Fixing a hardwood floor crack - tips from National Floors Direct

Cracking Up: How to Fix a Crack on Hardwood Floor

From the US to Australia, the world can't get enough of hardwood flooring. The entire global wood flooring industry is predicted to reach $55.8 billion by 2026. Even the pandemic hasn't dampened our love for wood.

But what can you do when a crack appears on your beautiful hardwood floor? Sure, a little character is nice. But when you can fit a quarter into a crack, it starts to get a little alarming.

Does this mean you'll have to rip up your hardwood floor and start again? Join us as we explore how to fix a crack on a hardwood floor - and when your floor is telling you it needs to be replaced.

Why Do Hardwood Floors Crack?

Wood is a natural product - that's part of what we love about it. The drawback is that it can be susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. As the seasons change, your hardwood flooring naturally expands and contracts.

Sometimes, other factors, such as the heating system in your house or the presence of an open fire can further reduce humidity levels. 

Normally, these changes don't cause major issues. But over time, hairline cracks can appear in the wood. These can then get larger and can make the wood more susceptible to splintering.

To prevent further cracking, try to raise the humidity level in your home. You will then need to treat the cracks to prevent further damage and restore the appearance of your floor.

How to Fix a Crack On a Hardwood Floor

Unlike with other pieces of furniture, you can't remove a single board, put some glue in the crack and clamp it in a vise. You're going to need to fill the gap without pressure. To do this, you'll need epoxy filler.

Epoxy filler is great because it forms an incredibly strong bond between both parts of the wood. It bonds to the material, rather than just filling the space between them. This can stop the crack from getting worse. 

The drawback is that you need to choose the color carefully. You can't stain it afterward, so test it out first to make sure that it's a good color match for the hardwood. You may need to mix a couple of colors to get the right shade.

If you're not a seasoned DIYer, it's best to call in the pros for hardwood floor repair. 

Using Epoxy Filler to Fix a Crack

It's important to protect the area around the crack. Before you start, you'll need:

  • Epoxy wood replacement compound/filler
  • Masking/painters' tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Putty knife

First, carefully mask off the area around the crack that you do not want the epoxy to get onto. Only the crack should be exposed. Put on the gloves.

Now follow the instructions on the package and make up the epoxy, which involves mixing two chemicals. You'll usually have about twenty minutes of working time once you mix the epoxy. Use the putty knife to carefully work the filler into the crack. 

Take care to get it level. If you like, you can run a comb through it in the direction of the grain of the wood to give it a little texture and simulate wood. This step is not necessary though.

Once the epoxy has cured, sand it down as needed, but take care not to sand the wood to the sides. Then you can remove the painters' tape and admire your handiwork.

Do You Need to Replace Your Hardwood Flooring?

The great thing about hardwood flooring is that you can refinish it. But every time you do, it takes about 1/8 inch off the thickness of the wood. Clearly, there's a limit to how many times you can repeat this process!

Eventually, the day will come when you need to replace your hardwood flooring. But this isn't the only sign that it's time to replace the old and bring in the new.

Soft Spots

As a natural material, hardwood is prone to decay. The same is true for the supporting structure beneath and it could spread from one to the other. If your hardwoods are rotting, the only solution is to rip them up and replace them. 

If the damage is just confined to one or two boards, get a flooring expert in to have a look. They may recommend that you only have to replace a few planks.

Water Damage

Sealed hardwoods can withstand the occasional spilled cup of coffee. But full-on water damage from a flood or a leak can sound the death knell for them.

It could cause the wood to go black or to crack and warp. In these cases, it may be beyond saving.

Cracked Boards

Cracked boards don't usually need to be replaced. As mentioned above, they're usually caused by a lack of moisture in the air. If you sort this problem out, you should be able to stop the decline in its tracks.

Then you can return to the individual boards and either repair them or replace them. 

Shifting and Warping

As the house beds down, it's normal to notice some slight shifting in a new hardwood floor. But if you've got an older home and the hardwoods have been down a long time, this could mean there's an issue with the integrity of the floor. 

The floor will become springy and gaps will appear between the boards if this isn't rectified. As well as replacing the hardwood flooring, the subfloor may also need to be fixed. 

Gouged or Scratched Surface

This kind of wear and tear is almost inevitable and hardwood floors are not as hard as we'd like to think. The good news is that there are easy fixes for many gouges and deep scratches. 

And if they don't work, you can often refinish your floors to restore them to an almost new condition.

Find Great Value and Choice at National Floors Direct

If your floor has small cracks, our guide on how to fix a crack on a hardwood floor can help you make it good as new again. But if you've got big cracks, lots of warped boards, or other serious issues, it's probably time to replace your hardwood flooring.

At National Floors Direct, we stock a huge range of beautiful hardwood floors. From pale birch to rich oaks, there's something for everyone. We also provide hardwood flooring installation to get you the best possible finish.

Why not check out our range of hardwoods today?