Hardwood Floors with GapsJanuary 7, 2004
Q. I live in St. Albert, Alberta in a 1700 sq. ft. two story house. We have hardwood floors in our kitchen, dining room and front entrance. Two years ago we had water get under the kitchen floor causing it to distort the wood. Luckily our insurance covered the damage and we had the floor replaced in the kitchen and dining area. Now the floor is starting to show spaces between the boards not just where the water damage was but all through the kitchen and dining area. The floor in the front entrance is still as good as the day we moved into the house. We have had the contractor and installer and manufacturer in to look at what is happening and they are going to repair the affected area. What they want to do is sand the floor flat to get rid of the bevelled edges then spread some sort of wood filler to fill the gaps, then put three coats of water based shellac, I want to be sure that this type of repair will fix the problem. Can you give me some insight into this? Have you heard of this kind of repair being done or maybe you have some suggestions. They are trying, I think, to avoid replacing the whole floor.
St. Albert, AB
A. It sounds like the new flooring product has dried causing it to shrink. Sanding the floor and adding filler is not likely to provide an acceptable appearance. Also, there is no guarantee that the problem will not continue due to further shrinkage or perhaps, movement in the floor sub straight. I’d use a urethane finish, not shellac, but it is your decision.
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