Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I live in a mid-1800s house, which I plan to sell this Spring. The original (I think) wood flooring has gaps between the planks, some pretty sizable (photos follow).

Is there any good fix for this? I've seen people use wood filler/epoxy, and it didn't seem to turn out well. Perhaps doing that and painting/dying it black might work better.

I've heard the "old" solution was to pack those spaces with rope, but I don't think that would look better than the status quo.

Any suggestions?

Photos, big gap:

enter image description here

Medium gap:

enter image description here

Small gap:

enter image description here

share|improve this question

I think those gaps in the floor are part of the charm of old wood flooring. I definitely would not slosh epoxy all over them. I guess it partly depends on the style of the house and the type of buyer you're trying to attract. Original wood flooring may be attractive to some people if it's restored nicely.

share|improve this answer
I agree. It isn't like the wood was "broke" and needs fixing. This is how it was laid. You either like it or put something over it. – DMoore Mar 15 '14 at 4:44

you might be able to make some shims, and stain them to match, but frankly I don't think it'd turn out well... but best bang for buck is a juggle between fix it properly (which'll cost a mint but up your house value), cover it up if you think it's that bad, or leave it. Some people will find it to better demonstrate it's "antiqueness"

share|improve this answer

I have a house just like this.

We do all of these:

  1. fill with wood filler - definitely doesn't look great - no matter what folks say

  2. leave - but then you get bits of paper and crap in them so you have to vacuum

  3. spend some time putting a piece of pine wood in there with wood glue - it won't match at first.

Note, don't stain a piece of wood you put in. Just get some pine and put it in. It will darken over time to match.

Also, your floors will look awesome if you get them sanded and varnished...

share|improve this answer

I have seen flooring experts for old homes using different sizes of rope in the gaps. They actually dye or stain the rope to match the floors and then glue them into place. I have seen the results and I have to say that it looks good and adds character.

share|improve this answer
OP specifically states they have reservations about this method. Maybe you could post some pictures of the finished technique. Otherwise, I think I'd personally have a hard time trusting a stranger on the internet saying, "Trust me, it'll look good!" – Doresoom Apr 30 '15 at 14:15
That kind of rope chinking is indeed a very traditional solution; you can get material specifically made/sold for the purpose. (Websearch quickly found at least one brand.) I haven't done it so I can't give any specific advice. I would suggest checking with the local historical society to find out whether this was common in your area and what materials would be appropriate. Or leave it and suggest that the buyer might want to do a historically accurate restoration of this sort. – keshlam Jun 28 '15 at 1:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.