Large gaps in 40yr old Oak floors

EricamdDecember 14, 2011 it goes. At some point in time the previous home owner decided he had the skills to refinish the hardwood floors himself. It's a disaster. There's enough hair under the poly to make a wig for Elton John.

Besides the hair and other foreign objects suspended in time under the poly, there are numerous 1/8" gaps between the boards.

We have approx 850 sq ft of hardwood. The gaps are mainly in the hallway and living room. There were bent-over nails along the baseboard in some areas. Not sure why someone would bend them over instead of just pull them out or nail them in. I got most of them out, but a few snapped off. The craftsmanship in this house is astonishing (not so much).

Do you thin a flooring refinisher would be able to fill these with "rope" or whatever it is they use? Do you think they would look nice?

I included a link to 12 pictures for you to check out if you'd like.


Here is a link that might be useful: A dozen Oak floor gap pictures!!!

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If you live in a dry climate, you could be experiencing some shrinkage. A forced air furnace further reduces the humidity in the air. Check your humidity, it should be 25% - 35% or more to keep wood from shrinking. You can raise your humidity with a portable or furnace installed humidifier and see if the gaps subside. If you live in a rather humid area, I would suspect poor installation.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 6:10PM
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You need to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturers of ALL the products you intend to use.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:57AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Wood swells and shrinks with the seasons due to the increase and decrease of humidity in the air. Gapping in the winter is common and normal in a house without a humidifier. If you fill in those gaps, when the more humid summer weather comes, you are likely to experience cupping as you would have filled in the expansion room the wood will need when it absorbs more moisture. The solution to your issues is a screen and recoat for the finish and a whole house humidifier hooked into your HVAC system. You'll need AC in the summer too.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:15AM
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