Using filler in a new hardwood installation?

donaldsgNovember 9, 2010

Yesterday our contractor finished installing new unfinished oak floors in our new kitchen and will be coming back later today to sand and stain them. When I went to look at them this morning I saw that the entire floor has been covered with wood filler that has obviously been left to dry overnight. My heart fell because the beautiful oak I saw a few days ago is now covered in a beige mess. I've watched a lot of DIY shows and I've never seen this done.

Is it usual to use wood filler like this on a new floor installation? The floorboards were nailed in the side and there should be no nail holes to fill, so I am truly puzzled. Surely the boards should be left with natural gaps to expand and contract? or if filling gaps in the boards is not the purpose is there some other reason to do this?

Also, is it usual to sand a newly installed floor? Obviously, now it has to be sanded to remove the wood filler, but I'm concerned that we are paying for an unnecessary step.

I'm really not sure what to ask my contractor when he shows up later or whether to say anything about it. Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Paste wood filler is used to fill the pores in the wood, not the gaps between the boards.

A newly installed hardwood floor that will be site finished requires sanding before finishing.

The sanding creates a flat surface.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:18PM
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Thanks for the info, brickeyee. That is reassuring to know and I didn't have to query my contractor with silly questions. I find it odd that when I did a google search for installing and finishing wood floors I got various websites, but none mentioned this step and I've never seen it done or mentioned on DIY shows. Is it something that is considered an optional extra step? Or is it usual?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 8:29PM
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Forget what you've seen on DIY shows...professionals are appalled by the misinformation that sometimes shows up on them.

I install and finish wood flooring.

1. Wood filler is part of a professional sand and finish. There are always minor defects to correct with filler on ANY unfinished wood flooring install.

2. ALL newly-installed unfinished flooring gets sanded.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Thanks, glennsfc. Could you also have a look at the new question I just posted? I'd love to have the opinion of a professional.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 10:06PM
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