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After i have stripped my wooden floor boards what should i use to fill in between the gaps? Or should i fill in the gaps before i strip the boards?


Dear Rebecca

You can fill the gaps before AND during the sanding of the floor. I only presume that stripping to you means sanding to the bare wood.While it's always best to fill gaps before you coarse sand a floor, you don't always get them all. Before you do the medium grade sandpaper, fill all the spots you missed, with small amounts of filler. Just don't goop it on this time as the medium paper will get clogged and become ineffective if it encounters too much filler. Don't fill anymore after medium sanding, as the fine sandpaper clogs to easily.

My favorite filler for small gaps and holes is the Le Pages brand at http://www.LePageproducts.com/ProductCatalog/detail.asp?catid=25x=56& plid=305x=687.

This is a colored latex filler of good quality, and can be uses for gaps up to 3/16" and holes up to 1/4". Choose a color that is a tad darker that your finished floor. As the floor darkens with age it will look better. You can mix the colors. Filler is no substitute for wood, so in loose gaps it won't stay in long. And it you have gaps 1/4" and wider you will need another method, tell me if this is so. Loose and squeaky boards can be re-nailed, tell me if you need to know this also.

Now once you have applied all but the last coat of finish on, you can still do a bit a spot filling with these tubes of filler. But you have to be sure to wipe all the excess off right away, or else it will dry as a smear on the finish. Wait 4 hours for it to dry before you coat for the last time.

If you found this information helpful, please explore the Wood Floor Doctor.com by visiting the rest of our website.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. How To Sand Wood Floors Without Leaving Machine Marks

2. Avoiding Squeaks And Pops When Nailing Down A New Strip Floor

3. Floor Types And Finishes

4. Custom Staining Wood Floors Without The Blotchy Effect

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors