There’s something deliciously exotic about a wooden floor. It’s durable and adds considerable value to your home. But, while it’s easy to maintain, it does need a little extra attention. Hardwood floors are subject to accidental damage, gouges, cracks, scratches, and of course general wear and tear. But, before you call in a wood flooring professional, consider trying some of these easy hardwood floor repair tips.

After all, it’s much less expensive to refinish your hardwood floors than to replace them. A total floor replacement will require you to pay for additional wood as well as cost you efforts to rip up and haul away existing hardwood. 

Minor damage to your hardwood floors can easily be repaired. If your floor is in an otherwise fine condition, with only a damaged spot here and there, it’s easier and more economical to replace a strip or plank of flooring instead of the entire floor.

You can fix specific areas of your flooring and avoid completely refinishing your floors. However, if your hardwood floor is in a bad shape, you may consider replacing it altogether. 

Planning to install new flooring? Try our free installation cost estimator; it’s easy, quick, and convenient to use!

Let’s explore some of the common hardwood floor problems and their repairing solutions. These hardwood floor repair tips will help you maintain your wood flooring for a long time.

Warped flooring

Warped hardwood floors, or sagging floors, is often the result of serious moisture problems. In all likelihood, it’s a sign of a larger moisture problem in your home itself, including extensive water damage. Therefore, if your wood floors are warping, you need to address the issue immediately. Call a professional at the earliest. 

Wear spots and scratches

hardwood flooring
Photo by Pxhere CC0

The finish and stain of your hardwood flooring tend to wear away over time, especially in high-traffic areas. This often leaves the wood exposed and heavily scratched due to the regular grit on your shoes, heavy pieces of furniture, or overly enthusiastic pets.

A great hardwood floor repair tip for such visually unattractive patches is to sand the affected area. Do remember to extend beyond the damaged part of the floor by about an inch. If you sand to the edges of the wooden boards, the repair work will look more natural. 

Always use fine-grained sandpaper to ensure maximum smoothness. And, then restain or refinish the area. For a natural unstained wood floor, you can try floor urethane to get the right sheen. Whether gloss, semi-gloss, or satin — your repaired floor should match your existing floor.

Floor gouges

If the floor damage goes beyond a simple scratch and becomes a gouge, you will require some type of wood filler to repair the blemish. You could apply a finishing putty using a utility knife. Wait for it to dry completely. Once that is done, you can proceed to sand, stain, and finish your floor.  

Split/cracked wood 

Hardwood floors are prone to developing small splits or cracks on the surface over time. The good news is that these can be easily spot repaired with some angled nails. Simply secure the two pieces together and use some wood putty to hide the blemishes. But, if the crack is really bad, you may want to replace the damaged plank.

Gaps in the wooden planks

Unfortunately, wood flooring tends to fluctuate with extreme climate changes. It shrinks as it dries out and expands when it gets wet and humid. This expansion and contraction is the most common cause of gaps in your wooden planks.

Thankfully, these changes are not permanent — with the gaps closing as the weather and humidity changes. As a rule of thumb, if the gap remains less than the thickness of a dime, your flooring will go back to its normal condition and there’s nothing to worry about. But, if the gaps are larger, you might want to tighten up your hardwood floor with the help of a professional floor installer. 

Floor buckling

wood floor
Photo by Freepik

When your floorboards warp and lift up from the sub-floor, it results in a buckled floor. In such a case, you will need to call in a hardwood floor installer. They will identify the root of the problem and take the necessary measures. They will ensure the right hardwood floor repair work so that your hardwood planks are firmly attached to the sub-floor.

Cupped flooring

As the name suggests, cupped floors, aka washboards, are like depressions on the floor’s surface. The edges of the hardwood planks raise up while the center of the board sinks in. This condition is generally caused due to a moisture imbalance — with more water on the bottom side of the wooden plank than on the top.

As a repair measure, do ensure that the balance of the humidity levels is maintained in your home. That will help stabilize the wooden floor, after which you can let a professional sand it flat and refinish it.

Other hardwood floor repair problems

floor boards
Photo by Freepik

Besides the above-mentioned problems, you might witness some loose planks here and there — especially in older homes. Or, it could be a sign of a floor installation gone wrong. In either situation, you may need to tie them down with finishing nails. Once they are nailed to the sub-floor properly, they will not have any more movement. Hiring a professional hardwood installer can help you re-install your flooring properly.

The total cost to repair hardwood floors

If you’re wondering how much these repair solutions will cost you, you can breathe easy. Even with so many potential problems, your hardwood floor repair will not burn a huge hole in your pocket. The average wood floor repair costs approximately $1000. Minor repairs could cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars. 

Preventing wood floor damage

We understand that you cannot always keep your hardwood floors from getting scratched or cracked. But, you can always take some measures to ensure that your flooring lasts long. 

  • While shopping for hardwood flooring, choose a good type of wood.
  • Make sure you get an extended warranty.
  • Keep your hardwood floor clean.
  • Use cleaning products that are specifically formulated for hardwood floors.

Read more: How to get rid polyurethane smell from floors

Last words

Hardwood floors add a lot of charm, warmth, and character to a room. If you’re lucky enough to have a wooden floor in your home, do give it the care and maintenance it needs. Fortunately, you can fix most of these floor issues quickly — without having to resort to expensive replacement boards. We hope these hardwood floor repair tips go a long way in keeping your floor beautiful and flawless for a long time to come.

Read more: How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Handy Tips for Hardwood Floor Repair was last modified: July 7th, 2022 by Ramona Sinha
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