We had our floors refinished and there are still separations between the boards. The company claims that it's due to the original installation of the floor and are not fixing it any further. Is it possible to fill the holes with something that doesn't need to be finished or sanded? The guy recommended painters putty, does anyone have experience with that? Other solutions? Freshly refinished floor

  • Not an answer but just discussion. I have cracks like this too. Putty doesn't last. The bigger the crack the worse it falls apart. But I saw an episode of This Old House where the put strands of rope in between cracks of a wooden floor. But I think those were wide boards not tongue and groove hardwood. Is this an option for tongue and groove? – Sco Jun 25 '15 at 12:18
  • @JoK If the linked Q&A doesn't help you, please update this one with additional details to help distinguish them and to enable anyone answering to provide you with specific help. Thanks! – Niall C. Jul 1 '15 at 3:19

Painter's putty would work, but I don't know if it'd be your best option. First of all you'd need a ton of it to fill between every piece of flooring. Also, unless your going to use it after you put the finish on your floor, I'm not sure that the stain or lacquer wouldn't dissolve the putty. Unfortunately, I don't know what would be your best option, but I couldn't imagine that you should entertain the notion of painter's putty. I could be wrong, though...it certainly has happened before.....once...ha


Those gaps are never to be filled. The seasonal movement of wood will squeeze the putty back out of the gaps. Next heating cycle, the flooring will shrink again and will show the gaps again, looking something like the ragged edges your pictures show. Somebody tried filling the gaps already.... at least that one....

  • Yes, the gaps were filled two days ago. I can't imagine the cycle of shrinking and expanding has already happened. It was surprising to see these cracks immediately after the floor was refinished. Any thoughts on that? – Jo K Jun 25 '15 at 16:07
  • @JoK the floor probably has some slight give in it which makes the boards move as they are walked on. All it takes is for someone to walk on the floor before the putty is completely cured to crack it. Standard wood putty will never hold up in this situation. There are latex based stainable caulks which might work in this situation. I have never tried it myself, but it could work in theory, You could try it in a small area prior to the wood stain being applied and see how it looks. – Jason Hutchinson Jun 25 '15 at 20:07
  • Wood is going to move, that is what it does, there is not stopping it, only ways to control it. Wood filler does not control it, especially as Jo K pointed out, it appears since the floor was puttied a few days ago, there is movement of the floor under foot. Another reason the gaps are not puttied. The only gaps I ever seen puttied were at the ends of the flooring where it joined the next piece. Wood changes dimensions in its width or thickness depending on the orientation of the growth rings, very little in its length. – Jack Jun 26 '15 at 7:55

Wood filler can temporarily fill anything, even the annoying gaps that run parallel to the long edges of your floor boards. But the size of those gaps changes all year long and the wood filler in those gaps isn’t elastic enough to swell and shrink with the seasons and so will just get pummeled and eventually break up.

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