5 Best Wood Floor Fillers for Hardwood Floors
- Glitsa Wood Flour Cement
- Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
- Elmer's E914 Carpenter's Color Change Wood Filler
- Draughtex Floorboard Gap Filler
- Wood Plugs
Have you ever walked into a stately home filled with elegant furnishings, and then you noticed how bad the floor looked? Wood floors get damaged from wear and tear but also develop cracks or gaps.
If the gaps, high heel marks, chips, nail holes, or knotholes are significant, the floor may require a professional repair job. But, if they are minor, you can use wood floor filler.
In this post, you will discover the top products and methods used by flooring professionals to conceal cracks and other damage that can happen to wood floors.
Can I Use Wood Filler on Wood Floors?
Unless the gap is seasonal and will close eventually, you can use wood filler to repair narrow gaps and cracks. Fillers can be water or solvent-based. There are two functions of wood floor fillers:
- To fill small imperfections such as nail holes, dents, and small chips.
- To fill in and smooth out the pores in open-grained wood such as oak or mahogany.
The wood filler for holes will be a thick paste, whereas pore fillers have a batter-like consistency that spreads and fills tiny pores.
Can You Walk on a Wood Filler?
Wood filler will dry hard. If repairing a floor with it, add a finish layer of polyurethane and let it dry. You won't have any problems walking on it.
Can You Fill Gaps in Hardwood Floors?
Before you can answer this question, we need to know the extent and width of the gaps. Are there gaps between every board in the room, or is just one or two? Do the gaps appear seasonally and then close again, or are they permanent?
Wood filler for hardwood floors can fill short, thin gaps in one or two places. There are better solutions for wider or seasonal openings, which we'll explore later in the article.
What is the Difference Between Wood Filler and Wood Putty?
Here are the most significant differences between these two products:
|Wood Filler||Wood Putty|
Oil or Solvent-Based
Best for unfinished wood
Suitable for finished wood
These are generalities, and there are exceptions. When it comes to fixing wood floors, the question is...
Which is Better Wood Filler or Wood Putty?
Painters use wood putty to fill nail holes that will be painted or stained. It's not a good choice if you don't plan to paint or seal it because it dries very slowly. Putty will pick up dirt and become discolored compared to the wood around it.
Wood fillers typically won't shrink and they dry hard. They are a better choice for surface repairs, while the flexibility of putty is better for gaps where it can expand and contract with the wood.
What is the Best Wood Filler for Hardwood Floors?
We've compared reviews from contactor websites and found five of the most popular brands that the pros use.
Flooring experts like this pre-mixed filler because it shrinks less than any other wood floor filler. It is a better choice for filling large areas. It also accepts the color of stain, Rubio, and polyurethane very well. It doesn't have a chemical binder in it, so it quickly reconstitutes when mixed with water, even when dry. It comes in Red Oak, White Oak, Maple, and Ebony. However, Timbermate mixes with oil or latex tints, dyes, and stains, accurately reproducing any wood color.
When matching colors, they recommended that you add color to the putty and match it while it's wet. The product dries lighter and returns to its original color when coated with a clear finish.
To see how to work with Timber Mate, watch this video.
2. Glitsa Wood Flour Cement
You mix this resin with the fine sanding dust retained from sanding the floor. The advantage of this product is it creates wood filler that exactly matches the floor. Use sanding dust, a.k.a. wood flour of 80 grit or finer.
Glitsa wood flour cement has two significant advantages. First, the epoxy itself lasts a lifetime. Secondly, there is no waste. You can mix just the amount you need for each job. Another advantage is that you can mix up a different color for spot filling using a different dust shade. Sometimes, maple sanding dust looks better on a light spot in an oak board. Unfortunately, Glitsa is only available by the gallon and, due to its toxic nature, cannot be shipped via parcel services.
To see a product demonstration, check out the first 2 minutes of this video.
3. Minwax Stainable Wood Filler
Minwax stainable wood filler works well to repair cracks, small gouges, nail holes, knot holes, and other wood defects. It works best on unfinished wood, both indoors and outdoors.
Squeeze a liberal amount from the tube and work it in with a clean putty knife. Once dried and sanded, it accepts either oil-based or water-based wood stains. The drying time varies between 2 to 6 hours.
4. Elmer's E914 Carpenter's Color Change Wood Filler
Elmer's calls their wood filler for hardwood floors "color-changing" because it turns pink only when it's completely dry. That's a bonus for DIYers, so they know when to sand, paint, or stain. Elmer's is one of the best fillers for larger holes because it won't shrink or crack. It's also water-based for easy clean-up and non-toxic.
5. Draughtex Floorboard Gap Filler
There may be large gaps between boards if you are restoring an old home with wide plank flooring. A liquid filler may not be strong enough to fill the gaps and maintain the height. The answer is a flexible gap filler that you stuff into the gap to fill it.
Draughtex comes in 10 or 40-meter rolls and three thicknesses. The thin product fills gaps less than 3mm, the standard size fills 2 to 7 mm, and the thick fills 6 to 11 mm.
Here is the product video for your reference.
6. Wood Plugs
We need to mention this technique for filling round holes like screw heads. You can make real wood plugs that glue into a hole. After staining or painting, the holes are virtually invisible. They can also match the grain of the original wood where putty or fillers can't. Here is an excellent video teaching the technique of How to Make and Install Wood Plugs.
How Do You Fill Gaps in Hardwood Floors?
For small gaps between a few boards, use your finger to press a color-matching putty into the gap to fill it.
For a roomful of gaps such as parquet floors, you'll need to use a larger quantity of liquid filler. The best solution is to mix your own filler using fine sanding dust from the floor, 80 to 100 grit. You'll work it into the gaps using a large trowel. It creates a wood floor filler in the same shade as the rest of the boards. This video shows you how to make it.
What About Wide Gaps?
For permanent, wide gaps, you'll need to fill them with wood dowels, shims, or manila rope. Filling gaps with rope is an old-time method you might find in a farmhouse or restored barn floor. It's a straightforward repair:
- Scrape any loose material and vacuum it out of the cracks.
- Stuff in a length of rope using a putty knife to wedge it in.
- Depending on the floor and location, you can leave the rope as is or cover it with wood putty.
If you don't plan to cover the rope, dip it in a matching stain and allow it to dry before installing it. Here's a quick video demonstration:
Fill the gaps when the weather is the most humid, as the gap should be at its smallest.
Tired of fixing your old, damaged flooring? Maybe it’s just time for something new!
Of course, you don’t have to have a major issue to replace your floors. Our homes just need a little change on occasion. Fortunately, hardwood flooring by Easiklip flooring comes in a variety of options. Find different species of wood, warmer or darker tones, or a new texture or grade. Brand-new hardwood flooring can completely transform your home, giving you the fresh style or look you crave.
Easiklip flooring allows you, the do-it-yourselfer, the floor that installs using clips instead of glue, nails or screws. You can even take it with you if you move! Bring the warmth and beauty of real solid hardwood floors into your home or office. The simple design means you can install your floor in hours instead of days.
DIY Flooring That’s So EASI It Almost Lays Itself!
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- Easiklip Floors - Harry Chu