We have a lot of gaps between boards in our wood floor (see pic, I'm holding a penny in the crack, some are wider, most are narrower). It looks like the cracks were originally filled with something, not sure what though (maybe just wood filler).

When I refinish the floors do I need to remove the filler and refill the gaps? If so, how do I go about both?enter image description here


1 Answer 1


In my 1920's house, the cracks between oak floorboards where caused by house settling, and sometimes compressing floorboards. They vary in width by time of year. That makes filling impractical. I do glue down any potential splinters with wood glue and a 5 Lb weight.

  • Not sure that's the same problem since our floorboards had the gaps filled from the beginning (well, I assume they were) and our house was built in the 60's. On the other hand, maybe the filler is breaking up due to expansion/contraction of the boards. Is your floor sealed?
    – tnknepp
    Feb 17, 2021 at 0:26
  • I saw the boards, and they looked like 1920's oak to me. In a newer house, they might well have filled in the cracks. I tried some of that in my old house, and it just cracked open. Your situation may be entirely different. I'd watch the cracks, and see if they change by season. Hopefully refinishing isn't a "git er done right now" task for you. Feb 17, 2021 at 17:17
  • With heat and humidity changes solid flooring can move quite a bit. I can’t quite tell if that is a nickel or penny but the gaps look uneven and could be from sessional movement.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 17, 2021 at 17:23
  • @EdBeal That's a penny on the picture. There are some gaps wider (maybe a quarter's width...maybe a little more) and there are a lot of adjacent boards that have no gap.
    – tnknepp
    Feb 17, 2021 at 18:04
  • @WayfaringStranger No, this is 1960's oak, 3/4" thick. No, this does not need done now. It's just the next major project on the horizon and I'm starting to plan it out.
    – tnknepp
    Feb 17, 2021 at 18:05

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