I have a hole in my wood floor. The wood panels (slats? I'm not sure
what they are called) are about, I'm guessing, about 2 inches wide,
but they vary in length. The piece with the hole in it is about 3 feet
long. The hole itself is about 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and is very
near one end of the panel.
It's actually a funny story, until now, when I have to figure out how
to fix it. A friend came over and plopped on the bed, and the leg of
the bed fell through the floor. When we looked at it later, it just so
happened that there was a knot there in the floor board, and I think
the pressure just pushed it out. Kind of a funny visual, unless you
are my friend. She's now on a diet.
I am trying to decide if this is something that I can do myself or
should I hire somebody professional to fix the floor. It seems like
such a small thing to fix, but yet it's right in the middle of the
floor, so any mistakes will be highly visible. What do you all think?
Should I hire somebody, and if so, how much does something like that
cost? Is it fixable (by me), and if so, how do I go about doing it?
Thanks very much!
It is not all that hard to do yourself, but ....
If you could get that knot you could glue it back. Not likely.
Depending on where it is I would generally remove that board, buy a
replacement of the same type. Replace it, sand it (and are area around it)
and finish to match.
The exact procedure depends on what you have. It sounds like you don't
have a sub floor (or the knot would not have fallen through) so that could
complicate things beyond the skills of someone who has to ask.
No, you're right--I can't glue the knot back because 1) the knot is
actually in the subfloor, not in the board. and, 2) I can't find the
knot in the crawl space under the house. I've gone under there a
couple of times with a flash light--no luck.
I like your idea, and I've thought of doing the board replacement, but
I was afraid that I'm going to have one slat of an odd color/finish
relative to the rest of the floor. Although, I'm thinking that this
will probably turn out to be the best way of doing it.
If you are mildly handy, or can con someone who is into helping you, and
have spare time but don't have much in the way of tools and don't want
to spend much money, this is how to tackle it.
If that hole isn't already close to being perfectly circular, plop down
on the floor and it that by carefully whittling the sides with a Swiss
Army Knife or something similar.
Then whittle some more to taper it so the top of the hole is about 1/4
inch larger in diameter than the bottom.
Find a piece of board similar in shade to the floor boards, saw off an
appropriate size piece and whittle away at it to make a round tapered
plug almost small enough to fit the hole. Size it so it stands proud
about 1/4" when placed in the hole.
Get some GOOD wood glue like "Gorilla Glue", apply it to the sides of
the plug, line up the grain of the plug with that of the board and
carefully drive the plug home by placing something flat and larger on
top of it and tapping with a hammer.
Wipe up the squeezed out glue, let it dry and finish the top of the plug
to match as well as possible.
(Try not to relocate that bed leg right on top of it, huh?)
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
Wow. You should try out for a spot on that TV show, "This Old House"
(something like that). That's pretty creative. I just responded to
Joe's recommendations up above, but that's replacing the whole board.
And like I said before, it's in the middle of the room, so if I screw
up, it'll be very visible.
But I think I'll try your approach for a couple of reasons. First,
it's a much smaller surface area--1-1/2" versus an entire board, and I
can see coloring/finishing something that small to match the rest of
the floor. And second, even if I screw up bad, I can always resort to
going back to removing the whole board like Joe suggested.
Thank you Jeff, you might have just saved my floor. Although I have a
feeling this will actually more work. :)
The fitting will be a lot less fussy, and less likely to blow out, if you
add something on the bottom side of floor to support the patch. A block
between two joists, or even a board screwed into floor from below (make sure
screws aren't too long.) Then all the patch has to do is look pretty, and be
glued strong enough not to bounce out.
Here's where to find the wood that's needed:
Use a hole-saw to remove a plug from some other part of the floor that
matches the color, grain, etc. of the damaged part AND is in an un-obvious
part of the floor (under the couch?).
Use this harvested bit of wood at the raw filling material. When done, the
original floor should match swell - except for the hole over in the corner!
There are two ways of dealing with the hole where the plug came from: 1) Use
new wood to fill the hole - it won't match exactly of course, but that's why
the hole was made in an unobtrusive location. 2) Put something in the hole:
gas pipe, electrical line, water pipe for a bar, whatever, so it looks like
the hole was intentional.
It sounds as if you have tongue and groove, hardwood flooring. The
easiest fix is the find the knot, clean the knot and hole, and glue with
Elmer's glue or another wood glue. Any other repair, such as filling the
hole with a dowel or filling it with wood putty. will involve sanding which
may scratch the surrounding floor. If that's not a problem then I like Mr.
Wisnia's solution of a tapered plug but be aware that the plug will not the
same color as the surrounding floor. Once the plug is in place and sanded
smooth You can try to find a stain that will match the rest of the floor.
Best fix is to put in a plug and then refinish the entire floor but most
people won't do that.
Hi Dave, yes, that's exactly my concern--nothing will match the rest
of the floor. But no matter what I do, nothing will match the rest of
the floor. I don't have a knot to glue back (the knot is actually part
of the subfloor underneath). The only thing I can do is figure out how
to fill in that hole or replace the board. Since the hole itself is a
pretty "clean" hole, meaning it's roundish, and since it's very near
the end of the board, I might try the tapered plug method. (And if I
screw up, maybe I can cut off just that end and fit it with a short
rectangular piece? Tongue and groove will probably be a consideration
at that point.)
And you're right, I'm not willing to refinish the entire floor, since
it's in really great condition now. X-[
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