I am to refinish old wooden oak floors in my apartment. The floors are
in a pretty bad shape with a lot of gaps & cracks. A friend
suggested that instead of using a wood filler, I use a mixture of
fine sanddust from the floors and polyurethane. This way the color of
the filler will be the same as the color or the wood. Is anybody
familiar with this method?
Sand dust or saw dust? I'm not sure of the answer but sand is very different
from wood. Sand is often used to make something non-slip. When you sand the
floors it should take care of most issues. I have seen jute or hemp rope
strands to fill large gaps between boards. poly over that. many coats.
I think he meant the dust that was produced by sanding the floor,
which would be the same color as the floor, assuming the floor
wasn't subsequently stained.
This sort of thing is normal in woodworking (glue + sawdust), but I
don't know about poly as the binder.
On 2006-01-20 14:02:06 -0500, email@example.com (Mako) said:
Even if you use sanding dust from the wood that you plan to fill, the
mixture of sanding dust and poly is going to be a LOT darker colored
than the wood it was made from, due to the smaller particle size
absorbing the poly differently (i.e., sanding dust versus sanded face
I would either sand the cracks and dings all the way out or find a way
to live with the imperfections. Wood filler looks like cr@p IMHO, and
rarely lasts very long anyway. (This is assuming you plan to stain the
floor rather than paint it. If you plan to paint it, I might patch the
holes with a paste made from epoxy and sawdust, then sand, then paint.)
Thanks to everybody who posted comments. I guess, I was mostly having
mind as I was posting my message. There are quite a few of
those in my apartment
and I wasn't sure how to deal with them after I
sand the floor. Now that I know
that boards are likely to expand as
humidity increases, I have a second thought
about filling the gaps
with some kind of filler.
PS: Sanddust is the dust
produced by fine sanding the floor once the
top layer is removed.
" I guess, I was mostly having gaps in mind"
"I wasn't sure how to deal with them after I sand the floor."
Proper floor sanding is an art, Edgers especially, can eat a heck of a
recess in the floor in a hurry.
Back in the "Old Days", they used paste wood filler on hardwood floors after
sanding, smeared it on heavy and wiped it up with burlap across grain.
Haven't heard of that being done for 40 years.
"Sanddust is the dust produced by fine sanding "
I would not use this, as said above, it will finish out very dark, like dirt
in your gaps.
thank you for your comments. I find them very helpful, but one thing
that I still don't know is how to approach this problem. So, the
mixture of sanddust and polyurethane is out, wood filler is out, is
there any type of material that could be used to fill gaps between
the boards that is compressible? Or should I just leave it alone;
sand the floor, stain it, and polyurethane it?
What would you do if you had a similar situation?
On 2006-01-21 12:02:17 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org (Mako) said:
I would just leave the gaps alone. They'll disapear in the summer when
the relative humidity goes back up. If you fill the gaps and then the
boards expand laterally due to higher RH, you're going to have warped
boards, and cupping, and pulled fasteners and all kinds of nightmares.
I dont know if this will work for you , but I have heard of people
rope as a filler (regular anchor type rope, but much MUCH thinner)
It stays flexible enough for expansion and contraction and should
stain to the same oak color.
Again I read this somewhere and dont have any practical experience
on this yet. (I do have a similar problem on some of my oak floors in
I will try to correct that soon though...
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