts. Shorts were considerable cheaper to buy, but more labor to install, usually white and red mixed. Some would say not as attractive with the color variation and excessive butts.
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