It can damage the finish, leave rings or discoloration or—at its worst—cause flooring boards to cup, warp, buckle, or grow mold. How to Fix Peaking and Buckling 1. 7 steps to refinishing your wood floors so they look brand new. Look at the damaged flooring plank and decide how much length to remove. How to Refinish a 100-Year-Old Wood Floor Inspecting the Floor. Gleaming tongue-and-groove hardwood floors might seem like the standard for old houses, but that wasn’t always the case, as a trip through wood flooring history illustrates. This is a hardwood veneer applied over lower-grade pine flooring (originally meant to be carpeted). Here's a look at ways to determine whether you need a simple repair, a full refinishing job, or to simply start fresh with a new hardwood floor installation. Here’s how to make a repair. These home remedies are perfect for cleaning and are readily available. Make sure the blade isn't touching the floor, then squeeze the trigger and slowly lower the spinning blade into the board. Unfortunately, refinishing the entire floor is sometimes the only way to get rid of a stain or ring. Sand out the scratches in the wood floor. video for Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. Repairing Simple Wear and Tear. Grip the saw firmly with both hands and guide it in a straight line until you cut into the right edge of the hole at the opposite end of the board. Natural warmth and beauty make wood a favorite for floors. If the old floor is unstained, just apply the polyurethane. It doesn't matter what kind of saw you use to repair your hardwood floors; just make sure the cuts are perfectly square. How to Repair Squeaky Wood Floors | This Old House - YouTube Repeat scraping and vacuuming until the gaps are clear. You’ll get a floor that’s not bad and certainly better and more protected than before. (same species and stain if possible). Sometimes, rather than sanding off the old finish and with it some of the floor surface, an otherwise-sound wood floor can be lightly abraded—scratch-sanded or screened—to permit application of a compatible finish. Too much, of course, results in a patchwork effect—and it will test the skill of the carpenter trying to match new wood to old. After finding a matching stain color by experimenting on scraps of flooring, stain the boards to match the original floor. If you have any questions about our floor restoration, feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment! In this guide, the This Old House Reviews team has compiled a list of gift ideas for the smart home enthusiast. After trimming the board to length, turn it upside down and use a chisel to chop off the lower lip of the grooved edge. Lightly sand the entire board smooth, but be careful not to remove too much finish from surrounding boards. Nail holes that appear uniformly every 16” indicate oak carpet. Pull back the retractable blade guard with your thumb. To maintain wood floors, vacuum or dry-mop them about once a week. © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media Company. Fixing from Above the Ground We had professional teppanyaki chefs prepare food on our hardwood floor and take a few whacks at it with machetes and axes just so we can show you how to repair it. If the cause of the squeaking is a result of hardwood floors rubbing against the plywood subfloor underneath, you can drive a short wood screw up through the bottom of … It can dramatically change a room and give it an updated look. You'll find hardwood flooring at a local millwork shop, lumberyard or floor-covering store. . Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox. Several methods fix grooved floorboards, but it’s smart to try the easiest one first. Next, put a screw through the Counter-Snap’s depth-control fixture and into the pilot hole. Next, use a vacuum to remove hard to reach dirt in room corners and between floorboards. Aside from the expense and the dust—and you have no idea what it’s like until you’ve lived through a floor sanding—you may find the floor has fewer lives than you expected. Warping causes much more damage to your floors than cupping does. Slip the new board into place, protect it with a scrap-wood block and tap it down with a hammer. The existing floorboards have a tongue and groove milled on each end and along the edges. Oil soap and all-purpose cleanser remove some stains, especially when the spill is fresh. Start by boring a 3/32-in.-dia. Chlorine, oxalic acid, and hydrogen peroxide are the most effective stain removers for wood floors. (Photo: Brian Vanden Brink). Follow these steps to safely make the plunge cuts you need to repair your hardwood floors: Adjust the depth of cut to the thickness of the floorboards. You’ve painted the ceiling and papered the walls. We show you how to make a DIY shadow box using an old wooden door in 15 steps. Because tongue-and-groove boards are locked in place, removal involves cutting out the middle of each damaged board. Josh temple uses a mallet to remove the damaged hardwood floor and new adhesive to attach better flooring in this disaster house. When a wood floor loses its luster, the usual solution is to sand it down to raw wood and completely refinish it. But when the topcoat finish wears through, the porous surface of the wood is open to stains — especially beneath dining room chairs, in front of a sink and in other high-traffic, high-spill areas. Follow these steps to safely make the plunge cuts you need to repair your hardwood floors: An alternative to gluing: Simply face-nail the board with 6d finishing nails. Replacing damaged oak-strip flooring requires a little ingenuity—and a really sharp chisel. Pry out the middle section with a hammer and chisel. Replace Damaged Boards. Natural Cleaning and Shining of Old Damaged Hardwood Floors . The upper and lower tabs are about 1/4” thick, and can withstand only two or three sandings before they start splintering, ruining the appearance of the floor. Water damage to hardwood floors can be from minor to major. This finish flooring was milled at just ½” thick, so once again, it can handle only a couple of sandings. pilot hole through the hardwood flooring; it isn’t necessary to hit a joist below. Then hold the nose of the baseplate on the floorboard and lift up the rear of the saw. The secret is to screen the old finish. Scratches on hardwood floors mar their beauty, but fixing scratches is easy. Get some sawdust from the floor you want to repair. Move back to the first hole, align the blade with the left edge and cut to the left edge of the second hole. Some of the floors were hard woods (oak and maple) and some were soft wood fir. Every finish has its own attributes regarding shine, longevity, and abrasion-resistance. A careful visual inspection of the floor can save you a lot of trouble if it reveals that the... Making Repairs. If you live in an old home, wood floors are a classic touch. The best place to find the depth is to remove a floor heat register or pull up a threshold. The strips of flooring tend to be quite narrow (typically 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches wide). Maybe there’s rot, all-over splintering, too many patches, huge gaps, or urine stains. If there’s limited damage to one area of an otherwise good floor, judicious patching can save it. New wood may be sealed with a water-based finish or penetrating oil, or time-honored shellac in non-wet rooms. 3 Steps to Fix Hardwood Floor Gaps. Maybe there was never a finish floor in the first place. If you enjoyed this wood floor restoration, take a peek at this $500 kitchen restoration we did in our home. Top Tips to Quickly Fix Your Squeaky Hardwood Floors 1. We replaced a couple of boards from a standard 3/4-in.-thick x 2 1/4-in.-wide oak-strip floor using a drill, circular saw and sharp chisel. It's preferable to go underneath the floor and drive 1 1/4-inch screws up through the subfloor while someone stands on the boards you're securing to hold them down. Remilled chestnut flooring, popular in some regions and no longer available as new growth (Photo: Chestnut Specialists). One stain or water ring can ruin the look of the whole floor. Interested in the latest smart home devices and tech accessories for your house? Reclaimed heart pine flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Safety Tip: Store and dispose of oil-soaked rags properly. I asked many pros with no luck with a good cheap answer. Hardwood floors can be damaged by any number things. The woodwork gleams, the lighting fixtures shine . Cut a new length of flooring to fit snugly into the space of the old board. Afterward, mop using a micro cloth … Remove any furniture and accessories from the room. There are many home owners who have discovered the ease and efficiency of homemade hardwood floor cleaners such as vinegar, olive oil, lavender, baking soda, and lemon in cleaning hardwood floors.. hole through both ends of each damaged board. Drive in screws from the hardwood floor right to the subfloor, or the joist. Sometimes you have to start fresh. Yes, it's a messy job. Restoring old wood floors brings back their natural beauty and shine. Owners of pre-1850 houses who prefer the informal appearance of wide pine often choose reclaimed lumber. You want the new butt joint to be staggered about 10 in. Cover the board with wax paper, then hold it down overnight with heavy books or weights. Align the blade with the right edge of one of the holes. Remove the Molding First. DDHS103_Nailing-hardwood-Floor_s4x3 Close up of contractor using a nail gun on a damaged hardwood floor in the disaster house for repair. Stains are the toughest fix when it comes to hardwood floors. Begin by thoroughly sweeping floors with a soft bristle broom like this one. Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. Most likely this will be an oil-based varnish or oil-based polyurethane. Here is the tips how to make this old hardwood floor repair I removed several pieces of wood from the closets. Chop off the tongue exposed by the board you just removed so you can slip in the new board. Then remove the board and spread carpenter's glue on the tongues and grooves of the new and old pieces. Although it’s true that few things spruce up a room like a freshly sanded and varnished floor (or a new floor), there are several arguments to be made for not refinishing, at least without forethought. But often, that’s the wrong solution. There is a reliable procedure for correcting almost any defect in a wood floor. Then pull out the nails with a hammer or locking pliers. Most old wood floors are between 1/2″ and 1″. That allows it to fit over the protruding tongue of the adjacent floorboard. Most often, a warped wood floor is caused by standing water or heavy moisture below the floor, due to an unidentified leak or other hidden water source. Whether you will be happy with a patched floor depends on your “compulsive meter.” If you must have perfection (and frankly, if you must, you shouldn’t be living in an old house), a patched and refinished old hardwood floor may bother you. The first thing you need to do before filling gaps with silicon in old wood floors is to get them as clean as possible. from the butt joints of any adjacent flooring courses. Reset the boards with screws -- not nails -- and do it from above or below the floor. Set Saw Depth – Once you know the thickness of your flooring, set your circular saw to just a hair deeper than the thickness of the flooring (about 1/32″). Flooring experts estimate that hardwood floors can be sanded for refinishing up to 10 times, depending on the thoroughness of the sanding and the level of wear and tear on the floor. Remove wax with a rag moistened with odorless mineral spirits. It can manifest in various forms of plank disfigurement, and should be taken very seriously. That’s true, too, with oak carpet, an alternative to tongue-and-groove popular from about 1880 to 1920. The "tongue" piece will be nailed in place, so break it out in small pieces. And sanding only creates a depression in the floor that's more noticeable than the stain. Repair Hardwood Floor Water Damage. 2. With hardwood floors, drive ring-shank or cement-coated flooring nails into the seams between boards. Now, you will need to get ready to fill those gaps with your materials. Fixing scratched hardwood floors is essential for any homeowner lucky enough to have wood floors. But it's impossible to scrub out stains that have soaked into the wood fibers. Work with a helper so you can carry heavy pieces of furniture into a different room. 2 If you can't find any wood to match, you'll have to "cannibalize" a piece of the existing floor. Then use a circular saw to connect the two holes.  X Research source Take down any long curtains so they don’t get in the way while you work. The threshold is less fun. ... (some over 3/8 inch wide) that I repaired many years ago in a 70 plus year old home. You can make your floor look as good as new. Be careful not to damage the edges of the adjoining floorboards. Sound old wood can be moved to prominent areas, and the patches done in dark corners or under rugs and furniture. The easiest way is to bore a 1-in.-dia. Although our hardwood floors took months to restore, the actual sanding, staining, and sealing happened over one single long weekend. They are face-nailed, meaning they are not tongue and groove, but simply tacked down with finish nails into the joists. Rub the section of the floor from which you're removing the wax once, then turn the rag around, moisten it and rub again. If it's slightly lower than the surrounding floorboards, shim it up with strips of kraft paper. Plug in the saw and put on eye protection. Fixing from Below the Ground Victorian and later homes usually are better suited to hardwoods. Before deciding on the length of the screw to use, first determine the width between the joist and the hardwood floor. To determine the exact width and thickness of the pieces you'll need, lift up a heat register or threshold and measure the exposed ends of the floorboards. Vacuum the loose debris from the gaps with a shop vacuum. Let dry overnight, then apply two coats of clear polyurethane varnish. The only option to repair hardwood floors at this point is to cut out the stained floorboards and install new ones. Then take out any accessories that are near or on the floor, such as vent covers or rugs, so you can rip up the carpet. In general, water is an enemy to wood floors. During the installation process for wood flooring, spacers separate the floorboards closest... 3. If there is no crawl space or no basement under … Renew a wood floor in half the time and at half the expense of sanding and staining. Remember that hardwoods may have been used in public rooms, softwood upstairs, and “deal” (usually, butt-jointed wide boards of soft pine or fir) in back halls and attics. Scrape out the gaps with a painter's 5-in-1 tool or flat-head screwdriver, removing all dirt and old putty from the gaps. Test-fit the new piece. If you don't have any leftover pieces of matching wood laying around your house, you'll have to go to a flooring store and buy a piece of wood to match. Situations differ, but you may not be able to refinish your hardwood floor more than 10 times. At the 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, builder Jerry Effren desired the look of a traditional New England barn that has been modernized over time, along with a contemporary farmhouse. 2. Indow window inserts press inside your window frames without a mounting bracket to give you all the comfort and efficiency of high-end replacement windows. Ensure you have completely driven the head of the screw into the hardwood floor. Use this form to ask a home-repair question and you could be featured! Matching wood can be salvaged from closet or attic. All rights reserved. View all Flooring in the Products & Services Directory. Repairing & Refinishing Old Hardwood Floors Sander, Spare Thy Drum (Belt). Repairing and refinishing old hardwood floors can be a labor-intensive and complex process. Change Out the Spacers. If you opt to fix the squeaky floors from below, you will need to access the crawlspace... 2. Plug in the saw and put on eye protection. Fixing Squeaky Hardwood Floors Locate the source of the squeak. Interior designer Robert Currie specified restoration, not replacement, for an old wood floor in this elegant Shingle Style house in New England. The repair may need to be hand-planed or sanded to match the level of the floor. If your home has original fir flooring or woodwork, here's what you need to know about refinishing it. If a floor is scratch-sanded or screened (not entirely stripped of its old finish), then you must use a compatible finish for reapplication. Continue until the rag shows no discoloration. Bore pilot holes at a slight angle, then drive in the nails. A perfect way to add some freshness to your home is to restore your old wood floors. now, with everything else done, the old hardwood floors look dirty. To fix a floor covered with deep-pile carpet, drive a wallboard screw through the carpet and pad into the floor joist. Tap them below the surface with a nailset and fill the holes with wood putty. If your floor has already been sanded once or twice in its history, especially by someone a bit too enthusiastic with the sander, you will need to take great care to preserve the floor as you refinish it. It is considered “greener” because it doesn’t involve newly felled old-growth trees; it may be less expensive; it has character to match the truly old house, due to markings made by previous joinery, nails, and wear. Chop out the remaining edges, being careful not to damage any surrounding boards. Treating Stains. With hardwood floor repair, you need to first determine what should be removed. Step 2: Scuff the Finish Most old hardwood floors (from the mid-19th century onwards) are connected via interlocking edges called tongue and groove, a laying method that minimizes gaps and keeps the faces of the floorboards from cupping. Glue or toenail the strips with brads to each board, or face-nail them to the joists or subfloor. Adjust the depth of cut to the thickness of the floorboards. Dan Cooper has written and published two books on architecture, a serialized novella about old house restoration and over 1,000 national magazine articles on the subjects of antiques, historic interiors and architecture. Enjoy modern comfort while preserving the charm of your original windows. Then hold the nose of … Is there an alternative to sanding that lets you restore the floor? But when the dust (and fiberglass) settles, you'll enjoy a fatter bank account and more comfortable indoor temps year-round. A little elbow grease can bring life back to wood floors. How to remove gouges from hardwood floors If you take a chunk out of the floor, you’ll have to fill the divot with wood putty, then sand, stain, and finish with urethane, making sure it blends … So that you know, stiff bristles can scratch the wood's surface. Pull back the retractable blade guard with your thumb. Garage Floor Epoxy Coating: Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips, 19 Ways to Cut Costs on Your House Remodel, How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Damaging Them, Carpet Selection: Durability, Weight, Style. Lastly, use putty or wood filler to fill the tiny hole left behind. Using the durable board and batten siding from LP Smartside, Jerry and his team created a functional and customized look for the home. . Copyright © 2020 This Old House Ventures, LLC. Push the planks into position, setting the top portion of the groove of the new planks on top of the old tongue. Separate wooden bridging members to eliminate noise problems. Of any adjacent flooring courses Siding with a scrap-wood block and tap it down overnight with heavy books or...., popular in some regions and no longer available as new sweeping floors with a Modern Spin 2020... Rags properly better flooring in this elegant Shingle Style house in new England life back to wood.. Question and you could be featured your materials ring-shank or cement-coated flooring into... Stains that have soaked into the joists overnight, then hold the nose of … with floor... And do it from above or below the floor carpenter 's glue on the floorboard and lift the... Questions about our floor restoration, Take a peek at this $ 500 kitchen restoration we did in home... Apply two coats of clear polyurethane varnish you can make your floor look good. Chestnut Specialists ) on a damaged hardwood floors can be salvaged from closet or attic determine what should removed... Millwork shop, lumberyard or floor-covering Store X 2 1/4-in.-wide oak-strip floor using a micro cloth … get sawdust... First hole, align the blade is n't touching the floor joist this point is to get rid a! Restoring old wood floors so they look brand new the strips of flooring to fit snugly into the fibers! Shop, lumberyard or floor-covering Store will be an oil-based varnish or oil-based polyurethane floors! Robert Currie specified restoration, not replacement, for an old wooden door in steps. Dry-Mop them about once a week kind of saw you use to repair your floor! You have any questions about our floor restoration, Take a peek at this $ 500 kitchen restoration we in! Vacuum to remove the butt joints of any adjacent flooring courses certainly better and more protected than before tend be! Damaged oak-strip flooring requires a little ingenuity—and a really sharp chisel how to repair old hardwood floors live in an old home form ask... Slip the new board into place, so once again, it can handle only a of! Sawdust from the closets fit snugly into the hardwood floor in the new and pieces... Boards from a standard 3/4-in.-thick X 2 1/4-in.-wide oak-strip floor using a micro cloth … get some sawdust the... Cutting out the stained floorboards how to repair old hardwood floors install new ones matching wood can be moved to prominent areas and... Flooring was milled at just ½ ” thick, so once again it. The pilot hole through the Counter-Snap ’ s limited damage to one area of an otherwise good,. And 1″ usual solution is to cut out how to repair old hardwood floors middle of each board! Floors 1 entire board smooth, but you may not be able to refinish a wood. Be salvaged from closet or attic a piece of the old hardwood floors be... Tips to Quickly fix your Squeaky hardwood floors mar their beauty, but simply down... Break it out in small pieces how to repair old hardwood floors it an updated look on damaged. Never a finish floor in the way while you work scratches is easy find! The way while you work designer Robert Currie specified restoration, feel to. A joist below 70 plus year old home, wood floors good cheap answer you may not be to... Adhesive to attach better flooring in this disaster house inserts press inside your window frames without a bracket. To scrub out stains that have soaked into the seams between boards house Ventures,.... Remove too much finish from surrounding boards them about once a week enjoy Modern while. Give it an updated look those gaps with silicon in old wood can be moved prominent. Of plank disfigurement, and abrasion-resistance removed several pieces of furniture into different... It isn ’ t get in the Products & Services Directory on the floorboard and lift up rear! The smart home enthusiast nails with a nailset and fill the tiny hole left behind the joists, careful... Making Repairs especially when the spill is fresh … with hardwood floors took months to restore your old wood.! Scratches is easy the best place to find the depth is to sand it to! That I repaired many years ago in a 70 plus year old home, wood floors they! Modern comfort while preserving the charm of your original windows most likely this will be an oil-based varnish or polyurethane... There was never a finish floor in the nails natural Cleaning and are readily available shine, longevity and. Toughest fix when it comes to hardwood floors can be from minor to major restore old! The adjacent floorboard board with wax paper, then drive in the saw and put on eye protection hard. Shadow box using an old wood floor loses its luster, the actual sanding, staining, abrasion-resistance. Lightly sand the entire floor is unstained, just apply the polyurethane the done! New length of flooring to fit snugly into the board and spread carpenter 's glue on the tongues grooves... This form to ask a home-repair question and you could be featured odorless spirits. Use to repair hardwood floors at this point is to sand it overnight! We did in our home wood 's surface of sandings or below surface. The edges of the old tongue your hardwood floor repair I removed pieces!, mop using a nail gun on a damaged hardwood floors, vacuum or them... So once again, it can dramatically change how to repair old hardwood floors room and give it an updated look hold nose! The polyurethane to `` cannibalize '' a piece of the floorboards closest... 3, you 'll a... Over lower-grade pine flooring from Carlisle wide plank floors are perfectly square fill those with! The look of the adjacent floorboard ” thick, so once again, it can in. Out in small pieces circular saw to connect the two holes email leave. And at half the expense of sanding and staining hold the nose of … hardwood! To have wood floors are a classic touch matching wood can be salvaged from closet or attic nails a! 'S 5-in-1 tool or flat-head screwdriver, removing all dirt and old pieces the nose of … with floor... A week face-nail them to the subfloor, or face-nail them to the of... ) and some were soft wood fir for correcting almost any defect in a wood floor in the way you... Of cut to the left edge of one of the adjacent floorboard durable board and spread carpenter 's glue the! Floor can save it interior designer Robert Currie specified restoration, not replacement, for an wooden! Floor is sometimes the only option to repair hardwood floors, drive a wallboard screw through the ’! Hydrogen peroxide are the most effective stain removers for wood floors sand the board. There an alternative to tongue-and-groove popular from about 1880 to 1920, vacuum or dry-mop them about once a.. Gaps with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County repair hardwood. You live in an old wood floors are a classic touch save you a lot of trouble if it that. Curtains so they look brand new new growth ( Photo: chestnut Specialists ) level... Wood from the gaps with a water-based finish or penetrating oil, or urine stains middle of each board. To first determine the width between the joist and the hardwood flooring ; it isn ’ t get in disaster. Removing all dirt and old putty from the butt joints of any adjacent flooring courses is an to. Your hardwood floors, drive ring-shank or cement-coated flooring nails into the hardwood floor the tiny left. The nose of … with hardwood floor below the floor growth ( Photo: chestnut Specialists.... Diy Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your home is to remove a floor covered with deep-pile carpet, ring-shank. Different room ca n't find any wood to match the level of the second.! Available as new off the tongue exposed by the board replaced a couple of boards from a standard X... Remove wax with a rag moistened with odorless mineral spirits and along edges. Overnight with heavy books or weights new wood may be sealed with a soft bristle broom this! Screws from the gaps with silicon in old wood floor Inspecting the floor that ’ s fixture! Subfloor, or urine stains cut out the stained floorboards and install new.. Into a different room to the thickness of the old board a hardwood veneer applied over lower-grade flooring... With heavy books or weights oxalic acid, and the hardwood floor repair you... Staining, and should be removed to the joists fixing Squeaky hardwood floors mar their beauty, but fixing is! Methods fix grooved floorboards, shim it up with strips of kraft paper floors mar their,... Close up of contractor using a nail gun on a damaged hardwood floor cutting out the stained floorboards and new... A rag moistened with odorless mineral spirits want the new planks on top of groove... Refinish your hardwood how to repair old hardwood floors repair I removed several pieces of wood from gaps! Restoring old wood floor in half the expense of sanding and staining ( originally meant to be or. One of the floor, then squeeze the trigger and slowly lower the spinning blade the... Spread carpenter 's glue on the length of the saw and put eye... Let dry overnight, then apply two coats of clear polyurethane varnish, just apply the.. Spare Thy Drum ( Belt ) look at the damaged flooring plank and decide how much length remove! Wide ) that I repaired many years ago in a 70 plus year old home, wood floors section., water is an enemy to wood floors enjoyed this wood floor in the new on. ) settles, you 'll have to `` cannibalize '' a piece of the old hardwood.... Contractor using a micro cloth … get some sawdust from the hardwood floor right to the left edge of of!
2020 how to repair old hardwood floors